Frequently Asked Questions


Q - How can I have my electricity services connected?

First, you will need to sign up with Real Utilities.

Call 1300 16 16 68 and our customer service team will sign you up.

Once we know who you are, where you are moving in to and when, a Real Utilities account will be created, and we will arrange for the electricity to be connected. A standard connection should occur the next business day after Real Utilities receives your completed registration or one business day before you are due to move in.

For the service to be connected on the same business day, we will need to receive your application before 11am.

Q - How often will I be receiving a bill?

Real Utilities will bill you for your usage monthly.

Q - What fees do you charge when I move in and when I move out?

There is no initial connection fee. However, your standard disconnection fee is $16.50. Reconnection is also $16.50. These fees are charged to your account.

You may be charged a higher connection fee if you request an urgent connection, outside of normal business hours.

Q - How do I disconnect my account when I move out?

Log in to your Real Utilities ‘My Account’ and complete the move out notification, or call us on 1300 16 16 68 and tell us when you are moving out. 

Your electricity smart meter will provide us with a final reading at midnight on the day you move out, and it will be remotely de-energised at that time.

Q - What if I forget to tell you I’m moving out?

It’s extremely important that you let us know your move out date.

If you don’t tell us that you are moving out, you’ll remain responsible for all of the electricity used at the premises until Real Utilities receive a new registration.

For example, if you move out without telling us and a new resident moves in without registering a new account, you are still responsible for paying for all electricity used until a new registration is received.

Q - What happens if I’m having trouble paying my account?

If you’re experiencing difficulty paying your account, please call us on 1300 16 16 68 and let us know.

We may be able to offer you an extension to pay your bill. You may also qualify for a payment plan or government funded concession.

Please don’t leave it too late to call us because if we don’t know you are experiencing difficulty, it may result in disconnection and associated charges.

Q - Is my bill easy to read?

The layout of your account is set by the Australian Energy Regulator and includes

- Your name and address
- Your meter identification number
- Your account number
- Issue date
- Usage details
- Date of meter reading or estimate
- Billing period
- Service charges
- Tariff you are being charged
- Total Charge for the period
- Payment methods
- Payments received
- Overdue amounts
- Payment due date
- A telephone number for account enquiries

Q - Why is there a difference between my previous bills and my latest bill?

Most people consistently use their electricity each month. In summer we turn our cooling on and in winter, we turn our heating on so there would usually be little change in the electricity you use from month to month.

If you experience an unusually higher or lower account, it could be related to higher or lower usage during unusually hotter or colder weather.

Real Utilities data management systems allow us to identify unusual usage patterns. 

If you ask us to check your meter, we can have a technician attend and test if your meter is faulty. 

There is a charge for this service, and if the meter is found not to be faulty, we will ask you to pay for this service.

If the meter is found to be faulty, we will fix the problem, and we will cover all costs.

Some other reasons for higher than normal usage or changes in usage patterns are;

- New electricity appliances
- More people using electricity in your residence
- More days in the month, e.g. January and March accounts are usually higher than the February account because February can be two or three days shorter

There are many ways you can save energy. Here are a few tips:

- Close your curtains and shut your windows on hot and sunny days to keep the sunlight from heating your home

- Dress for the weather – in winter, wear extra layers inside and lower your heating thermostat. By setting your heating thermostat between 18-20°C, you can decrease your running costs by up to 10%. In summer, wear lighter clothing and keep your air conditioner’s thermostat between 24°C – 26°C

- Your fridge runs 24 hours a day 365 days a year. This adds up and makes it the most expensive appliance to run. Make sure that the door seal is tight and free from gaps, so cold air doesn't escape. If you have a second fridge, give it a winter break - just turn it on when you need it

- Only heat or cool and light the rooms you are using. Where possible, zone your lighting and ducted heating or cooling and close off doors to unoccupied rooms

- Consider using energy efficient light globes, such as LEDs as an alternative to general lighting and avoid halogen downlights

- Switch off appliances, not in use at the wall. The cost of appliances which are switched on and not being used (on standby) can add significantly to your annual power bill

- Washing your clothes in cold water and dry them on a line or rack

Source: Sustainability Victoria

Q - What is the best way to pay my account?

