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Transferring utilities when you move

October 30th, 2015 - 3:04 PM

Moving utility services

Whether you’re moving across the country or across town, one thing that has to be done is transferring your utilities from one residence to the other — or in some cases, cancelling service with one company and starting it with another. Take a look at these tips to help ensure everything’s ready to go when it comes time to move. 

image showing utilities connecting across a city

How to transfer utilities when you move

  1. List of all your utilities with account numbers. Start by writing down each of your current utility bills with their account numbers and contact phone numbers (or put them in an easy-to-use spreadsheet). Then do the same for any new services/companies needed at your new home. 
  2. Check with your realtor or HOA to see if any services are included. If you’re moving into a community or neighborhood with a homeowners’ association (HOA), services like water, trash pickup, lawn care, security or other amenities may be included in the HOA fees. If they are, you may not have to set them up individually. Talk with the HOA director or your realtor to find out what’s included in your membership.
  3. Schedule shut-off and activation dates. It’s a good idea to have your utilities at the new address turned on the day before moving in and shut off at the old home the day after moving out. If you’re moving out of an apartment or rental unit, you may need to consult with the property owner/manager to coordinate shut-off dates. It’s best to notify utility companies of the activation and shut-off dates at least three weeks in advance. You can normally do this by phone or through the utility service’s website. In most cases, you’ll need to pay off any outstanding balances before turning on/shutting off services.
  4. Update your address. Utility companies need both your physical address and your mailing address (if they differ). They’ll need to know the location where service will be provided (or where it will be discontinued) and where to send future bills or return deposits. Don’t forget to also update your mailing address with the postal service. 
  5. Arrange for someone to be home for activation. Most utility companies require that you or someone who can sign on your behalf is present when the utility company comes to turn everything on. 
  6. Conduct final meter reading. Before moving out of the old residence, do a final reading of your water, gas and electric meters. Take a photo or write down the meter reading in case there are billing disputes later on. 
  7. Check fixtures at new home. Check the fixtures and faucets in your home. A leaky pipe, faucet or gas line could run up the bill or put you and your family in danger. Making sure everything is in working order provides extra peace of mind.

Questions?

Leave us a comment below with any additional questions about transferring utilities. Still packing? Check out this comprehensive moving checklist to help guide you through the moving process.