The relocation process makes project managers out of us all. Trying to deal with packing, loading, and transferring your Cable TV and High Speed Internet service is part of the struggle, but what about switching utilities after a move? This aspect of moving may take a little legwork on your own, since you’ll probably have to deal with local companies, unlike Cable and Internet which are dominated by national providers.
So, instead of using a website to easily switch your address for your Internet service or Home Phone while getting a cost savings bundle out of the deal, you may have to spend some time on the phone scheduling installation appointments. Remember too that many utility providers essentially enjoy monopolies in their local region, so you probably won’t be able to play one off of the other to save a bit on your monthly bill.
Here’s a closer look at switching utilities after you relocate to a new city. If you need any additional tips or general advice on the moving process, check out our cool Moving Guide.
Determine What Utilities are Needed at Your New House
First off, you’ll need to pay attention to what utilities are available at your new home. It makes no sense to call the gas company if there is no gas service at your address! In some areas, there may be a company that provides more than one utility, but chances are you’ll have to deal with separate companies for natural gas, electric, and water service.
If your new home provides options for both gas and electric service, you’ll have another choice whether to use the gas line for your heating your house; drying your laundry, and powering your stove. People who really enjoy cooking generally prefer the extra control given by a gas stove, so consider that point when making a final decision. Another consideration is if the previous owner had gas appliances and a furnace, you’ll need to purchase electric models if going that route, which isn’t a fun thing when on a relocation budget.
Going full electric saves a bit on the hassle of dealing with pilot lights, plus you won’t have to get a furnace check up every year as necessary when using natural gas. If foregoing your new home’s gas line, be sure to have it capped off by a professional service. There’s no denying that a gas leak is an extremely serious problem.
Find Out the Contact Info for the Utility Companies in Your New City
Make it point to get the contact information for the relevant utility companies in your new location. In some cases, you may have to deal with the city itself for water and sewer service (if not using a septic tank.) As mentioned earlier, you can’t expect to have the same utility companies in your new house that you used in your previous residence. Chances are good that a new account needs to be created with each utility.
Depending on your credit history, you may need to make a deposit on each new utility account, so keep that in mind when budgeting your moving expenses. Also, if offered by your utility company, consider a monthly payment budget for your electric or natural gas service, as this helps temper the high utility bills that occur during the winter months by averaging your bill across the entire year.
Schedule Installation Times Early
Once you’ve set up accounts with your new utility companies, it is very important to schedule your installation and setup appointments as early as possible. There’s nothing worse than being in your brand new home without any electricity or heat. In this case, staying a few nights in a hotel room may finish off your moving budget!
With the huge task list involved when moving to a new city, it is easy to forget your good old electric and water service among all the thought given to Internet, Digital TV, and Home Phone. Hopefully, following these easy steps helps to make sure the first night in your new home is spent warm and comfortable with your new utility services.
Photo Credit: USACE Afghanistan Engineer District-South