Sydney’s dad ‘stunned’ by Origin Energy bill and reveals ‘trick’ has saved him over $1,000

An Origin Energy customer in Sydney was “stunned” after receiving a staggering charge on his electricity bill this month – so he did something about it and saved more than $1,000 off his bill.

Now the Sydney man has a warning for other consumers.

His efforts began when the young father and his wife moved into a small house with their 14-month-old child and received a bill for the accounting period from December 30th to May 10th.

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“We were shocked to see that our provider calculated that we owed $1384.13,” the resident, who asked to remain anonymous, posted on Reddit.

“We use gas for our stove and hot water. We were amazed. We have just moved in and neither of us had paid a gas bill before.”

However, closer inspection of the bill revealed one small detail that had exaggerated the cost – it was just an estimate. So he checked the meter himself.

“The meter didn’t even remotely match what was on the bill,” he said.

“Check your bill to see if it’s an estimated bill or an actual bill.

“I submitted my meter reading to our vendor and received a new bill today that shows we actually only owe $271.19.”

But that was not the end. He told that he received another bill for $1420.48 on Thursday.

“I had to contact them again to re-issue an invoice based on actual readings,” he told

“I was told I would be re-invoiced for $296.54. No explanation why they tried to overcharge me again.”

The man has also shared his experience online.

“As the cost of living soars, there’s certainly a way to ensure customers aren’t being billed for 510 percent of their consumption,” he wrote on Reddit.

“An apology (at least) would have been nice.”

A Sydney dad shared his trick for saving you money on your energy bills. file image. Credit: Getty Images

Customers with natural gas connections receive billing from their energy supplier based on the physical gas meter readings recorded by the local gas network operator. In Sydney, Jemena Gas is the gas network company geographically responsible for the readings.

When meter readers cannot access a customer’s meter, the retailer (in this case, Origin) provides a usage estimate on the bill based on historical usage at that location.

Yemena Gas states on its website that trees, fences, walls, secured doors, landscaping, and even pets can deter a meter reader and cause the meter reading to be estimated.

If residents only have a simple meter and not a smart meter, estimates may also need to be made due to uncontrollable events such as natural disasters. For example, during the COVID lockdown, the meter reading for base meters has been estimated at some locations.

An Origin spokesman told “To avoid being billed based on estimated consumption, customers can allow meter readers safe and easy access while also ensuring there are no locked gates or unrestrained animals exist,” an Origin spokesperson told ”

But the Sydney father said there was nothing noticeably impeding access to the meter. “Our meter is in front of our house. About 3 m from the front border. No fence, no dog,” he said.

However, given his recent move, that may not always have been the case where he lived.

Another Sydney resident who experienced a similar overestimate said on Reddit that he found there was a note against his apartment because of the previous tenant.

“After more than a year, I found out that there was a note in my apartment about a previous tenant who had an aggressive dog. I had to read the meter myself and eventually get the tab removed,” they wrote.

A little too late for some

The estimate is a detail that many local residents notice too late.

Another Origin customer, who lives in a one-bedroom apartment, wrote on Reddit, “Within two months, they took over $2,000 from my account.”

And even if an underestimation by the provider may appear as a positive opposite, this is not always the case.

A woman’s consumption was “significantly underestimated” in five billing quarters, her friend wrote on Reddit. “She didn’t realize it and just paid the bill,” she said.

In the sixth billing quarter, her meter was physically read by the gas company and she was subsequently billed $4,500. The name of their provider was not disclosed.

She reportedly took the bill to the New South Wales Ombudsman for Energy and Water and won her case against the provider.

An Origin spokesman told “We know it can be frustrating to receive an invoice based on an estimate. That’s why we want to make it easy for our customers to submit their own meter readings so they pay for what they actually need.”

You can learn how to do a self-measurement by following the four steps described on the Origin website.

Jason Clare and Sussan Ley in heated electricity price debate at Sunrise

Jason Clare and Sussan Ley in heated electricity price debate at Sunrise

James Brien

James Brien is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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