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Unexpected high bill

Check possible reasons for your higher electricity or gas bill and find ways to manage them.

Check common reasons for higher bills

Here are some common reasons to check when you’re looking into an unexpected high energy bill.

It's possible you received a higher bill due to an estimated bill. There are a few reasons we might need to estimate your energy usage.

If you have a basic meter (all gas meters are basic), it may be that your distributor:

  • had trouble accessing your meter, perhaps because it’s indoors, behind a locked gate or there may be a dog in your yard
  • only reads your meter only every two or three months, but you have monthly billing.

If you have a digital meter, connection dropouts can sometimes happen. In this case, we receive an estimate based on your past use for the time that data is not available.

Visit Estimated bills for information on how to:

  • tell if you have an estimated bill
  • adjust energy bills if you’ve been charged too much
  • avoid estimated bills.

Submit your own meter read

If you have a basic meter, you can avoid an estimated bill by providing your own meter read two days before your next bill. You can also correct an estimated bill by submitting your own reading online. To see what type of meter you have, visit Read your meter.

Send us your meter read up to two days before your next bill date and we'll use this read on your bill. You can also send us your read if you'd like us to adjust an estimated bill.

Hot summers and cold winters can help explain a high bill for a few reasons. More than usual, you may use:

  • cooling and heating appliances to cope with hot or cold weather
  • gas in winter for longer showers and gas heating systems
  • a clothes dryer in winter when you can’t dry clothes outdoors.

If you think hot or cold weather may be contributing to your high bill, you can:

  • check your bill against previous summer or winter bills using My Account or the AGL app
  • take advantage of natural heating and cooling opportunities like the ones in our Home energy saving tips.

If your bill is higher this month it could be because of a longer billing cycle. Your energy bill often does not cover the exact number of days per billing cycle. You can check the bill cycle on page 2 of your bill under Understand your bill.

A balance from your last bill may have been bought forward to your most recent one. To find out if this applies to you, check page 2 of your bill. Look at the Understand your bill section and check Previous balances and payments.

You may also have had a credit applied to your previous bill that doesn’t apply to your most recent one. To find out if a credit was applied to your last bill, check page 2 of your bill.

There are many factors behind the cost of getting electricity and gas to you. If there’s a price increase on your rates, we’ll always let you know ahead of time.

A feed-in tariff is the rate paid for any electricity your solar system feeds into the grid. These rates can change occasionally and may be the reason your bill looks different this period. If your solar rates change, we'll tell you.

You can find the rate you receive for your solar credit on page 2 of your bill. Check the Solar export section of Understand your bill. If there are no credits or zero kWh feed-in shown, find possible reasons why and what to do at solar bill management.

Your usage price can vary at different times of the day depending on your tariffs. You can find which tariff you’re on and if your price changes with the time of day in:

Learn more about types of electricity tariffs and saving on each tariff on electricity tariffs.

New appliances may be using more power than you realise, especially if they use stand-by power. Often newer appliances are more energy efficient than older ones. But, that's not always the case. Compare the running costs of appliances using the Energy Rating Calculator.

Energy Insights can help you understand where you're using the most electricity. If you have a smart meter, set up your Home Profile through My Account. You'll get greater visibility with estimates of your home’s electricity usage by appliance category.

Learn about Energy Insights

Set up Energy Insights

Maybe you’ve recently started working from home, the kids are on school holidays or you've got friends or family visiting. More people spending more time at home can be the cause of a higher bill.

If your living arrangements have recently changed it can impact your energy usage. Your new home might be larger, your tariff or pricing may be different, or a new housemate may have moved in. For practical ways to reduce your energy bills check our Energy efficiency guide (PDF).

If the final bill for your previous home is higher than expected, it may be because we’ve had to estimate it. If you want to discuss your final bill, contact us.

Check if we’re applying concessions, rebates or grants to your bill on page 2 of your bill under New charges and credits and Credits.

If you don’t have a concession applied but think you should, check your eligibility and learn how to apply on Concessions, grants and rebates page.

Manage your bill

You can use My Account or the AGL app to:

  • view and download your latest or previous bills
  • compare energy usage over time to spot patterns
  • track your electricity usage and costs to date, if you have a digital meter
  • add or change plans after you compare energy plans

More ways we can help