A Complete Guide to Connecting Utilities in Australia

Starting a new chapter with a house move? Exciting times await, but so do logistical challenges – like making sure your lights and water work the moment you step in. Our comprehensive guide will ensure that from the moment you flick the last switch in your old place to enjoying your first cup of tea in the new one, you've got your utilities sorted

16 min read

A Complete Guide to Connecting Utilities in Australia

Key takeaways

  1. Start sorting out your utilities about a month before you move. This way, you avoid any last-minute hassles.
  2. Take some time to check out which utility providers are available at your new place. Look for deals but also keep an eye on their service quality.
  3. If you're moving to a different state, there might be different regulations in place. Make sure you're up to speed.
  4. Ensure that your electricity, water, gas, and internet are all set up before you move in. These are essentials for a comfortable start.
  5. If it's a new home or there's been recent work done, make sure all utility installations meet local safety standards.
  6. Note down your meter readings both when you leave your old place and when you enter your new one, to avoid any billing surprises.
  7. Confirm all your utility connections a few days before moving day to ensure everything is in order.

Welcome to the essential step in your moving journey – connecting your utilities. It's a task often pushed to the bottom of the moving checklist, yet it's one of the most critical to ensure your new house feels like home from the moment you step in. Imagine moving day – you're surrounded by boxes, ready to start this new chapter, but then you realise, the lights won't turn on, the water isn't running, and the internet connection is non-existent. A little planning ahead can help you avoid this scenario.

In this guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of connecting electricity, gas, water, and internet – the lifelines of any modern home. Whether you're moving across the street or across the country, these utilities require timely attention and careful consideration. We understand that each move is unique, and so are your utility needs. That's why we'll also dive into special considerations for different scenarios, such as moving interstate or setting up utilities for the first time in a new property. Let's embark on this journey together, ensuring that when you open the door to your new home, everything is ready and waiting for you.

Preparing for the move: A Checklist

As you prepare for the big move, organising your utility connections should be at the top of your to-do list. It's not just about ensuring comfort in your new home; it's also about avoiding unnecessary bills and complications. Here’s a checklist to help you navigate this process smoothly:

Know when to disconnect your utilities

The ideal time to disconnect power is one day after you move out. This gives you buffer time in case of any last-minute changes or needs on moving day.

Know when to notify your current utility providers

Start notifying your providers about 3-4 weeks before your move. This lead time is crucial for scheduling disconnections and avoiding overlaps in billing.

List of utilities to disconnect at your current home

  • Electricity supply: Contact your electricity provider to schedule a disconnection date. It's usually best to set this for a day after your move-out date to ensure you have power while moving.
  • Gas supply: Similar to electricity, arrange for your gas service to be disconnected the day after you move.
  • Water supply: Notify your water supplier of your move-out date. Some regions may require a final meter reading.
  • Internet and phone: Schedule disconnection or transfer of your services. Remember, some providers require advance notice.

Researching utility providers in your new area

Investigate the available providers in your new area. Consider factors such as cost, reliability, and customer service. Comparison platforms utility service such as Electricity Compare in Victoria. Also, don't forget to check if your current energy providers offer services at your new location if you are moving locally in the same state or moving interstate, which could make transfers easier.

What to be aware of when moving interstate

Regulatory differences can exist between states, so it's important to research the specific utility regulations in your new location. Additionally, interstate moves often mean exploring new provider options, so take the time to compare rates, plans, and customer reviews. This checklist serves as your first step towards a hassle-free move, helping you set the stage for a smooth transition into your new home.

Choosing new utility providers

Selecting the right energy retailers for your new home is a critical decision that impacts both your wallet and your day-to-day comfort. This section will help you navigate the selection process, ensuring you make informed choices tailored to your needs.

How to change energy providers when moving house?

Research is key. Start by comparing the rates, plans, and customer reviews of different energy providers in your new area. Check for any existing contracts to ensure you're not bound by a contract with your current energy provider that could incur penalties if broken. Once you've chosen a new provider, initiate the switch by contacting them to start the service. They will typically handle the switch from your old provider.

Comparing utility providers

While you can compare some providers for some utilities, some such as your water utility, you cannot. For utilities where you can such as electricity, gas and internet and phone, compare not only the rates, but also any additional fees or charges that may apply. Look for reviews and reports on the provider's service reliability, particularly in extreme weather conditions. Good customer support can be invaluable, especially in emergency situations. Check customer feedback and ratings for insights.

If you have any friends or family living close by to where you are moving to, you may want to ask them to see who they use for their electricity and gas connection and if they have been happy with the service and energy costs as well.

