What you need to know about switching gas providers
Gas prices around Australia have been on the rise and if you’re looking to save on your household bills, switching gas suppliers could be a great way to getting some extra cash for life’s more enjoyable things like a night out at the movies or dinner out with the family.
This detailed guide will run you through the most frequently asked questions about switching gas suppliers.
How much can I save by switching gas providers?
We understand that there are many other things more exciting than shopping around for gas but a few minutes of your time now could save you hundreds of dollar a year.
How? Did you know that gas providers change their pricing and plans all the time and often have ‘seasonal specials’ offering great discounts off their standard gas plans? So, if it has been a while since you signed up for your gas service, it is very likely there is a cheaper plan in the market than the one you’re on now.
Will I save more if I switch both my gas and electricity?
If your gas and electricity service is with the same supplier you could save by switching both services. Many energy providers offer discounts or special plans for ‘dual fuel’ customers. And if you need more information on switching providers, you can read more articles on Mozo to learn more about switching your energy provider or your electricity provider.
Will it cost me anything to switch gas providers?
If it has been a while since you changed your gas service you will most likely be on an open contract so there will not be a cost to change your gas provider.
If you signed up for a new plan in the past 2 years, there may be a termination clause in your contract which means that if you switch before the end of the contract you will be required to pay a termination or exit fee. Review your existing contract to check if this applies to you. But even if you have to pay a fee, you could save more money by switching, so still take the time to get a comparison of the plans in your area.
If you are moving to a new address, you will normally be required to pay a connection fee. This will be added to your first gas bill.
How is my gas bill calculated?
Your gas bill is calculated based on:
Your usage: You will be charged by your gas provider for every MJ (megajoule) you use so the less gas you use, the cheaper your bill will be. There are a number of ways you can reduce the amount of gas you use including purchasing energy efficient gas appliances. For ways to save on energy, read our articles on energy savings tips.
Your gas plan: The gas plan you are on will determine the supply charges, the tariffs and the discounts or rewards that are applied to your bill. Many gas providers have discount plans for things like “paying on time” and “direct debit” so you can reduce the cost of your bill if you opt for these as part of your plan.
A word on estimated gas meter readings:
If your bill seems a little high for the amount of gas you consume, check your bill to see what kind of read type your bill contains. If it is an estimated reading, this means your gas company has estimated how much gas you have used and they may be overestimating the amount. If your gas company doesn’t do actual reads you should be able to submit the actual meter read yourself. If you think you are being overcharged check our guide on how to complain to your energy provider.
Is price all I should consider when switching gas providers?
Usually price is the biggest reason for changing gas suppliers but there are other factors to consider like customer service and bill clarity. You can see what customers in Australia think of their gas provider in a number of areas like customer service and trust by reading gas reviews on Mozo.
How do I switch gas plans?
Once you've found the right gas plan for your household, all that's left to do is apply! While most retailers will have their own requirements, some of the more common details you might need to provide include:
- the supply address
- DPI - delivery point identifier (this is the meter number and can be found on your bill)
- direct debit details (bank name, BSB, account number)
How long does it take to switch gas suppliers?
Firstly, you will have a 10 day cooling off period from the time you decide to switch gas suppliers. After this the time it takes will depend on your next meter read. It could take a few weeks to a couple of months if you are on a quarterly bill cycle.
You don’t need to notify the old gas company you are switching, your new company will do this on your behalf.
Will there be any interruption to my gas supply?
No, it is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any plumbing to your premises.
Will I be billed twice?
No. You will receive a final bill from your current gas provider shortly after the switch date. Your new gas company will then send your new bill at their regular monthly or quarterly terms.
But do remember to cancel your direct debit account if you've set one up with your previous gas company.
What if I change my mind?
As mentioned earlier, you will have a 10 day cooling off period when you first sign up where you can cancel the gas service without penalty. After this period you may be required to pay a termination fee, even though your new service has not been connected yet.
What happens if I have a credit on my gas account or I have an outstanding debt?
Any credits will be fully refunded. The credit may be taken off the final bill or it could be paid to you once your final gas bill is settled.
If you are on a financial hardship agreement or you have an outstanding debt with your existing gas provider, you will not be able to switch until the debt has been repaid.
If you are interested in switching gas providers then be sure to check out our gas comparison tool.