A friend of mine came to me with this very problem. He had recently received his quarterly electricity bill and was shocked at how high it seemed but did not know how to check it. Until he remembered that I was an electrician who could possibly help.

This is how we went about tackling the root cause of the seemingly excessive Power Bill.

So here are the facts in your situation and what’s important to know:

According to Origin, you consumed 5182.88 kWh of power between 18/1 and 17/4 2020. (90 days)

Therefore the daily average during that period was, according to Origin, 57.58 kWh of power.

They charge you

  • 24.915 cents per kWh
  • 116.061 c/day for providing power to your home (supply charge)

They offer the following discounts based on the plan you selected.

  • 10% for guaranteed usage
  • 10% on the supply charge

So that means your NET charges, (these are what are important I’m really interested in are:

22.42 cents per kWh

104.45 cents per day supply charge

We then established his current usage by recording the meter reading over a 24hr period.

So now that we know you used just 33 kWhrs in the last 24 hours (84436 – 84469) we need to determine why that is significantly less than Origin’s record of your daily average 57.58 kWh

Determining possible causes of higher than normal usage:

We posed the following questions and his replies were noted in a different colour next to the questions for easy reference.

Is it:

    • You have changed your habits since? Possible? We had been using the AC quite a bit during the hot days, we probably stopped using the air towards the end of March, which would account for the reduced daily use now.
    • Incorrect meter reading or faulty meter? Possible but unlikely in my experience. But continue to monitor daily for 7 days to see if things change?
  • Pool pump
      • How many hours a day is it running? See timer, check it is not 24/7, should be maximum of 8 hrs 8hrs the main pump, the infinity-edge pump runs for 2 hrs.
      • Check the wattage of the pump. Is it 1.1 kW? (see the plate on the pump) There are more economical pumps available now that reduce consumption by 60%
      • You could also benefit from cheaper metering.
  • Clothes drying
      • Is this done by pegging out usually or via a clothes dryer? We don’t use an electric dryer unless it’s an emergency to get something dry.
  • Air Conditioner
      • What is the temperature set at? 24 ? 25 is ideal, less is going to make things more expensive generally we have it on 24.
      • How frequently was it used between 18/1 and 17/4 It was used quite frequently until the end of March.
  • Hot Water System
    • Do you have a Storage Hot Water system or heated by Gas? If it is a Storage system then you may benefit from cheaper metering. Our water is heated by Gas.


So in summary in this scenario, the high use of his not so economical Air Conditioner and the fact there is a lot of heat load entering his premise was the root cause.

He could also install solar which would help dramatically, but in his case, he may only live there for 12 months as he is renting.

We will recommend he consider off-peak metering to the pool circuit as well as he could achieve approximately $300 annually by doing that.

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