Considerations for sustainable and green options

Green energy options is increasing becoming more prevalent and can help reduce environmental impact. Research the different green energy plans offered by providers, as well as any renewable energy initiatives in your area. Investigate if the provider offers green energy options, like solar or wind power. Keep in mind that these options may come at a higher cost initially, but could lead to long-term savings for both you and the environment.

Some providers may even offer programs or incentives for energy-saving appliances and practices.

Finding deals or bundle packages

Getting great deals and bundle packages can really help cut down your monthly bills. Many electricity and gas providers sweeten the deal by offering discounted rates when you combine services like power supply, gas, and the internet. These packages make paying bills simpler - you'll have fewer bills to deal with and might even get better customer service from having multiple accounts with the same company. Keep an eye out for introductory offers or bonuses for new customers, as they can lead to extra savings. Just remember, some deals might require a longer commitment, so make sure the contract terms match your living situation and future plans.

Comparing energy plans: VIC, WA, and other states

Each state in Australia has its own set of energy retailers and plans. Use comparison websites to evaluate the options in your specific state.

Energy and gas plans for renters

If you're moving into a rental property, try to find no-contract or short-term options that match your lease terms. It's important to know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to electricity connections, gas connections and payments. Picking the right energy plan doesn't just make for a comfy living space, it can also save you money and get your electricity connected on time. Take your time weighing your options, and feel free to ask providers any questions you have.

Setting up electricity and gas connections

Setting up your electricity and gas services at your new home requires a blend of careful planning and attention to detail. Follow these steps to ensure that your utilities are fully operational when you move in:

Steps to establish electricity and gas services

  1. Contact utility companies: Once you have selected your utility retailer, get in touch with them to arrange connection dates. Aim to do this at least two weeks before your move to ensure service availability.
  2. Provide necessary details: Be prepared to provide your new address, move-in date, and personal identification to set up the account. You may also need to provide access details if your meters are not readily accessible or if you do not have a smart meter installed.
  3. Schedule any required inspections or installations before your move-in date: This is especially important if your new home is newly built or has been vacant for a while.
  4. Confirm the switch: After setting everything up, confirm with both your new and old providers that the switch or disconnection is scheduled.
  5. Opening readings: On the day you move in, take a meter reading and submit it to your new provider to ensure accurate billing from the start.
  6. Check for service interruptions: Lastly, ask your energy retailer if you can expect any service interruptions on the day of the move and plan accordingly.

Safety checks and compliance considerations

If you're house has undertaken a renovation or is a newly built home, have a certified technician inspect the installations for compliance with local safety regulations. It is also important to ensure your appliances are compatible with the new energy connections and have them serviced if necessary.

Also make sure you familiarise yourself with emergency contact numbers and the process for reporting leaks or unsafe conditions.

Special instructions for rural or remote locations

If you are moving to a rural property, please keep in mind that connection times might be a bit longer in rural or remote areas, so it's good to plan ahead. And in some places, it could be worth thinking about using alternative energy sources as there may be no infrastructure to deliver natural gas, so think of using propane tanks or solar panels.

Connecting electricity and gas is not just about ensuring that the lights turn on; it’s about making your new house safe and liveable. Taking these measures can prevent many of the common headaches associated with moving and set up your new home with a smooth running, safety-compliant energy system. Remember, dealing with electricity and gas requires professional handling. If you're unsure about anything, it's always best to consult with your energy retailer or a licensed professional.

Water and waste management services

Water is a crucial utility, and managing waste is key to keeping our living environment clean and healthy. This section will guide you on setting up water services and getting to know the local waste management systems at your new location.

Setting up water service in your new home

  1. Contact the local water authority or council in your new area to initiate the water service. This is typically a straightforward process but should be done a few weeks before your move.
  2. Provide necessary documentation, such as proof of ownership or a lease agreement, and any identification required.
  3. Inquire about the water billing process – whether it's metered or a flat rate, and how often bills are issued.

Understanding local waste management and recycling services

  • Each council area in Australia has its own rules and schedules for waste collection and recycling. Visit your local council's website or contact them directly for information.
  • Learn about the different bins provided for general waste, recycling, and in some areas, organic waste. Familiarise yourself with the collection schedule.
  • Find out if there are additional waste services available, such as bulk waste collection, hazardous waste disposal, or community recycling programs.

By getting your water service set up and understanding the local waste management system, you're not just making sure your new home runs smoothly, but also playing a part in keeping your new community sustainable and clean.

