The Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON) is free, fair and independent. It is the complaints – handling service for all electricity and gas customers in NSW, and some water customers.
The NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman offers free consumer advice, for example have you received an estimated energy bill? You might receive an estimated bill if your actual meter can’t be accessed easily, but it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities if you receive an estimated bill.
You may have received an estimated bill if your meter couldn’t be safely accessed, for example locked gates, a dog on the property, or overgrown bushes blocking the meter can prevent it being read. Retailers try to read meters every quarter however, if there are unsafe weather conditions estimated bills can be issued up to three times a year.
Estimated bills are usually based on the amount of electricity or gas used in the past, and your bill will be adjusted depending on whether you use more or less than what was estimated. Your bill should clearly state that your meter reading has been estimated, either with the word Estimated or with the letter E next to the readings.
What can you do about an estimated bill? Can you read your own meter? If you have an old meter you can provide your own readings to your retailer so that your bill can be adjusted. If you send a picture of the meter to your retailer before the due date, the retailer can adjust your bill.
However, this isn’t an option if you have a time – of -use meter or smart meter. If you are worried that your estimated read is too high , you can ask your retailer for a special meter read however there may be a cost for this service.
If you are worried about your bills, or are receiving a number of estimated bills contact your provider as soon as possible. The earlier you reach out, the more likely it is you can get help. If you are not happy with the response, you can call our team at EWON. We can investigate your bill, talk to your provider, help negotiate a payment plan, or refer you to agencies who can offer additional support.
You can find out more in our fact sheet here.
How to get in touch with us
Freecall: 1800 246 545* Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm
Freepost: Reply Paid 86550 Sydney South NSW 1234
Interpreter: 131 450
TTY/Voice: 133 677
* If you are calling from a mobile phone, let us know and we will call you back.