A plan that makes budgeting easier – and minimises surprises.

Bill Smoothing is an AGL service that makes it easier for you to manage your energy bills for your home or business, giving you more control, flexibility and certainty of your budget. It works by spreading or ‘smoothing’ your estimated yearly costs throughout the year by payments of smaller regular instalments.

So, if your energy bills totaled $1200 last year, then your starting Bill Smoothing payment amount would be $100 per month for this year.

Bill Smoothing is a great way to make your bills more predictable, as it reduces the impact of seasonal energy use, like using your heater over winter, or your air con in summer. And because your bills are more predictable, it helps reduce the stress of bill shock.

With Bill Smoothing bill time is made even easier with Direct Debit that ensures your bills are automatically paid on time, every time.

Check out our full list of frequently asked questions about Bill Smoothing below, and if you think Bill Smoothing sounds right for you, get in touch on 131 245.

 

FAQs

Why should I choose Bill Smoothing?

We created AGL Bill Smoothing to make your energy bill payments easier to manage and also to reduce the stress of bill shock. By paying for your energy in smaller, regular payments using Bill Smoothing, you may not need to worry about paying large amounts, like you would on standard billing.

Bill Smoothing gives you better flexibility and control by allowing you to adjust how you pay your bills. We help keep you on track with regular reviews that show how you’re tracking to your annual forecast. This gives you more control and a clearer view of where you’re at.

We make sure the calculations we use for your annual forecast are as accurate as possible, so you’ll have a better idea what to expect for each payment, each season.

Plus Bill Smoothing allows for flexible credit rollover, and a payment holiday where you can take a month off your payments each year.

How are my yearly energy costs estimated?

We work out your energy forecast for the year ahead using your previous energy use. Based on that figure, we divide it by the frequency of payments you choose – weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

If you're new to AGL or don’t have much consumption history, we simply estimate your annual consumption based on other customers like you or households like yours.

I’d like to sign up to Bill Smoothing. How do I know if Bill Smoothing is right for me?

Bill Smoothing is all about giving you more control, certainty and flexibility when it comes to managing your energy bills.

Bill Smoothing allows you to pay your bills in regular, manageable instalments. It’s a great option for anyone who’s budget-conscious or simply likes to know what their payment obligations will be throughout the year.

Bill Smoothing is available to all AGL customers who meet this criteria:

  • Are free of any overdue debt on AGL accounts
  • Aren’t on a ‘Promise to Pay’ plan or hardship plan with AGL
  • Are a residential customer or a small business customer

If Bill Smoothing sounds right for you, you can get in touch with us on 131 245.

Is there a minimum amount of time that I have to be on Bill Smoothing?

Your Bill Smoothing arrangement is for one annual cycle. That annual cycle means we can estimate your energy use and your Bill Smoothing payments can be spread equally across four seasons.

And once your annual cycle is ready to be rolled over to the next one, we aim to have your account at a $0 balance.

If you feel that Bill Smoothing isn’t quite right for you, you’re welcome to cancel at any time and return to regular billing.

How do I make a payment?

To give you greater control and convenience of your Bill Smoothing payments, the best way to pay is with Direct Debit.

Paying with Direct Debit ensures your bills are paid on time, every time. It’s super easy to set up, and once it’s done, your payment amount is automatically deducted from your nominated bank account for your payment date. Just make sure your account always has sufficient funds for the bill amount to be paid.

Please note that a dishonor fee may be charged from your financial institution or AGL. Bank transaction fees and Government taxes may apply.

Whilst we encourage you to choose Direct Debit for your convenience and ease at bill time, there are other payment options available online, over the phone, in person or mail.

You can find all the payment options for your home’s energy here. For your business, your payment options are right here.

Please note for credit card payments, we accept Visa and Mastercard only. A payment processing fee of up to 0.6% GST inclusive will apply.

What are the benefits of paying with Direct Debit?

Direct Debit is the easy, hassle-free way to pay your bills. It’s the perfect fit for Bill Smoothing’s more frequent payment amounts. Rather than having to remember to pay every week or fortnight (or whatever your payment frequency), Direct Debit automatically deducts the payment amount from your nominated bank account to match your payment dates each time. It’s a great way to ensure you never miss another payment or pay late fees.

How often do I need to make a payment?

You can choose to make your Bill Smoothing payment instalments monthly, fortnightly or weekly. It’s up to you. And if you want to increase your payments or make an extra payment, you can do this whenever you like.

Can I make a change to my payment frequency?

Sure. You can change how often your payments are made anytime. Just give us a call on 131 245.

Can my payment amount change?

Yes. If your energy use changes compared to the previous year or to the amount we estimated, we want to make sure your payments are covering your use, or that you’re not over or under paying.