Internet and telecommunications setup

Ensuring you have a reliable internet connection in your new home is crucial in this digital age. Whether it's for work, entertainment, or staying connected with loved ones, a smooth internet setup is key. This section will focus particularly on setting up your internet connection, including arranging for NBN services if necessary.

Assessing your internet connection options

  • Determine the types of internet connections available in your new area, such as NBN, ADSL, cable, or satellite. This is as easy as entering your address into an internet providers website to check what services are specifically available for your house. NBN, being the most common in Australia, offers various speed tiers to suit different needs.
  • If NBN is available, check whether your new home is already connected. If not, you will need to arrange for an NBN installation.

Arranging for NBN installation

  • If your new home is not yet connected to the NBN, the first step is to choose an NBN service provider. They will inform you about the different plans and assist in initiating the NBN connection process.
  • Schedule an appointment for NBN installation. This might involve a technician visiting your home to install the necessary equipment, such as the NBN connection box or running the optical lead from the pit to your NBN connection box.
  • Be aware of the installation process's timeframe. Depending on your location and the type of NBN connection, it might take from a few days to several weeks.

Arranging for a telephone service

  • Alongside setting up your internet, consider your landline telephone options. Many service providers offer bundles with internet and phone line services, providing Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services which can be cost-effective.
  • Check if your current telephone handset is compatible with the new area's network infrastructure or if you'll need to upgrade.
  • Contact potential service providers to compare plans, rates, and features such as caller ID, call waiting, and voicemail services.
  • Once you've selected a provider, schedule a time for them to activate the service, ideally coordinating with your moving schedule to ensure minimal disruption.

Tips for a smooth internet transition

  • Begin the process as early as possible, ideally a month before your move, to account for installation appointments and potential wait times.
  • Ensure your modem and other devices are compatible with the NBN connection. Some older modems may not work with certain types of NBN connections.
  • Keep your current internet service active until the NBN is up and running to avoid any connectivity gaps.

Bundling services for cost savings

  • Look into bundle packages that may include internet, phone, and TV services, often at a discounted rate compared to purchasing each service separately. If you are an existing customer, sometimes it makes sense to do so.
  • Compare the bundled offers from different providers to find the most cost-effective and suitable package for your needs.

Managing the change of address

Moving to a new home also means updating your address with various service providers. This step is vital to ensure that your utility services continue without interruption and your bills and important communications reach you at your new location.

  1. Notifying utility providers of your new address
    • Make a list of all your utility providers, including electricity, gas, water, internet, and phone services.
    • Contact each provider to update your address. This is often possible through the provider's website, customer service line, or, in some cases, via an online customer portal.
    • Provide the exact move-in date to ensure that services are transferred to your new address from that day, or to your new provider if you are switching providers.
  1. Ensure your old plan is cancelled or transferred
    • Clarify with each provider whether your current plan at your old address is being transferred to your new address or if it needs to be cancelled.
    • If you’re moving houses to an area not serviced by your current energy provider, arrange for the cancellation of your services and look for new providers in your new location.
  1. Updating billing and contact Information
    • Besides changing your address, ensure that your billing information, including your bank details and preferred payment method, is up to date.
    • Update your contact information, such as phone number and email address, if they have changed.
  1. Conducting your meter readings
    • If your water, gas, or electricity usage is metered, record the final meter reading on your move-out day and provide it to your provider. This ensures you’re billed accurately for your usage up to the move-out date.
    • Similarly, take note of the readings for the electricity and gas meters at your new home when you move in, to ensure you’re not billed for the previous occupant’s usage.

By meticulously managing the change of your address and ensuring all details are up-to-date with your utility providers, you can enjoy a seamless transition to your new home, without the worry of missed bills or interrupted services.

Moving day utilities connection checklist

Moving day is here, and amidst the excitement and hustle, it’s vital to have a checklist to ensure all your utility services are in place. This final checklist will help you confirm everything is set up and ready in your new home, giving you peace of mind as you unpack and settle in.

Last-minute checks for utility setup

  • Confirm that all scheduled utility services (electricity, gas, water, internet) are active. It’s a good idea to do a quick walk-through in your new home, testing lights, taps, and internet connectivity.
  • If you have arranged for any specific installations or technician visits, ensure that these are scheduled and you’re aware of the time frames.
  • If you're connecting utilities for a new home we suggest reading our article "When to connect utilities when buying a house."

Addressing issues with utility services upon arrival

  • If you encounter any issues, such as no electricity or gas, contact the respective service provider immediately. Have their emergency contact numbers handy.
  • In case of an internet connection issue, check with your service provider about the status and expected resolution time.

