How long does it take to switch energy providers?

It’s a lot simpler to change electricity and gas companies than a lot of people might think. To switch, simply compare your options, then visit your preferred energy retailer’s website to sign up, and they usually take care of the rest – that’s it, you’re all done! However, it’s important to know that you generally won’t be transferred to your new energy company straight away. In fact, it could take weeks, or even months, before your new retailer takes over your account.

In this article, Canstar Blue explains why this is, how long it takes to change energy companies, and what you can do to speed up the switch.

Switch energy retailers: How long does it take?

Switch Energy Provider

While it generally takes up to 30 days for the account to transfer when switching providers, it all depends on when your provider carries out a final meter read. Final meter readings, which can take up to three months to be completed, are required to bill the last quarter and close the account.

If you have a smart meter, the turn around time is only one month as opposed to three, thanks to the shorter billing cycles.

Tips for switching providers:

  • Check in advance when your next estimated meter reading is to avoid waiting a potential three months to receive your new rates.
  • Ask your provider for an early meter reading, in order to close the account sooner. This however, may incur additional fees.
  • Ensure that the billing quarter with your new provider begins after your final meter read, otherwise you may end up paying two bills.
  • Double-check that any deals and incentives provided on your new plan don’t end or expire before your account has been fully settled with the previous provider.
  • If you are looking to change your gas plans too, be mindful that these could occur on different dates, as providers often meter check at different times for gas and electricity.

It’s important to note that changing providers, whether it takes a few days or a few months to fully settle, won’t leave you without power. Customers, even those in the process of switching, will still have access to electricity from the grid.

How do I find out when my next meter reading will be?

You can find the date of your next meter reading on your most recent electricity or gas bill. Most bills include a section on the last page that provides a detailed breakdown of the charges. This part should also detail your next meter reading date and when you can expect your next bill.

Compare Electricity Providers

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 3900kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4600kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

Here are some of the cheapest published deals from the retailers on our database that include a link to the retailer’s website for further details. These are products from referral partners†. These costs are based on the SA Power network in Adelaide but prices may vary depending on your circumstances. This comparison assumes general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Please use our comparison tool for a specific comparison in your area. Our database may not cover all deals in your area. As always, check all details of any plan directly with the retailer before making a purchase decision.

What is a special meter read?

What is a special meter read?

If you have an analogue meter and don’t want to wait for your next scheduled meter reading to switch energy retailers, then you might be able to organise a special meter read with your retailer. For a fee, a technician from your retailer can attend your property outside the normal billing cycle to complete the final meter read.

Can I submit my own meter read?

Energy customers are allowed to submit their own meter reads to their retailer for billing in certain circumstances. However, if you are switching retailers, a representative from your energy company must come out and inspect the meter themselves. If the meter reader cannot access your meter, then an alternative read date may be arranged, however you won’t be able to submit your own final meter read.

When is the best time to switch energy providers?

Best time to switch energy providers

If you want to quickly and smoothly switch electricity or gas providers, try to line up the move with your next meter read. Around a week before your meter is due to be read, contact your new retailer and let them know that you want to switch. This gives enough notice to your previous energy company, all the while ensuring that you’re not stuck with your old deal for longer than you want.

What if I’m moving house?

Moving house is a good excuse to switch retailers. To do this, you will need to contact your old retailer and give them at least three days’ notice that you want to end your contract. The company will send someone to your property to complete a final meter read, which may incur a special meter read fee if the reading is off-cycle. You will then receive your final bill for that property. You will commence a new billing cycle once you sign up to another retailer at the new house.

Keep in mind, that switching to a new energy company could require a credit check.

You can check your credit score for free here 

Which energy retailer should I sign up to?

Now that you know a little bit more about switching retailers and how long it takes, why not take the time to shop around for a better deal that could save you money. Check out what’s on offer from some of Australia’s leading energy companies using Canstar Blue’s comparison tool and customer satisfaction star ratings via the link below.

Compare Electricity Providers

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