THE Bulletin reader John Taylor wrote: 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.
Read more here: LETTER TO EDITOR: Ergon service charge despite no supply
The Bulletin asked readers via Facebook if they had received their power bill post cyclone and what was their result. Most said they received higher than normal bills:
Janet Mears - My bill was a little lower than this time last year and as for paying the service fee for the 6 and a half days we didn't have power, I don't have a problem with that as it all goes towards the huge cost to ergon for the damage bill and their speedy recovery of our supply. Great work ERGON
Billie Fraser - Any infrastructure repairs should be covered by Ergons insurance so I can't see why they would charge extra, I must say though that after living in Darwin for thirty years and coping with plenty of cyclones in that time it surprised me how long supply was out for, never in all my years in Darwin did I lose power for more than 24 hours, I would suspect that money hasn't been spent to ensure infrastructure can cope with all natural disasters and now they will try to use this as an excuse to jack prices up again
Kellie Evans - For 30 days from 27th jan to the 26th feb, 2 weeks in feb we were in hospital in Brisbane so no one was home and then without power for 8.5 days with the cyclone and they said they estimated it, then I read the meter and it's only a bit over now for the end of March from what they estimated for the end of feb
Candice Martin - Yes my normal bill is between $700-$800 usually, we had know electricity for 10 days got my bill yesterday $970 what a joke.
Nekina Mary-Ann Whap -Yes it was $600. $200 more than i usually get. shouldnt ergon give consideration to customers affected by the cyclone.
MelnRick Byrne - $400 above what it usually is
Marie Bradley - Ours was $1500 shocking
John Carter - Greed. it will never change
Kimberley Ryan - Maybe I should actually start checking my bills from now on
Lara Power - Last bill was $680 and this bill $1300.
Karen Bryant - And where can you go to ask 'please explain!!' Not even Ergon Building..they just point you to a phone..venting on a phone is just not right
Lisa Rumpf - Great mine is normally between 1200-1500 ...so dont want to see this one if they are going up that much
John Luckel - Our last bill was a touch of 600 this bill is just short of 1400. Yep thanks ergon we won't be paying double.
Natalie Sly - My bill was lower than this time last year...I was a bit concerned reading all the higher bills that mine may be higher as well. .. but was also aware that the next reading will sort it all out.
Betty-lou Fraser - Everyone is forgetting that this bill is the summer bill , we use more power with aircons and fans.
Samantha Scott - Mine was 200 bucks over!!!
Barb Pearsall - Our bill was double the amount the previous bill was.
Kristie Neale - This bill is just over $100 more than this time last year. I was freaking out with all the comments but mines not as nearly as bad as others.
Terry Grant - Yep. $300 higher than the highest bill that we've ever had. Their idea of helping us to put you on a payment plan. Pathetic!
Bobby-Lee McQuire - I got my bill a few days ago and it was 1100. I paid our bill the night before the cyclone hit
Leah Cooper - My bills (I get 4) were all bigger than ever!!