Whether you bought off the plan or you are renting a brand new apartment building, the task of setting up all your utilities can be daunting.
There are a few differences between moving into a new home and a new apartment. This article will help you better understand what you need to know about setting up your utilities when moving into a new apartment.
What utilities do I need to set up?
Firstly, it’s important to think about what you can’t live without… A hot shower in the morning, electricity to power your TV, gas to cook your meals and internet to keep you connected. All of these things are utilities that you may need to organise before you move in.
What you need:
- Hot water
Is my building part of an embedded network?
Before you go online searching for the best deal or transferring all our accounts there are a few important questions you must ask. It’s essential to first determine if your building is part of an embedded network or if there are any preferred providers for the area. If you’re moving into a multi-unit development you could be part of an embedded network. To determine if your building is part of an embedded network check with your Owners Corporation/ Body Corporate.
What does it mean to be part of an embedded network?
If your apartment is with an embedded network, the embedded network operator has worked with the building’s developer to install, supply and maintain the electrical infrastructure for your building. Instead of each owner/resident negotiating an energy rate for their apartment alone, the embedded network provider can bulk-buy energy using the total collective usage of the building and then pass on upfront cost savings to the residents. Pre-installed smart meters determine how much electricity each apartment building consume so that the residents only pay for what they use. Other utilities such as gas and hot water can be embedded as well.
Who is my embedded network provider?
There are a few embedded network utilities providers in Australia and each company may come with their own offers, benefits and fine print. It is important to know what you’re getting into by determining who operates your building’s embedded network and doing some research on their websites or calling their support team.
What if I’m not in an embedded network?
If your building is not part of an embedded network, you may be able transfer your account from your previous residence. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on your distribution zone. It is a good idea to use energy price comparing tools to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.
How do I connect to water?
When moving into you brand new apartment your water will already be connected. After settlement, the developer or real estate agent will usually send through your details, as owner of the apartment, to the relevant water corporation and you will be billed for your usage as soon as you move in. If you’re renting out your apartment please ensure your tenant contacts the water corporation at least two business day prior to them moving in so that there can be final meter read and the account can be put into your tenant’s name.
I am connected to water, why do I also need to connect to hot water?
What some new home owners don’t realise is that having water and having hot water are two different services. A hot water bill relates to the gas or electricity used to heat up the water. Usually, in a multi-unit development, hot water is drawn from the building’s hot water plant, which is serviced by building management or your service provider, and delivered to each apartment. This is called centralised hot water or community hot water. Your building may also have instantaneous hot water - where hot water is heated on demand for each apartment. Usually, within an embedded network, each apartment’s usage is individually metered regardless of the type of hot water to ensure occupiers/tenants are only paying for the hot water they use.
How do I connect to gas?
When you move in to your new dwelling the builder or consultant would have already connected the gas supply and the gas installation would have been certified prior to handover. You still need sign up with a utilities provider to access the supply. This could be through building’s embedded network or via a traditional retailer. Remember to try to get the best deal by comparing prices in your area.
How do I get access to Internet?
It is clear that in the 21st century internet has become an additional utility that we can’t live without. That’s why having a good internet connection at your new apartment is so important. There are many options when it comes to internet and all the lingo and jargon can get confusing, so we have broken it down into some key questions for you.
Is my building NBN ready?
You need to determine whether your apartment has ASDL technology or new NBN fibre technology. You can find this out by asking your buildings Owners Corporation/Body corporate or by going to the NBN website.
What does NBN mean for me?
If you’re already connected to NBN you will be able to reach super-fast internet speeds that were previously not accessible with ADSL. This means that all internet users needs can now be met - from light surfing or hard core 4k gaming.
Do I have dedicated in-building internet services?
It is important to determine if there are any specific data plans or preferred suppliers for your building. You could have access to a Wi-Fi system for private and common area use, pre-installed routers for immediate home use, or both. Checking with building management will allow you to make a better decision when it comes to internet solutions.
Does OC Energy offer internet services?
Through OC UltraNet, we provide a range of NBN services. We offer standard NBN retail broadband plans, Wi-Fi solution that allow residents to connect to the internet as soon as they walk into the building, and pre-installed fixed line routers for a super-fast internet service that requires minimal set up. With OC UltraNet, it is fast and easy to connect. We offer a range of services that meets the needs of residents. All our plans have unlimited data, so you don’t have to worry about running low on data. Even if you’re not with OC Energy you still may be able to access OC Ultranet’s service. To see what plans are available to you click here.
What if your building is part of OC Energy’s embedded network?
Rest assured knowing your electricity, hot water and/or cooker gas supply is connected before you move in. This means that you don’t need to worry about setting up your account prior to moving in. Each apartment’s hot water and electricity usage is individually metered. This ensures occupiers/tenants are only paying for the utilities they use. For Gas, OC Energy charge a fixed daily cooker gas supply charge, so you have certainty when you get billed that they price will remain constant. All you need to do is connect by filling out a simple form online once you have settled into your apartment to stay connected.
What are the other benefits of OC Energy?
- OC Energy untilties are connected as soon as you walk in
- no lock-in contracts (you’re free to leave the network if you choose to)
- no late payment fees
- one simplified utilities bill and
- Australian based customer service.
Hopefully these considerations help make your move go swiftly, so you can spend more time on the things that matter.