When you receive your gas bill do you scrutinize the terms or figures mentioned in it? Go over it and check all charges. You don’t have to be a pro to understand the most important parts of the bill. Knowing better helps you take control of your usage.
What is MJ?
MJ or megajoule is a unit of energy equivalent to one million joules. Your gas usage is measured in megajoule and recorded using a gas meter. The data is passed on to your gas retailer for billing purposes.
Typical MJ gas usage
Each appliance differs from one another when it comes to gas consumption. It depends on the size and make and model. The usual hourly gas consumption rates are:
- Gas Heater: 7-28 MJ/h
- Hot water system: 3-20 MJ/h
- Oven: 12-28 MJ/h
- Stovetop: 5-15 MJ/h
Gas prices per MJ
The natural gas consumers are charged per MJ of their gas usage. They are usually charged on a ‘block rate’, the rate varies depending on gas usage. In general, the more gas used, the lower will be the usage rate for succeeding ‘blocks’ of usage. The typical gas usage block tariff looks like:
|First 80 MJ per day||
Next 50 MJ per day
Other gas providers describe their blocks in terms of other measures of time, like months or billing quarters which might look like this:
|First 5,000 MJ per quarter||3.1 c/MJ|
|Next 2,000 MJ per quarter||2.7 c/MJ|
|Next 1,000 MJ per quarter||2.4 c/MJ|
|Remaining usage||2.3 c/MJ|
The rates vary across different states and gas providers. In WA and SA, households spend a little more on gas compared to other states, while households in VIC often have the lowest gas prices in the country.
Gas Prices per State
*Prices are indicative only
In VIC, there’s a big and tight market competition due to plenty of providers to choose from. Households consume a lot of natural gas, especially during winter. The typical price of gas in VIC will look like:
|First 100 MJ per day||2.6 c/MJ|
|Next 50 MJ per day||2.2 c/MJ|
|Remaining usage||1.6 c/MJ|
In NSW, households have a wide variety of retailers to choose from. They have more daily usage ‘blocks’ with a slightly higher rate compared to VIC. The typical price of gas in NSW will look like:
|First 20 MJ per day||3.9 c/MJ|
|Next 20 MJ per day||2.7 c/MJ|
|Next 50 MJ per day||2.6 c/MJ|
|Next 1,000 MJ per day||2.4 c/MJ|
|Remaining usage||2.1 c/MJ|
WA gas bills and prices fact sheets use ‘unit’ instead of ‘MJ’ for gas consumption term. The state government regulates the gas prices that’s why prices don’t vary much among retailers.
|First 12 units per day||14.98 c/unit|
|Over 12 units per day||13.51 c/unit|
In SA, households spend more on electricity compared to neighboring states. The typical price of gas look like:
|First 50 MJ per day||4.3 c/MJ|
|Remaining usage||2.1 c/MJ|
In QLD, rates are comparable to other states. The typical price of gas look like:
|First 25 MJ per day||3.4 c/MJ|
|Remaining usage||3.1 c/MJ|
Understanding your gas bill
The design and details of the gas bill vary across retailers. The first page usually has information about your account details, payment due and due date. The back or sometimes the second page has the details about your meter read, usage and supply charges. Know more how to read your gas bill.
If you’re confused with your gas bill, look for the section with a graph on it, that section contains:
- average daily gas usage in megajoule (MJ)
- average daily cost
- average daily usage compared to the same time last year
- a graph showing your usage trend
Your average daily usage can be used as a basis to measure future reductions. Next, figure out ‘type of meter reading’. It’s either ‘estimated’ or ‘actual’ reading. If the meter reader does not have any access to the meter for whatever reason, your bill is estimated based on your previous bills. Keep in mind estimated readings are not always accurate. If you received one, you can take a meter reading yourself or call your provider.
If you want the best and cheapest; understand your gas usage first. Once ready check your options and compare providers with Econnex.