Understand your energy bill

Once you have your energy data, you need to understand how your bill is calculated before you can start identifying where to save money. Your electricity and gas bills are likely to include both fixed and variable. Understanding gas and electricity charges provides information, including costs for:

  • delivering the electricity or gas
  • building and maintaining the network
  • environmental schemes and government concessions
  • retailer services such as managing your account and producing your bill.

Not all of the fees on your bill are negotiable, but there are areas of your bill where you might be able to negotiate or change, to help you save money.

Contracts

Depending on the size and location of your business you can choose one of the various energy contract types, including:

  • Standard retail offers
    These are basic contracts with minimum terms and conditions set by law. They set out your obligations, rights and the price of the supply of energy. These contracts generally suit smaller energy users.
  • Market retail offers
    Market retail contracts are negotiated agreements between you and your energy retailer. They still include minimum terms and conditions set by law; however they are more flexible than standing offer contracts. These contracts also have other features, such as discounts and incentives, but it’s important to be aware of any additional terms and conditions, such as fixed terms and exit fees. These contracts are generally suited to businesses with lower energy use.
  • Market contract (negotiated)
    Large energy users may wish to choose a market contract where all aspects of the contract are negotiated. Negotiated contracts are generally based on market prices, which mean you may be more exposed to price changes. However, these contracts can allow businesses to negotiate other services, such as demand side response services. These contracts can save you money if you understand your energy needs and actively manage your usage.

Tariffs

This is the rate your business is being charged to use electricity and gas at a particular time. Depending on your contract, one or more of the following tariffs may apply.

  • Single or flat rate tariffs charge the same price regardless of the time of use.
  • Time of use tariffs charge different prices for different periods. For example, peak, shoulder and off-peak rates.
  • Demand or capacity tariffs are based on the maximum amount of energy that you use over a period.
  • Block tariffs vary depending on the amount of energy you use. They may be tiered so that the more you use, the cheaper it is per unit (common for gas), or the more you use, the more expensive it is per unit (more common for electricity).
How prices are charged against these tariffs will depend on the type of energy contract or agreement you have in place. Tariff charges are only negotiable on certain contracts. Visit the Australian Energy Regulator website to find information on how Tariffs and fees are explained. Find out more about the Discounts and fees on the Energy Made Easy website.

Energy use demand profile

Your energy data shows your energy use over a period of time (for example 24 hours), helping to identify what’s called your load or demand profile. This information is useful to Review your energy contract. It can also help you shop around for a better deal.

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