If you've received a bill that's higher than usual, it can be due to a number of reasons. It’s important to understand where and when you use energy. Here are some checks you can make to help lower your cost:
Hot summers and cold winters can be contributing factors to a high bill. Cooling and heating appliances used to cope with changes in weather can increase your energy usage.
Check to see if you’re using more energy than usual by comparing your bill with your previous summer/winter usage. You can check previous bills using My Account or the AGL Energy app
Take advantage of natural heating and cooling opportunities - have a look at our Home Energy Saving Tips page for more.
Have you received an estimated bill?
If you're receiving monthly bills, it's possible that the higher bill you received is due to an estimated bill - either this bill or the previous one. Estimated bills can either be based off your usage history with us or, if you've been with us less than 12 months, it'll be based off the average of similar customers.
Your higher bill may be an estimated bill itself, or it could be an actual, metered bill that is higher because the last estimated bill was too low.
If you're on quarterly billing and have received an estimated bill, this is most likely due to an inability to read your meter. To avoid this, make sure there's clear and safe access to the meter with no locks or dogs that could prevent a read from occurring. You can find more information on our Why do I get estimated bills page.
You can avoid estimated bills by submitting your own meter read as the next section explains.
Submit your own meter read
If you have a basic meter, you can request an adjustment to an estimated bill by submitting your own meter read. You can see what type of meter you have on our Read Your Meter page.
You can avoid an estimated bill by providing your own meter read two days before your next bill.
Check if you’re eligible for concessions
You may qualify to receive various energy concessions, rebates or grants on your AGL account.
Check your eligibility and get in touch to ensure eligible concessions are applied
Concessions can be found on page 2 of your bill, under 'New charges and credits'.
Know what financial assistance options are available to you.
The more appliances you have and use, the higher your energy bills will be. Energy Insights can help you understand where you're using the most electricity. If you have a smart meter and you’ve set up your Home Profile through My Account, you'll get greater visibility with estimates of your home’s electricity usage by appliance category.
Register for Energy Insights
Set up or update your Home Profile
Did you recently move house?
Have your living arrangements recently changed which may have had an impact on your energy usage? Your new home might be larger or new house mate may have moved in? Check our energy efficiency guide for practical ways to reduce your energy bills.
Did you recently get or change any appliances?
If you've recently bought new appliances, they may be consuming more power than you realise - particularly if it's something that uses stand-by power.
Replacing an appliance can also cause your bill to go up. Typically, newer appliances are more energy efficient than older ones, but that's not always the case. Use the Energy Rating Calculator to compare running costs of appliances.
Take control with the AGL Energy app
See up-to-date information on your energy usage and charges. If you have a digital meter, you can track your electricity usage and costs to date. Drill into weekly and daily views to compare energy usage across different periods.
Download the AGL Energy app – for iPhone
Download the AGL Energy app – for Android™
Manage your usage with My Account
Get detailed information about your energy usage and track your energy usage if you have a digital meter.
Register for My Account
Log in to My Account
Having trouble paying your bill? If you're having issues paying your bill, we're here to support you in a number of ways from a payment extension to bill smoothing or financial hardship assistance. For more information, go to our Financial support and assistance page.
Sometimes we might need to estimate your energy usage, rather than organise a read of your meter. There’s a few reasons why this might be necessary.
For example, the distributors who read your meter might have trouble accessing it. This usually happens if your meter’s been installed indoors, is behind a locked gate, or is guarded by a pet pooch.
If you receive monthly bills, we’ll need to estimate your usage as your distributor usually only provides us with an actual read every two or three months. If you’ve got a smart meter installed, it’ll upload your meter data at 30 minute intervals.
Once we get an actual meter read from your distributor, or once you submit a read yourself via My Account or the App, we’ll check and correct your account based on if we’ve charged you too much or too little. If we have charged you the wrong amount, we’ll either include an adjustment on your next bill or resend you an adjusted energy bill. You can tell if your bill is based on an estimate or an actual read by looking at the ‘Reading Type’ or ‘Current Reading’ section on the back of your bill.
Avoiding estimated bills is easy: Just submit your reads online via My Account or the App and we’ll bill you based on those reads. Check out this guide for reading your meter.
In some circumstances where these options might not be possible, you may need to request an actual meter read (a fee may apply). Please chat with us to arrange.
Your gas meter measures gas usage in cubic meters, but in most states your usage is actually billed in ‘megajoules’ (MJ) on your bill. In WA only, usage is measured in 'units'. A unit of gas is equivalent to 1 kilowatt hour of energy. To determine units, the number of megajoules is divided by 3.6.
