15 December 2021

Ask RiotACT: Canberrans, is my electricity bill normal?

| brenn
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Hi Rioters, relatively new to Canberra and hoping for some perspective on my electricity bill.

Moved into an old house in O’Connor and received our first bill. It was $500 for one month! I’ve never even had a bill that high for a full quarter so I was shocked! Generally, I’d see a bill of about $300-$400 per quarter sharing with four people. Now we have three people, two of whom work really long hours so are barely home.

I called ActewAGL and they said it looked like it was electric heating because historically it is always really high at this time of year – getting up to $1,400 per quarter some years!! He told me this was the lowest it’s ever been.

READ ALSO Energy saving tips for Canberra homes and businesses

I would blame it on heating but I just don’t think that can completely be the case. We have been really conscious of running the heater – expecting it to be expensive – so have mostly been using our fireplace, an electric blanket when on the couch and hot water bottles in bed. We almost never use our dryer and all our lights are LED bulbs. Since the first bill we’ve completely stopped running the heater and when I estimate the bill online it looks like it’s going to be about the same as last month.

Also, our heater is gas. Our gas bill was much more reasonable and the guy from Actew told me it was a very small amount used. Would it use a lot of electricity to power it? Our hot water is electric but would three people having showers once a day make your bill this high?

Has anyone had an experience like this? Is this normal? Should I be concerned or just accept it and cry once a quarter when the bill comes in?

Thanks in advance for any advice 🙂



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Thanks everyone for your replies and suggestions! Genuinely really appreciate it! ?

Definitely not from the previous tenant as that was paid up but will look into whether they have properly read the meter.

For anyone interested, they told me I can rent a kit from ACT libraries that helps you measure how much energy your appliances are using. Will report back if anything interesting comes of it ?

Yep three long hot showers a day would easily run your bill that high!

HiddenDragon6:48 pm 11 Sep 19

The 70-plus “plans” on this page might be a target for an ACT Government which has recently been patting itself on the back over its crusade on petrol prices –


Capital Retro7:34 am 11 Sep 19

“I have been checking my meter everyday to see the numbers and it looks like it’s faulty.”

I had a similar problem 10 years ago. The meter was removed for testing and it was found to be full of very small, exotic ants. It was replaced and adjustments to the billing made.

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