Moving in Sydney
When moving into your new home, you will need to connect the electricity and gas, if your home has it. Shipping, mail and insurance may be other things you will need to set up.
Gas and Electricity
In New South Wales, the gas and electricity industry is unregulated, which generally speaking means you have the opportunity to select whichever provider you would like – with the proviso that they service your suburb and street address. Please note, not all homes are connected to gas.
More and more Sydneysiders are switching to green electricity, which comes from renewable energy sources like solar or wind power. The not-for-profit Green Power Watch organisation compiles information on all green electricity providers in NSW, and nationwide. It lists price, energy origin and other relevant information. Expect to pay a couple of dollars or more a week than you would using electricity from traditional sources of power. Your portion of electricity is generated from renewable sources and fed into the Sydney grid.
Gas and electricity can usually be provided by the same supplier – who will also be able to offer you a discount rate for bundling the services together. Gas and electricity rates change frequently, sometimes even overnight, so you are best to check and compare rates a week before you require connection. When you’ve selected a provider you are happy with, be sure to allow several days to guarantee the utility provider will have sufficient time to connect the services prior to your move.
Here are some of the energy companies who can connect your gas and electricity:
Paying gas and electricity directly by the landowner is very uncommon and would rarely occur in New South Wales. It may occur in the event of a sub-let arrangement or very short term lease (less than a month or two).
Electricity is generally billed quarterly, unless you have nominated to have a monthly debit from your account. In this case, the electricity company averages your usage and then credits or debits any additional use at the end of the quarter. Most people pay quarterly and an average bill for a family of 4 is approximately $500 a quarter. For a single occupier, this would be $250 a quarter.
You can either insure your home, the contents or both, depending on your needs. If you are renting, it is not your responsibility to insure the home. There are many insurance companies and policies available. It advised to shop around and compare quotes before deciding. Policies generally range from around $300 per year to $450.
In a recent study by Choice, Australia’s largest consumer research and advocacy organisation, the following policies offer the best insurance. These are not necessarily the least expensive. Choice http://www.choice.com.au.
In Australia, you can have your mail sent to your home or to a mailbox. Many home run businesses opt for a mailbox so that the home address remains confidential. Mailboxes start from $75 per year. Mailboxes are usually located outside the local post office or news agency. If you wish to redirect your mail from the country you are coming from, you will need to speak to your postal service in that country.
There are Australia Post outlets in most shopping centres and suburbs. Opening hours are 9am to 5pm. Some are open 9am to 12 noon on Saturdays.
Australia Post http://www.auspost.com.au
There are two options for bringing your personal effects to Australia; through a door-to-door international mover or via a freight forwarding company. Either way, your items will need to pass through Customs and Quarantine.
Personal items that are owned and used for less than 12 months from your date of departure will be charged customs duty and GST. You will be required to complete an Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement – B534 which you can download from the Customs website; receipts and invoices may be requested. Customs do not charge for the examination and clearance of your personal effects, however, the Australian Quarantine & Inspection Service will. Their charges are dependent on many factors and it’s best to visit their site to work out what amount you will be charged. These charges are payable upon collection of the goods. The link is below. To clear your personal effects you will be required to present your passport, the content list, shipping documents and a completed Unaccompanied Effects Statement B534.
Shipping prices depend on international market fluctuations. Expect to pay for a 6 metre container a base price of $3500 from Hong Kong, $4500 from the USA and $5000 from the UK. A six metre container is the average required size for relocation moving.
- Stockwell International http://www.stockwells.com.au
If you have only one or two boxes to send you may want to try one of the companies listed below. Prices depend on many factors so its best to ask for a quote to get an idea of how much it will be for you.
- Customs http://www.customs.gov.au
- Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity
- Quarantine Charges http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs/accom/govt-stations
Home owners in Australia are required to pay rates to their local council. This money is spent on upkeep and infrastructure. Council rates vary depending on the location and size of the property. Around $500 per quarter is an average amount. Your local council will issue you a bill every quarter automatically. Renters do not pay rates.
The same as rates, home owners are required to pay for their water usage. Renters do not pay for water. It is normally a small amount to pay in comparison to council rates and the amount you pay depends on the amount you use. Rain water tanks are very popular in Sydney. This is because Australia regularly suffers from serious droughts and water shortages. Water tanks not only provide water for your property, they also ease the strain the city puts on natural resources.
- Sydney Water http://www.sydneywater.com.au
If you have purchased an apartment you will have to pay strata levies. These levies go towards the upkeep of the property. These can range greatly; from $200 per quarter to $1500. It really depends on the facilities and maintenance required on the property. For an apartment on a property with basic facilities to maintain, approximately $500 per quarter is reasonable. Renters do not pay strata levies.