How to Set Up Utilities in Your New Home
Use Nutiliti or you can do the below
Packing and transporting get a lot of the attention when it comes to the moving process, but there’s another step that’s just as important: figuring out how to set up utilities in the home that you’re moving to. Whether you’re heading into an apartment or you’ve just bought a house, you’ll want to get your utilities ready to go before moving day so that you’re not trying to settle in without heat, electricity, or wifi (gasp!).
Unless this is your first move, you’ve probably gone through the process of determining how to set up utilities before. But it’s not something that we do often, and it’s not always clear how to go about it. To help you out, we’ve put together this quick overview of the utilities that you’ll need to set up, and how to do it.
Types of Utilities
There are five basic home utilities, and depending on where you live and what the terms of your lease or HOA (if applicable) are you may be responsible for all five or just a few of them.
Water and sewer
Cable and internet
If you’re renting and you’re not exactly sure which utilities you are going to be responsible for, check your lease. If you see “heating” on there, note that heat is covered under your electricity or natural gas bill (depending on the type of heat that your apartment has). Some landlords will also lump heating in with your monthly rent. Ask your landlord directly if you have any questions about your utilities.
How to Set Up Utilities
You will need to set up each utility individually. It’s generally advised that you start the process three weeks before you move, though some utility set-ups offer more wiggle room than others. As a general rule though, give your utility providers as much notice as you can, especially if they need to come out and set up service manually.
With that information in mind, here’s how to set up utilities so they’re ready to go on move-in day.
Determine Who Your Providers Are (3 to 4 weeks before your move)
The utility providers for your new home may be different than the providers for your last home. Certain cities, neighborhoods, apartment buildings, and landlord/management companies have different provider requirements. Likewise, some utility companies only service certain areas.
If you’re moving to a property that you’ve purchased, check the website for your city and/or county for information on utility providers. If you’re renting, check your lease or ask your landlord. Most of the time, you’ll have one provider option for utilities like electricity, natural gas, water and sewer, and trash pick-up, and multiple options for internet and cable.
Contact Utility Companies (2 weeks before your move)
Now that you know who your providers are going to be, you can get in touch. If you already have utilities set up in your current home, you’re going to need to either transfer your existing utilities or cancel your existing utilities and set up new ones. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll just need to set up new ones.
If you need to transfer utilities: This applies if the provider for a certain utility won’t change between your current home and your new home. If this it the case, you’ll have to contact the provider and let them know that service should be transferred to another location. You’ll need to provide your new address, as well as the exact date you need service shut off in one home and turned on in another.
If you need to cancel utilities: This applies if you’re going to have to change providers. Contact the provider of the utility you need to cancel and let them know you are looking to shut down service. They’ll need to know the address you’re shutting down service at, as well as the exact date that your account should be closed.
Setting up new service: To set up a new service, visit the website of your new provider. There should be information on there about how to set up utilities, but if not, call them directly. You’ll need to tell them the address that you’re looking to set up utilities, as well as the date that you need service to start. Most utility companies will also require payment information at this time, either in the form of a credit card or a checking account and routing number. Some may also require a credit check and/or a security deposit. Find out exactly what’s required of you before you go through the application process so that you have everything ready to go.
Note that, if you’re renting, your landlord may require proof that you have arranged for utilities to be set up. Find out how far in advance you will need to provide this information so that you can call your providers earlier if need be.
Check That Utilities Have Been Successfully Turned Off/On (moving day)
There is always the possibility of errors when you’re transferring, cancelling, or setting up utilities. For that reason, it’s a good idea to verify that everything went through as it was supposed to—especially since you don’t want to end up with a bill for utilities that you thought were shut off.
Checking to make sure that utilities in your new home were turned on is easy enough. Make sure that you can flip on a light, turn on the stove, flush the toilet, and connect to the internet. Trash pick-up you’ll have to wait to verify until collection day, but you should know if you’re properly set up before the end of the week. If any utilities are not turned on that are supposed to be, call the provider right away. If the issue is due to a mistake on their end they can usually expedite service and get a utility set up right away for you.
For utilities that you cancelled, double check your account information to ensure that the shut off happened on the date it was scheduled to. If you’re not seeing that information online, call the company to verify (and be sure to get the name of the person who you speak to—just in case).
Making Sense of Utility Bills
Your utility bills can get a bit complicated when you move. Some utility providers will charge a transfer fee, while others may have some added costs tacked on for new service set-up or processing.
Keep in mind that you should also be expecting a final bill for any utilities that you shut off. These should be prorated, meaning that charges for usage only apply up until the day that you scheduled your cancellation for. In some cases, you may actually be owed money from your utility provider, for example if you paid for trash collection through a certain month.
Even if you set up automatic payments, take a look at your first (and final) bills to double check that everything on there is correct. It’s always smart to take a moment to confirm that everything went through as it was supposed to.