Utility Connection FAQs – Your Top Questions Answered

Joshua Chadwick By Joshua Chadwick January 18th

With so much going on when you’re moving house, plenty of questions will be asked when it comes to utility connection (trust us, we’ve heard them all!)

There’s a lot that goes into utility connection, and we’re all about simplifying it, so we’ve compiled a list of our top questions about utility connection and given each burning question a thorough answer for your ease.

So, without further adieu, check out our utility connect FAQs fact sheet below.

Does my main switch need to be on or off?

One of our most popular questions from renters is also one of the easiest to answer.

If the power is on when you’re moving into a new property, you don’t have to stress about turning the main switch off.

However, if the power has already been disconnected at the property, you’ll need to ensure the main switch is in the off position so your electricity supply can be safely connected.

MyConnect Tip

If you’re not exactly sure about your connection, best practice is to turn your main switch off. Just don’t forget to turn the main switch back on when you move in!

How to find the main switch?

Continuing on the theme of main switches, we’re going to dive into where the main switch can be located.

For free-standing houses and units,  your main switch is often in your meter box. Common places to find your electricity meter and main switch are:

  • External wall
  • Front of the house
  • Garage
  • Porch
  • Inside the house

For multi-dwelling buildings or apartments, electricity meters are often together in one place like a meter room, the basement, a car park, or a cabinet. 

The main switch is usually inside the property,  like in the hallway, laundry, cupboard, garage or under the kitchen sink.

Do I need to be home for an electricity connection?

Our connection specialists say this is the number 1 question asked by Australian movers. Luckily, in most cases, you don’t need to be at the property for the connection to go ahead, as long as there is clear access to your meter and your main switch is in the off position if the power is disconnected.

However, there are some cases you need to be at the property for your connection if the power has been disconnected.

If you live in New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), or South Australia (SA) you may need to be home and wait for the technician to reconnect the power safely.

MyConnect Tip

If you are unsure if you need to be home for your electricity connection, you can double-check with your energy provider or retailer. They’ll know for certain!

What time will the technician come to connect my power?

States across Australia tend to have separate connection times compared to their counterparts.

The new connection can happen any time from:

  • Victoria (VIC) – 7 am to 10 pm
  • New South Wales (NSW) – 7 am to 10 pm
  • Queensland (QLD) – 8 am to 6 pm. If the power is disconnected, a visual inspection can be booked for one of the two-time slots (8 am to 1 pm OR 1 pm to 6 pm).
  • South Australia (SA) – 7 am to 6 pm
  • Western Australia (WA) – No listed timeframe

For any new home owners in Queensland, a visual inspection is when a technician visits your property to make sure it’s safe to reconnect the power.

If you’ve started moving any furniture or your belongings into the property, someone over the age of 18 will need to be there to walk the electrician or technician through the house for the inspection. 
If the property is completely empty of belongings including furniture and moving boxes, the electrical contractor can visit without you being home as long as a key is left in the meter box so they can let themselves in.

Is my electricity part of an embedded network?

When moving into a rental property, you might hear the term “embedded network” thrown around.

Embedded electricity networks are typically found in residential buildings, such as apartments. The property owner of the building with an embedded network will commonly buy their power supply from an energy distributor/provider and then onsell the energy connections to all properties within the building.

If your home is part of an embedded network, you may have to sign up with the contracted energy retailer that supplies the electricity.

MyConnect Tip

Not sure if your new address is part of an embedded network? Simply contact the building manager to check whether you’ll need to connect with the contracted energy provider or arrange for your own new connection (which we can help you out with here!)

What is an Electricity Meter Number and NMI?

Every property in Australia has an electricity meter with a unique meter number and an NMI (National Meter Identifier) used to identify the meter. 

They are used to ensure we connect the right supply address and meter data to your energy account, so you are billed correctly for the usage at your property once your energy bill rolls around.

Meter Number 

A Meter Number is stamped or printed at the bottom of the face plate in BOLD BLACK numerals and can be up to ten digits in length. For more information about your electricity meter, click here.

NMI 

An NMI stands for National Meter Identifier and is a unique 10 or 11-character reference. This can be found inside the smart meter or on your electricity bill. For more information about what an NMI is, click here.

How to find your Gas Meter

At a house, gas meters can be located outside of the house, either down the side of the property or in the front or backyard, or under the kitchen sink.

At apartments or multi-dwellings, gas meters are often stored together in one central area such as a meter room. Often the body corporate or building manager will be able to assist you in accessing these.

For more information on your gas meter, click here.

What is a Gas Meter Number and a MIRN?

Just like your phone has a serial number to identify it, and a mobile number to record your usage, a gas meter has a unique meter number to identify the address where the gas is being supplied, and a MIRN to ensure you are billed correctly for your usage. 

You can find your Gas Meter Number on your gas meter. In most cases, above or below a barcode, most commonly in the format of numbers and letters (for example, 1234AB or AB123456).

You can find your MIRN on your gas meter or on your gas bill. It will be 10 or 11 digits long. For more information on your gas meter, click here.

Electricity connection:  How do I provide clear access?

To ensure your electricity connection goes ahead smoothly, you’ll need to provide clear access. So, what does clear access mean? 

The technician needs to be able to safely walk from the street to the meter for the meter reading, with no obstructions. This means no locked gates, ensuring trees and shrubs are cut back, and no pets around the meter. No matter how cute your furry friend is, it is important to keep pets safely secured and away from the meter during the day. 

The best practice is to give as much information as possible to ensure there is clear access on the first connection attempt.

What to do if there is no power at your new address?

If you arrive at the property for the first time and there’s no power, here’s how to troubleshoot your connection in 4 easy steps.

Step 1 – Check your electricity main switch is in the on position.

Step 2 – Test lights and appliances inside the property to see if the power has been connected.

Step 3 – If there’s still no power, turn the main switch back in the off position.

Step 4 – Confirm the connection date scheduled as it may not have taken place. You may still be within the connection timeframe. Connection timeframes can range from 7 am – 10 pm. 

If you’re unsure about the status of your new electricity connection, you can check with your current energy provider. If you need to organise an urgent connection or same-day connection you can get connected here.

What to do if there is no gas at your new house?

So you’ve arranged your utility connections but still have no Gas? Here’s how to troubleshoot your gas connection. 

Step 1 – Locate your gas meter.

Step 2 – Check the lever is parallel to the pipes.

Step 3 – Test gas appliances inside the property (eg, hot water, stovetop).

If the gas is still not running, you can contact your energy provider to investigate. If you’d like to arrange a gas connection, click here.

If you need help getting your utilities connected sorted, please call MyConnect on 1300 854 478 or use the Get Connected form here! If you’re unsure about using a utility connection company, this post here can assist you.

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Joshua Chadwick
Joshua Chadwick
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