To calculate the number of megajoules you've used in a billing period, AGL first subtracts the start read on your meter from the end read, and then multiplies the result by two values - the heating value and pressure factor.
Both of these values are provided to us by your local gas Distributor - the company responsible for reading your meter and maintaining the pipes in your area. Heating value and pressure factor vary based on local conditions at different geographical locations, such as temperature, pressure and the appliance consuming the gas.
All of the values used in these calculations are shown on the last page of your gas bill. Here's an example of how they look:
And the calculations using these example numbers:
( End read - Start read ) x Heating value x Pressure factor = Usage MJ
( 229 - 220 ) x 38.6336 x 1.0272 = 357.15
If you have a smart electricity meter that’s remotely read, we use real usage data to work out your monthly bill.
For customers with a basic meter that's read every two to three months, we don’t have actual data to use each month. Instead, we estimate your energy usage on a variety of factors including your historical usage and seasonal activity, then bill you on that figure. When an actual meter reading is completed, we adjust your account as needed. Customers new to AGL won't have historical data so estimates are based on averages of similar customers over the time period.
If you have a basic meter and would like to avoid estimated bills, you can submit your own meter reading in My Account.
Learn How to submit your own meter read here.
1. How does centralised hot water billing work?
Centralised (or bulk) hot water systems are common in apartments and multiple residencies. Each residence will have an individual hot water meter connected to a central hot water system. Customers with centralised hot water are billed for the volume of gas used to heat the water based on the usage recorded by their individual hot water meter (see question 3 for more information on how your usage is calculated and billed).
2. How do I know if I have centralised hot water billing?
You will have an individual water meter for your apartment and a central gas hot water system for the apartment block or units. More information is available from your Body Corporate or Owners Corporation.
Understanding your bill
3. What is the common factor?
So your gas hot water usage can be calculated, the common factor is used to determine the amount of gas (in mega joules) required to heat a litre of water. It is calculated by dividing the total amount of gas used to heat the water (MJ) by the total amount of water (L) used as recorded by the central hot water system. The common factor is provided to AGL by your distributor who is responsible for reading the master meters (these meters are the ones common to the entire apartment block).
4. Why do you multiply my usage by 10 as well as the common factor?
[Information for NSW customers only excluding residents of Wagga Wagga and Tamworth]
If you live in NSW, you may notice that your usage has been multiplied by 10, as well as the common factor - this is because the hot water meter measures your usage in decalitre (a metric unit of capacity equal to 10 litres).
So in order to calculate your bill, we multiply your individual usage by 10 to determine your usage in litres, and then by the common factor (as the common factor is the amount of gas required to heat a litre of water).
Your Meter Reading = 1111 dl (x10)
Your Meter Reading in Litres = 11110
Gas usage of all units = 57544 MJ
Water usage of all units = 126190 litres
Common factor = 57544 / 126190 = 0.4560107 rounded to 0.456011
Energy (MJ) = 1111 x 10 x 0.456011 = 5066.28 rounded to 5066 MJ
Monitoring your usage
5. How do I read my meter?
On most hot water meters, you’ll see a series of numbers. The black numbers measure whole units and the red numbers measure decimals. By reading the meter at two different points in time (such as at the beginning of the day and at the end) you will be able to determine what your water usage is for that amount of time.
The easiest and simplest way to pay now is online. It’s quick and you don’t need to log in. Pay your bill now.
Take control of your billing using My Account. When you’re logged in to My Account you can view and pay your bills, and adjust your billing preferences.
You can also switch to paperless bills or eBilling in My Account, which saves paper.
Find out more about using My Account.
Spread your energy costs for the year across monthly, fortnightly or weekly instalments. Combining Bill Smoothing with direct debit payments makes paying your bill straightforward.
Other ways to pay
There are lots of options, so you can find the one that works for you. You need to know that some methods can attract a payment processing fee, including credit cards.
Here are all the ways you can pay:
Direct debit: An automatic arrangement to debit your bank account or credit card for your entire bill on the due date.
Use your credit card to pay online now.
PayPal: Pay online with your PayPal account (including AMEX).
BPAY: Use your bank’s internet banking system to pay via BPAY, or send bills directly to BPAY View. Find the BSB and Biller code.
Post Billpay: Pay via your local AusPost office (cash, card or cheque) or the Post Billpay web page.
Centrepay: Make regular payments directly from your Centrelink payment benefit.
Mail: Send a cheque or money order to: AGL Sales Pty Ltd, Locked Bag 20024, Melbourne VIC 3001.
