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How to cancel your electricity or gas contract in 3 steps

Moving house? Fed up with your existing provider? Here's how to cancel your energy contract.

Updated

Fact checked
How to cancel your electricity or gas contract Learn how
When should you switch energy retailers? Find out here

We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder .

Cancelling your current energy contract is a pretty straightforward process, but there are a few things to keep an eye out for.

This guide will take you through how to cancel, how to switch plans and what you need to know before cancelling.

How to cancel your electricity or gas contract

To cancel your contract, it's simple:

  1. Contact your energy retailer. You can either do this over the phone or online.
  2. Provide the right information. For example, you'll need your account number and proof of identification.
  3. Pay an exit fee and any outstanding bills. Note: there may be a delay before the final bill comes in.

How to switch energy retailers

If you want to switch your energy retailer, simply contact your new provider and apply for the new plan. The new retailer will take care of the handover.

Here is what the steps usually look like:

  1. Give your metering info (NMI) to your new retailer.
  2. They make the switch for you.
  3. You get a cooling-off period in case you change your mind.

Note: You can find your NMI on your bill or you can ask your existing retailer.

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No lock in contracts, solar options and in-app bill management.

Reconnecting to your existing retailer at a new address

If you're moving houses, but you plan on staying with your current retailer, don't cancel your plan straight away. Let your provider know (either over the phone or online) that you're moving.

You'll likely be able to organise a disconnection and reconnection. However, there may be some fees involved.

Have these details ready to go for your retailer:

  • Your new address
  • The date you need to get reconnected
  • Your contact number and a form of ID

Fees to look out for

Exit fees if you are still under contract

Early exit fees apply to electricity and gas customers who sign a contract for a set length of time and decide to leave before that period ends. Contracts usually vary from six months to two years for residential and business customers.

You can call and speak to your retailer to find out if your contract has any early termination fees. How much the fee is typically varies depending on how long you have left on your contract.

Fewer electricity retailers charge early exit fees these days since many energy contracts are offered on a no-lock-in, month-to-month basis.

Disconnection fees

Unlike early exit fees, disconnection fees are charged by your energy distributor, not your energy retailer. Energy distributors supply the electricity and sell it to your retailer, who in turn sells it to you. When you cancel your service, the distributor may charge your energy retailer a disconnection fee. This fee will then be passed on to you.

Your old retailer will need to do a final meter reading to send you a final bill. Disconnection fees cover the cost of checking your energy meter outside of the typical schedule.

If you have a smart meter, your retailer will be able to do this as soon as your contract is cancelled for a small fee. However, if you have a traditional meter, the company will need to send someone out to your property to read the meter, which can cost up to $100 or more. This can take up to three months, depending on where you are in your billing cycle when you cancel.

When should you switch energy retailers?

If you've looked at your latest energy bill and thought to yourself "this is expensive", chances are the cost of your service has increased over time or it was simply never a good deal to begin with.

Many plans also have what's called a "benefit period". This means that at the end of that period (usually after 12 months) any discounts that have been applied may be removed or reduced. And that means that your bill may go up without you even knowing.

The solution? Compare your bill against the market at least once a year and switch energy retailers if and when you need to.

6 reasons to switch

Across most of Australia, there are many energy retailers and plans to choose from, so there's no need to stick with one that you don't like.

There are plenty of reasons to switch from your current retailer and plan to a new one. Here are a few:

  1. Your energy bill is getting more expensive. The most obvious reason to switch retailers is to save money on your energy bill. Many retailers offer a discounted price when you first sign up, however, this may expire over time – and that's when you need to consider switching.
  2. Environmental concerns. Every retailer has a different green rating. Switching to one with GreenPower options and a better green track record can decrease the environmental impact of your power usage.
  3. Better solar options. If you have solar panels, you might be eligible for solar feed-in tariffs. These vary from state to state but also from plan to plan, with some retailers offering a higher tariff than your state's minimum.
  4. Get a more flexible contract. Many retailers offer no-lock-in contracts and no early termination fees.
  5. Better customer support. If your current retailer doesn't offer the help you need, look for one that offers 24/7 customer service.
  6. Consolidate your bills. By choosing a bundled electricity and gas plan, you could save on energy costs with one consolidated statement each month or quarter.

