The Best Way to Switch Utilities When Moving
In all the bustling and excitement of moving, it can be hard to remember where you just put your keys, let alone that you need to switch over your utilities.
You need to pick the best day for activation as well as shut off. Otherwise, you could risk paying double or going without heat when you switch utilities.
Answer these 9 questions and you’ll be able to synchronize your utilities to put your mind at ease.
1. When Are Your Dates?
Your first step is determining when you need services shut off and when you’ll be at your new place. Give yourself a day or two on either end so that you can come back and deal with any loose ends.
If there are any snags, you don’t want to end up moving into a dark place.
2. What Are Your Account Numbers?
If you’re still over a month from your moving date, make a note to hang onto your most recent bills. Should you have opted out of paper billing, log into your account and write your account numbers on a piece of paper.
Put that paper someplace out of the way of where you’re moving in and out. If you’ve spent hours packing the perfect boxes, you don’t want to have to dig around for a stray piece of paper.
The fridge is a great place to keep papers available but out of the way.
3. Have You Called Your Utility Company?
Be sure you schedule your service changes more than two weeks but less than two months in advance. Three weeks in advance is a great time to ensure that you get the date you want.
The last thing you need is to have to wait a weekend without internet because you moved on a Friday.
4. Have You Paid Your Balances?
Be sure to take care of any overdue or anticipated balances with your utility company. If they can give you a final balance before your shutoff date, that will spare you from a piece of mail from a collection agency months later.
An overdue balance can do serious damage to your credit rating. It’s not worth the risk.
5. What’s Your New Address?
Provide your company, and the postal service, your forwarding address. This will ensure that you get that last bill. You also might end up with a deposit back in your account.
6. Who Are Your New Providers?
Talk to your landlord or neighbors to find out which services are available in your area. Compare pricing options and packages.
Be prepared with all your identifying info, as providers will ask personal questions to avoid fraud. You might need to get a credit check, so you want to give plenty of lead time. Call at least two weeks in advance.
7. What’s on Your Meter?
Take one last look at the meter before you leave. Take a photo with your phone for proof.
This will clear up any disputes in case the new tenant waits a few weeks before they switch utilities.
8. Who Will Be Home?
Make sure that someone is around when utility companies come. If you have to be away, ask a friend, neighbor, or building supervisor to pick up the call and let in any service professionals.
9. Any Leaks?
Take a look at all of your fixtures, window frames, and lines coming into the house once everything is activated. If there’s a leaking faucet, that could cost you extra money. Gaps in your window could let the air out, making your bill go up.
Any frayed wires can be dangerous. Take one last look before you kick back in your new place.
Give Yourself Time to Switch Utilities
The key to a smooth move from one home to another is to give yourself plenty of time. Mistakes will be made and things will be forgotten. A few extra days or weeks will give you time to iron things out.
If you’re planning your move, contact us for tips and advice on how to make your transition smooth and cost-effective.
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