Pay over the phone by calling 1300 657 386.
Need more time?
When you’re having trouble paying your bill on time, use My Account to check out your payment extension options. Or our Staying Connected team can chat through your options and make a plan to manage your account.
Explore your payment options.
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 relevant state’s Fee Schedule.
There are other methods for paying your energy bills with AGL that won’t incur a payment processing fee, which you can learn about here.
Check out AGL Bill Smoothing to see how we can help take the surprise out of your energy bill[s].
What is bill smoothing?
AGL bill smoothing is a payment plan that creates a regular estimated bill. It works by splitting the estimated total cost of your energy bills over the next 12 months into equal monthly, fortnightly or weekly instalments.
The bill amounts are, as the name suggests, ‘smoothed out’ – or averaged over a year.
What are the advantages of bill smoothing?
Bill smoothing is designed to take the surprise out of your energy bill[s], by splitting the estimated cost into smaller instalments spread over 12 months.
Bill smoothing reduces the impact of seasonal energy use (for example high heating or cooling costs).
It also has the benefit of making your energy costs more predictable and easier to manage, allowing you to plan your budget and cash flow.
Will I still receive statements?
Yes. With Bill Smoothing you continue to receive account statements on your usual quarterly billing cycle. The statements include information about your energy usage, so you can monitor how, where and when you use energy throughout the year.
If you are signed up to Bill Smoothing, we will review your estimated instalments each billing period. You will be notified, when you receive your bill, of how you are tracking and whether any changes are required to your Bill Smoothing arrangement.
How do I set up Bill Smoothing?
Bill Smoothing is available to residential and small-business customers.
You can set up Bill Smoothing online using My Account or by contacting us. And of course we will confirm all details and instalment amounts with you in writing.
What if I need to cancel a Bill Smoothing plan?
If you wish to cancel an existing Bill Smoothing plan, please contact us. You will need to pay any outstanding amount owing on your account, and you will receive a refund if you have overpaid. If you pay by direct debit, please contact us at least three business days before your next payment is due.
What if I move house?
Your Bill Smoothing plan will be automatically cancelled if you move house (as your usage will change too). Log in online using My Account, or contact us if you would like to set up a new Bill Smoothing plan for your new house.
What if my payment amounts have changed?
If you’d like more information about your payment amounts you can contact web chat team here or call us to discuss. We will review your Bill Smoothing payment amounts at each bill against your actual usage to ensure you’re never paying too much or too little towards your actual annual usage.
What other payment arrangement options are there?
AGL offers a range of flexible billing options with various payment options to suit everyone.
Bill Smoothing is a really helpful payment plan that takes the surprise out of your energy bill.
Visit My Account to sign up.
By choosing eBilling, you’ll be emailed a secure, temporary link to download a PDF copy of your bill online instead of being mailed one.
eBills have the same information as paper bills, right down to the payment methods, messages and inserts that you’d otherwise find in the envelope. Plus, we'll also be able to email you other important messages about your account, like reminder notices.
To switch to eBilling or in My Account go to Account Settings > Billing and Payments > Bill Notifications and find the eBilling heading. To change your email address in My Account go to Profile > Personal Details > Contact Details.
I don't understand my bill. What can I do?
If you’ve received your bill and have some questions, the following resources might be helpful in reviewing the amount you need to pay and understanding your energy usage.
View an example bill
Learn about how we work out your bill, where to find your meter details and how we compare your usage to other homes with our bill explainer PDF. Available to view or download on our Sample Bill page.
Received a higher than usual bill?
If your bill is higher than normal, if may be due to a number of reasons. Explore what might be causing your increased bill through our article - My bill seems higher than usual, what should I do?
Having trouble paying?
If you're having trouble paying your bill, go to our Financial Hardship Assistance page for details on the ways we can help.
Want to reduce your usage?
Explore ways to save energy around the home on our Home Energy Saving Tips page.
Monitor and track your usage
Manage and check your energy usage using My Account or the AGL Energy app.
For more help, get in contact with our team. Please have your AGL account number handy.
The supply charge also known as the service charge (or service to property charge), is the charge that applies for supplying electricity to your premises for each day of the billing period, regardless of how much electricity you use.
Electricity daily supply charges may vary depending on the electricity network region you are connected and what type of tariff you are on.
Supply charges are generally calculated as a contract term amount charged for each day of the time period covered by a bill. They are not related to the amount of energy used during the billing period.
Supply charges cover some of the costs of maintaining and operating the Distribution and Transmission networks (see explanation of Network Costs), and some of the operational costs of supplying our customers.
