Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ACT Assembly Inquiry into Energy Billing and overcharging by ActewAGL

This is to request the ACT Assembly conduct an inquiry into the adequacy of laws on oversight of energy billing. By my estimate ActewAGL is overcharging by a factor of five to ten on its hot water supply service charge. I do not actually have a gas connection, instead having hot water provided by a communal system in the apartment basement at City Edge, O'Connor.

ActewAGL reads the amount of hot water I use via a smart meter and calculates my share of the gas used to heat the water. This is an efficient and cost effective system, except for the "service charge" imposed by ActewAGL: the service charge exceeds the cost of the gas used.

As I don't actually have a gas connection to my apartment and the one connection is shared by 30 apartments, it is unclear how ActewAGL can justify charging each apartment the equivalent of a gas connection. However, this arrangement has been made legal through legislation passed by the ACT Assembly. I request the Assembly review this.

The relatively high service charge makes the use of shared systems less cost effective. Not only does this increase energy costs to ACT citizens, but also discourages the use of energy efficient and less polluting forms of hot water supply, thus increasing Canberra's greenhouse gas emissions.

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