Malfunction causes bill errors
MALFUNCTIONING power meter control equipment could be costing Monto farmers thousands of dollars.
After the issue was brought to light by Burnett Inland Economic Development Organisation consultant Ross Anderson, an Ergon Energy spokesperson said a malfunctioning pulse at a Biloela substation meant some meters were not switching between peak and off-peak tariffs.
This left Monto farmer Boyd Johnson slammed with an extra $5000 on his last power bill.
But Mr Johnson is by no means the only person to have such a miscalculated fee; consultant Mr Anderson said such discrepancies had been common for farmers lately.
In the past six months, he had tallied up more than $400,000 worth of discrepancies in the wider Monto area.
“Don’t ever assume the power meter is correct, a huge proportion of the ones I see are wrong,” Mr Anderson said.
But not all of these discrepancies are the fault of the power company, as landowners often sign up to the wrong tariff, or are being charged from the wrong account number.
The BIEDO business consultant is offering free energy audits to landholders to ensure their bill is in line with what they actually owe.
Mr Anderson reported his findings at a Rural Regeneration road show earlier this month, and farmer Anita Dent said she was shocked at the revelation.
“The power bill is something I don’t ever really question, I just assume it’s correct and I have to pay it. It’s quite concerning.”
Ergon Energy is aware of the issue in the Monto area and is taking “remedial action”.