Aussies concerned about their bills

According to recent research by Finder, about 1 in 4 Australians are experiencing bill stress1, and half the population is worried about the impact self-isolation will have on their power bills2. While you could take advantage of your energy retailer's financial hardship program, you may be better off comparing your current plan to others on the market and switching to one with better rates.

How easy is it to switch and save money?

Do you have your energy bill handy? If so, by looking at your usage, you can get a good idea of how much money you could be saving on a better plan. And switching isn't hard. You could be on a cheaper plan in less than 20 minutes.

Let's take a look at Finder Graduate Publisher Maddie's experience to show you how.

Case study: Maddie's experience

Maddie Burke profile photo
Maddie Burke
Living and sharing bills with her partner

Graduate Publisher at Finder Maddie Burke realised that she could save $125 per bill, simply by switching plans.

The total time she spent from comparing to switching was under 20 minutes.

Before she switched

Maddie had been with her previous provider, Origin, for the past six years. She had signed up to a deal that was good at the time, but rates had gone up after her "benefit period" expired.

Her bill

  • Her bill went up roughly 40% after the benefit period.
  • She was paying $564 over a three-month period for a two-person household.
  • Her daily usage had gone up, but only by 3.63% (from 17.65kWh to 18.29kWh), which meant that it wasn't just her usage going up, but also her rates.

"I spent a couple of minutes finding out if it was my rates or my usage that was causing my high bill. In the end, I found it on my bill."

"While my usage was higher than the average, it wasn't by much, so it made me think my rates had gone up."

Comparing

Time spent: 10 minutes online

"I hopped onto Finder's comparison engine and used the details on my bill so that I could get prices based on our usage."

"I wanted a plan that was green but I also wanted a good rate, so I narrowed it down to a plan from Powershop."

Savings

Here's what Maddie's rough savings would look like if she made a switch.

QuarterlyAnnual
Original bill from Origin$564$2,256
Estimated bill from Powershop$439$1,756
Estimated savings$125 $500

*The prices above are a general guide only. Always check the retailer's website before applying.

Switching

Time spent: 10 minutes on the phone

To switch, Maddie called Powershop (although you can do it online too).

"It was pretty straight forward and hands-off. I provided my metering info (NMI) to Powershop and they handled the rest."

Cancelling during coronavirus? You might need to get your energy meter read

How to compare your current plan to a new plan

The easiest way to compare your current plan to a new plan is to use a comparison engine, such as this one from Finder or those on some energy retailers' websites. With your bill in front of you, you'll need the following information:

  • Tariff type. Does your bill list peak and off-peak periods? Do you have a controlled load device, like a water heater or pool pump?
  • Bill date. The start and end date of your billing period.
  • Energy usage. This is your total power usage over the period, or, if you have one of the above tariffs, your usage for each tariff period or type.

Enter those details into a comparison engine and away you go. You'll be able to sort plans by their estimated price based on your current bill and compare different energy retailers.

How to read your energy bill

Know your rights

When switching electricity plans, remember that you have a number of rights as a customer:

  • Cooling-off period. All energy plans have a cooling-off period, in which you can back out of the plan with no penalty. New regulations state that the cooling-off period must be at least 10 days long.
  • Be explicit. Make sure that when you ring up to enquire about a new energy plan, the retailer doesn't switch you over without your consent. They may take your interest as a desire to buy the plan.
  • Don't get pestered. If you don't want to be bothered by telemarketers trying to sell you energy plans, you can sign up to the Australian Government's Do Not Call register.

Can your new retailer raise the price mid-contract?

This depends on what type of contract you have. The majority of energy plans are "variable rate", which means that usage rates can change at any time over the course of your plan, though your provider is required to give you some advance notice.

