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The connection/disconnection of electricity is very much a sequential process these days and it is important to understand that things have changed. When preparing to either move out of your current home and/or moving into a new premises, it is critical that you arrange your electricity final reading, connection or disconnection in advance.

Final readings, disconnections, account transfers and connections need a minimum of three business days notice to ensure they happen on time.

In South Australia, the supply of electricity is divided into several areas:
1) Distributor – they supply the actual power to the retailers. In SA it is ETSA Utilities. 
2) Energy Retailers – these are the companies that ‘package’ the electricity and sell it to individual users
For a list of energy retailers visit: http://www.eiosa.com.au/faq.html or http://www.escosa.sa.gov.au/consumer-information/energy-retailers.aspx
It is also worth noting that there are now companies (eg ‘Direct Connect’ is one of many) that specialise in the smooth provision of all services during relocations. What has changed? Industry regulation has created a regulatory framework to support competitive markets for electricity generation and the retail sector while providing a regulatory oversight for the transmission and distribution network sector, also establishing things like the Energy Industry Ombudsman scheme for customers. Essentially, individual property owners contract to purchase their electricity through an energy retailer.  What happens? When you ask for a disconnection or a final reading, your existing energy retailer advises ETSA, i.e. the energy distributor. ETSA visits the property & takes an electricity meter reading (which is outside of their normal schedule) and the isolation switch is padlocked, i.e. the power cannot be used or accessed at all.

When you go to get power connected to a new premises, you need to enter into an agreement with one of the energy retailers for power supply. They notify ETSA (the Distributor), who arrange to remove the padlock, giving access to electricity on the designated day. It is important to note again that final readings, disconnections, account transfers and connections need a minimum of three business days notice to ensure electricity is available when needed. It is something that all people preparing to move home should put into their ‘checklist’ to ensure this aspect of their move is trouble free.