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So, you’re moving home. Whether you’re buying or renting in most Australian states and territories (except for WA or regional QLD), you’ll need to choose from a range of electricity providers before you move in.
Bruce Springsteen’s MTV Unplugged might have been cool, but if you’re unplugged and powerless in your new home, it’ll probably just be cold and miserable.
We’ll then help you compare electricity plans from a range of providers, so you can connect and enjoy the move with all the necessities of modern life*.
It might be easy to move your current electricity offer with you. But, what if that offer isn’t available at your new address? On the bright side, that gives you the opportunity to check out some new offers, and there’s a good chance you could find a better offer and save money.
You can start by comparing electricity plans from iSelect’s excellent range of providers*. If you find a plan that better meets your needs and decide to connect with that electricity provider, iSelect will also help you switch, taking care of the time-consuming admin. Whether you’re connecting electricity with your existing supplier or choosing a new one in your new home, there are a few things you need to do:
The Australian Energy Regulator has additional valuable advice about choosing a retailer and connecting electricity to a new property.
To connect electricity to a new-build is very similar to connecting to an existing property. As your builders will have probably needed an electricity supply during the build, they will most likely have installed a service line. If not, you, or the builder, can get in touch with a licensed electrician and work out what needs to be done.
Make sure you allow enough time for the work to be completed, remembering that your energy retailer or your local distributor will need to inspect your property before they will connect an electricity supply. Please note that iSelect can’t help you connect electricity at a new build, as we currently only assist with electricity connections at homes with existing meters.
Different states and territories regulate their electricity and gas sector differently. So, you might find that connecting electricity is slightly different depending on where you move to.
Most states are deregulated (NSW, VIC, south east Queensland, South Australia and ACT) and that means there is full competition between retailers. This gives you, the buyer, a free choice. You can compare and switch electricity (and gas) providers at will.
The Northern Territory and Tasmania also have a fully competitive retail market, but there are not as many retailers for you to choose from.
It’s different altogether in WA and regional Queensland, as here the electricity price is set by the state/territory government, so you can’t shop around.
If you move between a regulated and a deregulated state or territory, you may find that the electricity prices are quite different to what you’re used to.
The process for connecting electricity is broadly the same for renters as for homeowners. One difference being that for apartments and units, some landlords include the cost of gas and electricity in the rent.
Here are a few things you should do:
If the rental property is not yet connected to the grid or the connection needs upgrades or repairs, then this should be discussed with the landlord, and they should cover any infrastructure costs such as connection.
Well, if you compare retailers and find a plan that suits you better and even saves you money, then it’s likely you will want to change providers. It’s the perfect time to do it.
If you find a better offer, your new retailer will have to arrange switching over your service, including telling your old retailer that you are switching.
The good news is you have a 10-day business cooling off period with all new market contracts. If you get cold feet within this period, you have the right to cancel your account or find a new provider.
The changeover normally happens at the next meter read and that can be up to three months ahead. You’ll also have to bear in mind that you’ll be getting a final bill from your existing retailer, so don’t be shocked when that rocks up, and factor in the money you’ll need ahead of time.
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.