Moving is a lot of work, and transferring your utilities is simply a part of the process. Making a detailed plan well ahead of time is the best way to ensure that all your utilities are up and running when you arrive at the new place.
If this is your first time moving, or if you’ve never had to transfer utilities before, then this guide is perfect for you. We’re going to get into the steps you need to know in order to make the best plan to make sure your utilities are ready for the move.
Transferring Your Utilities
Imagine you get to your new home and use the keys to unlock the front door for the very first time. You’re excited and grinning as you walk into the home and flip the light switch – only to find that the room is still dark. You try it again, thinking that the light bulb has blown. After walking through the house and trying every room, you realize you don’t have electricity.
This scenario has happened to new homeowners time and time again as they forget to transfer over or activate their utilities. In this instance, it was only electricity – but what if the water or heating was off, too?
It may not be pleasant or fun, but it is of great importance to switch your utilities around before moving out and moving into your new space. To make sure you’re on top of everything, we’ve compiled the steps you need to adhere to when it comes to utilities.
- Create a utilities list
- Re-evaluate utilities
- Transfer or change utilities
- Contact utility providers
- Pay outstanding balances
- Get deposits refunded
- Find & contact utility providers
- Be present during activation
1. Create a List
The first thing you should do is create a master list of all of the utilities you currently have and are paying. You should include things like electricity, gas, water, cable, telephone, internet, and other services. Write down the name of the provider along with their contact information for future use.
2. Re-Evaluate Utilities
Once you have everything written down, it’s time to look at the list and see what you need and what you don’t need. For example, you may notice that you watch TV less and can cancel that cable service. Evaluate what you’re paying for and determine whether or not it needs to be transferred.
3. Transfer & Change Utilities
When you know what you need to cancel, you’ll also need to figure out what services need to be transferred and what services need to be changed entirely. In some cases, such as local moves, you can keep the same service providers but must change the location of service. However, in other cases, such as long-distance moves, you will need an entirely new service provider, such as long-distance movers.
4. If Needed, Find New Service Providers
You should do some research before you move on who in your new area provides what. Get in contact with these utility companies and let them know that you’re going to need their services for your home. Provide them with the information they need as well as any deposits and you’ll be good to go.
5. Contact Utility Companies
The next thing you’ll need to do is get in contact with the utility companies you are currently using. If you need to cancel services, you can let providers know at least 3 weeks ahead of time. Try to schedule utilities to shut off a day after you’ve moved out, giving you some grace so that you can make moving out easier.
6. Pay Outstanding Balances
Oftentimes providers will not let you cancel services or transfer them until outstanding balances have been paid. If you have a bill due, pay the bill as soon as possible and let your service provider know that you are moving so that you can set things up accordingly.
7. Get Deposits Back
When your outstanding balance is paid off you can also get your deposit back, if you paid one. The deposit is typically required to activate services and is refunded once the service has been deactivated. Speak with providers about your deposit and how to get it back.
8. Be Present for Activation
Now that you’ve done everything else, the last thing to do for your utilities is to make sure you are present when technicians come to activate services, make installations, and confirm information about your home and utilities. If you’re not present, you may have to reschedule the activation of utilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does transferring utilities cost?
This will depend on the service provider and the utility itself. Some companies will charge what is known as a transfer fee or may charge a different fee depending on what is needed. Before agreeing to anything, look at what you will be charged and speak to a representative about what to expect.
Do I have to pay a deposit to transfer utilities?
If you’re transferring utilities to a different home but using the same provider, you will likely not have to pay a deposit. However, if you are new to a service provider, you may be liable to make a deposit. Make sure that you have everything necessary to set up utilities when you move, including the funds.
Can I put utilities in a roommate’s name?
To transfer a utility to a member of your household, you will need to contact the provider beforehand and discuss things so that everything is laid out and understood clearly. The company will often request personal information to transfer the utility, such as an ID and address.
Transfer Utilities in 8 Simple Steps
Moving isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, but transferring and setting up your utilities can be one of the easiest parts of the process. Speak with your utility companies before you move to make sure that everything is set up and ready for you to move in.