There are two types of energy charges that appear on most customers’ energy bills:
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.
Usage charges (variable charges)
Usage charges are generally calculated per kilowatt hour (kWh) for electricity, and per megajoule (MJ) or Unit for gas, for the amount of gas or electricity used at a home or business during the time period covered by a bill. Usage charges also 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.
The majority of costs associated with Government green schemes (see explanation of Government Green Scheme Costs) are generally recovered through the usage charges.
The actual amount of the variable usage charges that appear on an individual customer’s bill depends on how much energy they use, as measured by their meter and multiplied by the usage rates that apply under their energy contract.
It is possible that two similarly sized houses right next to each other, that are billed for the same time period and pay the same energy rates under identical energy plans, might have very different amounts on their energy bills.
This can be due to a number of physical factors about the property, the number of occupants or the way the occupants use energy.
For example, one home may have double glazed windows, or more insulation and weather proofing, making it more energy efficient. One house may have a solar power system that generates electricity.
One home may use energy efficient lighting, and the other may have a large number of inefficient down lights installed. A heated and filtered backyard pool can add significant cost to a household electricity bill.
One home may have more energy hungry appliances, such as plasma screen televisions, or mobile devices that require recharging every day. A second fridge can also add considerable cost to a household electricity bill.
The household occupants may use their appliances at different times of the day, which matters if different rates apply to usage that occurs during Peak, Off-peak or Shoulder times of the day.
One home may have more efficient heating, or cooling, or the heating or cooling might be set to different temperatures. One occupant might do more loads of washing. One occupant may line dry their clothes, while the other uses a tumble dryer.
All of these factors will combine uniquely for every household, which may result in quite different amounts when the energy bill arrives. That's why AGL developed My Account, an online tool available to AGL customers to help them understand more about the circumstances of their own energy use.