Even when you know your next gas bill is fast approaching and it’ll be in the mail or your inbox soon, nothing can quite prepare you for bill shock.

During a chilly winter where heating has been a priority – particularly if you’ve been spending more time at home – it’s no surprise that households may use more gas. And given their variable nature, gas bills can be a serious offender.

Learn about bill shock and how to manage it so that you can help to avoid it happening again. And remember, we’re here to help you with payment assistance and advice.

What is bill shock?

Bill shock is a common problem for Australian families concerned about cashflow. It’s the reaction you feel when you receive a bill that is higher than what you were expecting.

The silver lining is that bill shock can be managed, either directly with your gas retailer or through personal budgeting. And, there are things you can do to try to avoid it happening again.

Why’s my gas bill so high?

Having a great value gas plan is an important first step in minimising your energy costs. But there are other factors that can lead to higher than expected bill.

In most cases, you’ve simply used more gas than usual. Households typically use gas for heating, hot water and cooking – all the things that make a cold winter’s day more comfortable.

If you’ve received a bill that is higher than expected, take a look at our handy checklist to investigate a little further.

What if I can’t afford to pay my bill?

Try not to panic – we’ll work with you to keep you connected. We can help you with arranging a payment plan or alternative payment options based on your individual circumstances. For more information, see our Continuous Energy Program and ‘All about bill smoothing’.

If you’ve been financially impacted by COVID-19, we’re here to support you with payment assistance options and advice too. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 13 13 58 or visit alintaenergy.com.au/update to find out how we can help.

How do I avoid this happening again?

Most people have experienced bill shock at some point in their lives. The important thing is that you learn from it and take some steps to help avoid it happening again. For some inspiration, read our ‘Top 6 tips to curb bill shock’ and ‘All about bill smoothing’ articles, and of course, make sure you’re on a great gas deal.

So then, what does an average bill look like?

The way each household consumes gas and manages their usage can be quite different. It goes without saying, this impacts gas consumption and the amount you’re billed.

On average a household has a gas bill of about $680 a year – and is generally not as high as electricity, water or telecommunications.

When budgeting, it’s important to look at your actual gas consumption and household circumstances, and not base your budget on an average household.