New connections vs switching electricity and gas
The term ‘new connection’ can be confusing when it comes to your utilities. Retailers, distributors, and builders use it interchangeably to refer to both installing new infrastructure in a new build or a home with no existing power supply and also to the process of ‘switching on’ power or changing account holders in homes already physically connected to the grid.
So what exactly does it mean to connect your power, and how is it different from switching providers? Read on to find out.
New connection – existing homes
When you move into a home or apartment that has previously been lived in, the previous owners or tenants will have disconnected the power when they moved out.
A new connection, in this instance, refers to having the power switched back on.
To connect electricity and gas to a home with an existing supply, you will need to open an account with your chosen retailer by signing up for one of their plans. In most areas, the distributor will charge a one-off connection fee, which will be passed on to you by the retailer. This fee varies from no charge to around $90.
You should give at least 3 business days’ notice for a new gas connection and 5 business days for a new gas connection. If you miss these timeframes, it is possible to arrange an urgent service, but this can incur an additional fee of up to $400.
As soon as you know your moving date, call Move In Connect and we will arrange your new connection to make sure you avoid unnecessary costs.
New connection – new builds
If you are moving into a newly built home or a home that has never had a power supply, then a new connection refers to the wider process of installing the infrastructure as well as setting up an account with a retailer. You will need to have the infrastructure works completed first before you can sign up for a plan.
Your builder will work with an electrical contractor, gas fitter, and distributor to arrange this for you.
Depending on the complexity of the work required, there might be no upfront costs as the distributor will recoup the expense through network charges on your plan. For example, if your new home is on an established street with sufficient power poles in place, then there might be no charge to connect you to the grid.
However, if you need new power poles (service extension) or an additional power line (augmentation) for your new electricity connection, then there may be fees associated with the process. You can ask your builder to provide a quote so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises.
The distributor will also carry out the metering installation to complete the work. There are three different types of electrical meters in Australia, although, for new builds, the newest Smart meters are recommended. In Victoria, Smart meters are compulsory and a state-wide rollout is nearly complete to transition all homes of the older styles.
The benefit of using a smart meter is that it can measure your energy usage in real-time, so you can take advantage of a two-time period and/or controlled load plan.
A two-time period plan gives you rates for peak and off-peak usage. By using as much energy as possible during off-peak periods, you will see a dramatic reduction in your bill.
A controlled load plan uses separate meters to power heavy-load appliances such as your hot water system. These appliances are powered with lower off-peak rates to save you money on your most energy-hungry items.
Once the work has been completed, you can contact your preferred energy retailers to sign up for a plan and arrange for the power to be switched on. See below to find out how to choose the right plan for your needs.
You can switch providers at any time, whether you are moving home or just looking for a better deal. The connection with your new provider can be established with no interruption to your service.
When you switch providers, the contract with your current provider will be terminated, and you will enter into a new contract with your chosen retailer. Make sure you consider any exit fees associated with ending your contract to work out the cheapest option for you.
You should compare energy plans every 12 months to make sure you are still getting the best deal. In most states, energy has been deregulated, meaning customers are free to choose their provider and find the cheapest electricity in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT.
Choosing the right energy plan
The most important part of arranging a new connection is finding an energy plan that suits your needs. With so many retailers and plans available, it can be time-consuming and overwhelming finding the one that will be the cheapest in the long run.
Using a comparison service like Move-In Connect can make the process hassle-free. One of our moving experts will talk to you about your unique needs to match you with the perfect plan from our panel of preferred suppliers.
We will talk to you about your budget, usage habits, size of your household, solar panels and batteries, and any high-load appliances such as a swimming pool, underfloor heating, or electric vehicle. We’ll also take into account anything else that is important to you, such as customer service or rewards and incentives.
Using this information, we will find the cheapest plan available in your area and arrange to get you connected. Our service is 100% free of charge and makes moving day a breeze!
To get started give us a call at 1300 786 045 or enter your details online.