Energy bill shock: Man charged $24k for household gas

By Roisin Kelly-Goldsmith ·

Those wondering if their last energy bill was a little steep may want to trust their gut, after the story of one man’s extreme case of bill shock has been revealed.  

An energy customer felt compelled to take matters further after his gas supplier sent him six bills in the one go that racked up to any eye-watering $24,133.

Believing the invoices were far too high, the Victorian man contacted his energy provider who then told him that his meter had been checked and the bill was correct.

Still unsatisfied, the energy customer called on three plumbers to investigate his property. They found that his home didn’t have the capacity to use the quantity of gas that he had been billed for.

The issue was taken up with the Energy and Water Ombudsman for Victoria (EWOV), who helped resolve the dispute after finding that the man’s gas usage was being recorded 11 times higher, due to a faulty meter.

Fortunately for the man, his gas bill was reduced to a far more affordable figure of $2,832.73 and his provider gave him $400 for the inconvenience caused.

This is just one case study among others outlined in EWOV’s latest Resolution Online report, which includes details of a double billing incident and another where concession entitlements were stripped from a customer without notice.

In an interview with the Herald Sun, Victoria's Energy and Water Ombudsman, Cynthia Gebert said that it’s a “concern that these types of errors continue to happen.”

She encouraged dissatisfied consumers to take action when the information their utility provider gives them just doesn’t add up.

“If it doesn’t seem right and you are not happy with the information your company provides, it is important to know there is an independent service available to seek a fair and reasonable outcome,” Gebert advised.

This news comes amid speculation that energy prices are set to soar again, after the Australian Energy Regulator lost a case against household energy distributors in a recent Federal Court ruling.

How to dispute an energy bill

1. Read your bill carefully and ensure you have evidence that will justify your hunch before picking up the phone.

2. Explain your problem in detail and as politely as possible to a customer service representative. Take notes during the conversation so you can reference it if needed in your follow up calls. 

3. If the problem hasn’t been resolved in due course, seek advice from a specialised ombudsman in your state.  

If you believe you’re paying too much for household bills, simply head to Mozo’s energy hub and switch providers today.

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