Gas and Electricity in Australia

Find out how to get connected to Australian gas and electricity suppliers...

Electricity and gas supply in Australia is controlled by regional authorities, with costs varying from one state/territory to another and between urban and rural areas.

There are a number of companies supplying electricity and gas to homes in Australia which include:

Before connecting to a supplier, it may be worthwhile to compare rates between suppliers to find the most competitive rates. Websites such as Go Switch can provide comparative information on electricity and gas suppliers in each area.

There are also companies such as UtilityOne who can set up utilities for customers on their behalf.

Getting Connected

Connecting utilities in Australia is relatively straightforward. In most cases, homes are already connected to utility supplies, and a transfer of the existing contract to the new tenant/owner's name is all that is required. The majority of new homes are connected to both a natural gas and electricity supply, with gas often being the cheaper option. Older homes may not be connected to the gas supply, although installation can be arranged for a fee.

The following details are generally required to transfer an account:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Bank account details
  • Date moving into the property

It is possible to start the process before moving in, a phone call on the date of the move is all that is required to confirm the transfer of account. However, in most cases, customers should contact their supplier at least two working days before the planned moving date.

Paying bills

The majority of households receive electricity and gas bills quarterly; however, there is often the option to be billed monthly or every two months depending on the supplier.

Bills for the majority of utility companies can be paid using one of the following methods:

  • Direct debit
  • Credit card online or by telephone
  • Cheque
  • Cash at an Australia Post office
  • B-Pay system. Bills have a telephone number on them allowing customers to pay over the telephone with a credit card
  • Centre Pay: Payment method available to those receiving Centrelink government benefits

A fee may be charged for late payment of bills.

SmartPower

In certain areas, for example Western Australia, electricity companies have introduced a demand management system known as SmartPower. This is a meter installed at the home which calculates the amount of power used at different times of the day. Prices under this system are related to the cost of producing electricity, therefore during peak demand, prices are higher. Households can calculate their electricity usage based on this information and run appliances at times during off-peak demand.

To find out if this system is available in a specific area, contact the electricity supplier.