I am writing to you over the concern that I have over the gas supply charge each bill that we receive.
We only use gas for hot water and stove top cooking, so our usage averages about $30.00 for a quarter. Our gas supply charge is an additional $40.00 for this period, which I find to be completely disproportionate to our actual gas usage.
Is there anything that can be done about this charge? I can’t help but feel that a fairer system would be for the supply charge be perhaps calculated at a percentage of the usage, rather than the flat rate.
Ger – this is certainly turning into a misadventure indeed. I think that the people at the consumer protection agency here in Australia may be retarded.
Thank you for your inquiry. Your gas service provider should be able to provide you the breakdown of the costs involved in supplying gas to your home and also explain these different costs to you. It is best to call your gas service provider and ask about these costs. If you are unhappy with the costs you are being charged, it may also be worthwhile calling other gas suppliers in your area to compare what other companies are offering and whether they would be a better choice for you.
Your gas service provider will know the exact details of the costs involved in supplying gas. However, it is likely that there are both fixed and variable costs involved in supplying gas to your home. For example, the fixed costs may comprise the costs of keeping the gas connection to your home open regardless of your total gas usage, and the variable costs are likely to comprise your actual usage of gas. The $40 gas supply charge may be the fixed costs involved in keeping the gas connection to your home and it may not differ based on how much gas you actually use.
I hope this assists you.
Thank you very much for getting back to me about that.
The $40 is the fixed charged line maintenance cost for our area, as I confirmed with AGL some months ago.
Who do you think that I should contact to question the validity/reasoning behind this high charge? It just seems overpriced – even if we did use more gas than we do.
And today’s reply:
Your gas retailer should know what makes up the fixed charges for your area. If your gas retailer is AGL it would be best to contact AGL to ask what makes up the fixed charges (i.e. what it is based on). It may also be worthwhile to call other service providers in your area to find out what gas supply products they offer and what the comparable charges are. If you are in NSW, these would include Origin Energy as well as TruEnergy or EnergyAustralia. However, the gas retailers and the prices you will be charged for gas may vary depending on where you are.
The following website may also be able to assist you in deciding whether you would prefer using a different retailer:
AER inquiry team
Thank you again for getting back to me.
I am not concerned about the actual price of the gas. I am concerned with the supply charge – ie the 0.52 cent a day supply charge, which over 90 days ends up being $45.00. This charge is charged by each retailer of gas. I assume from this that there is one company who looks after the pipes in this area, and I want to know why it costs 52 cents a day to maintain, and also how I should go about challenging this supply cost.
So to clarify – I have a problem with the supply charging company, and not the retailers.
Is this something that I should take the the local ombudsman?
Note: At this stage, I am thinking about taking the ACCC to the ombudsman!