LETTER TO EDITOR: Ergon service charge despite no supply
TODAY I received my electricity bill, and, as usual, it is more than twice the cost of the energy which I received.
I understand that the bill is bloated to provide a rake-off to government for essential items, like paying off debt, and trivial costs like overseas study tours, operating parliamentary dining rooms etc.
But for the last bill, Ergon have really tried to help battlers. Ergon has settled for saving costs by guessing the amount to charge, saving the costs of meter reading (see Note 9 below).
The bill notes:
Reading estimated because weather conditions prevented reading.
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In common with many others I did notice that I had to avoid outdoor activities for a full day. Then later I had a week or more waiting for power restoration, and contemplating the joys of tossing out spoiled food from fridge and freezer.
Then for a real rip-off, Ergon had the gall to include in the bill, the inflated daily service charge for the period when power was not supplied by Ergon.
The Ergon charge for the period when power was not available is not legal, and Ergon must be well aware of that.
The Government Gazette sets out the charges Ergon is permitted to make.
Government Gazette of July 2014 applies, and see the notes under tariff schedule, Note 8: Only days that supply is connected are to be counted for billing charges.
Note 9: A service fee is a fixed amount charged daily to cover the costs of maintaining electricity supply to a premises, including the costs associated with electricity meter reading, the provision of equipment and general administration.
Ergon, it is bad enough for you to grossly overcharge for energy, but what excuse have you for the dishonest charge for the daily service charge for the period when power was not available.
Ergon frowns on consumers "tickling the meter" so it is reasonable for consumers to expect Ergon not to tickle the bill!