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Understanding your bill

What is your bill telling you?

Under the Water and Sewerage Services Code you must receive your water bill at least quarterly.

Each retailer has a different way of displaying the information, but by law the following must be included on your bill:

  • The dates of the billing period and the estimated date of your next scheduled meter reading.
  • The total amount of water consumed.
  • The relevant fees and charges applicable to you.
  • The due date for payment and a list of payment options.
  • A telephone number for billing, payment enquiries and payment plan options.
  • A telephone number for supply issues, faults or emergencies.
  • Your name, property address, billing address (if different), account number and meter identifier number.
  • If you are in credit or in arrears, the amount.
  • Advice on how to access interpreter services.
  • Advice on the availability of concessions you may be entitled to.

There are a number of other fees and charges that can make up the cost of your bill:

  • service charges (for the delivery of water and the maintenance of the pipelines)
  • bulk water charge
  • fixed water and sewerage access charges
  • late payment fees
  • restriction penalties
  • special meter reading fees
  • credit card processing fees.

 

Reading your bill

Many retailers have a section on their website where they explain their bills. They are also able to explain the details over the phone.

 

What should you check for on each bill?

  • If you receive concessions, check that they have been applied.
  • If there are any amounts outstanding from previous bills.
  • If there are any messages from your retailer relating to changes to your bill (i.e. rate increases, offers of monthly billing).

 

Are you concerned about your bill?

If you feel that there is an issue with your current bill, you should first take the time to thoroughly read it, compare it to previous bills (especially the bill from the same time last year), and write down the issues that you wish to raise with your retailer. If you have a clear understanding of the bill and the issue, you will be better equipped to ask the right questions when you speak with your retailer.

If you believe your bill is unusually high because your retailer has made an error, you can ask them to explain why or to carry out a full investigation.

If there is an error with your meter reading or charges on your account, your water company is able to backbill you by issuing an adjustment notice. Water companies have no backbilling time restrictions and you will need to contact them to discuss payment arrangements as each retailer may have different requirements.