FAQs - the answers you seek
FAQs about GloBird
How can you afford to be so cheap?
GloBird Energy doesn't have a towering city office with overpaid executives. Instead, we use the latest technology and the power of cloud computing to run a leaner back office. We'd rather pass these savings onto our customers. Make sure you pay on time to take advantage of our best rates and to ensure you get the maximum pay-on-time discount attached to your plan.
How do I contact GloBird?
You can phone, email, or use our online chat service. Click below for a full list of ways to contact our locally-based customer service team.
Who are GloBird Energy?
GloBird Energy is a budget energy company offering Aussie power users more choice and better value. Read our full story here.
What are your hours of operation?
We're open between 8:30am – 5:30pm Monday to Friday and Saturday and Public Holiday 9am – 3pm (Eastern Standard Time).
Which plan is best for me?
If you have an existing bill handy use our simple online comparison tool to find the most cost-effective plan based on your actual energy use. Click on the button below to run the numbers.
I've received a suspicious looking email claiming to be from GloBird – what should I do?
Scammers regularly send out fake energy bills trying to trick consumers and these fake bills can look very convincing. The scammers have targeted some of Australia's largest energy companies, but not GloBird. Having said that it's always good to be cautious. Our bills are always sent from firstname.lastname@example.org If you receive an email from a different email address claiming to be your GloBird bill, don't open it or click any links as it could be a phishing scam. Click on the button below to learn more about these kinds of scams.
Why have my rates changed?
We're an energy retailer and we do all we can to keep our rates as competitive as possible. As a retailer we don't generate or distribute power. Australian electricity distributors who own the wires and cables generally reset their network charges every January. As a retailer we have to pass on these charges to our customer. Network charges make up as much as 50% of your bill. The rest of your bill is made up of wholesale and other costs, which change from time to time. We'll provide you with written notice before we make any changes to our rates.
Will you change my discount?
We guarantee to keep your discount for at least a year from when you join us. After that time we won't change the price you pay for energy unless network or wholesale prices force us to. We promise to write to you and give you plenty of notice before changing your rates. For your peace of mind, we don't have lock in contracts, so if for any reason you're not satisfied with the price or service we deliver, you can switch to another retailer without penalty or fee.
How often do you change rates and prices?
Normally we review our rates around December January. We do everything we can to remain as competitive as possible and keep our rates low. We won't just change the cost of energy unless network or wholesale prices force us to. For your peace of mind, we don't have lock in contracts, so if for any reason you're not satisfied with the price or service we deliver, you can switch to another retailer without any penalty or fee.
Australian electricity distributors (who own the wires and cables) get approval from the government to reset their base prices once every year (usually in January). We pass any price change on (as do all retailers) when this occurs. This annual price reset is governed by the Essential Services Commission. The wholesale market is set by the basic laws of supply and demand, as such retailers have no control over wholesale market fluctuations.
Why is there a peak and off-peak electricity rate?
The demand for electricity changes throughout the day. There is usually higher demand for electricity during the day especially on hot days when people are using air conditioning. Busy peak times can put a strain on electricity networks. Off-peak electricity is charged at a lower price to encourage energy users to consume their electricity outside the busiest times, such as at night or on weekends. Click the button below to learn more about how the energy market works.
Switching / Moving
Isn't it a hassle switching energy retailers?
You'd be surprised at just how quick and easy switching to GloBird is. You can sign up online in seconds.
How can I compare my current provider with GloBird?
Comparing your current provider with GloBird is simple. Give us a call or use our easy comparison tool. To use our comparison tool all you need to do is grab your current bill and provide the following information:
- NMI or MIRN (this number identifies your meter).
- The total amount of your bill after discount.
- The number of days the bill is for (also known as the "usage period").
- How much energy you've used (total kWh for electricity or MJ for gas).
We'll show you how much the same bill cost with us and how much you'll save.
What if I switch and then change my mind later?
At GloBird, you're free as a bird. Free to enjoy our low-cost energy for as long or as little as you like. There are no lock-in contracts, no termination fees, just great value energy.
Will there be a disruption to my energy supply if I switch to globird?
Switching is easy and your energy supply won't be disrupted. You'll get the same electricity service supplied, through the same wires and poles, using the same meter. You can sign up online in seconds. If you're moving home, let us know as soon as you can so we have time to get your new home connected.
What do I do if I'm moving to a new house?
If you're moving to a new house, all you need to do is call us on 13 34 56 and we'll arrange for the power to be switched on and ready at your new place. Alternatively, you can sign up online and select the day you want the power switched on. Please give us as much notice as possible so we can have the power on and ready for you.
Why do all mains power switches need to be in the OFF position for remote connection?
As your retailer, GloBird is not responsible for the supply of power to your property. This is the responsibility of your local distributor. As your retailer, we facilitate the connection process and request the supply of power to your property on your behalf. If you have a smart meter, we’ll ask the distributor to connect your premises remotely.
For safety reasons, your local distributor will monitor any remote connection. If an appliance is drawing power when they attempt to connect, they’ll immediately disconnect. This is a safety precaution, because there could be an appliance such as a heater or cooker left switched on, and if unattended, can potentially cause fire or damage to your property.
So it’s important that you follow our instructions carefully to ensure the safe and timely connection of power to your property. This includes ensuring that all power switches within the mains power board are in the OFF position prior to any remote connection.
If you’re having trouble locating your mains power board, it’s usually located near the front door or close to your power meter and contains all the circuit breakers for your property. In some apartment buildings it’s located in a common area.
Billing / Payments
How can I pay my bill?
You can pay your bill easily and conveniently using BPay, credit card (online or over the phone), direct debit, or in person at the post office or at any Commonwealth Bank. You can even send us a cheque. A full list of payment options are shown on your bill or click on the button below for more information about each payment method.
Can I set up an automatic direct debit to pay my bill?
Yes, we can automatically debit your bank account or credit card when your bill falls due. Setting up an automatic direct debit payment is a great way to make sure you never miss a bill and you get the maximum pay-on-time discount attached to your plan.
How can I be sure you've calculated my bill correctly?
Energy retailers must be licensed and have to abide by strict regulations. All retailers must calculate your bill using data provided by a government regulated, independent metering company.
Watch this short video for more information.
How often will I receive a bill?
In the majority of cases we issue bills monthly, however this is not always possible. More information about monthly gas billing is available on our website.
What happens if I don't receive my emailed bill?
Check your junk or spam folders to see if your bill has been filed incorrectly.
If you don't see your email bill in your inbox it could also be due to the way your email provider categorises your email. Microsoft email providers like Hotmail, Live and Outlook split your email inbox into "focused" and "other" so be sure to check both tabs. Gmail tries to categorise your mails, so check the different categories under the "Categories" folder.
Once you've received an email from us it will help if you can add us to the safe senders list. This can be done by viewing the email and usually in the top corner there is an actions menu. Click on the menu and then select "Add to Safe Senders"
How can I learn more about the information on my bill?
Your bill contains detailed information about your GloBird account and energy usage. Click on the button below for help with understanding your bill.
How do I know if I'm getting a concession?
Information about your concession amount is shown on the first page of your electricity bill under Electricity Charges Summary. For more information on concessions click the button below.
Why are there two concession amounts on my bill?
Like many energy companies, your GloBird bill contains two charges. One is the total amount due, the other is the discounted amount due. The concession is applied as a percentage of your energy bill so GloBird will show you the concession amount for both the full and discounted amount. Concessions are calculated based on the remaining account balance once any other discounts and/or solar credits have been applied.
Here's an example of how it works.
If your energy plan comes with a 30% pay-on-time discount, and your energy bill was $100 before the discount, then the discounted amount due would be $70. Now let's imagine the concession is 17%. If you paid the bill after the due date, you would receive a concession of 17% on $100, which equals $17 off. In this case you would pay $83. However, if you pay the bill before the due date you would get 17% off $70, which equals $11.90 off. In this case, you would pay $58.10.
