Shopping around slashes gas bill by 85%

WHAT A GAS: David Howard of East Ballina reduced his LPG bill of the Osprey apartments by almost half.
WHAT A GAS: David Howard of East Ballina reduced his LPG bill of the Osprey apartments by almost half. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

ONE local man is urging people to check their gas bills and shop around for better deals after he discovered he was paying 85% more than he should have been.

When David Howard and his wife moved into a new set of apartments recently, they decided to do a check on their gas rates.

In their new block of 12 units, which has a central hot water system, and in their previous home, they'd been charged $1.57 per litre for gas by Elgas, a company they'd been with for eight years.

Thinking they could probably get a better deal than that as they use around 6000 litres of gas a year, electrical engineer Mr Howard said they looked around.

When a rival company gave them a rate of 82 cents, Mr Howard, astounded, rang Elgas, who told him they could give him a rate of 85 cents.

As Mr Howard had been paying double that figure for at least three years, he asked why he had been charged such a high rate, but was "completely dismissed," he said.

"If we hadn't asked, it would still be $1.57. It's only because I asked the question that we got this information," Mr Howard said.

"If at 85 cents they're making some sort of profit, what are they making at $1.57?"

Mr Howard said he would like to see the currently unregulated industry regulated.

"This is my profession, so I know exactly what's happening, but this is the first time I've seen a case so bizarre," he said.

"They seem to have charged us whatever they felt like month to month, I think that's wrong."

Mr Howard is now telling anyone to be more aware of their gas pricing.

"Look into what you're paying for - check your accounts regularly and shop around annually," he said.

A spokesman from Elgas said they couldn't comment on the customer's account.

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