Direct debit - the easiest and most convenient way to pay your account is by direct debit. 

Direct debit can be setup to link to your credit card or bank account and ensures that your account is always paid on time, allowing you peace of mind. You can set up direct debit when you first register or by calling us on 1300 16 16 68

You can also pay your account by;

- Online – by visiting www.realutilities.com.au
- Phone – by calling 1300 16 16 68
- BPAY – using the details provided on your bill
- EFT – using the details provided on your bill
- Centrepay – by calling 1300 16 16 68

Q - Is my financial and personal information safe and secure with Real Utilities?

All of your account details are kept as secure as possible. For more information on how we handle your information, you can view our Privacy Policy at www.realutilities.com.au 

Your financial details are not retained by Real Utilities but are provided to our financial partner, EziDebit which operates under the strict Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). EziDebit is PCI DSS certified.

Q - What is ‘My Account’?

‘My Account’ is where you can access your account at any time and allows you to;

- View your current and historical accounts
- Pay your bill
- Advise us that you will be moving out and when
- Contact us with any questions you may have regarding our services

Q - Why have I been charged a direct debit dishonour fee?

A direct debit dishonour fee is charged to your account whenever your direct debit payment has failed to process.  

This will happen if your nominated financial institution rejects the direct debit request because of lack of funds.

If the payment is dishonoured twice in one billing period and any subsequent periods, the direct debit arrangement is cancelled, and all bills will then need to be paid each month manually.

Q - Is there a fee for paying with Visa or MasterCard?

No, we do not charge a fee for paying by Visa or MasterCard credit cards. We do not accept Diners or American Express

Q - Can I stop using Real Utilities and choose another electricity retailer?

Yes, you can choose to use another electricity retailer if you wish. 

Q – What should I do if the electricity suddenly fails?

Your residence only:

If only your premises is affected, you should check the fuse box in your apartment. Your master safety switch may have tripped due to an overload of an electrical item in your residence. We highly recommend that you do not try to fix it yourself. You will need to contact a qualified electrician for advice and service.

Your apartment building only:

If your entire apartment building is affected, please contact your building manager for advice and service.

Your building and the surrounding area:

If there is an electrical outage across your neighbourhood, you will need to call the local network service provider for assistance. The telephone number for that service provider is located on the top right hand side of your Real Utilities bill.

Q - How can you prove you are cheaper? 

Real Utilities benchmarks its gas and electricity rates in January and July each year against the current publicly advertised discount rates of each of the 3 biggest energy retailers in your area to ensure Real Utilities rates are cheaper. This benchmarking process does not apply in relation to heating, cooling and hot water costs in developments that utilise thermal power.

Q - I have got an offer from a major retailer for a better price. What can you do to match the deal?

Let us have the details of the offer from the major retailer, and if it’s genuine, we will consider matching, or better.

Q - What is a smart meter?

A smart meter is an electricity meter with added functionality. Unlike the passive 'accumulation' meters, which only read the amount of electricity used between readings every few months, smart meters digitally record data about energy consumption in 30 minute increments.

Q - What is a tariff?

The price you pay for your energy service includes the tariff and any other fees and charges that may apply under your contract. Tariffs listed on your bill do not include GST - this is added to the total amount owing at the end of your bill.

Q - What does carbon neutral mean?

Carbon Neutrality is the result of Carbon offsetting, a process that involves a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide (or greenhouse gases) in order to compensate for, or to offset, an emission already made elsewhere.

Q - What is Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard?

The Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard sets the conditions to become carbon neutral.

The Australian Governments Carbon Neutral Program certifies organisations, products and services as carbon neutral against the requirements of the Standard.

Real Utilities uses renewable energy sources and/or purchased carbon offsets to make our energy usage carbon neutral, and we are Certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Active.

For more information about the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard see: https://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/government/carbon-neutral 

Q - How do I stop receiving marketing material?

If you do not wish to be contacted by Real Utilities for marketing purposes, you can join our No Contact list by calling 1300 16 16 68.

Q - How do I make a complaint?

We have an easy accessible complaints process in place should something go wrong. Please note that you also always have the option to contact the Energy & Water Ombudsman at any time for independent advice or assistance or for a review of the outcome of your complaint to us. 

