Important information to connect your electricity
You might think connecting electricity to your new home or business is as easy as calling your electricity company to lock in the date. Well, if everything goes to plan, you might just be right! But to avoid any surprises along the way, read our list of important things to know about when you connect electricity.
Connecting electricity when you move home
You have two options when you move to a house with an existing electricity supply. You can either transfer your current energy plan with you or compare electricity plans from a range of retailers and sign up for a new one.
Moving home can be a great time to compare plans. The energy needs in your new home are probably different to your current needs, so you could save a lot of money by choosing an appropriate plan.
Some things to remember when your move home are:
- Contact Move-In Connect around 4 weeks before you move. This gives our comparison service plenty of time to find you a new electricity plan and arrange your new electricity connection.
- Most energy providers need at least five business days’ notice for a new connection. We recommend letting them know as soon as possible to allow for setbacks or delays.
- Make sure you account for public holidays and weekends when you plan your connection.
- You will be charged a connection fee from your new provider. This varies between retailers but can be between $10 and $100.
- If you need to request an urgent or same day connection, you will incur extra fees of up to $400, depending on your provider.
- If you have an existing electricity plan and are leaving your contract early, you may be charged an early exit fee. Check the terms and conditions of your electricity plan for fees.
- If you keep the same provider, you can usually transfer your contract to your new home to avoid exit fees. However, you should compare plans to see if there is a better option available in your new area to suit your needs. This could save you money in the long run.
- Use time-stamped photos to take a record of the meter reading at your current and new home. This will be important if there is any discrepancy in your bills.
- Check for electrical faults or malfunctions immediately and report them within the first 48 hours.
Connecting electricity in a rental property
When you move to a new rental property, the process of connecting your electricity will depend on your tenancy agreement. In most states, you will be responsible for connecting your new electricity, and the process will be similar to when you move into a new home (see above).
In some cases, your landlord or real estate agent will arrange your connection for you. Make sure you find out prior to moving in, so you don’t have any delays or surprises.
Some important things to remember when connecting electricity in a rental property are:
- If your electricity is not separately metered, then your landlord is responsible for the installation and connection costs. This also applies to gas and water.
- You have tenant rights, protected by the tenancy laws of your state or territory. Make sure you know your rights so you don’t pay more than you should for electricity.
- Check for electrical problems or faults as soon as you move in and report them immediately to your landlord or real estate agent.
- Make sure you pay any outstanding bills from your previous rental. This will ensure you have a good credit rating and avoid any issues signing up for a new plan in the future.
If you are moving into an apartment complex, retirement village or caravan park, you might be part of an embedded network. This means that the electrical wiring is configured so that the owner of the site can sell electricity to the residents or tenants.
Usually, the owner will become an ‘exempt seller’, meaning they buy electricity from a retailer and onsell it to their tenants. In some cases, the owner might generate their own electricity to sell to residents and tenants of their site.
Some important things to know if you are moving to an embedded network are:
- You can choose to buy your electricity from either an electricity retailer or an exempt seller (the owner of your site). You are not obliged to buy electricity from the owner.
- If you choose to buy electricity from a retailer, you will need to make arrangements to ensure you won’t be paying the network charges twice. Usually, the owner of the site will pay the network charges to the retailer and bill you for your share. You will need to find an ‘electricity only’ plan from a retailer, or come to an arrangement with the owner and retailer about who you will pay your network charges to.
- If you choose to buy from the exempt seller, you are protected by ‘exemption conditions’. The owner must provide you with:
- Rates that are no more than the standing offer applicable in your state, set by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).
- Flexible payment options if requested, as a result of financial difficulty.
- A clear schedule for issuing and paying bills.
- The procedure to lodge complaints and a complaint handling policy.
- Clear and fair disconnection procedures.
- Exempt sellers must join the energy ombudsman in their state or territory. You can escalate complaints to the ombudsman if necessary.
Connecting electricity to a new build
When you are moving into a brand new home that has never had an electricity supply before, there are a couple of extra things you need to know about.
- You need to arrange a new electricity service line – your builder will take care of this for you.
- Once the service line works are complete, your builder should notify your provider to arrange for a meter to be installed.
- All the work needs to be carried out by a licensed electrician for your home to be deemed habitable.
- After you move in, check your new property for any electrical faults or malfunctions and report them immediately to your builder.
You will also need to compare electricity plans and arrange the new connection date with your provider (see “Connecting electricity when you move home” at the top of the page).
Whether you have bought a new home or are moving to a rental or a new build, you should compare the electricity and gas plans available on the market and consider switching providers to secure a cheaper deal for your energy bills.
When you call Move-In Connect, one of our moving experts will discuss the energy needs of your new home to match you with the best plan.
Things to consider include:
- How big is your new home?
- How many people will live there?
- Where are you moving to? (Different providers and plans are available in different states and regions)
- What type of hot water system and heating/cooling system is installed?
- What are your energy usage habits? (Do you work from home and use more during the day, or does your usage go up in the evening and weekends?)
- Are there solar panels?
- Are you interested in a plan with renewable energy options?
- Will you need to power any heavy load items such as a swimming pool, electric vehicle or underfloor heating?
You can read more about switching your energy provider here. With so much to consider when comparing energy plans, make sure you don’t leave it too late. Call the team on 1300 786 045 or enter your details online to get started today.