GUIDES & RESOURCES

How to connect your electricity

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.
How to connect electricity
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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. This article will help you connect electricity before you move, and it includes:

  • things you need to consider;
  • how to connect a brand-new build;
  • moving interstate;
  • connecting electricity for renters; and
  • changing providers when you move.

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*.

What do you need to consider when moving house?

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:

  1. Give your current electricity retailer your new address so they can mail your final bill to you.
  2. Note your meter readings before you move so you can check them against your final bill.
  3. Note the electricity meter readings at your new place to compare them with your first bill there.

The Australian Energy Regulator has additional valuable advice about choosing a retailer and connecting electricity to a new property.

Connecting electricity to a new-build.

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.

How do I connect electricity if I’m moving interstate?

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.

Is the process for connecting electricity different for renters?

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:

  • Disconnect at your previous address;
  • give your existing retailer your new address for the final bill;
  • and if rent covers electricity, then that’s all.

Otherwise:

  • check that your new rental is connected to the electricity grid (it probably will be);
  • compare your existing deal and try to find a better one;
  • check out some suppliers who offer electricity deals specifically for renters; and
  • call the retailer and set up the connection (before you move in!).

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.

What if I want to change electricity providers when I move?

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.

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?

We get it, you’ve got a million other things you’d rather be doing. At iSelect we can help you reduce the time spent on connecting your electricity. So, start comparing energy plans from our excellent range of providers today*. You could compare, select, connect and save, with a plan that works for you.

Compare online or give us a call on 13 19 20.

Last updated: 08/02/2022

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