The current contact details for the Energy Ombudsman in each state are below:

a. Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW

Free call: 1800 246 545
Free fax: 1800 812 291
Online: https://www.ewon.com.au/
Email: complaints@ewon.com.au
Mail: Reply Paid 86550, Sydney South NSW 1234

b. Energy & Water Ombudsman VIC

Free call: 1800 500 509
Free fax: 1800 500 509
Online: https://www.ewov.com.au/
Email: ewovinfo@ewov.com.au
Mail: Reply Paid 469 Melbourne VIC 8060

For further information, view our complaints policy here.

Q - What is life support equipment?

Life support equipment means the following:

- an oxygen concentrator;
- an intermittent peritoneal dialysis machine;
- a kidney dialysis machine;
- a chronic positive airways pressure respirator;
- crigler najjar syndrome phototherapy equipment;
- a ventilator for life support; and
- in relation to a particular customer—any other equipment that a registered medical practitioner certifies is required for a person residing at the customer’s premises for life support.

Q - Someone needs life support equipment at my premises, what should I do?

It’s very important you let us know if you or another person at your premises requires life support equipment. You can do this by contacting us using the details below, and we will send you related information and a Medical Confirmation Form to complete. Contact us

Q - What is a Medical Confirmation Form?

A Medical Confirmation Form is a form used to confirm information Real Utilities requires to register a premise as needing life support equipment. By completing this form and sending it back to us, we will have the information we require.

Premises that have a Medical Confirmation Form have additional protections against disconnection to your service. Premises that do not have a Medical Confirmation Form may be de-registered, and these additional protections will cease to apply.

You have no less than 51 business days to reply to our request for a Medical Confirmation Form. If you require additional time to respond, please contact us

Q - Can electricity still be disconnected if my premises are registered as needing life support equipment?

Yes, however where the disconnection is planned, we or your distributor will give you notice as required by the National Energy Retail Rules.

Your electricity supply may also be disconnected in an emergency or where there is a fault in the electricity network. You will not have any prior notice of such disconnections.

If you would like further assistance in planning for electricity supply interruptions, please contact us.

Q - What should we do if our electricity is disconnected and we need life support?

Firstly, if there is a risk of injury or death you should call Emergency Services on 000.

If your electricity is disconnected without notice you can also contact your distributor – we will provide their contact details to you once you have notified us of your life support requirements.

Q - What are our obligations in relation to life support equipment?

Once you notify us that someone at your premises requires life support equipment, we will register this information, including the date from which the life support equipment is required. We will update this information you advise us that this information has changed. We’ll also provide relevant information about your life support equipment requirements and your relevant contact details to your distributor, to ensure that your distributor also has an updated record of your requirements.

You should contact us if there is no longer a need for life support at the premises or if you are planning to move.

If you later decide to change retailer at your premises and a person residing at your premises continues to require life support equipment, you should advise your new retailer of that person’s requirements.

Q - Who can I contact for more information?

You can contact Real Utilities via phone, or email;

Email: support@realutilities.com.au
Phone: 1300 16 16 68

Q – How do I go about reading my own electricity meter?

A Customer Read Estimate, or ‘Self-Read’, is when you read your own meter. 
If you have received a bill which shows we have estimated your energy usage, you may be able to ask us to change your bill based on your own reading of your meter.  This guidance sets out when, and how, you can submit a Customer Read Estimate and when we will alter your bill based on your own reading. 
Important: In order for your Customer Read Estimate to be accepted by Real Utilities you must submit your customer read to us before the due date of your bill.

Q - Understanding Meters

A meter is installed at your property to measure how much gas or electricity is being used. There are several different types of meters available to record and display your usage. Different meters record and display information differently.
Real Utilities only uses smart meters that have the ability to record when electricity has been used. 
Sometimes, under the terms and conditions of your customer retail contract, we will estimate your bill. We do this, for example, when we have been unable to access your meter.

Q - When can I submit a Customer Read Estimate?

You’ll be able to submit a Customer Read Estimate if:
- You are a residential customer
- You are a small business customer
- Your bill is based on an estimate 
- Contact us if you are unsure if this is you. (Link to contact details)

Q – How do I read my smart Electricity Meter?

