Getting your head around setting up your energy bills in Australia can seem daunting. But once you’ve worked it out, it’s actually pretty simple.
Where you live and what connections are available will determine what utilities you need to set up.
All homes usually have electricity and water connected, and many have a gas supply as well.
Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about setting up your energy bills in Australia.
Setting Up Your Gas Bill In Australia
If you’ve got a gas supply to your new home, you’ll need to register as a new customer to connect to a local gas supplier.
We’re lucky enough to have gas at our home which supplies our hot water system and we have a gas heater point in our living area. We spent our first few winters without a gas heater and let me tell you it was flipping COLD!
The year we got a gas heater was the toastier winter ever. I honestly couldn’t believe what a difference it made to the house. Even though most living areas are open plan, it does a great job of heating up a large space.
So if you ever build or buy a property in Australia, make sure it has a gas point for a heater!
Anyway, back to setting up your gas account.
Find a local supplier, and register online to get your gas connected to your new home.
In WA, there are a few providers to choose from. We’re with Alinta Energy and have been very happy with them.
Once you know your move in date, just give them a call or register for a new account online. The more notice the better, but they can connect you with just a day’s notice if needed.
Bills can be issued via email or paper at no extra cost, and you can even get bill reminders through your online banking app so you never forget to pay a bill!
Meters are generally read every 3 months manually by a meter inspector and then your bill is issued, so you’ll have quarterly gas bills. You have around 14 days to pay your bill and some suppliers offer the option of direct debit for a set amount each month.
You bill will include a supply charge and a usage charge. The supply charges cover the cost of transporting the gas to your home and remaining connected to the supply. Usage charges cover the actual amount of gas you use each billing cycle.
Whether you rent or own a property, you are responsible for the payment of your gas bills.
Setting Up Your Electricity Bill In Australia
Depending in which state you live, you may have a choice of electricity suppliers when it comes to setting up your electricity account.
Do some research into providers in your local area and ask neighbours to see if they are happy with the service and supply they are getting.
Once you’ve decided on who you want to use for electricity, you’ll need to register as a customer with them. It’s advisable to give them as much notice as possible to ensure a smooth transition to your new home – the last thing you want is no electricity when you move in!
To set up your first account with your chosen electricity provider, you’ll need to get in touch with them either online or by calling them to set up a new account. They’ll take details of your property and ensure they can supply electricity to your new home.
Once that’s confirmed, you’ll be set up on their system and your account will generally start from the day you move in or perhaps a day or two earlier.
You may be charged a one-off connection fee when you move, that will be added to your first bill. Check this with your supplier to avoid getting bill shock!
Here in Perth, there is only one electricity provider – Synergy. So there isn’t any choice currently as to which provider to choose.
Meters are generally read every 2 months manually by a meter inspector and then your bill is issued. You have around 14 days to pay your bill and some suppliers offer the option of direct debit for a set amount each month.
You bill will include a supply charge and a usage charge. The supply charges cover the cost of transporting the electricity to your home and remaining connected to the supply. Usage charges cover the actual amount of electricity you use each billing cycle.
Whether you rent or own a property, you are responsible for the payment of your electricity bills.
Setting Up Your Water Bill In Australia
Water bills are a little different. If you own your home, you’re responsible for both your water usage and the service charge for water and sewerage.
If you rent your home, you are normally only responsible for your usage. The owner of the property is usually responsible for the service and sewerage charges. It can vary depending on your tenancy agreement but generally speaking, you should only pay usage and can use this as a negotiating point if needed.
The same applies to your local shire rates for the property – these should be the responsibility of your landlord.
I have come across stories where landlords were passing these costs onto unsuspecting tenants, so be aware that shire rates and water rates are generally NOT your responsibility as a tenant.
When it comes to setting up your water bill, here in WA the water supply is from the Water Corporation. Each state has its own water supplier/s.
The Water Corporation doesn’t disconnect the water supply when you move home, so you don’t need to connect/disconnect when you move home. If you’re renting a property, the landlord/rental agent should advise the Water Corporation of your details so the usage bill can be sent to you.
Some agents bill you each cycle for water usage and pay the bill for you, and others allow the water usage bill to be sent directly to you for payment.
Water bills are issues every 2 months so you get 6 bills per year. Depending on your family size and whether you have a pool or not, usage can average around $30-50 per bill to $50-200 or more per bill.
Service charges are what really push the bill up.
Our most recent bill was $240 – $43 of which was usage (we’re a family of 3 with a pool) and $197 was service charges! During summer with a pool our water usage alone can be $200+.
If you have a concession card, you may get a discount on your bill – you can apply online for the discount or call the Water Corporation directly.
That’s a roundup of everything you need to know about setting up your energy bills in Australia.
If you’d like to read up on what you need to know about renting a house in Australia, I’ve got you covered too.