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Updated 05/07/2024
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Significant rewrite and reviewed by Dean Ipaviz, with helpful tip added.
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Updated 05/07/2024

What changed?

Significant rewrite and reviewed by Dean Ipaviz, with helpful tip added.
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Reviewed by

Dean Ipaviz

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

How to Connect Your Electricity

While we can’t tell you where to find the Rainbow Connection, we can help you with getting electricity connected to your new place. 

What do I do to connect electricity at my new place?

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Step 1: Disconnect the electricity from your old property

You’ll need to let your current Electricity Retailer know that you’re moving and when to disconnect your old address. Otherwise, you could find yourself having to deal with an extra electricity bill. 

You might want to set the date for a few days after you move to give yourself a window for any hiccups, like last-minute moving date changes, or to still have power to run a vacuum around if you need to do a clean to get your bond back.  

You may also want to be prepared for a disconnection fee, depending on your contract. It may be part of the contract as standard or it might be the price you pay for ending a fixed-term contract early.

Step 2: Transfer your plan or pick a new one

It’s time to go shopping! For a new Electricity Plan anyway. Once you’ve settled on a plan you like, sign up and let the Electricity Retailer know when your move-in date is. 

Alternatively, if you’re happy with your current plan and retailer, you may be able to simply transfer it to your new address. Have a chat with your Electricity Retailer to see if that’s possible. In some instances, you may be able to stick with your existing retailer but the same plan might not be available. You could choose another plan with them or see if you prefer something from another retailer. 

Step 3: Let your Electricity Retailer do the work

Definitely don’t go fiddling with wires or switches, the ball is firmly in your Electricity Retailer’s court now. They’ll let you know when to expect to have power and if there’s anything else you need to do. 

‘When I moved from Brisbane to Melbourne, I mixed up my move-in dates and was without electricity for the first 24 hours. It wasn’t the most stressful part of the move, but it’s meant I triple-check the information I give my Electricity Retailer whenever I move now.

Madeline Pettet, Digital Writer, iSelect

How can I get my electricity connected as smoothly as possible? 

Sometimes it seems as though you’re more likely to win the lottery than have a stress-free move. However, you could try these tips to help put the odds in your favour. 

  • Give your Electricity Retailer some notice: No one likes having a job dropped on them last-minute, so give any Electricity Retailers you’re dealing with at least a few business days’ worth of warning about your move for a smoother disconnection and connection.
  • Check if you need to be home for the connection to happen: In QLD and NSW, you might need to be at the property for the connection to go-ahead. Talk to your retailer to find out if that’s the case for you.
  • Make sure the technician can easily and safely access your meter: Whether it means putting your dog inside or spraying that redback spider, your technician may need to take a reading from your meter. Ensuring they can easily do their job will probably make their day, plus it means your lights will turn on. 

Is it any different if I’m connecting electricity to a new build? 

Getting electricity connected to a property that’s never had a connection before, like a new build or a pre-Federation build that’s been a stick in the mud, isn’t all that different from a place that recently had electricity. The main thing to keep in mind is that your Electricity Retailer may have to put a bit more infrastructure in, like extending lines or adding a meter. As a result, this can mean they need a few months’ notice rather than just a few days. You may also need to pay some connection fees too and these are typically required upfront.  

I’m a renter, do I follow the same electricity connection process? 

There are a few things that could trip you up if you’re a renter moving house but we believe in you (and we’re here to give you the cheat sheet). 

If you’re moving out of a share house but your roomies aren’t coming with you, double check if it’s your name on the electricity bill. You’ll need to let your Electricity Retailer know that your address is changing, and you need to be removed from the account. They’ll need someone else to step up, so make sure to let your housemates know one of them needs to replace you on the account. 

If the electricity account isn’t in your name, you’re free to continue on your merry way and don’t need to worry about Step 1 and disconnecting. 

For Step 2, you’ll need to know if your new rental property is separately metered or not. If there’s a separate meter and you have a standard Residential Tenancy Agreement, you’ll need to pick an Electricity Plan and speak with the retailer to get connected.  

If the property you’re renting doesn’t have a separate meter — for instance if you’re just renting a room — it’s up to your rental provider to have their name on the account and ensure the electricity is connected. So, lucky you, you don’t have to do anything (except maybe check your landlord knows what steps to follow). 

