The secret new way your power bills will soon be calculated!

Big electricity changes will soon affect the amount you pay, so find out this simple thing you need to do to protect your discount

Big power discounts, like those sourced by our very own 9Saver Power Campaign, are now helping us slash our electricity bills.

But what if you’re paying too much to begin with?

Queensland’s Federal Government is looking to fine energy companies who overestimate our usage. It’s a move that has prompted big changes, with customers now able to read their own meters for accuracy and peace of mind.

It’s particularly significant because many of us pay our power bills without a second thought, and often without considering whether we are paying for more energy than we are actually using.

“According to the code, meters only need to be read once a year,” Energy consultant Anne Armansin told Nine News.

Energex is in charge of reading our meters, passing information to power retailers, but for various reasons they can pass certain customers by.

“Some people have locked gates with dogs and I understand even small dogs are of concern to the meter readers,” Armansin said.

If this is the case, the most likely result is that your retailer will have to estimate your bill.

“So if you miss out on that day — they can estimate how much energy you’ve used. Sometimes they can overestimate, so you can have a larger bill than you actually should have,” Armansin told Nine News.

And with power companies now facing big fines for overcharging, some are getting on the front foot. AGL is one company now accepting self-service reads for better bill accuracy.

“It removes the uncertainty of estimated bills which often occur because a meter reading hasn’t been done by those we rely on to do the meter readings,” AGL Chief Customer Officer, Melissa Reynold said.

Armansin’s best tip for meter reading is to take a photo of your meter and then go on the Energex website, where DIY meter reading is explained.

Energex advised that if customers want to check if a meter reader has visited their property, a good tip is to stick a piece of paper on the meter with instructions “please remove when read”.

And keeping a check on your usage is certainly the best way to reduce bill shock, particularly with energy bills already causing many households stress.

“There’s nothing worse than receiving a bill you just don’t have the money to pay,” Armansin said.

The Federal government will ask the Australian Energy Market Commission to amend the National Energy Rules so that all customers can submit a photograph of their meter data.

It’s certainly something to consider if you want to have a bit more control over your bills!

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