To help you find a great-value plan, we’ve compiled a guide that details what you should know about the changeover process before switching energy providers.
There are many benefits for those who switch energy providers at the right time. Moving homes is a common reason for changing providers, as it serves as a timely reminder to assess your current utility costs and discover what other options are available to you.
However, if you’re not moving house, there are many reasons why you might switch your electricity and gas provider. For example, you might be interested in:
Tip: Look for providers that can add value or consolidate your utility accounts, as this may lead to further discounts.
You may face different barriers to switching energy suppliers, depending on which Australian state or territory you reside.
Residents in the following Australian regions can choose their electricity and gas suppliers:
Some Western Australian residents can choose their gas provider if they live within the Perth metropolitan area. Tasmanians and those in the Northern Territory can choose between providers but options are limited.
Residents in the below states and territories can’t change their electricity retailer due to current regulations:
Most energy contracts differ slightly between retailers, and most of them come as a plan. Some plans may have renewable energy options built in, while others may offer a discount or options to pay at different intervals.
Read through and compare each plan’s terms and conditions to understand all the details and differences. There are some basic points to look out for when choosing a contract:
It can take up to three months to switch energy providers. Why does it take so long? Well, distributors generally read your electricity and gas meter every three months, so this timeframe is necessary for your new retailer to get an accurate reading before they start billing you.
It’s sometimes possible to switch providers immediately when changing power companies. To do this, you’ll need to apply for a special meter reading on a specific date approved by your retailer. Be aware, however, that additional fees may apply if you decide to go this route.
If your energy retailers are different for gas and electricity, then your energy accounts may be transferred on different dates unless a special meter read is requested. Please note that all communication with your current energy retailer will be done by your new retailer.
When moving to a new house, it’s vital to let your new energy provider know what date you’re moving in so that power will be connected for your arrival.
Please note that you won’t be impacted when you switch energy providers (i.e. you will still receive an energy supply). You’ll also receive a final bill from your previous retailer for the period before the new retailer took over.
It costs nothing to compare a range of energy providers through our comparison service. However, your current energy provider may require an exit fee if your contract is a fixed-term arrangement. If you are subject to such penalties, you’ll need to weigh up the benefits of the savings compared to the costs of prematurely ending your contract.
In some circumstances, you may save more money by waiting until your contract ends and then switching energy providers.
When you switch energy companies you won’t need to pay a connection fee unless you’re moving. If your new provider charges a connection fee this will be included in your first bill.
Remember: Any cancellation after the plan’s cooling-off period (typically 10 business days) may incur a termination fee from the energy retailer. If you still have any doubts, speak to your current retailer about your options to minimise any penalties.
Before deciding to switch energy suppliers, it’s worthwhile reviewing your existing agreement and its terms and conditions, as well as contacting your current electricity supplier for more information about any restrictions or penalties that may apply.
After you’ve signed up for a new energy retailer, you will have a cooling off period to cancel the agreement without incurring any fees or penalties. This period typically runs for 10 business days. Simply contact your new retailer within this period to cancel your plan.
Switching energy retailers is a simple process. However, there are certain factors you must consider before switching. For instance, you may find it better to switch from your current contract before it’s renewed to avoid possibly renewing to a higher price with your current retailer.
Your energy switch will only occur on your next scheduled meter read date, and not when you signed up for a new energy retailer. Keep this date in mind when switching providers.
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Once you click ‘Get Prices’, you’ll be taken to our comparison page that shows any plans that apply to your energy needs, based on the information you provided.
The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is responsible for making and revising the rules that govern the retail sale of electricity and natural gas supply in Australia. Under national electricity and gas laws, the AEMC is responsible for developing Australia’s energy markets to ensure consistency and transparency across the energy sector.
For instance, energy retailers must indicate whether there are other retail options available to their customers. They must also consider any hardships or problems that may affect their customers’ ability to pay, which is based on the idea that energy is a basic need for Australians everywhere.
In all states and territories in Australia, there are energy ombudsmen who can deal with complaints about matters relating to energy supplies without taking them to court. The Australian Energy Regulator also has a dispute resolution system in place for matters related to you and energy supply contracts.
In today’s energy market, retailers are in competition with each other to gain and retain your business. They may advertise conditional discounts and loyalty programs to keep you with them and not compare quotes with services offered elsewhere. Special deals can include meals at selected restaurants, cut price movie tickets, and even magazine subscriptions.
You’ll need to weigh up any special promotions and discounts offered by your energy provider with other rates in the market. If you don’t need the extra bonuses, it’s possible you could still find a better deal on energy by comparing.