Moving home is a new and exciting adventure for you and your family, but there’s no denying that it’s a mammoth task. From packing up your belongings to collecting your keys, you’ve probably got a gigantic to-do list to work your way through before moving day.
In the chaos of a house move, it can be easy to forget all about your energy supply. This might not sound like a big deal, but it could be an expensive mistake to make as it may leave you paying for energy you didn’t use on a less than wallet-friendly tariff.
If you haven’t got a clue where to start when it comes to energy and moving home, we’ve created this useful guide which should answer all your questions.
The most important thing you need to do before you move is to pick up the phone and give your energy supplier a call. You need to do this to notify them that you are moving to a different property and to give them the details of your moving day and new address. This is also an ideal opportunity to tell them whether you want to continue with their services at your new home or not. You can usually find the contact details for an energy supplier on their website without too much difficulty.
Your energy supplier may ask you to take a meter reading on your last day in your home and send it to them, alternatively, they might organise for a technician to come and take the reading for you. Regardless of whether they ask you to take a reading or not, it's a good idea to do one anyway as you may need this information again in future. It's also a good idea to set a reminder on your phone so you don't forget to do this amidst the rest of your moving day tasks.
So, you've officially moved into your new home. Great, but before you put the kettle on and make a start of unpacking all those boxes, there are still a few things you need to take care of.
When you first move in you'll automatically enter a 'deemed contract' with the property's current supplier. You don't have to stick with them if you don't want to. But switching to a new supplier can take up to 21 days so it's likely that you will have to pay one bill from the current supplier at least. So, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with your new supplier to tell them your details and the date that you moved in.
To find out who your new electricity and gas supplier is, you can visit the energy networks website, pop in your postcode and it'll tell you who you need to contact.
Now that you're an expert meter reader (sort of), you'll be pleased to know that you'll need to put your new-found skills to the test once more. Your current energy supplier will likely ask you to read the meter on the day that you move in and ask you to send them the readings. Failing to do this could mean that your first bill from them won't be accurate and you could be overcharged. Again, why not set a reminder on your phone to check the meter to stop you from forgetting?
Now that you're getting settled into your new home, there are still a few minor tasks you need to complete to finish the process. Firstly, you need to settle your final bill with the energy supplier at your previous property. They should send this to you at your new address. This step obviously won't be necessary if you've decided to stick with the energy supplier from your property.
Once this is paid, you then have the option of switching energy suppliers to ensure you get the best possible deal on your electricity and gas bills.
If you've moved into a rented property, you will need to chat to your landlord and check the terms of your lease to see if a change of energy supplier would be possible. If not, you might be able to switch to a cheaper tariff with your current supplier. Give them a call to see what they can do.
Pre-payment meters can seem confusing, particularly if you've never used one before. Before you start using the meter, it's vital that you get in touch with your current energy supplier. This is to inform them that you are the new owner and that you want any existing debts from the previous owners to be removed from the meter. You should also request a pre-payment card or key from them and instructions on how to use the meter correctly.
Using the meter's key or token to top it up without talking to the energy supplier beforehand could mean that you have to pay the previous owner's debts, which is obviously not what you want. If you've already topped up your meter, let your energy supplier know your move-in date and they should be able to repay you any extra charges that you might have paid.
Unsurprisingly, many homeowners consider switching to cheaper energy tariffs when they move home, especially if they are moving to a larger property. The best way of knowing whether switching to a different energy supplier is the right step for you is by comparing different providers.
You'll only need your new postcode and you can get a full run-down of potential offers that you can take advantage of in comparison to what you are currently paying.
As you won't have been in your property for long, you probably won't have accurate readings on how much energy you use per month just yet. So, it's important to realise that potential energy suppliers will most likely make their own prediction based on the size and type of property you are living in. Another thing to keep in mind is that the switch won't happen instantly- it can take up to 21 days.