If you are on a "fixed rate" plan, where your usage and supply rates are frozen for a certain period of time (usually the first 12 months of your contract), your provider won't be able to vary the rates until the fixed rate period has finished.

Misconceptions

People sometimes get the wrong idea about what's involved in switching from one retailer to another, and it can convince them to keep paying too much for a bad energy plan. Here are three common misconceptions:

  • You'll lose power when you switch. When you switch retailers, you won't lose power or gas during the handover for any period of time. This is because energy retailers are only responsible for the financial aspect of energy. You aren't switching distributors, or whoever is actually supplying energy to your property.
  • Switching costs money. Simply switching from one energy plan to another is completely free. The only time you could be charged is if you're on a lock-in contract with an early exit fee associated with it.
  • You'll need new equipment. In most cases, your new energy retailer will be able to use the exact same equipment as your old one. The main exception to this is that some plans, especially if you have solar installed, will require a smart meter for energy monitoring if you don't have one already.

Switching services

Energy switching services are relatively new, but they exist to help you compare your current plan with other plans and find one that works for you. There are two kinds of switching service:

  • Official government switching services like this one from NSW are free but mean you have to do all the hard work of switching and staying on top of the deals and plans yourself.
  • Paid switching services can do all the work for you but charge a fee.

Pros

  • You may save hundreds of dollars per year on your energy bills.
  • You can be regularly swapped to the best energy plan without lifting a finger.

Cons

  • Not every switching company compares the entire market.
  • Some switching companies prioritise providers that pay commissions.
  • You might have to pay an ongoing subscription fee.
  • Cheaper providers may have poorer customer service.

Can I choose my own energy and gas retailers in my state?

If you live in NSW, VIC, south-east QLD, the ACT or SA, you can choose between a wide range of energy retailers. Recently, Tasmanians gained the ability to choose between Aurora Energy and 1st Energy.

Keep in mind, if you live in an apartment or unit, you'll already be part of an embedded electricity network so you might not be able to choose your provider regardless of which state you live in.

State⚡ Can I choose my electricity retailer?♨️ Can I choose my gas retailer?
New South WalesYes.Yes.
VictoriaYes.Yes.
QueenslandIt depends on where you live. Residents in south-east Queensland can choose from a wide range of retailers. However, those who live in the rest of the state don't have a choice, as Ergon Energy is the only electricity retailer outside of south-east Queensland.Yes.
TasmaniaUntil early 2019, all Tasmanian residents were serviced by a single electricity provider, Aurora Energy. However, residents in certain areas can now opt to switch to competitor 1st Energy.Yes. Customers in certain areas can choose between Aurora Energy and Tas Gas for natural gas services.
Australian Capital TerritoryYes.Yes.
South AustraliaYes.Yes.
Western AustraliaResidential customers are unable to choose their electricity retailers in WA. Synergy supplies to the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), and Horizon Power is the only electricity retailer outside of the SWIS. However, businesses in WA do have more options.Yes.
Northern TerritoryYou can choose in certain areas, although there are minimal options.It depends on where you live. Customers in certain areas have a limited choice of retailers.

