There are many different terms listed on your energy bill.

What these terms on your energy bill mean

Average cost per day is the average cost of how much you pay for energy each day. This amount includes the average energy used daily plus the service to the property (or daily supply charge).

Average daily usage is how much energy you use each day on average. It is measured in electricity kilowatt hours (kWh) and megajoules (MJ) for gas. Kilowatt (kW): A kW is 1,000 watts of electrical power.

Kilowatt hour (kWh): the electricity used at your home is measured in kWh. A kWh is the amount of kW consumed over time. For example, if you run a 1000-watt heater for one hour, it will use 1 kWh.

Megajoules (MJ): Gas energy consumption is measured in megajoules (MJ). A MJ is a measure of gas equal to one million joules.

Charge/kWh: Electricity usage is priced in cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). For example, if you are charged 22.56 cents per kilowatt hour (c/kWh), and you use 20 kWh each day, it would cost $4.51 each day.

Peak and off-peak: If you choose a time-of-use electricity plan, there will be different charges (tariffs) for energy use during peak and off-peak periods. You will be charged a higher rate for electricity used during high demand or 'peak' hours. During 'off-peak' or low demand periods, you will be charged a lower rate.

Peak times are when large numbers of people use electricity (when electricity demand is high). For example, many people prepare dinner from 3 to 9 pm and have lights and heating or cooling systems running. Therefore, if you are on a time-of-use plan, the charge per kWh is higher during peak times.

Off-peak times are when fewer people use electricity (when electricity demand is lower). For example, from 9 am until 3 pm when many people are out at school or work. Therefore, if you are on a time-of-use plan, the charge per kWh is lower during off-peak times.

Service to property: A fixed charge called the 'daily supply charge'. This charge pays for the cost of maintaining the infrastructure used to connect you to your energy supply. You will be charged this whether or not you use energy during a billing period.

Tariffs: Electricity tariffs are the prices you are charged for electricity. There are typically 2 types of charges:

  • Flat rate: This is the most common type. The same rate is charged for electricity consumed at any time or night.
  • Time-of-use: This is where a different price is charged according to when electricity is used during the day. Time-of-use tariffs involve peak and off-peak pricing, which means users are charged less for electricity during 'off-peak' or low demand periods and a higher rate for electricity used during high demand or 'peak' hours.

Page last updated: 16/03/23