How do I connect electricity to my new home when I’m moving interstate? 

As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to follow Steps 1 through 3 even if you’re moving interstate. However, you may need to make yourself familiar with what kind of electricity market you’re entering. 

Most of Australia has a full competition electricity retail market. This means that you can pick from a range of providers and plans (some places have more than others though). Other parts of the country, though, the government regulates the electricity market. As a result, you might be assigned a retailer based on where you’re moving to.  

There’s pros and cons to each kind of market, like competition ideally encouraging cheaper prices for consumers, while regulation aims to make sure electricity remains affordable even if it costs a retailer a lot to get electricity to you. This is good news if you’re leaving Melbourne to start an emu farm out past Mt Isa. 

FYI: WA and Regional QLD’s electricity markets are regulated. South East QLD, NSW, ACT, SA, NT and Tasmania all have competitive markets, but the further out from the burbs you go, the less choice you might have. So, depending on where you’re moving from and to, you might find you have more or less options than before. 

How long will it take for my connection to be switched on? 

If you’re reconnecting a property that has previously had electricity connected (even if it wasn’t in your name), it could take anywhere from a day to a few days. However, letting your Electricity Retailer know sooner rather than later is probably still a good idea to avoid experiencing what life was like before electricity.  

If it’s the first time this property has been connected, it can take several months to get everything in order. There may be a fair bit to do after all. So, it’s best to be too early than too late when getting in touch with your Electricity Retailer. 

Will I be charged a connection fee? 

If it’s a brand-new connection, there’ll likely be a fee for getting all that infrastructure in place. You’ll usually need to pay this upfront too. 

For existing connections just needing to be switched back on again, there may or may not be a fee. It could depend on your contract — check if it lists a connection fee. Alternatively, you might not have a connection fee but need to pay a disconnection fee or a fee for ending a fixed-term contract early. 

Do I need to get a new meter installed for my connection to work? 

If there’s already a meter at the property, you don’t need to get a new one for your connection to work — at least that’s one less thing to worry about when it comes to moving. Having said that, if the existing meter is faulty, or old you may need to get it replaced. This’ll be handled by your retailer, including letting you know if you need to pay for anything. 

However, if there’s no meter at your place — for instance, if it’s a new build — then you will need to get one. Again, this’ll be handled by your retailer and may come with some additional costs. 

Helpful Tip:

New meters and moving can get tricky, it is best to get in front of the potential problems and plan ahead. If your property has an older model electricity meter, connection time might be the perfect time to upgrade to a smart meter, which also requires some planning but makes a lot of long-term sense.

With a smart meter you can get real-time data on your electricity usage to see if you can change some habits to make some savings. You can also connect it to your home solar system to generate and use your own electricity, and even sell excess to the grid. 

Dean Ipaviz

Sustainability Expert and Presenter

Do I need to get a new connection if I’m just switching retailers? 

If you want to switch Electricity Retailer but aren’t moving anywhere, you don’t need to worry about setting up a new connection. And it’s actually probably even easier to switch than to get connected. All you need to do is find a plan you like, sign up and leave the rest up to your new Electricity Retailer. They’ll even handle the goodbyes with your old one. 

Of course, the trick here is finding your new Electricity Plan. To give yourself a leg-up, you might like to try: 

  • Looking over your recent bills to figure out what you’re currently paying
  • Checking for fees, including ones for ending a fixed contract early
  • Weighing up discounts or perks and if they have any conditions attached 

Where can I find and compare Electricity Plans to get connected? 

If it’s time to pull up stumps, iSelect can help you cross one thing off your to-do list. We make it easy to compare a range of Electricity Plans from different providers.  

Get started on comparing energy plans today!

Save time and effort by comparing a range of energy plans with iSelect

iSelect does not compare all energy providers or plans in the market. The availability of plans may change from time to time, depending on who iSelect’s providers are and what plans they make available to iSelect. Not all plans made available from iSelect providers may be compared by iSelect either due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, so not all plans or providers compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some plans and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website. Energy plans are available only for properties located in eligible areas of Victoria, New South Wales, South East Queensland, South Australia and ACT. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers.