Getting Electricity Connected at Your Home in Australia

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If you are moving into a house or apartment in Australia, getting the electricity connected on time for your move-in date will no doubt be a top priority. Setting up electricity service is a fairly smooth and straightforward process in Australia, but choosing the right electricity provider and plan for you can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if you are new to the country (or region of the country). This article explains the basic steps involved with getting your electricity connection set up in Australia so that you can settle quickly and comfortably into your new home (and save money too!).

You can also contact Selectra at any time for a free consultation on setting up your electric power and other essential home utilities (gas, internet, water) in Australia. We can help you get this done (and save you money)!

 

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New Electricity Connection: Switching Retailers & Signing Up to a New Plan

Switching energy retailers, no matter if you’re staying in your current address or moving to a new home, is a simple process.

  1. Compare plans and providers to find the best deal for you. Do you want to go with one of the historic, large, energy providers or a smaller energy start-up? What sort of benefits do these plans provide? Are there any conditions?
  2. Decide on the type of tariff. If you have a smart meter you might be able to choose an energy tariff that charges lower rates for energy used at different times of the day. If you have a standard meter, do you want to switch to a smart meter?
  3. Make the switch. Most energy providers allow you to sign up to a new plan online, or over the phone. When signing up you’ll need to provide the address of the connection, and valid identification for a credit check. 
  4. Wait for your final meter read. Your previous energy provider will send you a final bill with your final meter read. You can request a special meter reading, or simply wait for your next scheduled one.
  5. Pay your final bill from your previous provider, and start getting charged by your new provider.
Moving House

Moving House Electricity Connection

Whether you are gearing up for a big move to Australia from overseas or just relocating within the country, moving house can be a stressful (if exciting!) time. Mixed in with apprehension about new jobs or new schools will be dreams of new neighbourhoods to explore, new restaurants to try, and new friends to meet.

With so much on your mind, it can sometimes be a challenge to focus on practical details such as getting your electricity supply set up on time. This is completely understandable, but taking just a little bit of time to ensure that the electric power will be up and running from the day that you move into your new home will leave you free to focus on your new job and new friends when you do arrive in Australia!

Getting the electricity connected at your new home in Australia might seem a bit daunting, but it is really quite simple if you boil things down to basics.

Moving within Australia

If you’re moving house, you might be able to take your current energy provider with you. However, just because you can, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop around and compare energy providers. If you haven’t switched recently, you might be paying more than necessary for your electricity or gas, and moving home is the perfect time to switch.

  • Contact your electricity provider at your current address (i.e. the home you are moving out of) and tell them your new address so they can send you a final bill and arrange a disconnection. Be sure to arrange for your electricity to be disconnected on the day after you move out. If you receive gas and electricity from the same provider, you can ask for both utilities to be disconnected simultaneously. If you forget to disconnect your electricity service on time, you might end up paying bills for electricity that you did not use (after you’ve already moved out!).
  • Make a note of your meter at your previous address, so you can compare it to your final bill
  • Arrange your move-in date with your new provider so you have an energy supply when you move in. 
  • Make a note of your meter at your new address, so you can compare it to your first bill with your new provider

Moving to Australia or Into Your First Home

If you’ve never had to sign up for an electricity or gas plan, moving into your first home or moving to a new country is the perfect opportunity for learning how to set up and manage an energy account. Whether it’s a rental or a purchase, here are some things to make sure you’re choosing the best plan for your new home.

When choosing an energy provider, make sure to:

  • Compare not only the discounts but also any additional benefits. Do you get credit off your energy bill every six months? Are the discounts conditional (such as pay on time or direct debit)? How much less is the plan, compared to the reference price?
  • Look at the benefit period. Are the benefits ongoing or for a fixed period of time?
  • See what your payment options are. Do you have flexible payment methods? Do you get an additional discount if you pay by direct debit?
  • Read the terms and conditions. Is there a contract? Any early termination fees?

Ideally, you should contact your electricity provider (either online or via telephone) at least 5 business days in advance before your move-in date at your new house or apartment in order to ensure that the power will be connected when you arrive. You will need to provide the company operator with the address of your new home, your move-in date, and the date that you want electricity connected (if different from the move-in date).