Getting your energy meter read during coronavirus

Frequently asked questions

Looking for a new energy retailer? Compare by state below

Name Product Electricity availability Gas availability Features Customer service rating More details Details
Origin
Origin
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
No exit fees or lock-in contracts on most of their market offerings.Go to site
More info
No exit fees or lock-in contracts on most of their market offerings.
AGL
AGL
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Go to site
More info
Energy Australia
Energy Australia
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
NSW, VIC, SA, ACT
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Go to site
More info
Powershop
Green Company
Powershop
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
VIC
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Traditional brand).
Apply now
More info
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Traditional brand).
ReAmped Energy
ReAmped Energy
NSW, QLD, SA
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
No fancy discounts or rewards, just low prices. No lock in contracts.Go to site
More info
No fancy discounts or rewards, just low prices. No lock in contracts.
Alinta
Alinta
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC, SA, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
Apply now
More info
OVO Energy
OVO Energy
NSW, QLD, SA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
N/A
N/A
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
Carbon-neutral provider with no exit fees. You can also earn interest if you use less than your ‘calculated average’. Go to site to learn more.Go to site
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Carbon-neutral provider with no exit fees. You can also earn interest if you use less than your ‘calculated average’. Go to site to learn more.
Dodo
Dodo
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
NSW customers: Get up to $125 off energy ($75 electricity and $50 gas credit). Offer ends 30/11/2020. Certain areas only. Plan must be purchased over the phone.Go to site
More info
NSW customers: Get up to $125 off energy ($75 electricity and $50 gas credit). Offer ends 30/11/2020. Certain areas only. Plan must be purchased over the phone.
Sumo
Sumo
NSW, VIC
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Go to site
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Click Energy
Click Energy
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
N/A
N/A
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
New customers in NSW, VIC, SA & South East QLD can receive $30 in bill credits a month in the first three months.Go to site
More info
New customers in NSW, VIC, SA & South East QLD can receive $30 in bill credits a month in the first three months.
Energy Locals
Green Company
Energy Locals
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Retail brand)Go to site
More info
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Retail brand)
Simply Energy
Simply Energy
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC, SA, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
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Compare up to 4 providers

amaysim Energy

Power up with amaysim

New subscription energy plans for Victorians that work just like your mobile phone plan.

  • Track your usage in the amaysim app
  • Rollover your unused energy
  • Top up if you run out early

Promoted
Name Product Electricity availability Gas availability Features Customer service rating More details Details
Origin
Origin
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
No exit fees or lock-in contracts on most of their market offerings.Go to site
More info
No exit fees or lock-in contracts on most of their market offerings.
AGL
AGL
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Go to site
More info
Energy Australia
Energy Australia
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
NSW, VIC, SA, ACT
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Go to site
More info
Powershop
Green Company
Powershop
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
VIC
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Traditional brand).
Apply now
More info
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Traditional brand).
Click Energy
Click Energy
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
N/A
N/A
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
New customers in NSW, VIC, SA & South East QLD can receive $30 in bill credits a month in the first three months.Go to site
More info
New customers in NSW, VIC, SA & South East QLD can receive $30 in bill credits a month in the first three months.
Kogan Energy
Kogan Energy
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
VIC
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
N/A
N/A
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
Go to site
More info
Alinta
Alinta
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC, SA, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
Apply now
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Sumo
Sumo
NSW, VIC
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Go to site
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Energy Locals
Green Company
Energy Locals
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Retail brand)Go to site
More info
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Retail brand)
Simply Energy
Simply Energy
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC, SA, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
More info
1st Energy
1st Energy
NSW, VIC, QLD, TAS
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
Apply now
More info
Power Direct
Power Direct
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Apply now
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Electricity availability Gas availability Features Customer service rating More details Details
Origin
Origin
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
No exit fees or lock-in contracts on most of their market offerings.Go to site
More info
No exit fees or lock-in contracts on most of their market offerings.
AGL
AGL
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Go to site
More info
Energy Australia
Energy Australia
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
NSW, VIC, SA, ACT
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
Go to site
More info
Powershop
Green Company
Powershop
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
VIC
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Traditional brand).
Apply now
More info
2020 Finder Green Award Winner (Traditional brand).
ReAmped Energy
ReAmped Energy
NSW, QLD, SA
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
No fancy discounts or rewards, just low prices. No lock in contracts.Go to site
More info
No fancy discounts or rewards, just low prices. No lock in contracts.
Alinta
Alinta
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC, SA, WA
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
Apply now
More info
Click Energy
Click Energy
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA
NSW, VIC
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
N/A
N/A
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing
  • Credit card fees
New customers in NSW, VIC, SA & South East QLD can receive $30 in bill credits a month in the first three months.Go to site
More info
New customers in NSW, VIC, SA & South East QLD can receive $30 in bill credits a month in the first three months.
Energy Locals
Green Company
Energy Locals
NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, ACT
  • GreenPower
  • Solar
  • Monthly billing

Customer service rating

Customer service rating