Several situations exist when you might need to switch a gas or electric bill into your name, including when you move into a new house, take over an apartment lease from a roommate or change your legal name through marriage or other means. The exact process for putting the bill in your name varies depending on the utility, but follows several basic steps.
Step 1 Find the Right Utility
If you just need to change your legal name, you will already know the name of your utility company. But if you are moving into a new house or apartment, you can ask the previous owners, your realtor, the landlord or a neighbor to provide you with that information.
Step 2 Contact the Utility Company
Many utility companies now allow you to make name changes or switch service into your name via an online form on its website. For example, if you currently are or will be a Duke Energy customer, you can use its online Start, Stop and Move feature to change the bill into your name. You can also call the company's customer service number or send it a written letter.
Step 3 Provide Necessary Information
When you call or use the online form, be prepared to give the following information:
- The address you're switching service to, or your current address if you are just changing the name on the account
- Date you want the bill switched to your name
- Mailing address, if different from your physical address
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Names of spouse or roommate you want included on the bill, if applicable
- Employment information
Step 4 Pay Service Fee or Security Deposit
If you're a new customer, you might have to pay a security deposit. To cover administrative costs, some companies also charge a service fee to all customers who make a change. For example, as of publication BGE charges $20 to customers if a meter is already installed on the property and $40 if it has to install one.