Making sure utilities transfer smoothly when moving long distance
Relocating to another state can mean a new adventure around every corner — but even the most adventurous prefer to set up a new household with working lights and water!
Starting or transferring utilities is just one task on a moving checklist — and among the easiest if you know what steps to take. Keep reading to learn when to cancel utilities before moving and how to start new services so you won’t be left in the dark.
When to give notice when changing utility services
It’s important to notify your current utility providers of your intent to cancel or transfer services as soon as possible, preferably at least 30 days before your move.
Some providers — cable, satellite, electricity, etc. — might serve multiple states. In that case, you might be able to transfer services to your new address. Otherwise, you’ll need to cancel and start new accounts.
Whether transferring or starting with a new company, be prepared for an overlap in services since it’s best to shut off utilities at the old home a day after moving out and start utilities at the new home a day before moving in to avoid disruption.
Steps for transferring utilities
Follow these 8 steps to navigate updating services:
1. Contact current utility companies
Make a list of your current providers and their contact information. You’ll want to include these types of services:
- Mobile Phone*
- Pest Control
- Trash collection
Notify the current providers of your upcoming move at least 30 days prior and get instructions about discontinuing service at your current address.
*Depending on where you’re moving, you might need to switch cell phone providers if your current company doesn’t have coverage in your new area.
2. Check service availability in the new city
Find out if current companies operate in the new city. If so, you should be able to transfer your account to the new address. The company’s customer service will help you transition if available.
3. Research utility providers in new location (if needed)
If you’re unable to transfer accounts or would prefer to use a new provider, do an online search for utility companies that serve the new location. You could also ask your real estate agent, friends, family or work colleagues in the area for recommendations.
Contact the new companies to learn about options and any deposits or setup fees required for service at your new home.
4. Schedule stop and start dates
Coordinate with current and new companies to schedule the transfer. To avoid interruption, it’s best to have at least 1-2 days of overlap between services. You don’t want to be moving out or moving in without lights or water!
5. Arrange for final meter readings (if applicable)
Some providers, like electricity, gas and water, might require final meter readings at your old address. Schedule and document the final readings on or before moving day to avoid billing errors.
6. Update billing information and automatic payments
Make sure to give current companies your contact information for final billing purposes. Some providers might return deposits after you cancel service.
Don’t forget to update any automatic payments or set them up for new services.
Note: If you’re changing banks during the move, you might arrange to pay final bills or deposits early.
7. Confirm details before the move
Check in with your current and new utility providers a few days before moving to make sure the cutoff and start dates are accurate.
8. Follow up while settling in
As you settle in at the new place, make sure all utilities are in order and contact your providers to confirm that everything was disconnected or stopped at the previous address.
FAQs about changing services
Can I transfer utilities to my roommate’s name?
Most companies don’t allow transferring to another person’s name. Contact your provider for more information.
If you’re the only person moving and the account is in your name, you’ll need to cancel (or transfer) services and have your roommate set up a new account in their name.
Will I have to pay a new deposit or connection fee?
You might not have to pay a new deposit or hookup fee if you can transfer services. Check with your provider for more details.
New services will likely require a deposit or connection fee, which might vary depending on your credit score.
What should I do if there is a discrepancy in the final bill?
Make sure to document your final meter readings and keep up with notices to cancel services. If you see a problem with the final bill, contact customer service for the company as soon as possible to resolve the issue.
Still planning your move?
If you have questions about transferring utilities or how U-Pack works, let us know in the comments. We’re happy to help!
Suggested reading: Learn what tasks to do after moving to a new state.
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