FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions

Why should I choose Online Power & Gas?

We are trying to change the way you feel about getting power supplied to your home. We at OPG are 100% focused on the customer and want to give you the easiest experience possible through our friendly and experienced customer service team and transparent pricing structure.

What happens when I become an Online Power & Gas customer?

If you have made the choice to sign up with Online Power & Gas (a wise one!), we will handle the billing transfer from your current retailer. You don’t need to worry about contacting your current company, we do all that for you, and we keep you updated on the progress too. Generally, we will wait until your next scheduled meter read, that way, the transition is seamless and your billing periods are not changed. It’s more simple than you think!

Do I need to be at home when I am connected?

You’ll never need to be home to get your power connected with us. If you are transferring from another company you don’t have to do anything. After your final bill with your old company you will be automatically transferred over to us. If you’re organising a new connection (or a move in) through Online Power and Gas, then you just need to ensure that your power is switched off (usually the switch is in your fuse box) before we do the connection.

How is my energy consumption measured?

Electricity usage is measured in kWh, or kilo-watt hours. You’re probably already aware that there is a metering box for your electricity (and one for gas too if you have a gas connection) located somewhere on your property. Every 3 months or so a meter reader is sent out from your local network or distributor to read your meter. The distributor passes your meter reading info onto us and we prepare your bill based on the figures they give us. Unfortunately sometimes the meter readers can’t get to the metering box (usually if there is a locked gate, dog or other obstruction in the way) so they may have to estimate your usage. If this happens then any discrepancies between estimated and actual reads will be rectified on your next actual read.

Who do I call for faults?

When you have a fault, blackout or interruption to your service, the company in charge of fixing this issue is your local distributor. On your bill, there is a number listed for the company in charge of your distribution zone. If you can see that your neighbours are also experiencing a black-out, your distributor is probably already aware of the issue and working on a way to fix it, so no need to worry. Sit tight, light a candle, and tell ghost stories to pass the time.

What happens if my power is disconnected?

Power can be disconnected for a number or reasons. Usually, it is already disconnected because you have just moved into a new place, and we handle the organisation of switching the power on for you – which is done either remotely or on premises by your local distributor. Otherwise, your power can be disconnected due to unpaid bills. If this is the case, give our team a call and we can sort out the unpaid bills and getting the energy flowing again. Be aware that there are connection fees for electricity and gas in Victoria

Where does my power come from?

Power is generated through many avenues. In Victoria, your electricity may be generated by coal-fuelled power stations (like Yallourn in the Latrobe Valley), or through wind farms or even through hydroelectric plants on the Snowy River. It is then fed through those really tall, heavy duty power lines, routed through transmission stations around the state, and then flows down the power lines you see on the streets to your property.

What is the difference between a distributor and a retailer?

The distributor is the company in charge of providing the power to your property. They own the power lines, wires, and the meter box you have. The retailer is the company that you choose to bill you for the energy that you take from the grid. So, in Victoria, consumers have the right to choose which retailer they receive their energy bills from, however the distribution zone you’re in cannot be changed. The Victorian distributors include Jemena, AusNet (formerly SP Ausnet), Citipower, Powercor, and United Energy.

What does OPG do with my private information?

Here at Online Power and Gas we have a very strict privacy policy. You can read more about it here. We promise that OPG will never share your personal information with any third parties without your permission.

What happens if I move?

If you are already on one of our great plans, all you need to do is give us a call or send us an email and we will organise to have the plan continued at your new premises, providing of course that your new property has a meter that is eligible (don’t worry – we can check all that for you).

I’m in a contract, can I still switch to OPG?

Of course! The reason that the energy market in Victoria is deregulated is so that you, as the consumer, can choose who you receive your bills from. Often times people are mislead to believe that the contract they are currently in cannot be breached. You can still move your home or business to OPG; we will take into consideration any nominal exit fees you might have with your account when working out just how much cheaper your power will be with us.

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How can I pay my bill?

Online Power & Gas provides a number of easy payment methods. You can choose to set up a direct debit and not worry about manually paying your bills when they show up, you can jump online and pay them through our simple system or you can BPAY through your online banking. If you’d prefer a more traditional payment method you can send us a cheque or money order or you can call us on our customer service number to pay via mastercard or visa!

