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How to Set Up Utilities When Moving to a New Home

Make Move-In Day a Breeze With These 6 Tips to Setting Up Your Utilities


You’ve done the internet searches and property tours, and you’ve submitted applications. Congrats! You now have a new place to call home. But before moving in, it’s important that you get all of your utilities set up so you can feel more at home right off the bat. This can seem overwhelming, especially when you’re in the process of moving or if you haven’t needed to set up utilities in a few years. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make your first day in your new home a success.

Create a Timeline

After organizing your moving checklist and determining your move-in date, you’ll want to start transferring or setting up your utilities about three to four weeks beforehand. While some utility setups will be more flexible than others, some will require a visit from the technician, so it’s best to set appointments in advance.

Suggested timelines

  • Three to four weeks before your move-out date: Get organized and make a plan
  • Two to three weeks before your move-out date: Cancel, transfer, and set up utilities
  • One week before your move-out date: Prepare utilities for moving

This way, everything will be ready for you by the time you’re moving in, and all you’ll need to worry about is unpacking those boxes.

Know What You Have and What You Need

Start out this part of the process by getting organized. You’re going to want to know which utilities you currently pay for, your account information, and if you can transfer these services.

Your list may include:

  • Water and sewage
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Internet
  • Cable or satellite TV
  • Home phone
  • Home security
  • Waste removal

After familiarizing yourself with your list, determine which utilities you’ll need for your new place. Some apartments include certain utilities, so you won’t need to worry about those, but it’s always a good idea to confirm which utilities you’ll need with your landlord, property manager, or real estate agent.

By creating this list of what you need to cancel, transfer, and set up, you’ll be able to tackle the next few stages more easily.

Familiarize Yourself With Your Area’s Providers

One of the reasons why we suggest starting this process three to four weeks before you move is so you don’t feel rushed into choosing providers. This will give you time to find the best, most affordable providers to fit your needs.

Keep in mind that you’ll usually have only one or two options for basic utilities, like gas, water, electricity, and waste removal, depending on your area. But utilities like internet, cable, home phone service, and home security usually have several providers offering service in the same area. 

For these services, you’ll want to compare providers, prices, and plans before making a decision. The easiest way to find your new utility providers and compare your internet and TV options is to use our search by address tool

If you’re a renter and you decide that you want TV service, double-check with your property manager first. Certain types of TV, like satellite TV, may require mounted equipment that is not allowed by your property manager.

Set Up Your New Utilities

Now that you’ve made your list and selected providers for your new address, it’s time to give them a call. First, you’ll need to notify your current providers and cancel or transfer service, depending on if it’s available at your new address. Most providers can take care of this online, but you can always reach out to customer service and speak with a representative if that’s easier for you.

After that, it’s time to notify your new providers to set up utilities. This can also be done via website or phone, depending on the company. You should start this process two to three weeks before your move, especially in the busier summer months. It’s better to start early and get it done than end up in a new home without lights or running water.

When setting up your new utilities, there are some pieces of information you’ll want to have on hand:

  • Logins, passwords, and account numbers
  • Payment information
  • Proof of identity, such as driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate
  • Proof of address, such as a lease agreement or mortgage paperwork 
  • Your Social Security number (for credit checks)
  • Move-in and move-out dates
  • Potential appointment dates for technician visits 

Now that you’re organized and prepared, here are a few tips for you to use during these conversations with current and future providers:

  • When the representative on the phone asks for your move-in and move-out dates, be strategic. It’s best to stop service at your old residence a day or two after you plan to move out. If you select the day you move out, the provider could shut off the power before you’re done, and you’ll end up moving in the dark. For setting up utilities at your new address, select the day or two before you move in. That way you’ll have your utilities up and running no matter what time of day you start moving in. 
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your first bill when you’re on the phone. Utility providers often require a deposit and a transfer fee (for existing customers) or setup fee (for new customers). Knowing exactly what you’re going to be charged will help you budget better for your move. 
  • If your provider requires an in-person appointment to set up your utilities, ask if anyone needs to be home during the appointment and if the person must be over the age of 18. Sometimes the provider can turn on service without entering your home, so you may not need to be present. This makes it easier to find an appointment time that works for you. If no one needs to be home, ask if there’s anything you need to do before the appointment. This could include providing a gate code, moving outdoor furniture, or keeping your pets inside so the technician can complete the service. 

Prep Your Utilities for Moving

Now that you’ve notified your current and future providers, here are a few things you should do a week before your move:

Return equipment from your previous provider

If you are renting your internet router or DVR box, make sure to return it when you move. TV and internet providers typically have local drop-off locations, but you can also return the equipment by mail. Check with your provider first; if you’re keeping the same provider at your new address, you may be able to take the equipment with you. 

Schedule a final meter reading 

A few days before moving out, schedule a final reading for your gas, water, and electricity meters. Keep a copy of each reading so you can compare them to your final utility bills, and make sure the dates align with your move-out date. This will help you see if your final bills are accurate and avoid getting overcharged. 

Confirm with your new utilities

Call your new utilities a few days before your move-in date to make sure that everything is in order. Even though you already called the company a few weeks ago, it’s always best to double-check to ensure your move-in goes smoothly. 

Transfer Utilities to a Roommate

Your move-out date doesn’t always correlate with your roommate’s. If that’s the case and your roommate is staying in the space, you’ll want to discuss transferring the services over to them.

To transfer utilities, simply give your provider a call. You’ll be able to put the utilities in someone else’s name over the phone. It’s best to do this early on, just like you would for setting up any of your other utilities before a move. When you transfer utilities to a roommate or someone else, that person will need the same information you need to set up the service.