Simply energy electricity bill - doesn't make sense to me

Hi all

I have a stupid meter. It gets read once a quarter - so all Simply Energy have a total usage over that quarter.

They don’t average the rate they bought power over the quarter and then charge me that.

They divide my bill up into two time periods - the first period can be a few days to a couple of weeks. And then a time period covering the rest of the billing period.

Within each time period they have three different rates and divide my power up against those three different rates in no way I can figure out. So the cheapest rate - goes against the least power use, the medium rate goes against a higher power number, and the highest number goes against the middle number. I’ve got no idea how they divide up the amount of power between the dates or the rates. And they cannot explain the method to me over the phone.

I tried the website and this shows the prices I’ve got are cheaper than any quotes I’m offered, and simply energy is the cheapest of those. Ie I may as well stay with the retailer I’ve got.

What further confuses the issue - is they can give me a 30% discount for being with the RAA - but I can’t tell how that affects the quote they sent me - it looks like the bottom line is still higher.

I don’t know what to do but changing doesn’t seem like a good option. The last bill I got covered a period where I was away from home for two weeks and had a 36 hour black out - so the overall use is less but I’m thinking was the time I was away counted in the higher rate or does it all shift down into the cheaper rates pro-rata so I just get charged less at the highest (overflow?) rate.

doesn’t seem to be any sense to it. It’s not the first x KW are at this rate and the next y KW are at this next rate and more than that are at this high rate? If it’s the first x days are at this average KW at this rate - I will not be happy because I know that for the next y days I was not home or I had no power supplied at all.

They still charged me the full time period for the supply and use of the meter - even when it was not delivering any power. I know the distributor will eventually send out some “good will money” but I feel like I’ve been charged for a supply I was not getting for part of the billing period. Ie I was paying for something I was not getting.

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The offers are intentionally as confusing as possible to make a 1:1 comparison as hard as they can. The only way to accurately compare electricity or gas offers is to build a spread sheet with at least 12 months actual use to account for seasonal differences, charges for everything according to their charging plan, daily service cost, and discounts computed. It is not hard but a person unfamiliar with spreadsheets would struggle. As a pencil and paper exercise it would be more than just tedious.

In my case the vast majority of offers are within a $100 of each other. Some offers that were interestingly low for electricity often required signing up for gas, and the gas was high end, or vice versa; ie electricity and gas need to be added for total cost when you use both.

I tried the website comparator. It is clever but it did not reflect my situation because my current supplier does not provide the historic files for uploading to it, so it is based only on a single month of data. One also has to do their own footwork to find “plan only available with [ gas | electricity ] plan at same address, same account”.

Since you have a dumb meter, or even if you have a smart meter in many places, The multi-tier computation you are struggling with is almost certainly computed as if you used your energy uniformly over the billing period, with each tier applied to that daily average. The service charge is for the wire to your house and your account keeping. Clever way for them to have low power rates and recoup it in the daily charge, eh?


I can’t figure out how they decide which tier applies to what. So that make it a bit hard to put that into a spreadsheet. I did do the spreadsheet and the changes do not seem to apply to an average daily rate - ie they don’t change after x days… or even a percentage of use ie the first 10% charged at x, the next 60% charged at y, and the rest charged at z. It’s not percentages, or days, or set Kw. As best I can tell.

It might as well be random. I can’t check that they’re doing it correctly. So many billing systems don’t do the billing correctly. There’s no way to hold them accountable or compare.

The wire to my house was broken and they still charged me.

@Janet_in_Adelaide Surely the 3 different rates are time of use (TOU), peak, shoulder and off-peak, or perhaps one is a hot water rate? You would have to have an interval meter for them to be able to calculate that. The 2 separate time periods could be when they changed the rate per kWh or the standing (metering or whatever they call it there) charge.
If your lowest rate corresponds to the lowest usage, I suspect that you don’t use much electricity overnight

The different rates are commonly first X KWH per day, second Y KWH per day, and the rest of the KWH per day. Assuming that is the case, your plan shows a rate for each of the KWH groups, you have to make different columns for them in the spreadsheet.

If you use 3000 KWH per billing period (lets make it 30 days to keep it simple), that is taken as 300 KWH per day. If your tiers are the first 40 KWH at $0.25, the second 60 KWH at $0.30, and the rest at $0.20 it would be 40 * 0.25 + 60 * 0.30 + 200 * 0.20 per day. Even if you did not use 1 KWH on a particular day, they still take the 3000/30 average for a 30 day period. Their metering does not allow them to do otherwise unless you have a peak/off-peak plan, or a smart meter and a smart meter style plan where power is billed according to time of day, where gordon’s comment applies. I hope that makes sense.

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Have you had a look at this page, which may be of some help in deciphering your bill?