To arrive at the supply charge on your bill, we multiply the daily rate by the number of days your energy is supplied.
The heating value is used to calculate the amount of energy (megajoules) contained in gas, which is impacted by temperatures and pressures at different geographical locations.
AGL needs to calculate your bills by using the heating value, which is provided by your Gas Distributor (they’re responsible for reading your meter, along with the gas pipes and meters in your street).
Yes, paying your bill online is simple. It’s quick and you don’t need to log in. Pay your bill now
You can also pay online by logging in to My Account.
When you’re logged in to My Account you can view and pay your bills, adjust your billing preferences or switch to eBilling.
My Wallet My Wallet contains all the payment methods you’re currently using with AGL. You can select from your saved payment methods for quick and simple bill payments, and you can add or delete payment methods at any time. To access My Wallet, Click the 'Hi [Your Name] ▼' dropdown menu, and select 'Account Settings'. 'Under the Payment Methods' tile, click Edit.
Direct Debit Direct Debit payment arrangements help make sure your bills are paid on time, every time. Set up Direct Debit with AGL and you won’t have to worry about remembering to make a payment – we’ll send you a bill with your due date and the payment will be deducted automatically from your nominated account on this date.
You can easily manage your Direct Debit details with My Account . – . Click the 'Hi [Your Name] ▼' dropdown menu, and select 'Account Settings'. Under 'Billings and Payments' you can add, change, or cancel your Direct Debit payment arrangements. Any payment methods you set up for Direct Debit will be saved in My Wallet.
If you aren't logged in to My Account You can use our secure online bill payment page to pay online with a Visa or MasterCard. Credit cards are charged a payment processing fee fee which will show up on your next bill. You can view the Payment Processing Fee amount in your relevant state’s Fee Schedule.
You can also register to receive your bills through BPAY View so you can receive, manage and pay them from your financial institution's internet banking website. Visit bpay.com.au for more information.
You can find more information about Billing and Payments in Help and Support.
Yes, you can – and it doesn’t matter if you’re signed up to eBilling or get mailed paper bills either.
Direct Debit lets you pay each bill by its due date automatically, helping you to keep on top of them. Set this up in My Account or using the latest version of the AGL App.
Simply head to this page to get started with setting up Direct Debit - just have your account number handy, as you'll need this to sign up. Otherwise, contact us and we’ll help set it up over the phone.
Your Reference Number can be found under Payment Options on the back of your AGL bill or on page two of your online bill. You may need to download the PDF document to find the reference number. You can download your bill in PDF format through My Account.
Ready to pay your bill? Head to Payments or log in and pay through My Account
Bill Smoothing is a great way to make your payments 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 payments are more predictable, it helps reduce the stress of bill shock.
You can now set up Bill Smoothing in My Account.
Step 1: Log in to My Account
Step 2: Click Hi [Your name] ▼ > 'Account Settings', then under 'Billing and Payments' locate the 'Bill Smoothing' tile. Click 'Edit'.
Step 3: Select the fuel and payment frequency
Step 4: Select the start date and click 'Save'
My AGL Monthly Bill lets you receive your gas and electricity bills every month, instead of each quarter or every two months. Learn more about My AGL Monthly Bill here.
On the other hand, AGL Bill Smoothing can make your energy bill payments easier and more predictable by spreading the estimated total cost of your energy bills for the next year across equal monthly or fortnightly instalments. See how AGL Bill Smoothing works here.
If you would like to switch to eBilling or go back to receiving paper bills – you can set this up in My Account:
Log in to My Account
Click the 'Hi [Your Name] ▼' dropdown menu, and select 'Account Settings'
Select 'Billing and Payments'
Under the 'Bll notifications' tile, toggle eBilling on or off.
Need assistance? Get in touch with our web chat team.
A bill cycle is the start and end date of your bill and usually is between one and three months.
With AGL, you can choose to be billed monthly and help keep your bills down. For non-smart meter customers on monthly billing, up to two out of every three bills can be based on an estimate of your usage, taking into consideration your usage history and seasonal data. You can avoid this by submitting a self-service meter read in My Account or the AGL Energy app around the end of your bill cycle.
Quarterly or bi-monthly bills are higher because they're based off actual meter reads and come every two-three months.
The bill cycle date is the date in the month or quarter that your bill is generated and sent to you. For example, your bill might be generated on the 15th of the month.
View or change your bill frequency in My Account by going to Account Settings > Billing and Payments > Bill Frequency . If you're using the AGL Energy app, you can change your billing frequency by going to the Account tab, selecting Settings then Monthly Billing.