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Moving house utilities checklist
One of the biggest things on your to do list when moving home – is organising your utilities. In all the frenzy of moving house, utilities are often one of the things we overlook, or forget to do. But what many don’t realise is that not organising gas and electricity suppliers before moving can mean an unnecessary break to the bank. And no one needs that extra expense and hassle in the middle of such a huge task! With our help, you’ll learn how to effectively organise your utility bills, so you have one less thing to worry about.
Moving house utilities: before you move
That’s right – get planning early! Because there are a few bits and bobs to organise before your move, so when it comes to changing utilities, you’re not lumbered with a job that’s more complicated than it has to be.
Make sure to get the following ticked off your list ASAP:
- Who to inform when moving house – let your current gas and electricity suppliers know that you’re moving house before the actual move date – early bird catches the worm! It’s advised to do this 2 days before the move so that your final bill can get to you safely. This will be especially useful if you’re planning on transferring your current supplier/tariff over to your new home. And if you’re on a fixed term tariff – you could be charged for early cancellation. Just contact your supplier to find out if this is the case.
- Take final meter readings – don’t forget to take meter readings from your old house on the day you’re moving, otherwise you may end up getting overcharged on your final bill! Plus, it’ll mean you won’t end up having to pay for energy used by the new resident who moves into your old home.
In the UK, you’re usually limited to the water firm that runs in your area. But fear not! Even though they all offer different tariffs, they’re still regulated so customers can have peace of mind that they’ll always get a fair deal. Water bills in the UK consist of two charges – one for the water you use, and another for the treatment of sewerage and wastewater.
When moving home, as with everything else, you’ll need to complete a change of address for your water supplier too. But what do you need to do exactly?
- Previous address – contact your water supplier and let them know what date you’re moving out. If you have meter readings, you’ll also need to give these to them. Like your other meter readings, make sure to take them on the last day in your home, so the water firm can generate an accurate bill with no nasty surprises!
- New address – find out who supplies the water and sewerage at your new pad and set up an account with them. It may be that you have a water meter in your new home, but normally you can ask to switch to a fixed direct debit, if that’s what you’d prefer.
You can find out more about the water supplier in your area online.
Gas and electricity
With so many costs to think about when moving house, it can feel quite overwhelming, but,don’t worry! Normally, you can combine your gas and electricity deal with the same firm, and this saves you having to change utilities when moving house.
If you’re a bit lost on where to start, just follow our steps and you’ll be good to go in no time:
- Before moving home
Let your energy supplier know that you’re moving at least a week before the big day. If you’re not sure who this is, you’ll need to contact your DNO (distribution network operator) – you can find out who this is here. Remember – your supplier will ask for meter readings on the day you’re leaving, so have these at hand.
Before moving to your new place, like other utilities, you’ll also need to provide gas and electricity meter readings. Do this on the day you’re moving out so that your final bill only reflects your own usage. If you’re lucky, you may even get a refund if you’ve been overcharged – happy days!
- After moving home
Now you’re all settled in your new home, there are a couple of things to tick off your to-do list when it comes to energy. If you’ve decided not to switch your supplier over to your new property, you’ll need to find out who your new gas and electric suppliers are and let them know you’re the new resident.
Don’t forget to take a meter reading on the day you move in! Send these to your new energy suppliers so they can bill you from the date you’ve moved in. After all, you don’t want to end up paying for the last tenants usage!
Once you’ve done all that, clear the bill from your old house and have peace of mind that you have no monetary ties with it anymore.
- Moving home with a pre-payment meter
If you have a pre-payment meter, there are a few extra things you’ll need to do. Call the energy supplier up and ask for a prepayment top up card. Don’t forget to get instructions on how it works, and make sure to ask for any debts on there to be cleared. Preparation is key here – get it done earlier – and ideally on the day you move in.
If you’re thinking about changing your pre-payment meter, you may be surprised that the cheapest tariff is normally more expensive than paying by direct debit with most suppliers. Just chat to the supplier who owns the pre-payment meter about this.