Be sure to write down or take a photo of the meter readings both at your current address (if in Australia) and new address so that when you get your electricity bills you can check whether you are being charged the correct amount.

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Connect Electricity to Rental Property

If you are renting a place, you will need to transfer the information for your electricity account from your present residence to the new one. Calling your retailer and telling them your new address and moving date is the best way do this. It usually takes one day to transfer your account information to a new rental home, and there are usually no expenses involved. If you are moving to Australia, you can also contact your landlord, who may be able to help you set up electric power service before you arrive in Australia… it never hurts to ask for help!

Your contract should transfer to your new location if you continue to use the same electricity retailer. You should also determine whether you are transferring to another distribution network if you are moving to a different state or territory. If so, you may not be able to take your current electricity contract with you when you move. You should confirm with your energy retailer that the new property is currently linked to the grid as well.

When moving to your rental property, please note that the power supply may have been turned off if the property has been vacant for a while or was recently constructed. If so, connecting may require a few extra days and result in extra costs.

Are you being hounded by sales agents?See our guide to getting added to the do not call register.

Urgent Electricity Connections

Most energy providers can often arrange a new connection within three working days, but if you are in a bind and require electricity immediately, you can call your provider and request a "urgent connection". You can call a 13-hundred number provided by major retailers to schedule a connection as soon as feasible. However, keep in mind that extra charges often apply for urgent connections, so it is best to avoid scheduling your energy connections at the last minute.

What to do if you are late in contacting your electricity provider in Australia… To make sure that the lights will be on from day one in your new home, it is best to contact your electricity provider at least 5 business days before the date of your move. However, if you forget or something changes at the last minute, contact your electricity provider and explain. Some providers can sort out an electricity connection in as little as one or two days (not guaranteed, but it’s worth asking!), though you may have to pay an additional fee for this urgent service.

You should also be aware that electricity can only be connected on weekdays, not weekends or public holidays.

Ideally, once you know when you’re moving into your first home, it’s best to arrange the connection immediately. Some providers offer same-day or next-day urgent connections (usually for a higher fee), but most require at least a few business days to have the technician come out and connect your energy supply. When moving house and registering a new energy account, selectra recommends asking who you should contact in the event of a power cut, as your distributor may have changed.

Who to Contact for Your Electricity Connection

Most energy providers have a dedicated phone number for all moving and electricity connection related inquiries. If you need to get in touch with your energy provider to discuss moving or to schedule a new energy connection, you can contact their moving or connection specialist teams at the numbers below:

Electricity Connection Contact Numbers
Energy ProviderPhone NumberElectricity Connection Timeline
Ovo Energy1300 937 686
24 / 7
Same-Day Connection if Notified by 3pm
Energy Locals1300 693 637
8:30am - 6pm (weekdays)
Same-Day Connection if Notified by Midday
Sumo Energy13 88 60
9am - 4:30pm (weekdays)
4 Business Days
Origin Energy13 MOVE (13 66 83)
24 / 7
Same Day Connection
AGL Energy131 245
24 / 7
Next Day Connection if Notify Before 1pm
EnergyAustralia139 192
24 / 7
2 Business Days Before

Cooling Off Period

Australian law states that all new energy customers are entitled to a 10-business-day cooling-off period. This period starts from when you sign or agree to a new energy plan, during which time you can cancel your new plan without penalty, and lasts for 10-business days. During the cooling-off period, your previous energy retailer will probably get in touch with you, and try and offer you a better deal to stay with them. You can always switch back to your previous retailer, if they offer a better deal.

If you decide to cancel during your cooling off period, you may be contacted by the company to get you to switch again. Consider signing up to the do not call register.

Connecting Electricity FAQ

Do I Need Gas and Electricity at My Home in Australia?

All homes require electricity, of course. Whether you will need gas depends on many different factors. Some homes in Australia use electric power for all home appliances, but other homes (approximately 65-70% of Australian homes) use gas to power appliances such as cooking stoves, heaters, and hot water tanks. Make sure to check with the previous owner of the property or with the landlord before you move in.

Many power companies offer combined gas and electricity plans that could save you money, but it is also sometimes possible to select different providers for your gas and electricity needs. It pays to take some time to compare rates!