For more information on concessions click the button below.
What if you estimate my bill incorrectly?
We take care to be as accurate as possible, but estimates are never perfect. More information on how we estimate your bill is available here
Do you bill for gas monthly?
Yes we do! To learn all about monthly gas billing, and how it allows for budget smoothing - click here
What is the reference price? (NSW only)
In the past, comparing energy plans has been difficult. Each energy provider had their own base energy rate and would discount off this rate. This meant that a 20% discount from one retailer did not necessarily match a 20% discount from another. So to make things easier for customers, the government established a “reference price” based on an average customer's annual cost. The reference price is different depending on where you live because energy usage and distribution costs vary across the state. It's important to note that your reference price is based on the energy usage of a typical customer in your area and therefore helps you compare energy plans. It's not the actual cost you will pay, which depends on how much power you ultimately use.
- The reference price in your area is $1000, based on a typical customer who uses 4000 kWh per year.
If a retailer advertises an energy plan that is 10% less than the reference price, that means the same typical customer using the same amount of power would pay $900 per year.
- Your actual cost may not be the $900, as this will depend on how much power you ultimately use, but the reference price is handy for getting a quick basic comparison.
Do you use estimate or actual reads?
We prefer to bill you based on actual reads. If you have a smart meter, its highly likely we will issue your bills based on actual reads. If you have a basic meter, we may from time to time use estimate reads in order to bill you regularly. To understand more about estimate reads click here.
Can I provide my own meter read?
Yes, if you prefer to read your own meter, just snap a photo of the meter and send it to CustomerService@GloBirdEnergy.com.au
Please make sure to clearly capture both the meter read and the meter number. Please also mention your GloBird account number in your email to us, and the date you took the photo. We will happily use your read to create your bill. Find out more here.
Do you charge credit card fees?
No, we won't charge you extra just for paying by credit card. That would be wrong.
What fees do you charge for reconnecting or disconnecting power?
A full list of fees and charges is available on our website.
What fees do you charge to change tariff type?
In order for us to change your tariff type, we need to re-configure your meter. Click below to see a full list of our fees and charges including "meter reconfiguration".
Do you charge for paper bills?
If you have opted to receive paper bills by post, there is a fee of $2.50 inc GST per bill. This fee covers the cost of paper, print, postage and handling. We encourage our customers to receive billing electronically – as it's faster, less costly for you, and better for the environment. Click here to see a full list of all fees and charges.
Meters / Tariffs
How do I read my meter?
Click on the button below to read your meter in three easy steps.
What does a smart meter do?
A smart meter is a device that digitally measures when and how much electricity is used at your premises. It sends this information back to your energy retailer remotely, without your meter needing to be manually read by a meter reader.
Smart meters can also do other things remotely, like allow the electricity supply to be remotely switched on and off without the need for a field technician, measure the power quality at your premises and notify your electricity distributor when the power goes out.
Do you change my meter?
Your meter doesn't change and the company that reads your meter stays the same. The meter company is an independent company regulated by the government; they provide us with dependable data to calculate your bill. You simply pay a different rate for the energy you use depending on the retailer you choose.
What do the Index reads on your bill mean?
The index reads are the total of all accumulated energy that has passed through your meter. This is a data recording on your smart meter. The read includes the total registered consumption from each register since the day the meter was installed. It is important to understand that this read is indicative only. It shouldn't be used to calculate your electricity charges. For example, if you have solar, there will be a register of: power consumed from the grid, power consumed from your solar, plus any surplus power sent back to the grid. By adding these figures together, you will arrive at a different figure than the power you are being charged for.
Faults / Outages / Emergencies
Who do I call for faults, outages and emergencies?
There are many electricity and gas distributors across Australia. They own the wires and cables that transmit energy to your property. They are responsible for any faults and power outages that might occur. If you have a gas fault or power outage, it's important to contact the distributor in charge of your area for a fast and safe response.
