As if moving wasn’t already stressful, you also need to remember to transfer your utilities until you can check everything off the list. While annoying, this also provides a great opportunity for you to evaluate your current energy supplier contract and switch to a more affordable contract.
While rare, it’s important to disconnect your old utilities and connect your new ones in a timely manner to avoid shut offs and double billing. Fortunately, the process is painless and easy, and we’re here to show you how.
Disconnecting your utility service is as easy as picking up the phone and calling your current supplier. Be sure to give your supplier a week’s notice and to set a termination date for the day after you move into your new home.
If you’re selling a home, it’s important to do this after an offer has been closed and the buyer has fully moved in. Until the buyer fully moves in or a date is set, you are responsible for maintaining a home and a buyer could opt out of closing agreements if they do a walk-through tour and find that your heat and electricity has been shut off. They will be responsible for connecting their own utilities so don’t worry about that.
When disconnecting, be sure to collect any refunds or deposits you have with your supplier that you’ve accumulated over the years or forgot about. Don’t forget to pay any overdue fees that could follow you and add up overtime. You may also be subject to a termination fee depending on your current contract.
Before you terminate your current utilities, be sure to have account numbers on hand and to take a picture of your meter the day you move out to resolve any disputes. Finally, give your current supplier a forwarding address to send you any additional information regarding your bill or account.
Connecting to a new utility service is as easy as disconnecting; it just requires a phone call. The earlier you set up a new connection the better. Ideally, do it a few weeks in advance and schedule servicing for the day before you move in so you don’t end up walking into a dark and cold house. Be prepared to cough up some cash for an introductory and service connection fee.
Be sure to keep the number of your previous utility company in case there are any discrepancies after you move. Typically, people tend to transfer over their old utility services, including electricity, water, and sewage. But this is also an opportunity to shop around, especially if you’ve just moved to a deregulated market. Factor this into your other finances, such as paying off a mortgage loan and taxes.
Switching suppliers is challenging and it’s key to switch before you move. If not, at least carry over your old utility company so when you do switch, your service won’t be interrupted.
There are hundreds of sites and listings to choose a supplier from. I’d consider hiring an energy broker or consultant who can help you navigate the market and find the best deals on your energy needs. This is also a great time to consider investing in energy efficient equipment or joining an energy aggregate to save money.
Regardless, it’s key to read contractual terms and compare them with your current plan to see if you’re saving money. Be sure to have utility bills from the past 12 months on hand.