GUIDES & RESOURCES

How To Connect Your Electricity

Whether you’re switching homes, renting or moving into your first home, it’s not a bad idea to get your electricity sorted before you move in. This way you can enjoy your new home in all its glory.
How to connect electricity

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But what do you have to do to get your electricity connected? Who do you call? What strange land does electricity even come from?

In a nutshell, your electricity comes from a distributor. That’s the company who owns and maintains all the poles, cables and wiry bits, which deliver electricity to your home. Even if you switch energy retailers, you’ll still have the same electricity distributor. That’s because some states (like Tasmania) only have one distributor.

So, getting connected. Let’s take a look at all the different scenarios and what you need to do to connect your electricity.

Moving homes

If you’re moving to a new home, you may be able to take your current electricity offer with you. But sometimes, that offer isn’t available at the new address. Why not take this opportunity to do some research and find out about new offers? Electricity prices are constantly changing. Chances are, there will be more competitive offers out there.

You may be able to find a better deal by comparing electricity plans from iSelect's range of providers*. If you find a plan that better meets your needs and decide to switch, we’ll also handle the time consuming admin of switching for you.

Whatever you choose to do, there are a couple of formalities prior to moving homes:

  • Give your current retailer your new address so they can mail your final bill to you
  • Make a note of your meter readings before you move so you can check them against your final bill
  • Make a note of the meter readings at your new place so you can compare them against your first bill

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Your first home

Congrats! You’ve purchased your first home. Now you’ll need to get your electricity connected so you can enjoy living in your new home.

First things first, you need to get the right deal. But what are some of the things you should consider when choosing an electricity offer for your new home?

  • The conditions, benefits and costs associated with the offer
  • Are there any discounts or incentives?
  • How flexible are the payment terms?
  • Are there exit fees if you choose to switch down the track?
  • How important is green or renewable energy to you? If this factor is high on your list, use a resource like The Green Electricity Guide1 to find out which retailers have the most environmental policies

Connecting to a new-build

There’s not really much difference between connecting electricity to a new-build and connecting to an existing property. Your builders would most likely have needed access to electricity during construction, so they’ll already have installed a service line.

If this isn’t the case, you or your builder will need to get in touch with a licensed electrical contractor to identify what works need to be carried out.

Make sure you factor in enough time for work to be completed and for your energy retailer to inspect your property before connection can take place.

Comparing offers

These days, retailers tend to compete hard for your patronage. Use iSelect to compare electricity from our range of retailers & plans* and you’ll quickly discover that offers and associated costs vary dramatically.

Some retailers have offers or tariffs that are regulated by the government. In QLD, the ACT and Tasmania, you can only get a contract with a regulated electricity price. In NSW, Victoria and South Australia, however, there are no regulated offers for electricity. So, essentially, retailers can set their own prices.

So, what are the key terms you need to look at when looking for a good deal?

  • Rate per kWh (these can vary considerably between retailers)
  • Daily supply charges
  • Discounts – do they apply to the whole bill or for usage only? (This can make a big difference in savings)
  • Payment terms – what are they and do they suit you?
  • What other fees are applicable? (For example, surcharges for credit card payments)
  • Late payment fees (you may want to set up direct debit payments to avoid penalties)
  • Discounts if you pay on time (a popular incentive offered by many retailers)
  • Are there any exit fees or moving home fees? Most electricity plans come under a 12-month contract, but few retailers will fix electricity rates for this length of time. Your contract will most likely lock in a percentage discount over your contract period
  • Any other terms and conditions that may affect your costs or service

Understanding your rights

The good news is, you have a 10-day business cooling off period with all new contracts. If you get cold feet within this period, you have the right to cancel your account.

Switching Retailers

Found a better offer? Your new retailer will organise to have your service changed over, including telling your old retailer your intentions to switch.

Keep in mind, changeover generally happens the next time your meter is read, which can take up to 3 months.
And remember, you’ll receive a final bill from your old retailer so make sure you factor in any outstanding payments.

When you have a problem

Any faults or emergencies such as blackouts or problems with supply should be directed to your distributor.
You can find their contact details on your latest bill, usually under the ‘Faults and Emergencies’ section.

Ready to compare electricity plans?

At iSelect we can help you reduce the time spent on the connecting of your electricity. We get it, you’ve got a million other things you’d rather be doing. So, start comparing electricity plans from our range of providers* today, and get connected on a plan that works for you. You can compare online or give us a call on 13 19 20.

Sources:
1. https://www.greenelectricityguide.org.au/

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