What happens if I can’t pay on time?

We get it, sometimes you just can’t pay the bill by the due date – maybe you aren’t being paid until the next day – these things happen. The important thing is that you get in touch with us, whether online, or over the phone. We can discuss setting up a plan or extending your due date if need be. If you are having ongoing financial hardship, it’s best that you read through our Hardship Policy and contact us so we can set up a plan that best suits everyone. Just make sure you let us know, because if we don’t hear from you your power could be disconnected, and nobody wants that to happen!

Are there any late payment fees?

Here at Online Power and Gas we won’t charge you any fees for paying your bills late, but you could lose your discount or face other penalties, so remember to let us know if you’re struggling to get your bill paid on time.

How do I opt to receive paper bills?

Some customers prefer to receive physical (paper) copies of their bills. If you are one of these customers, just shoot us an email through the online form on the Contact Us page, and make sure that you include your name, date of birth and account number, so that we know who you are. Otherwise, give our team a call on (03) 8354 6800 and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help you to set up paper billing.
We are committed to a greener future and moving away from paper bills to online billing, that’s why if you still prefer paper, we have a processing fee of $2.20 inc GST for each paper bill that we send you.

How can I change my account details?

If you need any details on your account changed, just give us a ring on (03) 8354 6800. Make sure you’ve got all the details you need ready and one of our customer service team will help you to get everything fixed up. Just remember that if you’re adding any additional names to the account we might need to speak to the person being added so keep them handy too.

How can I add an extra ‘authorised person’ on my account?

In order to add another authorised contact for your account, all you have to do is give our friendly customer service team a buzz on (03) 8354 6800. We will need to speak to the person being added to make sure they’re okay with it, so make sure we can speak to them too if we need.

How do I apply for a concession discount/rebate?

The Victorian government has a system in place to give you a hand paying for your energy bills and if you have an eligible concession card we can apply that concession to your next bill!

So if you have a Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or DVA Gold Card give our friendly customer service team a call on (03) 8354 6800 and provide your customer reference number, CentreLink Reference number and address and we will organise it from there!

The two main Concessions are:

Annual Electricity Concession (AEC): This will provide you with a discount of 17.5 %t off your household electricity bills to help with your day to day costs. This 17.5% will apply to your yearly costs and we will calculate it once we’ve taken your Pay on Time discount.

Control Load Electricity Concession: This concession will provide you with a 13% discount off your controlled usage bills. This concession will only apply to those of you who are charged a controlled load tariff for your separate hot water or slab heating. Whilst you do need a dual element electricity meter or smart meter, you will get this discount all year round!

There are a few more concessions that the Victorian Government offer as detailed below:

°          Service to Property Concession

°          Non-Mains energy Concession

°          Medical Cooling Concession

°          Life Support Concession

°          Electricity Transfer Waiver Fee

°          Excess Electricity Fee

 

If you want to check if the other concessions apply to you, go tohttp://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-individuals/financial-support/concessions/energyor give the DHS concessions hotline a call on 1800 658 521

How is my discount calculated?

Discounts are worked out by taking your percentage discount (28%, 30%, 32% or 34%) off your usage costs for your bill. You can see your usage by looking at the ‘Electricity Charges’ part of your bill. Remember to pay your bills on time or you might lose your discount.

What happens if I cancel my energy plan?

Depending on your contract, you may or may not have penalties. If you are on our ‘Contract Saver’ or ‘Flexi Saver’ energy plans, then you will not have any exit fees. If you are on our ‘Fixed Saver’ energy plan then you will have to pay a small exit fee of $22 (inc GST) on your final bill with us. If you have not organised for your billing to be looked after by another retailer you may also have to pay a small meter reading or disconnection fee from the distributor which will appear on your final bill. If you cancel after the contract has finished or before the end of your cooling off period, you will not be charged any cancellation fee from us.

What is e-billing and why should I use it? – just need to change this to mention we are billing monthly

E-billing is just like the old fashioned paper bills, but instead of receiving a paper bill in the mail every 3 months, you’ll receive your quarterly bill by electronic mail.
E-billing is great for many reasons;

  • You can view your bill anywhere and at anytime
  • Reduced chance of lost bills.
  • It cuts down on the amount of paper we need to use and our environmental footprint.
  • You may receive your bill earlier and have more time to pay it.
  • You’re able to keep permanent digital records of your bills- no more need for filing your bills away for years.

