A high electricity bill cause discovered during EWOV Investigation.

High bills
Case Number 2018/16434
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mr G contacted EWOV, dissatisfied after receiving a high electricity bill. His bill totalled more than $1,000, significant higher than his usual $484 billing. Mr G had contacted his electricity company but was advised the bill was correct and based on an actual meter read. Dissatisfied with the electricity company’s response Mr G called EWOV. In order to resolve the matter, Mr G wanted the electricity company to complete a high bill investigation, test his electricity meter, consider reducing the arrears in line with previous bills and allow him to transfer to a new electricity company without delay.

The Investigation

When Mr G contacted EWOV an Assisted Referral was lodged with the electricity company, requiring a higher-level representative to contact him directly. We escalated the matter to an Investigation after Mr G recontacted EWOV dissatisfied again with the electricity company’s response. While it had agreed to complete a meter test by August 2018, he had not received any further updates. Mr G had already organised for a new electricity company to take over his account.

As part of the Investigation, EWOV reviewed the billing Mr G received, meter reads recorded at his property and contact between him and the electricity company. This confirmed that all bills had been based on actual meter reads and had not been estimated. The electricity company confirmed that a meter test was completed on 3 August 2018, and showed the meter was running to Australian standards and correctly recording usage consumption at the property. Based on the meter reading taken after the high bill, Mr G’s usage had returned to normal and demonstrated a seasonal pattern. All of this information indicated that the bill was correct.

When EWOV discussed these findings with Mr G and probed about any changes in usage during the period, including any additional appliances and potential works at the property. When probed, Mr G thought about his son’s recent use of a cooling appliance in his bedroom because gas ducted heating made the room too hot. Mr G also said that his son stopped using this appliance after the high bill was received. Mr G acknowledged that this appliance was likely to have caused the high electricity bill.

In order to resolve the complaint, the electricity company offered to waive $62 from the arrears reducing the balance to $350. Mr G agreed to repay the remaining balance.

The Outcome

Mr G was satisfied that a full review of the account had occurred and with the response provided and the case was closed.

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