FAQ: Why are my energy bills so high?

At Discover Energy, we help customers everyday to better understand their energy and assist them in accessing cheaper, smarter and greener energy. In this new series, we present answers to some of our most frequently asked questions the most important things you need to know about your electricity.

Why are my energy bills so high?

There are various reasons why your most recent energy bill might be very high. In fact, we wrote a whole article about it. But here’s a general breakdown of what makes up your energy bill, to help you understand how your bill is calculated.

Your energy bill is dependent on the tariff your plan is on. All energy plans have a fixed tariff known as the daily supply charge: this is a daily fixed rate that you pay for use of the network and is not affected by the amount of energy you use.

Your bill will also have variable charges based on your usage for the period. Here are the two most common tariffs you will be on.  

  • Flat Rate (Single Rate) Tariff: If you are on a flat rate tariff, you will pay the same rate for the amount of energy you consume, regardless of the time of the day you use it. If you have a traditional meter, you will likely be on a flat rate tariff. Gas plans only use single-rate tariffs. 


  • Time of use Tariff: If you are on a Time of Use (Peak, shoulder and off-peak tariff, you pay a different price for energy depending on the time of day you use it. For example, on a time of use tariff you will pay a higher rate of energy at a peak period, usually afternoon and early evening when usage is high (for example, 2pm-8pm). During off-peak (10pm-7am), you will pay a lower rate. Shoulder rates usually sit somewhere in between the peak and off-peak rates and would apply to all other times of the day. The rates and timing schedules of a time of use tariff vary depending your network distributor and the allocated tariff. If you have a smart meter, you will likely be placed on a time of use tariff. 

In addition to one of the above tariffs, you might also have a control load tariff, which is a specific tariff for a specific appliance in your home such as an electric hot water system. 

Want a more detailed explanation of a Discover Energy bill? Check it out here.

So why is my bill so high?

Your energy bill might be high because you’ve used a lot more energy during peak period. For example, due to COVID-19, many households are spending more time at home than they normally do, or the weather has been extreme so you’ve been using your air-conditioner or heater more than usual. Or perhaps you’ve been using your appliance which has a control-load tariff applied to it more than usual.  Check that your energy offer is current, some offers only have limited benefits that expire after a set period. If your benefit period has expired, you may no longer be receiving a discount.

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