For more detailed information on getting your gas supply connected in Australia, along with tips on reducing usage and information on different providers available around the country (and their rates), please check out our article on Getting the gas supply set up at your home in Australia.

Can I Choose my Electricity Provider in Australia?

It depends on your location. New South Wales (including Canberra), Victoria, South Australia, and the south east of Queensland have deregulated energy markets, leaving consumers free to choose their electricity providers. In Western Australia and the rest of Queensland, energy is state regulated, so you cannot choose your provider. Tasmania and the Northern Territory have deregulated energy markets in theory, but choice is quite limited in reality.

How Can I Get my Electricity Connected in Australia?

Once you have compared options and made your choice, contact your chosen electricity provider online or by telephone and give them your new address, your moving date, and the date you would like your electricity connected. Be sure to cancel the electricity at your current address (if you are moving within Australia) to avoid unnecessary charges!

Electricity Connection & Disconnection Fees

You should also be aware that some providers do charge an initial connection fee, so you may want to ask about this before choosing your electricity provider. Your electricity distributor may charge a fee ranging between $10 and $100. As this is a distribution charge, the size of the fee will depend on location, not your choice of electricity retailer.

Your energy service (electricity, gas, or LPG), the state you live in, whether or not you have a smart meter, and your energy distributor all determine the connection or disconnection fees you might have to pay when moving house. It’s important to remember that your energy provider does not set these fees, they’re set by your energy distributor and the provider merely passes on the cost to you.

Click on your state below to see the connection and disconnection fees you might need to pay:

 

New South Wales: Connection & Disconnection Fees

Connection Fees NSW

Distributor

Cost

Electricity

Ausgrid$12.55
Endeavour Energy$42.68
Essential Energy$54.65

Gas

Jemena$12.43 per meter
Australian Gas Networks Albury$14.08
Australian Gas Networks Murray Valley NSW$14.08
Australian Gas Networks NSW$56.69
Central Ranges Tamworth$52.49
Disconnection Fees NSW

Distributor

Cost

Electricity

Ausgrid$12.55
Endeavour Energy$42.68
Essential Energy$61.67

Gas

Jemena$12.43 per meter
Australian Gas Networks Albury$14.08
Australian Gas Networks Murray Valley NSW$14.08
Australian Gas Networks NSW$56.69
Central Ranges Tamworth$52.49

ACT: Connection & Disconnection Fees

Connection Fees ACT

Distributor

Cost

Electricity

For a Special Meter Read$38.38
For a visit to turn-on service to re-energise your property$88.47

Gas

Natural Gas Connection$19.47
Disconnection Fees ACT

Distributor

Cost

Electricity Disconnection$38.38
Natural Gas Disconnection$19.47

Victoria: Connection & Disconnection Fees

Connection Fees VIC

Distributor

Cost

Electricity

Citipower$41.79
Powercor$61.66
Ausnet Services$22.04
Jemena$42.39
United Energy$54.52

Gas

Multinet$7.47
Australian Gas Networks (Metro)$10.23
Australian Gas Networks (Non-Metro)$14.08
Australian Gas Networks Mildura$12.10
Ausnet Services$10.33
Disconnection fees VIC

Distributor

Cost

Electricity

Citipower$42.42
Powercor$65.55
Ausnet Services$22.04
Jemena$65.41
United Energy$54.52

Gas

Multinet$7.47
Australian Gas Networks (Metro)$10.23
Australian Gas Networks (Non-Metro)$14.08
Australian Gas Networks Mildura$12.10
Ausnet Services$10.33

Queensland: Connection & Disconnection Fees

Connection Fees QLD

Distributor

Cost

Electricity

Electricity Connection$12.55

Gas

Australian Gas Networks$12.10
APT Allgas$24.40
Disconnection Fees QLD

Distributor

Cost

Electricity

Electricity Connection$12.55

Gas

Australian Gas Networks$12.10
APT Allgas$24.40

South Australia: Connection & Disconnection Fees

Connection Fees SA

Fuel type

Cost

Electricity$50.25
Natural gas$12.10
Disconnection Fees SA

Fuel type

Cost

Electricity$50.25
Natural Gas$12.10

Western Australia: Connection & Disconnection Fees

Connection and Disconnection Fees WA

Connection Type

Cost

Connection Fee$29.71
Disconnection Fee$54.64

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