Moving house comes with a to-do list so long, it can turn even the most organised person into a headless chicken.
Forgetting to label your boxes is manageable, but if you forget to arrange your electricity and gas connection, you could be sitting in the dark for days.
Here's what you need to know about ensuring a continuous energy supply when you're moving house, whether you're on electricity, gas, solar, or a combination of the three.
With advance planning, you can have a smooth and bright transition to your new home.
Aim to give your energy retailer a week's notice before disconnecting and reconnecting your electricity and gas supply.
Take the opportunity to compare energy plans when moving house, as you may find a cheaper option for electricity and gas.
Energy rules and regulations are different in each state and territory, so don't assume that your electricity and gas will be managed in the same way.
How do you disconnect your gas and electricity supply?
Each electricity and gas retailer may request a different notice period before a disconnection.
In most cases, you will need to give at least a week's notice before moving, though some retailers request only two to three days.
If you don't cancel your contract, you could still be charged for energy used at the property by the next residents.
It's a good idea to check your contract when you prepare to disconnect, as there may be terms you have forgotten about.
If you are currently on a contract term energy contract, you may have to pay an exit fee if it cannot be transferred.
If you paid a security deposit when you moved in, you should be able to have it refunded when the contract ends.
Disconnecting When You Live in a Share House
If you are leaving a share house and the energy bill is in your name, you'll need to make arrangements with your housemates.
Let your retailer know that you're changing your address, and that the account for the existing address will need to be put in someone else's name.
How do you establish a new energy connection?
Not all properties are connected to the electricity grid or gas network.
If you move into a property that is not currently hooked up to the energy supply, you will need to contact your electricity or gas distributor to arrange for a connection.
Distributors are the companies that own the poles and wires of an electricity grid and the gas pipelines of a gas network.
Establishing a new connection can take time and there may be costs involved, so you should start this process as early as possible.
Once your connection is set up, you'll need to shop around for a retail energy plan.
Ideally, this should all be taken care of before your move.
How do you reconnect your gas and electricity supply?
Moving house gives you the opportunity to save money on your gas and electricity bill, so you have a few options when it comes to reconnecting your energy supply.
No matter which one you choose, remember that you must organise your own energy plan with a retailer, even if you move in and find that the energy from the previous resident is still connected.
If you continue to use the existing supply, you may find that you're automatically signed up to the previous resident's plan, which might not be the best value for you.
Keep your current energy retailer
Happy with your current retailer? You can organise to simply transfer your account from your existing address to your new one.
When you give your notice of disconnection, you can arrange for a reconnection at the same time.
However, check that the change of address doesn't affect your current plan.
If you haven't compared electricity and gas plans lately, moving is a great time to do it.
Your new house may impact your energy usage; for example, it may have solar panels or better insulation.
Shop around for energy plans before arranging your reconnection and you could find a deal that saves you money.
Switch energy retailers
Ready to make the switch to a cheaper energy plan?
All you need to do is set up an account with your new retailer and provide the date for your new electricity and gas supply to be switched on.
You should give your new retailer at least two days' notice, preferably longer, to avoid any gaps in supply.
Aussies who move interstate may find that the energy market doesn't work in the way they're used to.
Not only do prices vary across states, energy is regulated differently and may even come from different sources.
You may find that you could benefit more from renewable energy in your new state, or that you're now restricted as to what plan you can purchase.
Don't assume that the energy options in your new state or territory will be the same, as they are likely to change.
Moving house and solar panels
When you move, your solar panels and feed-in tariffs usually don't move with you.
This can be good if you're moving into a house with solar panels, but not so good if your new house is lacking them.
By moving, you will lose any government feed-in tariffs associated with your panels, but you'll also adopt any that are in place in your new home.
In addition to government feed-in tariffs, some retailers offer additional feed-in tariffs for energy fed back into the grid thanks to your solar panels.
When you're arranging to reconnect electricity in your new home, compare solar electricity plans before making a decision.
Remember to consider eligibility requirements as well, because making changes to the solar system can affect feed-in tariffs.
Tips for moving house
If power was disconnected at your new house, check the fuse box to make sure the main switches are turned off until the new connection has been completed.
If you're switching suppliers, give your old retailer your new address so they know where to send the final bill.
Check and record the meter readings at your old place before you leave, and your new place before you start using energy. This allows you to compare your actual readings with the first and last bills and identify any inconsistencies.
Compare energy plans so you can make an informed decision before making arrangements to disconnect and reconnect your energy supply.
Our service is free to use and takes the legwork out of having to compare plans yourself.
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This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.