If this is the case, we’ll get in touch with you for the next steps to adjust your payments.

Any payment amounts we suggest to either increase or decrease are aimed at bringing you back to a $0 balance at the end of your first annual Bill Smoothing cycle.

How do I change my payment amount?

If we’ve suggested a change to your payment amount, you can accept the change on our automated system on 131 245. Simply follow the menu prompts to confirm the change.

Or if you’d prefer to chat to us about the change, we’re always here to help. Simply call us on 131 245.

I don’t agree with the payment amount suggested to me. What can I do?

Your recommended Bill Smoothing payment amount is calculated based on your forecast annual energy usage costs divided by your chosen payment frequency.

If you’re not happy with your payment amount, please give us a call on 131 245 to discuss your options. We're here 24/7 to help.

I can’t make my payments. What should I do?

If you’re having trouble managing your payments, we’re here to help. You can give us a call to discuss your options on 131 245.

What’s a review letter? What’s the difference between this and a bill?

A review letter details how your energy use is tracking to your forecast amount. Each review period spans the time between your bills. You’ll get a review letter along with your bill as part of your usual billing cycle.

If your energy use is different to the previous year or to the forecast amount, the review letter will show how your payments can be adjusted to more accurately match your use. Otherwise, you can relax knowing that you're on track with your payments.

A bill is different to a review letter. A bill includes all the finer details about your consumption charges, fees, discounts and concessions. You’ll get a bill along with your review letter as part of your usual billing cycle.

How does an annual review differ to a review letter?

Towards the end of each Bill Smoothing cycle, we look at your energy consumption throughout the arrangement against our forecast from that same year for your annual review.

If your actual energy use was higher than we predicted, we may ask you to make a one-off payment to get your balance back to $0 so you can start your next year afresh with Bill Smoothing. If there’s no outstanding amount or there is a credit balance your Bill Smoothing will automatically be renewed for the following year. If there is a credit balance, you can contact us to obtain a refund or leave it on your account. Any credit balance will not be factored as part of your renewed Bill Smoothing calculation.

As a part of your annual review, you’ll also get a confirmation letter to welcome you to your next year of Bill Smoothing. It’ll outline the year ahead with your forecast, your payment amount and frequency.

How do I get the most out of Bill Smoothing?

To make Bill Smoothing more convenient for you, Direct Debit is a great way to ensure your bills are paid on time, every time. It’s quick and easy to do and can save you heaps of time. Once you’ve set it up, your payments will be made automatically from your nominated bank account.

What’s a payment card?

If you don’t have Direct Debit, the AGL Payment Card is a convenient way you may choose to make smaller, more frequent payments toward your home’s energy bills without needing your AGL bill on hand.

Your payment card is linked to each of your AGL accounts and can also be used to make payments over the counter at the post office.

You can request an AGL Payment Card by calling us on 131 245.

What’s a payment holiday? How does it work?

We’re here to make it easier for you when it comes to paying your bill. Sometimes it’s nice to take a little break. That’s why we offer our customers a payment holiday, where you can take one month off your Bill Smoothing payments each year. We’ll simply smooth that amount over the remaining months of your 12-month term.

It’s up to you as to when and how you’d like to take your payment holiday. If you make your Bill Smoothing payments weekly, you can take four weeks off individually or consecutively. Or if you pay your Bill Smoothing instalments fortnightly, you can take two fortnights off individually or consecutively.

To plan your payment holiday, simply get in touch with us and we’ll get it sorted. You can call us anytime on 131 245.

What’s a credit rollover? How does it work?

If you’ve continued to make your regular payments, but used less energy than your payment amounts, your account will be in credit.

If your account’s in credit by more than your next payment amount, you’ll be able to skip your next payment by rolling your credit over to your next payment amount.

To rollover your credit, please give us a call on 131 245 and we’ll make it happen.

How do I keep on top of my energy and bills?

To help keep you on track with your energy use and payments throughout the year, we’ll send you regular review letters along with your bill.

A review letter shows how your energy use is tracking to your forecast amount. If your energy use is different to the forecast amount, the review letter will show how your payments can be adjusted to accurately match your use. Otherwise, you can relax knowing that you're on track with your payments.

We’ll also send you an annual review letter which will re-cap your energy use during the year compared to your forecast, followed by a confirmation letter which will outline your new forecast for your next Bill Smoothing year.

I’m moving home / office. Can I stay on Bill Smoothing?

Sure. We’ll simply create a new Bill Smoothing account for your new home or office, along with a new forecast to improve the accuracy of your suggested payment amounts. Once you’ve reached the move out date for your current address, we’ll cancel Bill Smoothing for that account.

