Moving into a new house? Regardless of whether you’re renting or purchasing, you’ll need to have a good understanding of how to disconnect utilities at your current place and get connected again at your new pad. If you get it wrong, you could end up paying the power bills at both houses or even be forced to go a couple of days without electricity at your new home – probably not the housewarming gift you were hoping for.

Don’t worry; running into that particular problem is pretty rare, especially if you plan ahead. Thankfully, making the transition is a pretty painless task, and thanks to our handy energy (i.e. gas and electricity) provider comparison tool, you might even end up saving money in the long run. Read on to find out how you can switch energy suppliers when moving house, the fees involved and how long the process typically takes.

How can you disconnect electricity at your current home?

Your energy provider is typically responsible for disconnecting your electricity. Before moving out of your current home, give your supplier a call and inform them of your intention to cancel.  Organise for the disconnection to occur the day after you move out.

To ensure the whole process goes smoothly, and provide the retailer with enough time to iron out any wrinkles along the way, it’s a good idea to give your energy provider at least one week’s notice. In some circumstances you may need even more time, so be sure to speak with your retailer about the transition as early as possible.

Depending on the arrangement you have with your energy supplier, you may also face early termination fee if the terms of your contract do not allow you to transfer it to another address. The exact amount you’ll need to pay can vary quite substantially between companies, so be sure to check the fine print of your contract or give your provider a call if you’re in any doubt.

How can you connect electricity at your new home?

Connecting electricity at your new address is as simple as picking up the phone and talking to your future energy provider. However, it’s vital that you organise this a week or so in advance to ensure that your power is reliably up and running from the moment you first move in.

Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and consequently, you’ll most likely have to pay an electricity connection fee to get your power hooked up. Again, the cost of this differs between companies, so it’s important to investigate your options, do your homework and compare energy providers to make the most from your utility budget.

It’s also worth noting that you don’t necessarily have to sign up for the same electricity supplier when you relocate. In fact, moving house could be the perfect time to switch energy providers, as your new home provides you with something of a clean slate and offers you the ultimate peace of mind knowing you’re getting the electricity plan that best meets the needs of your household.

Why consider switching energy providers when moving house?

There are any number of reasons why you might consider changing to a new retailer when you move house. For instance, if you’ve noticed your power bill creeping up in recent months, it could be a sign that it’s time to change provider. In addition, it’s possible that more electricity suppliers have recently entered the market offering competitive rates that are better suited to your budget. In Victoria alone, for example, there are 18 different energy retailers (as of early 2016) – all of whom are hungry for your business.

While saving money is good, keep in mind that the benefits of changing to a new provider aren’t solely centred around the financial aspect of things. If you’ve been dissatisfied with the level of customer service your current electricity supplier has been providing, you may enjoy a better experience with a new retailer.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to minimise your environmental impact, you may also be interested in selecting an energy provider that generates its power from greener and more sustainable sources.

What do you need to be aware of when moving interstate?

Moving just down the road? The electricity industry probably works just the same. Relocating to the other side of the country? You may find things work a little differently.

You might be surprised to learn that the energy sector is regulated in very different ways between states, which can have a tangible impact on you as a consumer. For example, in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and Victoria, electricity customers enjoy full retail competition, which means that the government imposes no restrictions on the energy industry. This effectively puts the power of choice in your hands and gives you free reign to switch and compare energy providers.

In South East Queensland and South Australia, on the other hand, the electricity industry is a little more regimented, and in some regions, energy prices are regulated. In Western Australia and Northern Territory, regulations are tighter still, and you do not have the luxury of switching between electricity providers.

Consequently, you may find that prices are noticeably different (for better or worse) from where you were previously located. Be sure to factor this into your household’s utility budget before moving by entering your details to see what prices retailers offer at your new location.

Connecting and disconnecting your electricity is a fairly straightforward process, but it’s nevertheless an important one. What’s more, it’s possible you could save big on your power bill by weighing up your options early and changing to a new energy provider when you move into your new house.