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water flowing from tap

Once you’ve found a place to live, you’ll need to get your gas, electricity, water and internet connected. These are  known as ‘utilities’, and you’re responsible for choosing a supplier and covering all of the costs.

The exception is water, which works a little differently. You don’t choose your supplier (you can find out who yours is on the Melbourne Water website), and you won’t necessarily be up for the whole bill. You may just pay for usage charges (not service charges), and in some cases you won’t pay anything at all.

Also keep in mind that some broadband internet providers will require you to have a landline phone connection.

Get things organised early

Try to get everything connected before you move in, so you’ll be able to enjoy a hot shower and a hot drink after the big move.

Remember, when you move out it’s up to you to disconnect all of your utilities.

Keeping your bills under control

When you’re choosing a utilities provider, it pays to shop around to get the best deal. Remember to read the fine print too – there can sometimes be extra costs hidden there.

If you make a lot of international phone calls, it’s worth getting a phone plan that includes these as part of the deal. Phone cards can also be a good option. Or of course there’s always Skype.

To keep your energy costs down, try to keep your home naturally warm in winter, and cool in summer. Close-fitting drapes or blinds help maintain heat/cool in winter/summer. During summer it’s also a good idea to open windows and doors when it’s cooler at night, to let the breeze flow through.

Find out more

You can find more information on the Victorian Government’s Your Choice website. The Tenants Union of Victoria’s Utility Charges fact sheets are a good resource too.