Moving to a new home means organizing a lot of logistics, to be sure. If your relocation is to another city, state, or even country, chances are high you will need to change utility providers. Take steps to make sure you still have lights and electricity and running water right up until you leave your current home, and that you arrive at your new home with full utilities available. You want your unpacking and settling in to go smoothly, after all! How exactly can you pull that off? We’ve laid out step by step directions for how to set up utilities in your new home before you move. It will take some phone calls, but it’s manageable.
Find out what utilities are your responsibility
Apartment buildings, condos, and co-ops will often include certain utilities in the cost of rent. Find out whether you need to pay for:
- Natural Gas
- Internet, Cable, and Phone
- Security System
Once you determine which utilities you need to set up, find out how much choice you have in the matter. For water and sewer, the rates are typically city rates. But for internet and cable accounts, you might be able to shop around for features and rates that you prefer.
Inform your current utility companies
Once you know your moving date, inform your current utility companies. Some utilities, like water or electricity, might not actually get shut off when you move out. In that case, it’s extra important to set a clear move-out date so you aren’t held responsible for charges past that time! Be sure to provide them with your new address so they can send you the final bill to close out your account.
Research local providers
Talk with your landlord before you start researching providers for the services you have determined you need. Many apartment complexes have standing agreements with certain service providers, who offer discounted rates in exchange for being the “preferred provider”. If you establish that this isn’t the case, start researching nearby services. A quick search can generally provide you with an overview of rates, service fees, and reviews. Things like internet and cable services tend to have the widest range in options, while natural gas or electric probably won’t have large differences between companies. In that case, find out which companies give the best customer service. That can make all the difference when you need something fixed!
Gather all of the information you need
In order to set up a new account, you’ll need to provide a fair amount of information to the service provider. Name, phone number, new address, Social Security number, and birth date. Some companies will use this information to complete a credit check to determine whether you are a risk. Not to worry – even if your credit is less than stellar you can still get service. You just may be required to put a larger deposit on your account to offset their perceived risk.
Contact the provider to set up your start date
Services like natural gas, internet, and electricity will each have a different setup process. While electricity is typically a quick and easy process that can be done over the phone, natural gas will require that a technician comes to your home to turn the gas on. Internet, phone, and television can often be bundled together, but will require a technician to install everything. Many accounts can be easily set up online, like electric and trash.
Be sure to schedule these things at least two weeks in advance. That should be more than enough time, but you don’t want to get stuck without natural gas because the technicians were all booked up! While you’re at it, two weeks before moving day is a great time to confirm with your moving company. Confirm your movers’ arrival time, where they can park, and any other additional services you need.
Once your utilities are squared away, you can focus on your move! With a great crew of professional movers on your side, there won’t be much to worry about. Just pack your Moving Essentials bag, focus on keeping yourself and your family relaxed, and let your movers take care of the rest!