- Setting up gas and electricity in a new build
Gas and electricity will be installed during the building process which makes it easier to move as soon as your new home is ready – hooray! Though, energy suppliers normally choose standard tariffs for new builds, and these don’t always offer the best value. Once you’ve moved into your new pad, it’s a good idea to shop around and find a tariff that offers the best deal for your needs.
To set up your gas and electricity, you need to find out from the developer which supplier they used to set up the utilities in the first place. But keep in mind that although some suppliers offer both gas and electricity, sometimes you may need a separate supplier for each.
You’ll also need to know your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN), because it identifies your home as a point of supply within the network. Don’t worry though, in most cases, it’ll be clearly marked on your meter.
If the developer doesn’t know which supplier your temporary contract is on, try calling your local Meter Point Administration Service (MPAS) to find out.
How to find the best gas and electricity bill
We’ve come up with a few key steps to follow, so that switching gas and electricity when moving house doesn’t break the bank:
- Take a meter reading of your gas and electricity.
- Pop your postcode in on an online comparison site like USwitch or Compare the Market.
- Look for the best deal in your area.
- Chat with your old supplier and let them know you’re going to be switching.
- Check your utilities have been switched off at your old property and when they’re going to be activated at your new home.
Top tip – most suppliers will ask you to sign a contract that covers at least 1 to 2 years. But we’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s often possible to find deals that offer the first few months free to customers planning to switch utilities when moving house!
Setting up internet before moving in is super important. There’s nothing worse than moving into a home without broadband – you don’t want to miss out on your favourite shows on Netflix! But first thing’s first – are you planning on sticking with your current broadband provider or do you fancy a change? You’ll be pleased to know that moving house is actually one of the best times to bag a good broadband deal. In fact, broadband suppliers actually save their best offers for those who are planning to move.
If you’re still only part way into a 12- or 18-month contract, then it makes sense to stick with them and just move your existing contract to your new address. Leaving halfway could mean you need to pay a fine as well as pay the cost of the remaining months you’d committed to.
Top tip – if you decide to stay with your current internet provider, just make sure that switching addresses won’t mean starting a new minimum term contract.
Last but not least – don’t forget about council tax! Always make sure your accounts are up to date and your bills are settled. And if you’re owed a refund, even better! For example, if you’ve been living on your own and haven’t been claiming a single person discount (25% reduction), you’ll be due a refund. That’s more money in your pocket to splash out on your new pad – happy days!
How much council tax you pay in your new home will be dependent on the size and location of your property. If you head over to the GOV website, you can check your council tax band. With new builds, your local council will normally pop round and make an assessment for you.
When you move house, and you’re sorting your council tax out, you’ll be in one of two scenarios:
- you move within the area of your current council
- you move to a different area
Regardless of whichever one is true to your situation; you need to let the council know about your address change. And if you do happen to be moving out of the area, you’ll need to close down your current account and set one up with your new council.
If you want to make sure you’ve not missed anyone when it comes to who to inform when moving house, we’ve made a change of address checklist just for you.
Moving house utilities: After you move
Now that you’ve moved, you probably can’t get enough of the sound of your keys jingling. But before you stick the kettle on, there are some utilities you’ll need to sort now you’ve moved into your new happy place:
- Take meter readings – once you step foot into a new property, you’ll be classed as responsible for the utilities. So, the first thing you need to do is make a note of the meter readings. Otherwise, you could get overcharged during the transfer process and end up with a first bill that’s more than you bargained for!
- Contact the current supplier – make sure you find out who supplies your new home and let them know you’re the new resident. Now’s also the time to ask any pressing questions you may have.
- Bag a better deal – beware the standard tariff! A lot of energy suppliers will put new movers onto a standard tariff by default, and these are normally the most expensive. Searching for a better deal means a big saving could be on the cards!
We hope we’ve provided you with some clarity on all things utilities when it comes to moving house. Work your way through our trusty checklist and you’ll have ticked off all the to-dos in no time! Maybe you get to splash the cash from a council tax refund, or your kids are over the moon they’ve got WiFi from the first day you move in. Whatever you get out of sorting your utilities in good time, will mean happy days for all!