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Whether you’ve moved into an apartment or just bought a house, you should have your utilities ready before you move so you’re not trying to settle down (gasp!) without heat, electricity, or Wi-Fi.
Unless this is your first step, you probably already know how to set up the utility. But we don’t do it very often, and it’s not always clear how to do it. To help you figure this out, we’ve put together this quick guide to setting up utilities in your new home.
What utilities do I need? How to set up utilities in your new home
Having electricity is essential. The average home or residence in the United States uses about 911 kWh of electricity each month. Fees vary by state. For example, the average electricity bill in Louisiana is $81, Rhode Island is $170, and Hawaii is $246.
Natural gas can heat buildings and water, cook meals, and dry clothes in a home or residence. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about half of all homes use natural gas for heating and hot water. In 2020, the residential sector accounted for about 15% of total U.S. natural gas consumption, and natural gas is the source of about 23% of total U.S. residential energy consumption. If your home or home uses electricity for AC power, heating, stoves, and ovens, you may not have gas bills.
water and sewage
Unless included (if you rent), it is your responsibility to arrange water and sewerage services for your residence or home. The monthly bill has so-called “ready service essentials” and your monthly water usage. How it is calculated depends on your location. It can be a flat rate, a cost estimate, etc. Ready to Serve Essentials has State Department of Health water testing (you can see it under Safe Drinking Water on your bill), sewer infrastructure, and drinking water infrastructure.
Where you live may also include disposal fees (garbage and recycling collection) in the bill. Water usage is calculated based on the water you use to wash dishes, shower, flush the toilet, liters of sewage drained, and city sales tax. Of course, this is just one example, tariffs and tariff types vary by state and city.
Garbage Collection and Recycling
You pay a monthly fee for both. Curbside pickup fees vary by state. The collection and recycling of domestic waste are usually contracted and supervised by the local government. Collection dates vary, and where you live is considered recyclable (plastic, cardboard, glass bottles and jars, aluminum, steel cans). According to one study, Maine has the highest recycling rate in the nation, while West Virginia has the lowest.
Another non-essential utility, but one that millions of homeowners choose to set up for their peace of mind. If you rent, some form of the home security system may already be installed (such as a locked gate and cameras), or you may choose to install your own. Charges may include equipment and installation (if you do not do this yourself) and monthly monitoring fees.
Check your rental agreement if you’re renting and are unsure which utilities you’re responsible for. If you see “heating” there, be aware that your electricity or gas bill will pay for the heat (depending on the type of heating in your apartment). Some landlords also include heating costs in your monthly rent. If you have any questions about ancillary expenses, please contact your landlord directly.
Cable and Internet
While a wired connection isn’t essential in your home, especially with all the streaming services available, having safe and secure internet access is critical to most of us. You can access the Internet through DSL, cable Internet, cell phone company, or local phone company. You must pay the provider for the privilege as long as you use the data unless you’re on a public Wi-Fi network or using someone else’s internet service. Each provider has a different plan, but some standard charges include the monthly usage fee agreed upon in your project, measured in GB, taxes, equipment costs (financing a shiny new iPhone or paying off a router, etc.). ), surcharges over your data plan, and other charges.
How to Set Up Utilities in Your New Home
You must set up each utility individually. It is generally recommended to start the process three weeks before moving, although some utility settings offer more freedom than others. However, as a general rule, you should let your utility provider know as soon as possible, especially if they come out and need to set up the service manually.
Here’s how to set up the utility with that information in mind so it’s ready when you move in.
Determine who your provider is (three to four weeks before moving)
Your new home may have different utilities than your last home. Certain cities, communities, apartment buildings, and landlords/management companies have additional vendor requirements. Likewise, some utilities only serve specific areas.
If you are moving into a purchased property, check your city and county’s website for utility information. If you are renting, check your tenancy agreement or ask your landlord. For the most part, you’ll have provider options for utilities such as electricity, gas, water and sewerage, garbage collection, and multiple options for internet and cable TV.
Contact your energy provider (two weeks before moving)
Now that you know who your supplier will be, you can get in touch. If you already have utilities set up in your current home, you must transfer the existing utility or cancel the existing utility and set up a new one. If you are starting from scratch, all you have to do is set up a new one.
- If you need to transfer utilities: This applies if the provider of a particular utility is not switching between your current home and your new home. In this case, you will need to contact the provider and tell them to move the service to another location. You must provide your new address and the exact date you want the service to close in one household and open in the other.
- If you need to cancel the utility: This applies if you need to switch providers. You must know the address to terminate the service and the exact date you wish to close your account. Contact the provider of the utility you need to cancel and let them know you’re discontinuing service.
- Set up a new service: To set up a new service, visit the new provider’s website. You need to tell them the address you want to set up the utility and the date you need to start the service. There should be information on setting up the utility, but if not, please call them directly.
Most utilities also require payment information at this time, in the form of a credit card or checking account and routing number. Some may also need a credit check and security deposit. Before going through the application process, know your requirements to be ready for everything.
Your landlord may ask you to provide proof that you have arranged for utilities to be set up if you are renting. Find out how long in advance you need to provide this information so you can call your provider as soon as possible if necessary.
Check if utilities are turned on/off successfully (moving day)
Errors always occur when transferring, canceling, or setting up utilities. For this reason, it’s best to double-check that everything is working as expected — especially since you don’t want to end up with a utility bill that you think is off.
It’s easy to check if utilities are turned on in your new home. Make sure you turn on the lights, turn on the stove, flush the toilet, and connect to the internet. Garbage collection requires you to wait until collection day to confirm, but you should know if your settings are correct by the weekend. If any utility does not open, contact the provider immediately. If the problem is due to their error, they can usually speed up the service and set up the utility for you in no time.
Please check your account information to ensure closing on the scheduled date for canceled utilities. If you don’t see this information online, call the company to check (and make sure you know the name of the person you’re talking to – just in case).
View your last and first bill
When you move, your electricity bill can get a little complicated. Some utilities charge a transmission fee, while others may incur additional charges to set up or handle new services.
Remember, you should also expect a final bill for any utilities you shut down. These should be prorated, which means you only pay for your usage when your booking is canceled. In some cases, your utility company may owe you money – for example, if you paid for garbage collection in a particular month.
Even if you have automatic payments set up, review your first (and last) invoice to verify that everything on the invoice is correct. It’s always wise to take the time to confirm that everything is working as expected.
Save on utility bills.
Every year, much energy is wasted due to outdated and inefficient cooling and heating systems, poor insulation, old appliances, and leaking windows, pipes, and floors. Start living right in your new home or residence by working to make your home more energy-efficient. We don’t have to tell you it’s good for the planet — and you’ll save money in the process.
Here are some ways to make your home more energy-efficient:
- Turn off the air conditioner and use the fan whenever possible
- Change air conditioner filters regularly
- Keep the thermostat off or off when you go out
- Install a Programmable Thermostat
- Update insulation
- Turn off the lights when not in the room
- Use LED lights as Christmas decorations
- Turn off electronic devices, not in use
- Invest in energy-efficient ENERGY STAR equipment
- Lower the temperature of the water heater
- Shorten your shower time
- Use a low-flow showerhead
- keep the curtains closed
- Close doors and windows when heating or cooling your home
- Only run a whole load of laundry
- air dry your clothes
- Wash dishes by hand whenever possible
- Reduce your security system
- Bundled cable and internet
- Cancel TV channels and streaming services you don’t use