How to Transfer Utilities and What You Need to Start, Stop Services

If you’re close to your move date, you’ll want know what you need to set up your utility services and learn how to transfer utilities before you get to your new home. Like everything else on your moving checklist, staying organized is key. We put together this handy guide to help you successfully learn how to transfer your utilities — so there’s one less thing to worry about during your move.

TL;DR for How to Transfer Utilities

  1. Start early — at least 2 weeks before your move.

  2. Make a list of your current utility services and account numbers for easy reference.

  3. Find new utility service providers in your area.

  4. Call existing providers to make the switch.

  5. Have documents ready for water and waste removal services.

  6. Pay outstanding balances and return equipment.

  7. Schedule final meter reading.

  8. Confirm utility transfer.

1. Start Early When Transferring Your Utilities

You’ve heard that the early bird gets the worm? Well, the early planner gets their utilities on time.

Start the transfer process 2 to 4 weeks before your move. This will give you plenty of time for any in-person appointments you might need to transfer your utilities. This tip is even more important if you’re moving over the summer. With 62% of Americans moving homes between May and September, utility companies are the busiest during the summer months.

2. List Out Your Current Utilities and Account Numbers

Before you start calling, make a list of all the utility companies you have accounts with. Jot down their phone numbers and your account numbers with each to make life easier when you call to transfer your utilities. These are the most common services you will have to transfer:

3. Find Utility Providers in Your Area

Part of knowing how to transfer your utilities is learning which companies will be available in your new area. Many providers only service certain towns or counties, so be sure to do some research through the local city or county government website, or check with your property manager or real estate agent to find eligible providers.

If you are staying within the same zip code, you might be able to transfer your utilities with your existing providers. In this case, you can usually update your address online or with a quick call to the utility company.

4. Call Utility Companies

First, check each company’s website to see how to transfer your utilities online. If they don’t offer online transfers, give them a call to set up your shut-off and set-up appointments.

Most companies require someone over the age of 18 to be home for these appointments, so make sure you plan ahead. Have your account number, your shut-off and activation dates, and your new address handy when you call. Consider requesting a date for disconnecting your services a day or two after you move to ensure your utilities will be fully functioning as you move out. And be sure to have your electric, gas and water services turned on in time for move-in day.

Take note of who you spoke to and the date you called them just in case anything goes wrong. If they cannot find a record of your call, for example, you’ll have some facts to help clear up any discrepancies.

5. Have Your Documents Ready for Water and Waste Removal Services

Water and waste removal are usually provided through the city or county. If you are renting, you won’t need to worry about registering these services yourself — they will be covered by your property management company. But if you own your new home, you will probably have the option to either call to set up service or you may have to take a trip to the town hall to set up these services. If you have the option to call, be prepared to provide the service address, the billing address, a phone number and the start or end date for the service.

If you need to go to town hall, there are a few documents that you should prepare to have on hand, as well as throughout your move:

  • Proof of identity – Valid driver’s license, passport, alien registration card, state-issued photo ID

  • Proof of residence at your new address – Lease/rental agreement, mortgage/proof of homeownership

  • Completed service application – check with your city/county for their form

Use this list as a general guideline, and be sure to check with your city/county for their specific requirements.

transfer utilities

6. Pay Balances and Return Equipment

Packing your electronics but not sure what to do with your internet service equipment? It’s best to check with your internet provider because many of them will want their hardware back. They usually accept returned equipment through UPS or in-store drop-offs. Some internet providers will send you pre-paid packaging for you to use to send your rented equipment back.

Now is also the best time to pay off any remaining balances you have with your utility companies. Moving out without paying up could hurt your credit down the line.

7. Schedule Final Meter Reading Before Transferring Utilities

You don’t want to get stuck paying for services that you didn’t use, so be sure to have your water and electricity meters read right before they’re shut off. This way, if there are any discrepancies over your last bill, you will have documentation confirming your shut-off date.

8. Confirm the Transfer of Utilities

Showing up on moving day to a dark home with no power or no water is not fun. Call each provider a few days before your move to confirm that they have you all set up and ready to go. Be sure to have your list of names and account numbers nearby for reference, just in case.

Now that you know how to transfer your utilities, check out our life hacks to help you save money on those energy bills.

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