Find out how much notice you'll need to give your provider. It is generally good to give your provider at least three days notice before you move or disconnect. However, with some providers, you may need to give two-weeks notice or more. When you decide to move, you can arrange in advance to have your electricity disconnected on a future date. This way, you won't have to worry about missing the notification window.
Contact your new energy retailer. Many energy retailers make the process of switching even easier. When you sign up with a new electricity or gas retailer, check if they can take care of the entire cancellation process for you. This will include communicating with your old energy provider to disconnect your existing service and getting your new power up and running. Some retailers offer guarantees that your electricity will be connected on a specific day to ensure you'll have power the day you move in.
Let your old provider know. If you're going off the grid or moving out of the country, you can cancel your contract by contacting your provider directly. You can typically cancel your contract over the phone, or by sending in a cancellation form via mail or email. Make sure you have your account information on hand when you call.
What are early-exit fees and how much are they?
Early-exit fees apply to electricity and gas customers who sign a contract for a set length of time and decide to leave before the 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 early termination fees. The specific fee 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.
What are disconnection fees and how much are they?
Unlike early-exit fees, disconnection fees are charged by your energy distributor, not your energy retailer. Energy distributors supply your electricity and sell 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 costs of checking your energy meter outside of your 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.
Frequently asked questions
A reconnection fee or connection fee is what you'd pay to connect your property to power. If you're moving to a new home, you may need to pay a reconnection fee to access power in your home.
When you sign up for a new energy contract, a cooling-off period applies. You can cancel your new contract at any time during the cooling-off period without having to pay a fee. This period is typically 10 days but may vary depending on where you live.
Yes, though you may have to pay an exit fee. To find out if you'll have to pay an exit fee, check your contract or ask your provider directly.
If you stop paying your energy bill, a missed or late payment fees will typically apply. Also, your energy company can't switch off your power after one missed bill and must first give you two written warnings. After this, your provider will attempt to contact you to arrange a customised payment plan. If you fail to pay, you could be taken to court and potentially charged for fees incurred by the provider.
Looking for a new energy provider? Compare by state below