The Energy and Water Ombudsman Queensland (EWOQ) is a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints with your electricity, gas or water supplier. Before you contact EWOQ with your complaint, you must first try to resolve the problem with your electricty, gas or water company.
Free call 1800 662 837 Complaints  |   Resources  |   Scheme Participants  |   Embedded Networks

Estimated bills case studies

Further information:

Estimated bill dispute due to faulty meter

Prior to November 2018 the customer had been receiving estimated bills from his retailer due to a faulty meter display and as a result, the meter was scheduled to be replaced in January 2019. He had been in discussions with his retailer regarding the faulty meter and had accepted the estimated billing charges as it was based on his historical consumption which had been consistent to date.

The customer advised us that he disputed his estimated bill for the November – February 2019 quarter as his family were overseas for one month during the Christmas holiday period, and the historical consumption was not an accurate reflection of his family’s actual consumption for that period.  The customer requested his retailer amend his bill to reflect this which they declined to do.

EWOQ raised the customer’s concerns with the retailer, advising that the faulty meter disadvantaged the customer by not accurately recording his usage for the disputed period. EWOQ requested a review of the customer’s usage and obtained the meter data recorded at the premises. The meter data confirmed that the customer’s usage had been estimated on his past three invoices and his bill for the period in dispute was estimated.

The customer’s circumstances were considered by his retailer who agreed to adjust the daily average usage for the period in question from 28 kWh per day to 3.5 kWh per day. This resulted in an amendment of $288.56 to the customer’s invoice. The customer was pleased with the result achieved by EWOQ and that the matter was resolved.

Estimated bills results in huge debt

The customer lived in an apartment complex, and had a natural gas meter that was not easily accessible without prior access arrangements being made with the building manager. On numerous occasions the customer contacted his retailer to make suitable arrangements for an actual meter reading, but with one exception these were unsuccessful. As a result, the customer received estimated bills for nearly three years which eventually led to a bill of $2,152 being received. Frustrated with the situation, the customer contacted EWOQ.

Outcome: EWOQ arranged for a photograph of the gas meter to be provided to the retailer which was accepted as an actual reading. A revised bill for $386 was then issued. Additionally, EWOQ investigated options to provide access to the meter. Details regarding meter access were updated in the retailer’s customer data base and the department responsible for meter reading was contacted to ensure there are no further issues.