Switching energy providers: Here’s how long it takes

Switching electricity and gas providers is easier than you think but if you’re worrying about how long it’ll take, read on.

With faster account transfer times, bill-payers can now switch with minimal hassle. It all starts with comparing available options and giving our team a call to learn how to switch. But how long does it actually take for the switch to be completed?

How long will it take to switch energy providers?

Previously, switching energy providers could take up to 90 days, but now the process is much faster, often taking as little as 48 hours.

Energy retailers now have up to two business days to complete the transfer of a customer’s account to a new provider. In the past, households with traditional meters had to wait for a final meter read, which significantly delayed the process. Even those with smart meters experienced waits of up to a month.

Now, all customers, regardless of its meter type, can switch using an estimated bill instead of waiting for a final bill after a meter read. This means switching your energy provider is now a quick two-day process, compared to the previous three-month wait.

This quicker switch allows customers to benefit from new prices and perks sooner, potentially reducing its electricity bills. However, switching gas providers can still take up to 90 days due to meter reading schedules.

If you have separate gas and electricity providers, your accounts might switch on different dates unless a special meter read is requested. Your new provider will manage all communication with your current provider.

During the switch, you will continue to receive energy as usual and will get a final bill from your previous provider for the period before the switch. Customers can switch energy providers at any time during its contract, but it's important to check for any exit fees in the fine print to avoid unexpected charges.

Top tips for switching energy providers

Contact Compare Energy

If you're looking to switch to a new provider - whether you're moving to a new house, or you just want to switch to a better deal - contacting the experts at our Australian call centre is the best thing to do. We can talk you through the available plans in your area and point you in the right direction. Call 1300 790 106 and let's chat.

Request an early meter reading

Ask your current provider for an early meter reading to expedite the account closure process. This can help ensure a smooth transition to your new provider.

However, be aware that some providers may charge additional fees for this service. Confirm any extra costs upfront to avoid surprises.

Verify deals and incentives

Ensure that any promotional offers or incentives with your new plan do not expire before your account is fully transferred.

If there is a delay, ask your new provider if it will honour these deals until the switch is complete. This can prevent losing out on benefits due to administrative delays.

Synchronise gas and electricity changes

If you are planning to switch both your electricity and gas providers, try to coordinate the changes simultaneously.

This helps avoid the inconvenience of having different switching dates and ensures a smoother transition for all your utility services.

Review your estimated final bill

Carefully review the estimated final bill from your old provider to check for any inaccuracies. If the bill seems unusually high, you have the right to request a recalculation.

Should any overcharges be found, your old provider is obligated to reimburse you. Keeping a close eye on your final statement can prevent unnecessary expenses.

Understand contract terms

Before switching, understand any exit fees or penalties associated with terminating your current contract early. This can help you weigh the cost-benefit of switching.

Check compatibility

Ensure your new provider supports your existing meter type (smart meter or traditional meter) to avoid any compatibility issues.

Customer reviews

Read customer reviews and ratings of your potential new provider to get a sense of its service quality and reliability.

Usage monitoring tools

Consider if the new provider offers usage monitoring tools or apps that can help you track and manage your energy consumption more efficiently.

Green energy options

If environmental impact is important to you, check if the new provider offers renewable energy options or green energy plans.

Don’t want to use an estimated bill to switch providers?

If you prefer not to use an estimated bill for switching energy providers, there are alternative methods available. However, be aware that these alternatives might extend the time it takes to complete the switch.

Wait for a final meter reading

Opting for a final meter reading is the traditional method for finalising your energy usage. This involves waiting until your provider conducts a scheduled meter read.

The advantage of this method is that it ensures the most accurate bill based on your actual usage. However, it can be time-consuming, as it depends on your provider's meter reading schedule, which might delay the switching process by several weeks.

Order a special meter read

To expedite the process, you can request a special meter read from your current provider. This involves scheduling a technician to read your meter at a specific time, providing a precise final bill based on your exact usage.

While this method is faster than waiting for the next scheduled read, it often incurs additional fees. Confirm the cost with your provider before proceeding to avoid unexpected expenses.

Submit your own meter reading

In some cases, you might have the option to submit your own meter reading. This is a convenient and potentially quicker method, as it allows you to take a reading and provide it to your provider.

Check with your current energy company to see if it accepts customer-submitted readings and ensure you follow its guidelines for accuracy. This method can expedite the billing process without the need for an official meter read, but the accuracy of the reading is crucial to avoid discrepancies.

Check provider policies

Different energy providers have varying policies regarding final readings and customer-submitted data. Ensure you understand your provider's requirements and procedures.

Potential delays

Be prepared for possible delays with these alternative methods, especially if there are scheduling conflicts or errors in submitted readings.

Cost implications

Be mindful of any fees associated with special meter reads or corrections to submitted readings. Understanding these costs upfront can help you make an informed decision.

Will I lose power while switching energy providers?

During the transition, you’ll continue to receive electricity from your local energy distributor, ensuring no disruption in your power supply.

Here's how it works:

  • Your electricity will keep flowing from the grid, and you'll be billed for this usage by your current provider until the switch is complete.
  • The electricity consumed during the switching period will appear on the final bill from your previous provider, ensuring a smooth handover.
  • Since the physical infrastructure of electricity distribution remains unchanged, there’s no need to worry about power outages related to switching providers.
  • This process ensures that your home or business stays powered up while you benefit from potentially better rates and services with your new energy provider.

Ready to start switching energy providers?

Now you know how long it takes, why not talk to our Australian-based call centre to find out how long it takes you to switch to a specific provider? Call 1300 790 106 today and we’ll talk you through it.