On this page
- Getting the electricity and gas connected
- Furniture and appliances
- Telephone and internet
- What to consider when you move out
When you move into a new home you may need to set up electricity, gas, telephone and internet.
If you are renting you may also need to understand how the rubbish collection and recycling works.
Choosing an energy supplier
In Victoria, you can choose from a range of energy suppliers for electricity and gas. You can expect different prices, how they set up your account and how they bill you.
Electricity prices may vary between suppliers.
If you are renting, and if someone has lived in your rented home before you arrive, the electricity may already be connected. Depending on the terms of your lease you will need to put the electricity into your name.
When people talk about electricity sometimes they might call it power. For example the real estate agent might tell you to ‘get the power connected’.
Some Melbourne homes use natural gas for heating or cooking. Natural gas is safe and is often cheaper for heating and cooking.
Before you choose an electricity supplier, check if your home has a gas stove, hot water or central heating.
Some suppliers offer only electricity. Some can connect you to electricity and gas. If you have gas in your home, consider using the same supplier for gas and electricity. There may be some cost benefits. It may also mean that you only have to set up one account.
Changing your supplier
The energy market is quite competitive in Melbourne. When you move in and choose an electricity or gas supplier, you might find that you receive emails, letters or phone calls from other companies that want you to switch to them instead.
If this happens, there are some things to check before you decide whether to make the switch:
- Does your current arrangement penalise you if you change to another supplier? For example have you agreed to use a supplier for a fixed period of time. These sorts of arrangements sometimes carry a penalty if you leave the supplier before the agreed time has elapsed.
- Which supplier offers the best price?
- What discounts and benefits does each supplier offer? For example, some suppliers offer a discount if you pay your bills on time.
- Does one of the suppliers have a better way of managing your account, e.g. easy online access to usage information etc.
Set up an account
When you arrange to connect the electricity, gas or telephone, you have to set up an account.
Energy companies and telephone service providers may ask for a identification when they set up an account.
Before signing up with a supplier, find out what documentation you need to open an account with them.
Furniture and appliances for your home
Find used furniture and second-hand household goods at charity shops - also called op shops (short for opportunity shops).
To find op shops in your area search 'op shops' and the name of your town on the internet, for example 'op shops Melbourne'.
Important – used electrical appliances
Take care when purchasing second hand – also called used - electrical appliances. The Electrical Safety Act 1998 says that someone selling you a second hand electrical item must clearly label the item. The label must either:
- say that the item has been tested for safety and give the date of the test and the details of the tester, or
- say that he item has not been tested and warn the buyer that they should get the item tested before using it.
An electrician can check a second hand appliance and confirm it is safe. They might charge a fee for this service.
If you are in Victoria for a short time and don’t want to buy appliances, you can rent household items such as a television or fridge.
Search for appliance rental Melbourne to find businesses that offer this service. The first results you see might be advertisements. Scroll down until you see the unpaid (organic) search results.
Connecting a phone service
More and more people in Victoria do not get a landline phone connected. Instead they use their mobile phone to make and receive calls. There are a number of telephone service providers in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Search the internet and ask your friends and colleagues what they recommend.
Comparisons and contracts
Sometimes a provider offers an attractive price but requires you to sign up to a contract. Contracts can include termination clauses and penalties if you leave the contract early.
Understand the contract before you sign anything. If you are unsure, ask for help.
Connecting an internet service
In Melbourne and in some regional centres you may have access to NBN internet. NBN is Australia's fast, reliable national broadband network and it is being rolled out across the country.
Find out if NBN is available in your area on the Check your address page on the NBN website.
Whether you are connecting to NBN or another type of internet service like ADSL2, you have a choice of providers.
Search for compare mobile service providers Melbourne to see information about providers and plans. The first few results are paid advertisements. Scroll down to see the unpaid (organic) results.
At the end of your lease
In the same way that you need to put energy into your name when you move into a home, you should also take it out of your name when you leave.
Donate your used furniture to an op shop
You can also donate your own furniture, clothing and household items to op shops when you no longer need them. Imagine, this may help future students, just like you!