When should I tell the utility companies I’m moving house?
There’s an awful lot to think about when moving house, and most people end up compiling a very long ‘to do’ list. When it comes to dealing with the utility companies, like your energy supplier and your water company, here are a few hints and tips to ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible.
You will need to let your existing water company know the date of your move. If you have a water meter, you should give your water supply company at least five working days’ notice so that they can arrange a final meter reading. If you move to a property with a water meter already fitted, you should take a reading as soon as you move in.
Most water companies have set up online sites to enable you to operate an account with them, change your address if you are moving within their area, or let them know if you are moving out of their area. To find out which water company supplies your area, visit the Consumer Council for Water website at www.ccwater.org.uk.
Gas and Electricity
Ring your energy supplier at least 48 hours before your move. They will need to know the date you’re moving and your new address, and to arrange a meter reading or ask you to take a reading on the day of your move. If you take the reading, keep a note of the figure so that you can check your final bill.
Take gas and electricity readings when you get into your new property and contact the supplier so that they can set up an account for you. When you move into a new property, you’ll automatically be placed on a ‘deemed contract’ with the energy company that has been supplying the property.
Most suppliers will automatically put you on their standard tariff when you first move in, so it makes sense to shop around and check that you are getting the best deal. As you won’t have accurate information about how much gas and electricity you will use in your new home, you may need help predicting what your usage will be. There are lots of web sites and organisations you can contact who can give advice to ensure you have the right tariff for your needs.
Broadband, Sky and landline telephones
Most providers are happy for you to move your services across to your new address. Many have portals on their websites where you can request a home move. It’s a good idea to check with your supply as soon as your moving date is confirmed.
BT, for instance, suggests letting them know as early as possible about your move and need at least two weeks’ notice. Some providers would like even more time; Virgin Media recommends contacting them up to six weeks in advance. Transferring your package to your new address with the same provider is generally free, unless of course you need a new satellite dish or line installed.
If you’re not moving too far away, you can often keep your phone number, however with Sky this isn’t possible. Most providers encourage you to take your equipment with you, require it, or charge fees if you don’t.
There are other service providers who need to know you’re moving, such as your local council. You need to contact them so that they stop charging Council Tax on your existing property. If you’re moving within the same council area, they can set up a new account for your new property at the same time. If you’re moving outside the area, don’t forget to contact your new council to let them know the date you are moving in.
If you’re organised and plan, then the stress can be kept to a minimum and hopefully your move will be straightforward.