Understanding your power bill

Your power bill includes important information about how much power you've used and how much you need to pay.

If you want to know more about the different parts of your power bill, or interested in why the charges are what they are, then contact your electricity retailer, or see this breakdown of an average power bill via the Electricity Authority’s website.

What are your rights as an electricity consumer?

When you purchase electricity there are rights and obligations for you.

When you sign up with an electricity retailer, you should be given a contract that covers key points for you as a customer:

  • connections, disconnections and contract termination
  • the actual supply of electricity including metering
  • contractual terms and conditions, such as being fair and reasonable
  • how billing and payments will be handled
  • how the retailer will request access to your property
  • how complaints will be handled.

Electricity retailers are required to:

  • provide you with fair contracts with clear terms and conditions so you can fully understand the electricity offer
  • notify you if they change your contract including the cost of your electricity
  • provide clear information on your bill
  • provide you with flexible payment options
  • provide advice or referral to a budgeting service, energy efficiency advice or payment options if you having difficulty paying your bill
  • honour your request that their sales people do not visit you at home, if you choose so
  • tell you about your right to complain if you have problems with your electricity service
  • discuss with you, your electricity needs and payment options if you are a medically dependent customer.

You also have a right to fair and honest dealings with your retailer. Energy retailers, like all businesses, must comply with laws around advertising and marketing. There also specific rules that door-to-door and telephone sales people must follow.

As a customer, you are responsible for ensuring that you:

  • provide open and convenient access to read and maintain your electricity meters
  • provide notice of when you are moving house
  • advise your retailer if you are using your electricity differently, for example if you start running a small business from home
  • provide confirmation from a medical practitioner if someone in your residence is dependent on electricity for medical purposes, and equally you must let your retailer know if these circumstances change.