What are estimated bills?

Estimated bills occur when your local distributor can’t read your meter. This usually happens when there is access issue to your meter due to either locked gates, unrestrained pets or even long grass. In rare instances, it can also be due to severe weather hazards like floods or bush fires. At times, there can be issue with the meter reading equipment or with the meter data like unusually less or more consumption compared to your property’s previous pattern.

In addition to receiving an estimated bill because the meter reader could not access your meter, you could also get an estimated bill if you choose to pay monthly rather than quarterly. In this instance, you will likely to receive bill every month on estimate read and settle the difference (i.e. if you have paid too much or too little) when you receive an actual read.

If your usage has been estimated, you should see ‘Estimate’ next to the usage value on your second page of your electricity or gas bill. Your estimated usage is based on your household’s usage around the same time last year, your previous billing periods and the average energy usage.

What happens after I get an estimated bill?

We understand the importance of calculating your bill using the actual meter reads. The meter reader will attempt to take an actual meter reading on the next scheduled read date.

Once we have an actual meter reading, we will make the necessary adjustments to your last billing period so that you only pay for the energy you’ve used.

⋅ If your last bill was over-estimated and you paid more than you needed to, we will apply a credit to your next bill.

⋅ If your last bill was under-estimated and you did not pay for all the energy you used, we will add those charges to your next bill.

You can also submit your own meter reading. Not sure how to read your meter? We’ve got you covered. If you’ve received multiple estimated bills though, please contact us so that we can organise a suitable time for your meter to be read. Your meter should be read at least once every 12 months to ensure the meter has no faults and that you only pay for the energy you use.

How can I avoid an estimated bill?

The meter reader will try to access your meter on the date it is scheduled to be read. It is your responsibility to provide safe, unhindered access to the meter at your property.

⋅ Find out where the meter is located at your property and make it accessible. This may mean clearing away growing plants or materials so that the meter is clearly accessible and visible.

⋅ Plan ahead by noting when your meter is scheduled to be read. The date of your next meter read can be located on page 2 of your most recent bill.

⋅ Make sure you leave your gate unlocked, or have someone at the property, or are keeping pets inside during the scheduled meter read.

⋅ If your meter is not easily accessible, you can contact us at least 3 business days before the scheduled read date to make suitable access arrangements or give us access instructions to pass onto the meter service provider.

Is your bill over estimated? Here is what you can do

Sometimes the readings we receive from the distributor may be different to what you’ve actually used – there’s a few ways to get this sorted out. You can choose to wait it out until you receive your next bill and if it’s an actual meter read, it will balance out the estimated read.

Your other option is to submit a self-read and have your bill updated. You will receive your new bill within 5 business days.

Estimated bill explainer

Our bill explainer below includes detailed information about your electricity usage and charges which will help you understand how your electricity usage is calculated. You can find this information on the second page of your electricity bill.

1. Your supply details

Summary of your electricity supply details, which includes your billing period, your customer number and total cost excluding GST and Pay on Time discount. In addition, you will also find the NMI (National Meter Identifier) which is a unique identifier linked to your supply address.

2. Your meter read summary

This is where you will find your meter read details, meter number, your meter read date and total usage which is used to calculate your electricity bill for the bill period.

This section will also tell you whether an actual or estimate read has been taken and information about your next scheduled meter read date.

Here’s how we have calculated your usage

When your meter is read and Actual read is obtained, we break down your electricity usage into simple structure so that it is easy for you to understand of how we have worked out your bill. The undercharged or overcharged usage adjustment is calculated against the Actual read and would reflect under Total Usage as a negative or positive value. We then use the total usage value to calculate your bill.

3. Your energy usage and charges

This is where you will find a breakdown of charges including energy rates, demand and daily supply charges. If you have solar or receive concession it will also appear here.

What makes 1st Energy different?

  • About 1st Energy

    Founded in 2014, we are a new energy company currently servicing Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland.

  • Our Energy Plans

    Break free from being treated as a number in the system. Our low rates and great discounts are just the beginning.

  • Flexible Payment Options

    We offer a number of easy payment methods for you to keep your account up to date online.