What is a Utility Bill?

Read our blog to learn how to keep a tab on your electricity usage and fully understand what a utility bill is. Visit HOOD to understand your bill today.

Whether you’re renting or a homeowner, you’ve most definitely come across the term utility bill. In this guide, HOOD will outline what a utility bill is and dive into more details about some of the most common utility bills that individuals will have to deal with. 

So what exactly is a utility bill? A bill is a detailed invoice that is issued and generally paid once a month or a quarter, depending on your personal preference and outlines the amount a household or business owes for their utility usage. Your utility bill is often used as proof of residence, especially when it comes to your licensing and passport application process. 

On a typical utility bill, whether for water, gas, internet or more, you’ll see basic information like your name, address, account number, invoice number, service address and service period, as well as your due date and the various payment methods available. Your utility bill will also outline your usage for the month as well as the previous billing periods so you can grasp your water usage and utility rates. 


What Types of Utility Bills are There?

There are many different types of utility bills. While most individuals will think of principal utilities like electricity, gas and water. If your usage is high enough that your home depends on it, you could also include services such as internet, council rates, phone and streaming services. 


Electricity Bill 

The most common utility bill for individuals is their electricity bill. It's one that many can't live without, making it impossible to avoid. This outlines all power used in your home from appliances, lights, internet and more. Whether you have solar panels or rely on the main electricity grid, you'll receive a monthly statement, although those with solar panels will have a significantly lowered amount. 

While it's hard to pinpoint an exact average regarding electricity bill prices in Australia, Canstar Blue's recent survey revealed that the average electricity bill changes from state to state. The research in this survey outlined that for households of all sizes, those in Queensland paid an average of $293, while Victorians paid $348 and New South Wales $356. Ultimately suggesting that homes in Brisbane and Melbourne pay less for electricity than those in Sydney. 

*The average prices reflected are current from January 2022 and are subject to change. 


Gas Bill

Natural Gas is a close second contender when it comes to utilities. Due to the varying prices and costs throughout Australia, gas can often blow the budget when not compared often enough. The price of your gas bill will largely depend on your location, determined by both your energy provider or government regulations and climate. Canstar Blue's latest survey identified that average gas prices would change depending on your situation, which most likely dictates how often your heating will be relied on. The average quarterly rate for homes across Australia recorded Queensland at $178, Tasmania at $175, New South Wales at $186 and Victoria at $230. 

*The average prices reflected are current from January 2022 and are subject to change. 


Water Bill 

Your water bill is another critical utility for your home and often one that many people underappreciate. It can be just as important (or slightly more) than your electricity bill and one that all homes can't function without. Every home will have some water usage; even if you rely on water tanks, you will still rely on the central water system and therefore have a regular water bill. 

As water bills come in all different variants of rates and usage, the average amount will vary from state to state. Canstar Blue's recent survey identified Australians' average price for their quarterly water bills. The data showed that New South Wales paid an average of $246, Victoria $259, Queensland $300 and Tasmania $365. 

*The average prices reflected are current from January 2022 and are subject to change. 


Managing Your Utility Bill Payments 

Even having essential utilities such as water, gas and electricity can add up every month and take a large chunk of your budget. While it's helpful to try and cut your usage or substitute for more affordable options such as water tanks and solar panels, understanding how you consume your utilities can help you create a lasting difference. By tracking your utility bills and other expenses, you can try various budgeting tips to ensure that you pay your bills and still have enough take-home income to last until your next payday. 

One of the most common budgeting tips is the 50/30/20 rule. This method divides your budget into three categories. 

  • 50% goes towards essentials such as your utility bills, rent, mortgage and groceries. 
  • 30% towards personal items and lifestyle costs like meals out and holidays
  • 20% should go towards savings like emergency funds, general savings etc. 

If you ever have any issues paying your utilities or need to extend the payment date so you can put money towards more important things like rates, you can find all the relevant information at the bottom of your bill. 


How to Save Costs on Your Utility Bills

As mentioned above, saving on your bills isn't something that can be achieved immediately. It will take time, patience and a lot of research to lower your utility bills effectively. Besides standard consumption-saving tips, one of the most effective ways to save money on utility bills is to actively search for the best provider price. Even if you're happy with your current provider, always keeping your eye on various provider rates will ensure that you're getting the best from your household usage. Once you understand your usage behaviours and bills to a more detailed level, you'll be able to find the right match for your needs. 

If you want to switch and find a utility provider that fits your needs and will help lower your household bills, HOOD can help! Whether you want to find an energy retailer for an urgent power connection or experience more accessible customer services, contact us with your inquiry, and our team will help you as soon as possible.

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