What to do if your gas is disconnected
Getting disconnected can be extremely stressful and a major disruption in your daily life.
To get your supply reconnected you should contact your retailer immediately to discuss the reason for disconnection and what is required to reconnect your supply.
Our guide explains the access requirements for reconnection and the time frame in which an agreed reconnection must be carried out.
Even if you have spoken to your supplier prior to the disconnection, you must contact them again to discuss what is now required to arrange reconnection.
If you have been disconnected because you have not paid your bill, you will usually have to pay something towards your account or agree to a payment arrangement before the retailer will reconnect you.
The retailer may charge you additional fees associated with reconnecting your supply.
The retailer may also ask you to pay a security deposit if you have a history of non-payment.
You can discuss payment arrangements and hardship programs with your retailer if you are having trouble paying your bills.
To avoid any additional stress, inconvenience and fees, you should speak to your retailer about any financial difficulties and payment arrangements as soon as you find yourself struggling to pay your bill and before disconnection occurs.
Before you contact your retailer, you should consider:
- what amount you can afford to pay immediately, no matter how big or small
- what amount you are able to pay at a later date, and the date you will be able to pay it
- a regular amount that you will be able to pay as part of a payment arrangement
- how often you can manage to pay that amount.
If you agree to a payment arrangement to have your electricity reconnected, it is important that you can afford to maintain the payment arrangement. If you miss any payments, the arrangement will be broken and you may face disconnection again.
It is better to suggest an amount that is manageable to you at regular intervals (say fortnightly or monthly) than an amount that is outside your budget and you’re unlikely to be able to maintain.
If your retailer has agreed to reconnection before 3pm on a business day, they must arrange reconnection:
- On the day of the request.
If the request is made after 3pm but before 9pm on a business day:
- On the day of the request if the customer pays any reasonable charge determined by the retailer or the distributor.
- Or by the end of next business day (with no after-hours connection fee applied).
If the request is made on or after 9pm on a business day, reconnection must be arranged by the end of the next business day.
If your meter for your gas supply is not accessible, you will need to ensure that you remain at the property to provide access until the reconnection occurs.
If you are not at the property to provide access when the distributor attends to reconnect and for this reason the reconnection attempt fails, you must contact your retailer the next day and again apply for reconnection.
An additional fee may also be applicable.
If you are not home when your gas is reconnected, then the gas supply may be restored but remain switched off at the meter.
You may need to turn on the supply at the meter and then relight any pilot lights.
You may believe that you have been wrongfully disconnected.
If this is the case, you may be entitled to some form of payment from your supplier if you were disconnected when they:
- were not entitled to disconnect supply under legislation or under your contract
- failed to comply with the procedures required for disconnection
- disconnected the wrong premises
- did not provide a disconnection warning.
If you believe you have been wrongfully disconnected, you should contact your supplier to make a compensation claim.
If you make a claim for compensation, you will be asked to provide evidence to support your claim.
Avoiding disconnection of your gas
The best way to avoid the disconnection of your gas supply is to act promptly and speak to your retailer as soon as you find yourself in a position that may lead to disconnection.
Avoiding the issue will not make it go away, it will only make the situation worse.
While you may find it difficult to discuss your personal circumstances with your retailer, remember that it will be much more stressful to do so after your gas has been disconnected.
Read our information about when your supply can and cannot be disconnected.
- If you fail to pay a bill.
- When you have failed to provide safe access to your gas meter for three consecutive scheduled meter reads.
- For health and safety reasons.
- In an emergency or at the request of the police.
- If you have provided false information in order to be connected.
- If you have not provided acceptable identification when requested to do so by your retailer.
- When illegal activities are suspected at your premises.
- If you cause damage to the supplier’s equipment or interfere with a third party’s supply.
Your gas retailer must give you fair notice before disconnection.
- After 3pm on a business day.
- On a Friday or the day before a public holiday (except in the case of a planned interruption).
- On a weekend or public holiday.
- If you have lodged a complaint in relation to the disconnection with our office.
- For non-payment where the amount outstanding is less than the amount prescribed by the Australian Energy Regulator.
- Between 20 and 31 December (inclusive).
- In extreme weather conditions.
A reminder notice is your cue to contact your gas retailer as soon as possible.
You may still be able to negotiate a payment arrangement and avoid disconnection.
Your retailer must use their best endeavours to contact you by phone, mail, email or other approved methods prior to disconnection.
If you have not paid your bill after receiving a reminder notice, you will receive a disconnection warning advising that your supply may be disconnected in five business days unless payment is made.
You should contact your gas retailer as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances.
If you move into a property and gas is being used but you have not established an account, the last gas retailer to supply the property retains the right to supply you and will send out letters addressed to the ‘Occupant’, ‘Customer’ or ‘Resident’ at that property.
Letters addressed in this way (even if not from the retailer you believe you are with) should not be ignored, as they are an indication that something may have gone wrong with a requested transfer, or that you need to establish an account at your new property.
It is important that you read these letters, as they may be bills, reminder notices or even a disconnection warning and if ignored could lead to disconnection.
You should immediately contact the retailer that is sending these letters.