Weekend electricity connection

  • If you’re moving house over the weekend, check with your electricity provider about their weekend service options. Some providers offer weekend connections, but it may need to be arranged in advance. While the usual time frame will be based on the standard business day connections.

Organising an urgent connection

  • In case you need an urgent electricity connection, contact your provider as soon as possible. Many providers offer expedited services, though this may come with an additional fee.
  • Be clear about the urgency and your move-in date when requesting an expedited service.
  • Also, if you have allowed enough time and planned ahead of time, you may be able to avoid the need for an urgent utility connection.

Emergency contacts and backup plans

  • Have a list of emergency contacts, including utility providers, local electricians, and plumbers, in case of any immediate service needs.
  • Consider a backup plan, such as a temporary mobile hotspot for internet or arrangements to stay elsewhere if essential utilities are not functioning.

Your moving day can be a whirlwind of activities, but with this final checklist, you can ensure that utility services in your new home are not something you need to worry about. A little preparation goes a long way in making your first day in your new home comfortable and stress-free.

Post-move tips and troubleshooting

After settling into your new home, it’s not uncommon to face a few utility-related hiccups. This section offers tips and solutions for common post-move issues, ensuring you can quickly resolve any problems and enjoy your new environment to the fullest.

Addressing common post-move utility issues

  • Electricity and gas concerns: If you experience any interruptions or irregularities in your electricity or natural gas supply, contact your provider immediately. It’s important to report such issues as soon as they arise. Specifically if you can smell gas, it's important to shut off the main gas supply and call the natural gas supplier immediately.
  • Water leaks or pressure problems: For water issues, get in touch with the local water authority. In cases of leaks, it’s also wise to consult a plumber.
  • Internet connectivity troubles: For internet issues, troubleshooting steps like restarting your modem or checking cable connections can be helpful. If problems persist, contact your internet service provider who can walk you through a series of troubleshooting steps.

Effective communication with providers for support

  • Keep all relevant documentation, such as contracts and service agreements, easily accessible for reference during support calls.
  • Be clear and specific about the issues you’re facing and any steps you’ve already taken to resolve them.
  • Note down the name of the customer service representative and any case number or reference given for your issue. This can be useful for follow-up calls.

Monitoring usage and bills to ensure proper service

  • Regularly check your utility bills for any discrepancies or unexpected charges. If you find any, contact the provider promptly to clarify.
  • Keep an eye on your usage patterns, especially in the first few months, to ensure they align with your expectations and the norms for your new home. This could also help identify areas where usage is unusually high or even help identify a water leak problem if the bill higher than expected.

Setting up regular maintenance and safety checks

  • Schedule regular maintenance checks for your utilities, such as annual inspections of your heating system or periodic plumbing check ups, to prevent future problems.
  • Consider installing safety devices like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and ensure they are functioning correctly and remember to change your batteries 6 months or use daylight saving as a reminder to replace batteries.

Moving to a new home can come with its share of challenges, but with these post-move tips and troubleshooting advice, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any utility issues that come your way. Remember, timely communication and proactive maintenance are key to a smooth post-move experience.

Final thoughts

As we wrap up this comprehensive guide to connecting utilities when moving house in Australia, remember that the key to a successful transition lies in careful planning and early organisation. Whether it's ensuring your electricity and natural gas are up and running, setting up your internet connection, or managing your water and waste services, each step is crucial in turning your new house into a comfortable and functioning home.

The process might seem daunting at first, but with the right approach and preparation, it can be a smooth and manageable part of your moving house journey. Start early, stay organised, and use the tips and information provided in this guide to navigate the utility setup process with confidence. Remember, a well-planned move is the first step to a happy and settled life in your new home and knowing that you're lights are on as soon as you step into your next home.

Additional resources

Here are some relevant resources to help you navigate your utility connection in Australia.

  • Australian Energy Regulator (AER)
    The AER oversees the electricity and gas markets in Australia. Their website provides extensive information on energy laws, consumer rights, and advice on understanding your energy bill.
  • Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC)
    The ACCC offers guidance on consumer rights and protections, particularly in relation to utility services. This includes information on dealing with service providers and tips on reducing utility bills.
  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
    This department provides information on the Australian Government’s energy policies, including initiatives and programs for sustainable energy use.
  • National Broadband Network (NBN)
    As the entity responsible for the rollout of Australia's national broadband network, NBN's website is a crucial resource for understanding internet connectivity options, especially for those moving to a new location.
  • Find your Local Council
    Each local council in Australia has its own website providing specific information about utilities in their area, including water and waste services. It's advisable to visit the website of the council in your new area for local utility information.

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