Electric shock: confusion as Tony's meter tally doesn't fit the bill

TWO AND TWO DOESN’T EQUAL FOUR: Tony Roser checks his bill. 
Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0623sgbill1
TWO AND TWO DOESN’T EQUAL FOUR: Tony Roser checks his bill. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0623sgbill1

A METER reading system is preventing residents from ensuring they pay the right amount for electricity, according to an upset Origin customer.

Clergate’s Tony Roser has always checked his electricity meter to ensure his quarterly bills were correct, until nine months ago when the meter reading at home did not correlate with the one on his bill.

His bills and meter featured readings of about 54,000 kilowatt hours prior to September last year, but his bill meter reading  slipped back dramatically.

The meter reading on his most recent bill on June 11 went backwards to  28,582 kilowatt hours, however his meter read 58,052 kilowatt hours.

“Two and two mustn’t make four anymore - I can’t get the figures, therefore I can’t check to see whether they’re ripping me off,” he said.

“Their explanation is ‘it’s our way of doing it’, but it’s not satisfactory - I don’t know how they convert 58,000 [kilowatt hours] to 28,000 [kilowatt hours].”

A technician took another reading in April, however the discrepancy did not change and Mr Roser was charged $48 for the special reading before he argued to have it removed.

Receiving an aged pension of about $800 a fortnight and losing two thirds of it in rent, Mr Roser said it was important for him to “fight for every penny”.

“Otherwise you’re out on the street or knocking on the door of a charity for a place to live,” he said.

Mr Roser has also raised the issues with the NSW Energy and Water Ombudsman, but the complaint is still being addressed.

An Origin Energy spokeswoman said meter readings were carried out by the customer’s distributor and consumption data was then provided to the customer’s retailer for billing purposes.

“We’re currently working with the ombudsman to resolve this query with the customer,” she said.

“We understand the importance in managing energy costs and we offer a number of services to help customers with budgeting.”

Essential Energy was contacted for comment, but did not respond prior to publication.