$2,400 Bill Shock for Self-Isolating Australians?


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A scary news headline warns Australians that they are about to get a rude shock when they open their email or mail, with a $2,400 bill shock.

Is it real? and if so what is it?

$2400 Bill Shock for Australians-3

That was the first lead in to the story, with the next part saying we may be slugged $2,400 when we open our next mail…

$2400 Bill Shock for Australians-3


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And this was it…  The average NSW quarterly Electricity bill of $406.75 might become $600.00… due to using more electricity while working from home.

$2400 Bill Shock for Australians-3

An extra $193.25 on the power bill !!

Not exactly the $2,400 bill shock that their headline showed.

What would be the REAL EXTRA cost?   $2,400 less the normal $1,627 is an EXTRA $773 if you work from home for a full 12 months!!  That is an extra $15 per week…

Not sure how others were affected by working from home, but my petrol costs have been $336 lower for March and April, compared to January and February.  That’s a saving of $40 per week on petrol.  A saving of more than TWICE their claimed extra electricity cost.

I am also fortunate that I live in Queensland, so I am not affected by a NSW electricity bill.

My latest bill was actually payable today, but my bank account wasn’t charged, and I checked to see why.

The Queensland Government gave us the Household Utility Assistance Package for the COVID-19 situation.  A payment of $200 direct to our Electricity provider.  My account now shows I am in credit..

No scary $2,400 bill, just a pleasant “no charge” for my Electricity for the last 3 months, and some credit left to go towards my next bill..

My bill is nothing like the average bill quoted above and shown below. (But we do have Solar and only pay $0.21 per kWh for usage.  We did use 1,316 kWh in the last quarter.)

Average Annual Electricity Bill per State:
$1,490 Victoria ($372.50 pq)
$1,367 Queensland ($341.75 pq)
$1,627 New South Wales ($406.75 pq)
$1,759 South Australia ($439.75 pq)
Source: canstarblue.com.au/average-electricity-bills

That “$2,400 scary bill in the next mail” headline did get me worried at first, but then I soon realised it was just a scary headline.

But I did use 29% more power than the same period in 2019, so the theory is right, bills would be higher.  However their article used a 48% increase, and ignored any savings from not travelling, or other government benefits..

For those who do work from home, the Australian Tax Office COVID-19 Relief will allow you to claim a rate of 52 cents per work hour for heating, cooling, lighting etc.

Or, a flat rate of 80 cents per work hour for all additional running expenses.

That works out at $20 per week at the $0.52 rate, or $30 per week at the $0.80 rate.
Not bad when the article tries to scare us with an extra cost of $15 per week for our power bills.

Government Energy Relief Payments for COVID-19.

NSW: NSW Government bill relief for energy customers
QLD: Queensland $200 Utility Bill Rebate

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