Moving home: energy suppliers and switching

Moving home can be really exciting – maybe you’re going to be living with a friend or partner, moving into a fun and happening area or buying a property for the first time.

But it can also be daunting, there’s so much to think about and usually not enough time. Packing up all your stuff seems to take a lifetime. It may feel like sorting your energy bills is the last thing you need. It’s not glamorous, but not being able to make dinner in your new property sounds truly awful.

But fear not, we’re here to walk you through the process.

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Before you move

In the build-up to your house move it’s essential that you tell your gas and electricity suppliers that you’re moving. You should give them at least 48 hours’ notice, but the more the better.

Tell your energy supplier the date of your move and your new address so they can send you a final energy bill – you’ll have 28 days to pay this.

They’ll probably organise a meter reading, but regardless, be sure to read your meter on the day you move out and make a note for your records. If the figure doesn’t match up with your final bill, you’ll be glad to have a reference.

If the final bill says you’re actually owed money, then claim this back quickly. But if you’re sticking with your supplier you could decide to leave it as credit in your account for your new place.

You can’t change your energy supplier before moving house, you can only change suppliers from the day you become responsible for the property. To ensure you’re not stung by any unwanted cancellation fees, switch in the 49-day window.

Switching should take about 21 days and Look After My Bills can help you auto switch to the best possible dual fuel deal, or simply switch your gas only or electricity only bill.

After you move

When you move into your new home, you should contact the current energy supplier for the property to tell them you’ve arrived.

In a new-build home the developer should let you know who the provider is, or the previous occupants may have mentioned it. If you don’t know, this is what to do:

  • Gas – Use Find my Supplier or call the Meter Number Helpline on 08706081524. Give them the unique serial number on your meter.
  • Electricity – Contact the local electricity distribution company. Use Energy Networks to find this out. Ask them for the company’s meter point administration service (MPAS).

Read the meters on the day you move in and give the readings to the current supplier to ensure you get an accurate first bill. Most suppliers place you on a ‘deemed contract’ automatically when you move in, which can be costly.

Setting up gas and electricity in a newly-built home is just as straightforward, which means you can focus on finding the best local takeaway or pub to enjoy a shandy or two.

If you do switch to a new supplier, you don’t need to inform your former provider because the new one will do that for you.

Setting up gas and electricity in a rented house can be trickier if the property has a prepayment meter. If the landlord has included bills in your rental price, then no worries.

How tenants can set up energy if not, means finding out from the landlord who the supplier is and taking a meter reading on the day you move in and letting them know the figure, ensuring the property’s account is now in your name.

For prepayment meters, you’ll need to arrange for a new top-up key or card to be delivered. These meters ensure landlords aren’t saddled with debt when their tenants move on.

Try not to use an existing key or card, or put any money on the meter, until you’ve contacted the current supplier. Sometimes doing so runs the risk of paying extra for debts owed by the people who lived there before you.

If you need the heating on and can’t wait, be sure to tell the supplier when you get in touch and they should pay you back for any extra charges, as long as you can prove when you moved in.

It’s worth noting that prepayment tariffs are often more expensive than credit meters. Ask your landlord if they’re willing to switch to a credit meter. Paying by direct debit is a lot less hassle.

Be sure to shop around for the best deal available. Here at Look After My Bills we can save you up to £262 a year by finding you the perfect deal and switching you to it. No dramas.