Why can’t I make my monthly payment date on the 29th, 30th or 31st of the month?

To help keep your monthly payments predictable, we set them on the same date per month. Because all months have 28 days, we’ve made your payment date to be within 28 days of the month.

The graph in my welcome pack shows more than 12 month’s data, but my forecast is for one year. What does this mean?

To give you a forecast for your first annual Bill Smoothing cycle, we look at the payment amounts from your previous billing history.

Using this data, we can estimate your payment amounts from your last bill date plus one day, to cover any upcoming bills for the next annual cycle, which could be up to 16 months.

After your first annual cycle on Bill Smoothing, your next forecast will look at the previous 12 months’ data only.

Can I provide my own meter read once a month so I can be billed monthly on Bill Smoothing?

Sure. Doing this will improve the accuracy of your energy bills.

You can our find our easy to follow, step by step guide to reading your own energy meter with AGL’s Guide To Reading Your Meter.

Bill Smoothing isn’t quite right for me. Can I change to regular bills?

Absolutely. Just get in touch with us three business days before the due date of your next Bill Smoothing payment. We’re here to help you find a plan that works better for you. Simply call us on 131 245.

My Bill Smoothing is being cancelled. Do I need to pay anything?

If your Bill Smoothing has been cancelled, we’ll send you details for the payments and charges up until the cancellation date. If your account is in debit, you’ll just need to pay the outstanding amount. If your account is in credit, please contact us to arrange a refund on your account.

For bill smoothing terms and conditions please click here

Top 10 FAQs

How do online scams, like phishing or hoax activities, operate?

By  limydoo 28/Apr/2016/5:57AM

There are scam emails currently circulating that pretend to be from reputable energy companies, which claim you owe money for an outstanding gas or electricity bill and ask you to click on a link to view your account or to make a payment.

They often involve you being illegally contacted by an indivi...


Read full article in the Community

How can I read my digital meter?

By  JeremyH 06/Jul/2016/5:03AM

All meters have a display or information button (clear or grey in colour) which lets you scroll through its different registers. What you'll see will all depend on the type of meter you have.


If you live in New South Wales, Queensland or South Australia, you'll have one of the meters pictured below ...


Read full article in the Community

How are monthly bills determined?

By  JeremyH 28/Apr/2016/6:51AM

If you have a smart electricity meter that's remotely-read every day, we can use real usage data to work out your monthly bill.

However, if your meter is read every two to three months and we don't have actual data to use each month, we use a process to estimate your energy usage that looks at your ...


Read full article in the Community

Why do I get estimated bills?

By  JeremyH 28/Apr/2016/6:14AM

Estimated bills are based on our estimate of your energy usage (rather than an actual read of your meter). There are a number of reasons why this may happen.


For example, we might estimate your usage if your Distributor (who provide your usage information to us, your Retailer) has trouble accessing ...


Read full article in the Community

What is a digital meter?

By  JeremyH 06/Jul/2016/2:53AM

Digital meters, otherwise known as smart meters, are the next generation of electricity meters, replacing analogue ones. They measure your home's electricity use in 30-minute intervals, and can send this data automatically to your energy retailer every day using a secure wireless network.


Digital me...


Read full article in the Community

Does AGL have a mobile app?

By  MattyDubs 27/Apr/2015/5:44AM

We've released a free smartphone app to give you greater visibility and control over your energy usage. The AGL Energy app has been launched with Apple iOS compatibility, with planned compatibility for Android devices in the near future.

The new AGL Energy iPhone App lets you stay in control, i...


Read full article in the Community

How do I change the name on my account?

By  JeremyH 28/Apr/2016/7:18AM

Call us anytime 24/7 on 131 245. A member of our customer service team can verify who you are and help you out.


Read full article in the Community

What is a payment processing fee?

By  JeremyH 28/Apr/2016/6:17AM

If you pay your energy bills using a credit card, or any card that uses a credit card payment facility, AGL is charged a merchant services fee by your financial institution. This will appear on your next bill as 'payment processing fee'. You can view the Payment Processing Fee amount in your releva...


Read full article in the Community

Can I have more time to pay my bill?

By  JeremyH 28/Apr/2016/6:11AM

Please call us anytime 24/7 on 131 245 if you're having trouble paying your bill. You may qualify for a payment plan, relief scheme or a government funded concession.


Read full article in the Community

What should I do if there is a gas leak?

By  limydoo 28/Apr/2016/5:49AM

If the smell of gas is coming from an appliance on your property, or from pipework near the gas meter, turn the natural gas meter handle to the off position first before you immediately phone your local plumber or gas fitter or, if you rent, your real estate agent.

If you pinpoint the smell is comin...


Read full article in the Community

View all FAQs