Useful information about electricity and gas

Here we give you practical information about various aspects of your electricity & gas services.


Moving in/Starting service

When moving to a new home, you must call your electricity & gas utility company to put the service in your name. You should contact your utility company at least 5 working days in advance with your:

  • Name
  • New address
  • Planned move in date
  • Social security number
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number or email
  • Type of lease if rental

Moving out/Terminating service

To stop your electricity and natural gas service, you will need to have the following information handy before calling your utility company's customer service:

  • Utility account number
  • Planned move-out date

You may be asked for your social security number (for verification purposes).

Switching suppliers

Switching suppliers is usually free. The main reason why it might not be free is:

  • You are already signed up with an alternate suppliers, and must pay a termination fee. This is only the case if you are switching before having reached the termination date of you contract. 

Choose an alternate supplier

The first step to switching is to choose an alternate supplier. Visit our Suppliers page for detailed descriptions of each supplier, and their offers, as well as reviews of the suppliers based on their customer service, their terms & conditions, and their reputation.

Sign up to the alternate supplier

In most cases, switching suppliers is free, unless you were signed up with a previous alternate supplier, and your contract term hasn't ended yet (in that case, signing out of your previous supplier might impose a termination fee). You must contact the supplier you would like to sign up with directly, and provide them with the following information:

  • Name
  • Moving-in address
  • Phone number
  • That's all ! The supplier will automatically notify your utility company. Your utility company will take care of signing out of any previous supplier. 

My electricity / gas meter

Every home will be equiped with an electricity meter and a gas meter. These will be constantly counting your electricity and gas usages. At the end of each month, a technician from your utility company will write down the meter reading. You will then receive a bill according to that meter reading. If you wish to read your electric meter yourself, please read our tutorial on How to read your meter.

Who does what for electricity & gas

There are 4 main steps that electricity and gas follow to arrive at your home: 

  • production facilities (power plants for electricity)
  • transmission lines, which transport electricity or gas over large distances
  • distribution lines, (rĂ©seau moyenne et basse tension + compteurs) et la fourniture (achat et vente au client final).
  Electricity Gas Who takes care of this part ?
Production
  • Coal/petroleum power plant
  • Gas turbine
  • Nuclear power plant
  • Hydro power plant
  • Wind turbine
  • Solar panel
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal
  • etc.
  • Underground gas wells (onshore or offshore)
  • Liquid natural gas naval tankers

The power producers take care of this.

  • In regulated markets, it is typically the utility company that produces the electricity & gas. 
  • In deregulated markets, they production of electricity & gas has been taken over by independent power producers (IPPs)
Transmission Electrical transmission lines (high voltage) Gas transmission pipelines (high pressure) It is the utility companies that owns and/or operates the transmission and distribution lines. Utilities will charge you for the delivery service which maintains these lines, and ensures the electricity/gas you purchased arrives at your home.
Distribution
  • Electrical distribution lines (low voltage)
  • Electrical meters
  • Gas distribution lines (low pressure)
  • Gas meters
Supply Wholesale purchase and retail sales of electricity and/or gas
  • In regulated markets, the utility companies are the only allowed energy suppliers.
  • In deregulated markets, Energy Supply Companies (ESCOs) are also permitted to perform this part (on top of the traditional utility companies). By default, your utility company will automatically be responsible for the energy supply, unless you choose to switch and sign up with an ESCO. These ESCOs are also called retail energy suppliers, alternate suppliers, or alternative suppliers.
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