Moving house? How to avoid issues with your energy or water bills

If you’re moving house, you no doubt have a long ‘to do’ list to tick off. But have you thought about your electricity, gas and water accounts? These top tips can help you avoid issues with your electricity, gas or water bills when you move.

Moving out and your electricity, gas or water account

Electricity and gas

Before moving, contact your energy provider at least a week before your move out date to request they close your electricity and/or gas account on the date you move out. You’ll need to provide them with:

  • a forwarding address – this can be an email or postal address
  • a date for the final meter read.

Your energy provider may charge you a disconnection fee.

If you’re experiencing financial hardship, you can ask for a payment plan, extension to pay or other assistance such as the Home Energy Emergency Assistance Scheme (HEEAS).

If there is an issue with scheduling the final meter read, check with your provider if you can provide a self-read. Follow this advice on how to read your meter. If you don’t close your account you may have to pay all charges up to when the account is closed, whether you were living at the property or not.

Take a photo of your meter(s) when you have vacated the property. This will let you check that your final bill is accurate.


When you move out you don’t need to close your water account, but it’s a good idea to read your water meter on the day you leave. Taking a photo works well as you can refer to it later and it will be date and time stamped. Find out how to read your meter.

If you are selling your premises, your meter will be read a few days before settlement. Your conveyancer or solicitor will work out whether you need to pay a bill or receive a refund as part of the settlement process.

Setting up electricity, gas or water account at your new home

For your electricity and gas accounts, you need to set up a new account for your new home. If you are in South East Queensland moving house is an opportunity to shop around and choose a deal that best suits you. Follow our top tips for choosing an energy company.

Organise for the power to be connected on the day you move in. As with moving out, it is recommended to give your chosen provider at least a week’s notice. If you’re getting a new connection at the property it can take longer to complete the connection, so the more notice you can provide, the better.

Your energy provider may also charge you a connection fee - this may vary depending on whether you are getting a reconnection or new connection.

When you’re opening the account, tell the provider about any rebates or concessions you are entitled to and whether someone requires life support equipment at the property.

If there is no power on at the premises, the electricity distributor will need to check the electrical circuits to reconnect the power. This is called a visual safety inspection. If the premises is empty, you can leave the premises unlocked for your distributor to complete the inspection and reconnect power. If there will be personal property in the premises, an adult will need to be home when the electricity distributor arrives. If no one is present, the power will not be reconnected and you will need to make a new appointment. If you miss the reconnection appointment you can be charged a 'wasted truck fee' as well.

Your water will remain connected at your new property and if you’ve bought the property, the account will be transferred to your name.

Note down the meter readings or take a photo of all your meters when you move in so you can check your first bill is accurate.

What if you’re renting?

As a tenant, you'll generally have to pay for your electricity, gas and water usage charges if the property you're renting is separately metered. Check your tenancy agreement. It will state who's responsible for paying for these utilities.

If you’re responsible for paying for your water use, your water bill will usually be passed on to you by your landlord or real estate agent.

If the property you’re renting has rooftop solar installed, check with your landlord before opening an energy account as they may be receiving a higher feed-in tariff for any power exported to the grid. If you open an account, this will end the landlord’s account and will stop the landlord’s eligibility for the higher feed in tariff. Talk to your landlord first and agree how your energy account will be managed.

As this customer story demonstrates, it’s important to be clear up front whether your electricity, gas and water is included in your rent. They moved into the house thinking that power was included in their rent. After living there for two years, they received a letter addressed to ‘The Occupier’ which prompted them to open an electricity account. Once they had opened this account, they received a $5,000 bill from the energy company for the previous two years’ electricity usage.

If you’re in a share house, follow our advice on how to avoid share house disasters with your energy or water bills.

Find more information on starting a tenancy on the Residential Tenancies Authority website.

How EWOQ can help

If you have a complaint about your electricity, gas or water company after moving house, contact them first so that they can fix the issue. If your complaint hasn’t been resolved or you are still unhappy, you can contact us.