Alex is the founder of 9Kilo Moving, which he started to help people easily find and choose the right moving company to make their move as stress-free and seamless as possible. He has spent over 20 years working in the moving industry, so he knows every aspect of the business and uses his knowledge to write about the industry and give moving advice. More on about us page
When you think of moving, the first thing that comes to mind is decluttering, packing, and the actual process of moving. If you had to list down some to-dos, you’d also include things like changing your addresses.
In the middle of the chaos that moving brings, a lot of us
tend to push a very important job aside, which is setting up home services and
utilities. While most of us have them in the back of our heads, we leave them
till the end which only adds to the chaos.
To help you sort through the number of utilities you have to get in order for your new home so that you’re not left without water or electricity, we’ve prepared a concise guide for you below. But first, let’s look at what these utilities are.
CALCULATE MY MOVE
Utilities usually include electricity, natural gas, cable, and internet, water and sewer service,
and picking up trash. However, when you live on a rental property, your
landlord might be responsible for providing some of these utilities as part of
the lease agreement.
So, whether you’re moving to a house you’ve bought or a
rental apartment, we’d suggest you first find out which utilities or home
services you’ll actually be needing. It is possible that you won’t need cable
anymore, or you want your internet speed to be higher than what it was
previously. It is also possible that providing heating is not a part of your
lease and you might have to make arrangements for it yourself.
Most landlords also include heating as part of the electricity or natural gas, so make sure that you talk about the same with your landlord if it’s not mentioned on your lease. If the place you’re renting is a part of the Home Owner’s Association (HOA), then the fees of these utilities will be included in your monthly rent.
See also: Things to Prepare when Moving to a New Home
Once you have an idea of the
utilities you’ll be needing for your new home, it’s now time to go ahead with
the process of making arrangements to set these up. If you think you can start
the process of setting up after you move, then you’re in for days if not weeks
As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to start the process at least three to four weeks in advance so that
when you move, you have functioning utilities. You don’t want to be running
around trying to get hot water or better heating, especially not in the initial
days of your move!
The first step to setting up your utilities is figuring out
who provides those services to you currently. If you’re wondering how this
comes into play - there’s a huge possibility that your current service
providers also provide utility services in your new neighborhood. If that’s the
case, you’ll be saving a lot of time and effort when you move.
Make a list of all your current service providers, from the
one that provides your internet to the one that ensures you have running water.
If you’re currently living on rent, you can contact your landlord for details
of the service providers. Usually, you’ll have only one utility provider who
gives you several services.
We suggest that you also take this time to figure out who
your potential utility service providers might be. Setting up utility services
might take weeks, which is why it’s essential that you do this well in advance.
In a scenario where your current utility provider does not
have a branch in the place you’re moving to, you’ll need to contact other
utility providers. You can visit the city or county website of your new home
where you’ll most probably find the names and contact details of the utility providers
you’re looking for. If you’re renting, you can also contact your new landlord
for details of the same.
Now that you have the names and contact details of your
current utility and home service providers, it’s time to give them a call. When you call, inform them that you’ll be
moving and ask them if they’ll be able to provide the same facilities in your
new place of residence.
This can go either way:
If your current utility providers can provide the services
in your new place of residence, then all that has to be done is the
transferring of these services there, which the providers take care of
themselves. All you have to do is ask if there will be a difference in the
price and give them your new address and the date by which you want these
services to start.
Note: You’ll most
probably be charged with a transfer fee for the transferring of these utilities
so don’t forget to confirm the same with your service provider.
If your current utility provider cannot provide these
services at your new address, then you’ll have to ask for a shutdown of the
services. You’ll also be required to give your current address and the date
from which you require for the services to be discontinued.
If you had to go with the second option and you’ve already
started looking for new service providers, it’s time to make picks!
As we suggested you do, you might have already made a list
of potential utility or home service providers in your new area of residence.
If you’ve not done that already, it’s best to do it as soon as possible. Apart
from talking to your new landlord and looking at the city or county website for
information, you can also talk to your to-be neighbors for suggestions.
There’s a possibility that you might score a utility
provider that gives great services and great discounts too! Talking to your
neighbors who have lived in the area for a while will also help you get a clear
perspective on the problems that might arise when you select one utility
provider over another, which you might not get on online review platforms.
When it comes to choosing a new service provider for the potential picks, ask the following questions:
Based on the answers you get, you can make a comparison
between your top utility providers and pick one that agrees with your needs
best! If you’re a senior citizen, a student, or if you’re an active-duty
military personnel, you should ask the utility providers for a discount which
most of them will definitely have.
the costs with your utility providers if it’s not a fixed rate because they
will most likely budge and grant you a fee reduction.
Once you’ve made a decision on which utility provider you
want to go with for all your home services and spoken to them, it’s time to
make the application to set these up. Most utility service providers give you
the option to apply and make a payment online itself, so the first thing you
should do is visit your utility provider’s website.
As mentioned previously, you’ll also be asked for a date
from which you’d like the services to start, and your exact address. Some
service providers also require you to pay a security deposit if you’re a new
resident which will be returned to you once you start paying your bills
regularly. If you don’t know how to set up utilities like the cable and
internet by yourself, you can call them to do it for you.
Note: If you’re
staying at a rental property, your landlord might require you to set up your
utilities before you move, so we suggest that you ask your landlord about the
This step takes place after you’ve moved, and if the place
you’re moving to is close by, we strongly recommend that you do carry this step
out a day before your moving day. You don’t want to move and then find out that
there’s no water or electricity even though you’ve spoken to your utility
provider and paid a security deposit!
Start by switching your lights on and turning your taps to
see if there’s electricity and water. Do other things like turning on the
stove, connecting to the internet, and flushing the toilet. If any of this
doesn’t work, contact your utility provider right away.
A day before you move from your current place of residence,
you should also check if your utilities there have been canceled. Thoroughly
check your accounts with them to see a confirmation of cancellation because you
don’t want to continue to get billed. If you don’t see this information, talk
to your utility provider right away.
When you move, your current utility providers will charge
you for their services till the day you move. You will then be sent this bill
and it’s important that you check the dates mentioned on the bill correctly
because it’s possible that you’ve been billed for the days even after you
With your new utility providers, we suggest you find out when their billing cycles start and end even if you’ve set an automated payment method. Pay your bills on time so that it doesn’t affect your credit score in a negative manner.
See also: Utility Bills 101
Planning and organization make everything easier and when
you apply them to something as strenuous as moving, your experience will be
relaxed and positive. Plan to get your utilities set up in advance so that you
can concentrate on other matters related to moving. We hope our guide to
setting up utilities in your new home gives you some idea of how the process
can be taken care of. Happy moving!
What are the first utilities to be installed?
Usually, lines for gas and waste will be installed first
which will include sewage pipes and venting. If your home has a complex HVAC
system then that will be installed first.
Can you set up utilities before moving in?
Yes, as we mentioned in the article, you should be setting
up your utilities way in advance so that they are up and running as soon as you
move. We suggest that you get the process started at least two weeks in advance
because your utility service providers might take anywhere between 5 to 15 days
to set it up.
Is gas considered a wet utility?
No, natural gas is categorized as a dry utility along with cable, electricity, and telephone services. Remember that wet utilities always have to do with water.
See also: First Apartment Checklist | Easy Ways to Secure Your New Home
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