Will my distributor change if I switch to another energy retailer?
No, energy retailers don't own or operate the wires and cables that transmit energy to your property. The power that is supplied to you remains the same and is managed by an independent government regulated network company.
What should I do if I smell gas?
If you believe there may be a gas leak, or if you can smell gas – you should call the National Response centre immediately on (03) 9411 3138.
Why does the GST appear to be more than 10% for solar customers?
GST is calculated before the solar rebate is subtracted. The front page of your bill contains a summary of total charges. The second page contains a more detailed breakdown. Most of the components that make up your bill are subject to GST, except for the solar feed-in portion.
For example: IF YOUR "ELECTRICITY USAGE" AND "DAILY SUPPLY CHARGE" COME TO $100, THEN THAT AMOUNT ATTRACTS A GST OF $10. THIS MAKES THE TOTAL PAYABLE $110 INCLUDING GST.
IF THE SOLAR GENERATION YOU PRODUCE COMES TO $60, THIS WILL REDUCE THE AMOUNT YOU HAVE TO PAY FROM $110 TO $50. IN THE SUMMARY OF TOTAL CHARGES, IT WILL SHOW A BILL OF $60 AND A GST CHARGE OF $10.
Why am I getting zero solar? Is something wrong?
If your solar system was working fine, and all of a sudden you start getting zero feed-in; the first thing to consider is a problem with the inverter. According to CHOICE Magazine, the inverter is the component most likely to fail first.
According to solaranalytics.com, inverter faults account for almost 50% of major solar system failures. Typically, when an inverter fails, the whole system shuts down and produces zero energy. There are many potential causes of inverter failure, and each needs a qualified solar electrician to diagnose and fix the issue. If you do have a fault, always check your warranty.
Are there fees when I install solar?
Yes. When you install a solar we will need to have your Smart Meter Reconfigured to read the solar feed-in. If you have a basic meter, then the meter will need to be upgraded. We will advise you of any applicable fees and charges prior to the work being undertaken. Before we can raise the Service Order to re-configure or replace your meter, your electrician or solar company will need to provide us the relevant paperwork to submit to your local distributor. See our fees page here.
Do my rates change when I install solar?
If your current tariff is a solar compatible tariff you won’t need to change tariffs, however if your existing tariff is not solar compatible, you will be able to choose from any open solar compatible tariff available from your local distributor. We will provide you the rates for any open tariff so you can choose the one that suites you best. Contact us before you decide to install solar so we can provide some advice.
Energy Industry FAQs
Aren't all energy retailers basically the same?
There are many energy retailers out there, each with different rates and charges. The deregulation of the energy market means increased competition, and that's a good thing for those who take the time to shop around. It's common for people to be paying far more for their energy by choosing the wrong retailer. You have the power! You can choose the energy provider that suits you best.
What's the difference between an energy retailer and an energy distributor?
The distributor (or network provider) owns the electricity poles and wires and is responsible for transmitting power from the generator to your property. An energy retailer sells electricity to you and manages your electricity bills. You can choose your retailer but you cannot change your distributor.
What is a 'controlled load'?
A 'controlled load', sometimes called a 'dedicated load', usually refers to a separate tariff for a dedicated system like an electric hot water system. You can tell if you have a controlled load tariff by checking your current bill.
What's the difference between a standing offer and a market offer?
All retailers are required to have a standing offer available, however 99.9% of all GloBird customers are on a market offer. A standing offer is a default contract with energy prices set by the energy retailer, and are usually much higher than more competitive market offers that also offer discounted rates. The energy market was deregulated in 2001, and since then customers have been able to choose their preferred energy retailer. Even so, many customers did not switch, and remained with their original retailer, instead of seeking more competitive rates. If you've never actively switched providers or changed contract, its highly likely you're on a standing offer. Give us a call on 13 34 56 and we'll compare your bill to see how much we can save you.