How to Transfer Utilities When You Move

Any time you move you must transfer utilities such as garbage collection, electricity, cable and Internet. Transferring utilities involves contacting new utility companies and transferring coverage from your old residence to your new residence. If you move within the same geographic location, you may use the same utility company you used in the past. Even if that occurs, you still must transfer your utility services from your old to your new address. Ensuring continuous utility coverage requires that you properly coordinate your move. Fortunately, if you follow a few simple steps, you can easily and efficiently transfer all the utilities you need.

Couple paying bills
credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Step 1

Make a list of the utilities that need to be transferred and include the contact numbers for your current phone, gas, electric and water companies, along with any other utilities you currently have. Also list the date you plan to move out of your current residence or office.

Step 2

List the phone numbers of the utility companies that oversee the area to which you are moving. Make sure you have a corresponding number on your move-in list for each utility on your move-out list.

Step 3

Call each of your current utility companies and inform them of the date you will move out. Provide instructions to turn the utilities off two days after you leave, if possible. Leaving the electricity or water on for a couple days after you leave allows you to return to the home if you need to clean or if you forgot something. If you need to return for any reason, you won't have to stumble around in the dark. If you do not need to return, the extra days will not cost you much because no one will inhabit the house or office to run up utility costs. Check with each company to see if they will prorate the extra days or charge you for a full month if the date given does not fall at the end of a billing cycle.

Step 4

Call each of your future utility companies and inform them of the date you need the service turned on or begun. Call at least 14 days in advance. If you wait until the last minute, you might find yourself in your new home or office with no power or water. When you schedule the day for the utility company to turn on the utilities, choose a date two days prior to your move-in date. Doing so will ensure you have power or water the day of move-in. Calling in advance also ensures they have time to schedule a visit if necessary.

Step 5

Plan to pay deposits for your future utilities. You might have to pay a deposit even if you use the same utility company for both locations. Planning for deposits ensures you do not find yourself strapped for cash due to moving expenses. Call ahead to find out what each company charges for a deposit and budget ahead.

Step 6

Note the times you need to be at your future residence to meet with utility service personnel. Schedule your availability in a block of four to six hours. Gas companies often require your presence when they have to turn the gas on because they often have to check pilot lights inside the home or office. Service personnel generally do not schedule an actual arrival time. Instead, they promise to arrive within a given time range such as between 8 a.m. and noon or between 1 and 5 p.m. Bring a load of boxes with you and unpack while you wait.

Step 7

Conduct a final read of your electricity and water meters. Doing a final read ensures you have a record of the meter's reading when you moved out. If the meters increase after you have moved out, your records will serve as evidence that can help save you money when you contact the utility company and make a claim that they can't hold you responsible for the extra usage.

Randal Thomas

Randal Thomas has been completing woodworking, gardening and DIY projects for over a quarter-century. A writer of career-related articles since 2003, Thomas received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Central Missouri. He has over 10 years in printing and publishing and is currently working on several independent writing projects.