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How to switch energy providers in Australia

Switching energy providers can be done in 3 easy steps.

How to switch energy providers in 3 easy steps

Switching energy providers is easier than you think. We've simplified the process so you know exactly what to look out for.

  1. Review your current energy plan and usage
  2. Compare energy plans
  3. Make the switch

Keep reading to read further details on each step of the way.

Finder survey: How many Australians know how to switch energy providers?

Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1145 Australians, December 2023

1. Review your current energy plan and usage

Look at your energy bill to take stock of your current situation. Things to consider:

  • What are you currently paying?
  • Are you on a contract (in which case there may be exit fees)?
  • Are you receiving a fixed rate or variable rate (more on that below)?
  • What is your current usage?

If you have trouble reading your bill or you're not sure of something, you can call your provider and ask them to clarify it for you.

A summary of how much energy your household consumes will typically be broken down in your bill as cost per day and average daily usage with a comparison for the previous year (if applicable).

It may look something like this:

sample energy bill and usage

When was the last time you switched?

Only 13% of people have switched their gas and/or electricity provider in the last 6 months, according to our consumer sentiment tracker data, despite skyrocketing energy prices. Victorians were the most likely to switch electricity plans (16%).

2. Compare energy plans

Compare energy plans in your area. Some things to keep in mind are:

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Price. Make sure the prices on offer fit your budget compared to what you're currently paying.
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Variable vs fixed rates plans. A variable rate plan has no guaranteed rate, meaning your bills could fluctuate when your energy provider changes how much it charges you for using power. Fixed rate plans are less common but will lock in your usage rates for 12 months (most common timeframe).
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Market offer. A "market offer" is a rate that is generally cheaper than the benchmark set by the government. That threshold is called the Default Market Offer (DMO) or reference price. In Victoria, it's called the Victoria Default Offer. It was introduced in some states back in 2019 to help Aussies compare energy plans.
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Discounts and other bonuses. Whether it's credit, deals for bundling or other perks, you might get a great energy plan with extras.
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Customer service. Some providers might offer more than one payment option or ways to get in touch. There are those that offer a user-friendly mobile app where you can manage your energy account easily as well as seek customer support.
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Hidden fees. Some energy providers charge meter read fees. They can also quote hefty disconnection fees at times. Make sure to call the provider before signing up to clarify any "extra costs" that may not be clear on the plan they've advertised.
Compare energy plans

3. Make the switch

Once you've decided on your new energy retailer and signed up online, let them handle the switch from your old provider in the background.

You'll continue to receive power as usual. Your old provider may carry out one last meter read (this is sometimes charged to you) and issue you a final bill for the remaining billing period.

Your new retailer will send you your new contract. Any bonuses such as reward points will be added to the relevant accounts.

Tip: Revisit your plan every 12 months, save up to $300

Make switching an annual conversation with your household to maximise on your savings.

Typically the 12-month mark is when you run out any benefit period attached to your energy plan such as guaranteed discounts or fixed rates. It's good to shop around for a better deal at this point or contact your current provider to change to a different plan with more savings.

  • Good to know. Switching energy plans could save you anywhere between $180 and $300.

Why should I switch energy providers right now?

Australia is currently facing an energy crisis. Due to events overseas, the cost of black coal (used to produce 70–80% of Australia's electricity) has increased dramatically. This has had a knock-on effect all the way down to your energy bill, with power prices doubling over the past year.

Because of this, it's costing a lot more for smaller retailers such as ReAmped Energy to buy power for you. In an unprecedented move, some of them are even encouraging customers to switch to another provider for better priced plans.

Will it cost me anything to switch energy providers?

Comparing energy plans is free and simple but there are some fees to be aware of if you switch:

  • Exit fees. These are typically charged when you're exiting a fixed-term arrangement before the contracted term is up. Depending on your situation it might save you money to wait until your fixed term ends before you switch.
  • Disconnection and connection fees. These are only charged when you move to a new home. Any disconnection fee will be included on your last bill from your old provider. Any connection fee will be included on the first bill from your new provider.
  • Good to know: When you switch providers you'll be onboarded to a cooling-off period (10 business days). During this period you are entitled to cancel your plan.

Who can switch energy providers?

Energy is regulated differently across Australia with only residents in some regions able to choose their electricity and gas retailers. These include residents in:

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory (limited options)
  • South Australia
  • South-East Queensland
  • Tasmania (limited options)
  • Victoria

Options are limited for residents in Northern Territory and Tasmania due to smaller markets. In Western Australia, some residents within the Perth metropolitan area are able to choose their gas retailer.

  • Keep in mind. Due to regulations currently in place, residents in Regional Queensland (outside of the South East) and Western Australia can't switch their energy retailers.


Compare energy plans in your state

Some of the energy providers we compare

  • origin energy logo
  • agl energy logo
  • energy australia logo
  • powershop logo
  • alinta energy
  • red energy
  • dodo energy
  • simply energy logo
  • energy locals logo
  • globird logo
  • nectr logo
  • kogan energy logo
  • covau logo
  • sumo energy

Frequently asked questions

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