How do I receive e-bills?

Here at Online Power & Gas we encourage all our customers to move away from the old paper billing system and onto email billing. This is because not only is it better for the environment, it’s also better for you – that’s because you won’t have to wait longer to receive your bill in the mail, it saves you going to the PO Box to pick it up, you can access it from any internet connected device, and you won’t have to stress about losing it in that pile of all your other bills in the cupboard somewhere. If you are currently getting paper bills you can elect to receive e-bills by contacting us on our contact us page.

What is in an e-bill?

An e-bill, or emailed/electronic bill, is exactly the same as your posted bill would be, but instead of printing it and wasting paper, we email it to you so you get a copy faster.

Will my e-bill have the same information as a paper bill?

Your e-bill should be exactly the same as a paper bill!! The only difference is a small $2 administration fee for each paper bill we send you.

How do I ensure that my bill doesn’t go to my junk folder?

Online Power and Gas have done our best but to ensure that your bill doesn’t get sent through to your junk mail folder but if you’d like to be sure you can add our billing email address, customerservice@onlinepowerandgas.com.au to your email address book and/or your email safe-list.

What is a kWh, mWh?

kWh stands for kilowatt-hour. A kilowatt hour is a single kilowatt of electricity being used for a time period of one hour.
mWh stands for megawatt-hour. 1 mWh is equal to 1000 kWh.

To put that into perspective, imagine a 100watt light bulb burning for 10 hours. That would use a total of 1kWh of electricity.

What is a smart meter?

This is an initiative put forward by the Victorian Government and the Industry, pledging to replace all residential and small business meters.

These Meters are the new way to read electricity usage and should eventually help you to monitor your usage in real time, which will help you to know what you’re using and when you’re using it. With this information you will be able to find out where you can cut down to cut emissions and ultimately reduce your bill!!

What is my NMI and where do I find it?

This is your National Meter Identifier which is unique to your meter. It lets us know which meter you are in charge of so you don’t get billed for somebody else’s electricity (sometimes your address may differ slightly from the address listed for your NMI – which is why we always check). You will need this number to change your electricity retailer and will find it located on your bill and on your meter.

What is a tariff?

Every electricity meter (NMI) has at least one tariff code. These show us whether you have a peak billed meter, a time of use meter, a business or residential meter or solar installed. We always establish your tariff codes in our system here to ensure you are always quoted the correct rates for your property.

What is peak/off peak/controlled load/shoulder/supply charge?

There are the different categories of billing that are on your invoice. Some people will only be billed a peak rate and a supply charge (also known as a ‘service to property’ charge), some different rates for different times of the day (peak/off peak/shoulder) and some people have a peak rate, supply charge, and a controlled load (dedicated circuit). A controlled load may appear as “off peak” on your bill and that’s fine too. Usually your controlled load is a specific rate you pay for a service like your hot water, ducted heating, or pool pump.

What is an estimated read?

An estimated read of your meter will happen if the meter reader was not able to take a reading from your meter so we will need to make an estimate of your usage based solely on how much electricity you have used before. But don’t worry, we will always let you know if this is the case on your bill!

Once the distributor has given us the correct reading we can amend your next bill accordingly.

Why is my electricity bill higher than my friend down the street?

This can be for a number of reasons. Firstly, you might be using more electricity or gas than your friend or family member. Otherwise, chances are you have a different type of meter.  So, your mate might have a tariff code that means they are billed on only one rate, and you might have a different set of rates. Tariff codes can differ door to door, street to street, suburb to suburb – and have been set by your distributor.

Do OPG charge for the carbon tax?

OPG have never charged customers for carbon tax and as the carbon tax was repealed in 2014 we are definitely not charging for carbon tax now! For more info on the abolition of the carbon tax, you can check out the government website.

How do I stop receiving marketing calls from Online Power and Gas?

If you don’t wish to be contacted by our sales team please email your address and phone number to customerservice@onlinepowerandgas.com.au and we will add your phone number to our internal “do not call” list.

If you wish to opt out from unsolicited phone calls in general please register your contact details with ACMA by visiting www.donotcall.gov.au