Electricity meters and the area in which they are located are designed with safety and security in mind; however, they can still pose dangers. When approaching your meter, be aware of any potential hazards. Look for exposed wires and damage to the meter or metering box. If there appears to be any damage or anything else hazardous about the situation, immediately leave the area and contact your building manager or Real Utilities.

Digital Display Meters

Your smart meter will have a digital display, which looks similar to the odometer of your car. You’ll need to cycle through the displays until you reach the display that has the letters ‘kw/h’. Kw/h is the total number of kilowatt hours consumed, and what your electricity usage is measured in. 
To determine your energy usage for the period, subtract the meter reading from your last bill from your Customer Read Estimate of the meter.

Q - How do I submit a Customer Read Estimate?

If you wish to submit your own read to us as a Customer Read Estimate, we need to receive your read before the due date of your bill. You’ll need to take a clear photo of the meter display and send it to us at support@realutilities.com.au.  
Your email will need to include:

- Name
- Address
- National Metering Identifier (NMI) (which will be listed in your last bill)
- Clear photo of the meter display

Q - When will Real Utilities not accept my Customer Read Estimate?

Real Utilities will not accept and adjust a bill on the basis of your Customer Read Estimate, where:

- The photo does not clearly show the display or appears to be tampered with in some way;
- The meter in the photograph is not your meter;
- We have reason to believe that the meter has been tampered with in some way to arrive at that reading;
- We receive it after the due date for payment of the bill; and/or
- The number value of your customer read estimate provided for cumulative energy consumed is smaller than a previous actual read of your meter. 

If we do not accept your Customer Read Estimate, you have the right to:

- Make a complaint to us which we will consider in line with our Standard Complaints and Disputes Resolution Policy;
- Complain or lodge a dispute with your states Ombudsman
- Request that we review your bill in accordance with our Standard Complaints and Disputes Resolution Policy.

Q - What happens when Real Utilities does accept my Customer Read Estimate?

If you satisfy the requirements indicated in this guidance, we will promptly provide you with an adjusted bill based on the Customer Read Estimate.

Q – What is the Timeframe for Metering Installation for residential and small business customers?

If you request that we install a new smart meter at your property, and we agree, there are some rules we must follow.

If you are not sure whether you are a small customer, you can contact Real Utilities either via phone, or email;

Email: support@realutilities.com.au 
Phone: 1300 16 16 68

Two types of meter exchange may occur: a ‘simple meter exchange’ and a ‘complex meter exchange’.

Simple Meter Exchange

A simple meter exchange is the most common type of meter replacement, and there is no need to make any other alterations to your electricity connection. In these cases, we will generally replace your meter within 15 business days and seek to agree with you on a timeline for the installation of the meter.

There are some circumstances where the 15 business day timeframe will not apply for a simple meter exchange, including:

- If you have not provided the information we need from you in order to install the meter;
- The site for installing your meter is not safe or accessible;
- The site is not yet ready for meter installation as all the work required to do so is not yet complete;
- Installing the meter will require us to interrupt the electricity supply of other customers;
- You've entered into an aggregated electricity consumption agreement with us that says the timeframes don't apply.

Complex Meter Exchange

In a complex meter exchange, we need to make changes to your connection, which also require the help of the company responsible for your local electricity lines (the ‘distributor’). These cases include an alteration to your connection as well as the replacement of a meter. This can happen, for example, where you have bought an appliance that needs three phase electricity supply and your connection needs to be upgraded to allow for this. In these cases, we will generally replace your meter within 15 business days and seek to agree with you on a timeline for the installation of the meter.

There are some circumstances where the 15 business day timeframe will not apply for a complex meter exchange, including:

- If you have not provided the information we need from you in order to install the meter;
- The site for installing your meter is not safe or accessible;
- The site is not yet ready for meter installation as all the work required to do so is not yet complete;
- Installing the meter will require us to interrupt the electricity supply of other customers;
- You've entered into an aggregated electricity consumption agreement with us that says the timeframes don't apply.

The above timeframes do not apply when Real Utilities have initiated the deployment of new meters.