How do I cancel my energy bill and how much does it cost?

Moving, dissatisfied with your service or going off-grid? You’ll need to know how to disconnect your power.

If you are already on a fixed-term contract and are looking to switch to another provider before that contract is up, you may need to pay early-exit fees. If you get to the end of your contract period and decide to disconnect your electricity or if you fail to pay your energy bill, you may be socked with other disconnection fees.

What are early-exit fees and how much are they?

Early-exit fees apply to energy customers who have agreed to be a part of a market contract for a set length, but who decide to leave before the period they agreed upon. The period for which the customer is ‘locked-in’ can vary from six months to sometimes two years for business customers.

Early-exit and disconnection fees cover the costs of sending someone out to check your meter outside of their typical routine. Disconnection fees are charged not by your energy retailer, but by the distributor of your electricity — the fees are then passed on to your retailer who in turn charge you.

Disconnection/termination fees vary from around $25 with providers in Victoria to around $90 with some providers in New South Wales. Disconnection fees vary by state and distributor. You can visit EnergyAustralia’s ‘other charges’ page to determine how much your fee might be.

Costs for disconnections (in business hours)

StateProviderCost of disconnection
SASA Power Networks$33.00
Jemena (remote disconnection)$5.46
Citipower (remote disconnection)$5.83
Powercor (remote disconnection)$5.83
SP Ausnet$16.51
United Energy$40.74
United Energy (remote disconnection)$5.82

*Source: EnergyAustralia

If you have completed your contract, but decide to turn off your power, disconnection fees will apply. They may also be applicable if you cease paying your electricity and begin to collect arrears. If this occurs, your energy company cannot just switch off your power.

They must first give you two written warnings. After this, they will attempt to contact you to arrange a customised payment plan. If this fails they may take you to court and potentially charge you for fees incurred on their behalf.

Does my contract have disconnection fees?

Some contracts have early-exit fees, and some will be waived by your provider, depending on your contract terms. You can call and speak to your retailer to find out if your contract has early termination fees. You’ll need your latest energy bill to provide your particular details to your retailer.

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How do I cancel my connection?

On some energy contracts, moving to another premises is all it takes for them to switch off your power automatically. With others, however, you do need to inform them in advance. It is generally good to give your provider around two weeks’ notice when disconnecting.

You can normally cancel your contract a variety of different ways, over the phone, through the mail, or with an email. This depends on your particular retailer, of course. Also, don’t forget to connect your energy at your new premises a few days before you get there, just in case.

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Can I avoid paying these fees?

Yes, depending on how close you are to the end of your contract period. Since the early-exit fees are in place to cover the costs of meter reading, you can avoid them if you know when your meter’s next due to be read.

You can find this out by looking at your bill. Since it’s read quarterly, three months after your last meter reading should roughly predict when it’s due to be read again. If the meter reading occurs before your contract is due to expire, wait until after the reading has occurred before applying for a new contract.

If, however, your contract is up before that meter reading, then you are free to switch suppliers straight away.

If you can’t find out when your meter is next due to be read, wait until 1-2 weeks before your contract is up, before switching.

Alternatively, you could speak to your retailer and request that you be moved to a non-contractual plan once your current one expires. This way, you will not be re-engaged in the exit-fee cycle.

Shirley Liu

Shirley Liu is a program manager at finder, formerly the publisher for Banking and Investments. She is passionate about helping people make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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7 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    RayJune 6, 2018

    I have just moved to another supplier, only to be slugged with a $158.00 exit fee from Origin Energy. I was under the understanding that I was not under contract and there where no exit fees. Can they do this?
    Daylight robbery!!!

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniJune 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Ray,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Regarding your enquiry, I suggest that you verify with your previous provider if you signed a contract with them or not. As you are aware, early-exit fees apply to energy customers who have agreed to be a part of a market contract for a set length, but who decide to leave before the period they agreed upon.

      Now, if you are unhappy with this charge, kindly visit this page to send your feedback as well as knowing their complaint process.

      As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!


  2. Default Gravatar
    WAYNEJuly 28, 2016

    I want to cancel my gas and electricity accounts from 01/08/2016
    as I am leaving this address

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyAugust 3, 2016Staff

      Hi Wayne,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please get in touch with your energy supplier directly to organise this.

  3. Default Gravatar
    tanyaJanuary 7, 2016

    I rang to have my electricity disconnected for the 18th of January. I was told I would have to pay a disconnection fee of $189 . My contract has finished and I have no outstanding bills. Is this right? I am with lumo energy

    • Default Gravatar
      TashMarch 26, 2016

      Tanya, I had the same thing happen to me. Did you find a solution because Lumo Energy isn’t getting back to me about it. I can’t find anywhere online that the fee should be that high and I’m refusing to pay for it.

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyJanuary 7, 2016Staff

      Hi Tanya,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately since this is specific to your account, we can’t provide any additional information.

      Please get in touch with Lumo Energy directly (they have a live chat service available here) so they can look into your account and let you know why.


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