How do I switch energy providers?

How do I switch energy providers?

You may wish to switch gas and electricity suppliers because you’ve found a better deal. Learn about the steps you’ll need to take and what the switch may cost you.

Australia has a competitive electricity and gas market, with lots of energy providers and plans available in most states and territories. Choosing gas and electricity suppliers is often a fairly simple process and you can usually switch providers if you’re looking for a better deal. If you’re on the lookout for a new supplier, a good starting point is to look into the prices, features and terms offered before by other energy suppliers. Some of the factors you may wish to consider are fixed charges, usage charges, discounts, late payment fees and solar feed-in rate if you have solar panels.

It’s fairly easy to switch your gas provider in most parts of Australia. One exception is the Northern Territory, where there is currently only one option. When it comes to switching your electricity supplier, you have choices in every state and territory except for Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In WA, there are two electricity suppliers, but as they operate in different areas, you cannot switch your supplier. 

How can I change my gas and electricity supplier?

If you have made the decision to change your energy provider, it’s often worth reviewing your current plan, seeing how much you’re paying for which features and how they compare to other offers on the market. Check your current contract terms and whether you will need to pay a fee for cancelling it. You could also speak to your current provider, let them know that you have found a better plan and ask whether they will match the features and terms. 

If you are certain that you would like to switch gas and electricity providers and have chosen your new provider, contact them to sign up for the new contract. The retailer will arrange to get your plan changed and will inform your current provider. Within a few days, you should receive a document about your new contract. Your electricity or gas supply will not be interrupted at the time of changing your gas and electricity supplier. 

When you swap energy suppliers, the distributor who owns the wires and poles that connect your home to the network remains the same. That means the electricity and gas supply to your house are not disconnected in the process. 

Remember that you get a 10-day cooling-off period by law when you sign up for the new plan.  This means that you can cancel the contract within this period, and you will not be charged any exit fees. 

How long does it take to switch energy suppliers?

The actual switch could take up to three months as it happens at the time of your next meter reading. If you want it sooner, you can make the request to your provider, but there may be an added cost. Your old energy provider will take a meter reading and send you your last bill from them.

Once you’re with the new provider, log in to your new account online and make sure the details are correct. The next bill you receive will be from your new energy retailer. Once you receive it, it’s again worth checking that it matches the terms and features promised in the plan. 

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This article was reviewed by Head of Content Leigh Stark before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.



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Learn more about energy

How to find cheap gas and electricity?

One of the best ways to find cheaper gas and electricity plans is to compare the plans offered by various service providers in your area. You can compare any perks or discounts available from the retailers and the standard costs and fees. You’ll also be able to calculate the estimated monthly, quarterly, and annual costs.

Be careful choosing based solely on these upfront perks or costs, however. These discounts or lower usage perks may end when the contract or benefit period expires on your current plan. When you compare online, you can often find a better plan. 

Your total energy bill includes supply and usage charges, which vary from one provider to another. You can shop around online to find a retailer that offers competitive prices on these charges and any other fees. Discounts can help reduce your bill, and it makes sense to review your bill and think about how to find cheaper gas and electric providers at least once a year.