How To Transfer Utilities When Buying A House

How To Transfer Utilities When Buying A House
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With so much going on when moving home, it’s hectic and chaotic. On top of everything else, you might wonder how to transfer utilities when buying a house. Our handy checklist will tell you all the steps you need to know.

Amongst the hectic activities such as packing up your belongings and organising the removals, you will need to transfer or organise the utilities so at least the electricity and gas will be working when you move in.

This may also be an opportunity to switch to a new utility provider, so you are not paying more than is necessary on your bills.

Checklist for transferring utilities when buying a house

To ensure that the transfer of utilities runs smoothly, there are things you need to do before and after you have moved into your new home. There is a lot to think about when you are moving, but don’t worry, with our checklist you won’t miss anything.

Before your moving day

1. Check your current contract

This is something you need to do before your moving day. Check your contracts with your current utilities suppliers to see if you are on a fixed tariff.

If that’s the case, you might have to pay an exit fee to cancel your contract early. You can avoid this by using the same supplier and deal at your new home.

You might have decided to switch supplier because you know that you can get a better deal elsewhere. In this case, find out how much the exit fee is. It might be that the amount of the fee doesn’t make the new deal cheaper any more.

If there isn’t an exit fee to pay, you can decide whether to switch or stay.

We found that moving house is a great time to switch to a new provider, as often deals for new customers are cheaper. Make sure you compare different companies to get the best deal for you.

2. Contact your current supplier

First step is to contact the current occupant or the supplier!

Once you have a confirmed moving day, contact your current electricity and gas supplier to let them know that you are moving.

You have to give them at least 48 hours’ notice and provide them with the moving day, as well as your new address, so they can forward your final bill.

Your current provider will then arrange for a meter reading or ask that you take one on the day of your move. It’s a good idea to use your smartphone to take a picture as evidence as well.

This means that you won’t be paying for electricity or gas, and should there be a water meter installed you’ll want to get a reading for that too.

We found that most utility suppliers have good systems in place for helping you move. Most have options on their websites to easily notify them of an upcoming move.

3. Take a meter reading/check your smart meter works

To make sure that you don’t get charged for gas and electricity you didn’t use, take a meter reading.

When we have moved house we’ve always made sure we took a meter reading a day or two before the actual moving day, then we’ll take another one on the day.

The reading we take a day or two before is a back-up reading. As there’s so much happening on the day it’s easy to forget. So, by also taking one a day or two before, we have an up-to-date reading that can be used to make a pretty accurate estimate.

If you have a smart meter, make sure it’s in working order and transmits automatic readings to your supplier.

4. Find out who supplies your new home

Sometimes it might be hard to find out the current electricity supplier.

Ask the seller or the estate agent who are the utility suppliers to your new home. Once you know, you can check their deals to see if it’s worth going with them or switching to a new supplier.

If you decide to go with the current supplier, you are likely to be put on their default or standard variable tariff. This might not be the best deal though, so make sure to compare deals before you decide.

If, for some reason, the person living in your new home or the estate agent does not know who the gas supplier is, it’s easy enough to find who the gas provider is by visiting the Find My Supplier website.

However, the property information sheet you get from your solicitor should include this information as well.

Finding the electricity supplier can be more tricky if you can’t obtain the information from the estate agent or the seller. You need to call one of these regional distributor contact numbers based on the geographic location of your home:

AreaTelephone Number
Central and South Scotland0330 1010 300
North West England0870 7510 093
North East England0845 6013 268
North Scotland0345 026 2554
North Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire033 0101 0300
South England0845 0262 554
South Wales, South West England, Midlands0845 6015 972
London, South East & East England0845 6015 467
Yorkshire0845 070 7172

Finding the water supplier is simple. The Water UK website has a Find Your Supplier tool that tells who your water supplier is.

5. Contact your new supplier

Once you know which suppliers to use, contact them to let them know when you will move in. You will have to give them your details, so they can set up an account for you.

The new supplier will inform the former supplier of the home, so you don’t need to worry about that.

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On moving day

1. Take meter reading on house you are leaving

Moving day is hectic and busy, but make sure you take a meter reading before you leave the property for good. This will ensure that your final bill is accurate. Once you have sent this to your old utilities provider, you will receive your final bill.

If you have used our checklist, you have also taken a meter reading one or two days before the move. So if, in all the chaos of moving you forget, you still have a back-up reading.

We always take a picture, so that we have visual proof of the reading. This way, if there is an issue you have the evidence you need to solve it.

2. Let your new supplier know you moved

Once you have moved into your new home, contact your new suppliers to let them know you have moved in to ensure you have all necessary utilities you need.

3. Take a meter reading

It is crucial that one of the first things you do when moving into your new home is to take electricity and gas meter readings on that day.

Again, it’s a good idea to take photographs of the meter, so you can prove that the figures were correct when you moved in.

This also means that you will only pay for the electricity and gas that you use and not for the previous occupants.

Send the meter reading to your new supplier, so they can set everything up properly.

The previous owners should have taken a reading on the day they moved out too, but it’s best not to rely on that and take your own.

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After you moved in

1. Pay your final bill

One of the last things you need to do is to pay the final bill for your old home. And if you are in credit, make sure you claim it, if you have switched to a new supplier.

So there you go, your checklist for transferring utilities when buying a house.

The checklist is based on you moving to a house that has a pay by credit meter. If you move into a house with a prepayment meter, there are other things to consider and arrange.

Moving into a house with a prepayment meter

How To Transfer Utilities When Buying A House - First of all, find out why is there a prepayment meter in the house.

If you are moving into a house that has a prepayment meter you need to arrange for a new top-up card or key to be sent to you before moving in.

There are different reasons why a prepayment meter has been fitted, such as the previous occupant struggled to pay bills, or they simply preferred paying with a meter.

Before the government made changes in 2023, namely removing the prepayment meter premium, having a prepayment meter meant having to pay more. However, now it shouldn’t cost you more any more.

You might want to look into switching back to a payment by credit meter. Unless you owe money to your energy provider, this shouldn’t be a problem.

If your new home has a smart meter, simply call the supplier and ask them to switch you. They will be able to do this remotely. For homes without a smart meter, the supplier will arrange for one to be installed, which shouldn’t cost you anything.

Setting up gas and electricity in a new home

For a new-build property, you will need to speak with the developer to see if there is a supplier in place already for the water, gas, and electricity. You will need to call the suppliers to set up a new account with them.

Again, ensure you take a meter reading and photographs of the meter on the day you move in – do not presume that the developer will do this beforehand.

How To Transfer Utilities When Buying A House?

Now you know how to transfer utilities when buying a house, which will make your move that little bit less stressful.

By using our step-by-step checklist, you will make sure not to miss a thing.

As everyone who moves homes knows, transferring utilities can be a hassle, but it can also be an opportunity to find a better deal and save money on your energy bills.

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Insert your email below and we'll send you it along with our regular newsletter and other downloadable guides to help you sell your property. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Authors

  • Steve Lumley

    Steve Lumley has years of experience writing about property. His output has covered everything from property investment, news for landlords and student tenants to articles on how to run a successful portfolio and starting out as a property investor. He has also written several books on the subject.

    View all posts
  • Paul James

    Paul James, is a marketing expert with a passion for property. As well as being a property investor, Paul has also worked within the marketing departments of some of the UK’s leading estate agents. Paul is the founder of Property Road.

    View all posts
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