Which energy companies charge paper bill fees?

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As a general rule of thumb, receiving a birthday letter/card with a cheeky $50 from nan = good mail, and an envelope marked with the logo of your energy company = bad mail. There’s really nothing worse than the moment before you open your power bill, anxiously waiting to see how much you owe for the quarter. And finding out you’ve also paid for the service of bill delivery on top of that? What a nightmare. Whether it’s to save money, or just for the principle of it, we’ve let you in on a few things you need to know about power bill fees.

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What are paper bill fees?

It’s not rocket science – paper bill fees are fees you pay for receiving your energy bill in the mail. In Australia, you could be charged between $1 and $3 per paper bill, and if you’re receiving your bills monthly, you could be slugged with almost $40 more annually in energy costs. Add another gas bill onto that, and you’re looking at some serious dosh that could be better spent elsewhere.

Energy companies are trying to move to more digital communications these days, with most hoping to scrap paper bills to save on the cost of purchasing paper, printing and mailing. If you still prefer to get a physical bill in the mail, you’ll likely have to pay for the privilege.

How I could get out of paying paper bill fees?

Not to state the obvious, but the best way to get out of paying paper bill fees is to sort out a different way to receive your bill. Long gone are the days of expanding file folios to store your bills until the due date – the 21st century has brought with it cheaper and easier ways to get organised. Nowadays, most retailers prefer to send your bill by email to save on paper and postage related costs. Not only is it free to receive an ‘e-bill’, but some also find it easier to locate past bills and keep track of what they’re paying when it’s done online.

I still want paper bills – I just don’t want to pay

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The good news is that if you’re a residential energy customer in New South Wales, you won’t be charged for paper bills under specific state legislation. Queenslanders on standing offers are also exempt, though if you’re on a standing offer, your higher energy rates will probably sting you harder than any small fee would anyway.

Customers that could be considered vulnerable, such as concession card holders, may also avoid paying paper bill fees. Alternatively, you could simply switch to a provider or plan that doesn’t include that extra charge by default.

Retailers that charge paper bill fees

Here’s a list of retailers in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia that charge paper bill fees to some customers. Note, this charge could be dependent on the specific plan you choose, as some deals only come with email billing.

Retailers that don’t charge paper bill fees

Here’s a list of retailers in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, the ACT and Tasmania that don’t charge paper bill fees. In many cases, this is because the retailers operate more ‘online only’ business models and their plans are conditional on accepting email billing.

Do paper bill fees differ between states?

For the most part, paper bill fees shouldn’t differ based on where you are. The exception to that is in NSW, where by law, this service isn’t charged for. But keep in mind that electricity providers can be unpredictable, so before you sign up to paper billing, make sure you check with your provider to see what you could potentially be charged.

Go for email billing and save some cash

Energy providers often talk about ‘flexible billing options’ which is basically corporate code for paying for paper bills. The truth is, energy companies tend to offer their cheapest deals to those customers who make life a little easier (or cheaper) for them. This includes receiving email bills rather than paper bills. Going for an energy deal with email bills not only means you’ll avoid the fee for getting bills in the mail, but also means you could be getting a better overall energy deal anyway.

It’s a similar story when it comes to signing up online and getting online only customer service. These are things that are likely to see you pay less in energy costs than a customer who signs up over the phone and wants to be able to call up with any questions or concerns n the future,

Energy deals with and without paper bill fees

Paper bill fees can be annoying, but what’s more annoying is paying more for your power than you should. At the end of the day, free paper billing means nothing if you’re not on a plan with low rates, so make sure you suss out some of the deals below.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.


Image credits: lev kropotov/shutterstock.com,Vadim Sazhniev/shutterstock.com 

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