Moving Timeline: Planning for Utilities

Moving involves so many details, but one essential item to remember is planning for utilities. This task will involve both ends of your move —  shutting off in the old place and turning on in the new. Forgetting to turn off utilities can be costly, and neglecting to turn them on creates stress. To help with your upcoming move, here are some tips to ensure utility planning is smooth.

4 – 5 Weeks Ahead: Research Utility Companies

The last thing you want to do is forget to turn on your electricity and water in the new place before arriving. (If renting, ask the landlord if any utilities are included.) About four to five weeks before your household move, research utility companies who service the new neighborhood. Your utilities will probably include:

  • Electricity
  • Water and sewer
  • Internet
  • Cable or Satellite TV
  • Landline telephone, if desired
  • Gas
  • Trash pickup and recycling

Depending on the area and type of service, there might only be one company available. Or, you might have different options, as many states have deregulated utilities to open up choices for consumers. Starting several weeks ahead of time gives you time to sort out potential opportunities and make the ability to select options that best fit your budget and lifestyle.

Once you have completed a list for new utility companies to contact, compile a list of utilities currently turned on at your current home, using the above list as a guideline. Plan to transfer services to your new address if any of your current utility service providers match any on the list of options in your new community. Get the correct contact numbers or online forms to set a turn-off date for any services you need to terminate.

2 – 3 Weeks Ahead: Contact Utility Companies

About two to three weeks out, it’s time to start canceling, starting, or transferring utility services. In many cases, you can do this online, but it may involve phone calls as well. Information to have handy before contacting utility companies includes:

  • Account information and passwords for current accounts (or ones used previously in other homes, if applicable)
  • Home addresses (including a unit number if applicable)
  • Payment information
  • Social Security number (for new accounts—most companies run a credit check)

It’s helpful to write down dates you’ll want service turned on and off for each type of service so that you don’t overlook anything or enter the wrong date.

1 – 2 Weeks Ahead: Pay Off Balances

Before a utility’s end date, be sure to pay any balances. Leaving outstanding balances on the account will drag down a credit score.

On, Before, or After Moving Day

Some services will require someone to be present when the company turns the utilities on and off. Be sure to ask this question so that you can make arrangements to have someone there.

Other Details

Other details to remember to follow up on include:

  • Ensuring any previous deposits are returned.
  • Checking to see if prorated services have been paid that need refunding.
  • Returning any non-owned equipment (e.g., modem or cable box).
  • Giving the new address to companies who haven’t billed for final service yet.

Finally, right before the move, do a final meter reading and take photos to ensure the final bill reflects your actual usage. Then, when the final bill arrives, make a comparison.

Have an upcoming move? Contact us today for a free quote.