I have two dogs, but am also the unfortunate owner of a gas meter residing in my back yard (which ActewAGL put there a few years ago).
Speaking with ActewAGL today, I have found out that with the billing system upgrade currently underway there will no longer be the facility for customers to ring up to submit their own gas meter readings, and that bills will be estimated where a Meter Reader is unable to take a reading. The lady I was speaking to then went on to say that I would be able to schedule someone to come out to take a reading, however this would incur a charge should the actual reading vary from their estimate.
Now, this would almost be acceptable, but I have also found out that ActewAGL’s definition of “estimate” is more inline with the definition of “wild guess”.
My last bill was an “estimate”, it came in estimating around 3300MJ consumed which is in keeping with all of my other bills, however for my upcoming bill I took a reading so that everything would be accurate and was a little surprised to find consumption had risen to 39,485MJ – nearly 12 times that of the previous reading.
Now I’m pretty sure I didn’t use 12 times the gas in that billing cycle, or 6 times the gas over 2 billing cycles for that matter, but I am suspicious that ActewAGL may have been “estimating” my bills for longer than I was aware of, especially seeing as I’ve had dogs in that yard ever since I’ve lived there.
Anyway, I’m a little lost as to which path I should take, do I regularly pay a fee to have accurate readings, or do I rely on estimates that are way off only to pay a fortune when a reading is eventually taken?