Buying a New Home? Here’s How to Get Electricity to a New House
When you’re moving into a new home, whether it’s one you just bought or a house that was newly built, setting up the utilities is a must. The last thing you want is to get the keys to your new home only to find you can’t move in yet.
If you’re building a new home the construction crew is going to wire it and the house will be connected to the grid by the local utility company, but electricity isn’t flowing yet. And if you’re moving into a resale the previous owners won’t keep the power on for you.
If you need to get electricity to a new house here’s what you’ve got to do if you aren’t simply transferring service to a new location.
Step 1. See If the Area is in a Deregulated Energy Market
The first step in getting electricity to any type of residential property is to see if the home is in a deregulated energy market. The city should provide information on its website regarding how the electricity market works. If you used a real estate agent to purchase a home they can also provide information on who provides utilities for the home.
If the area is regulated you won’t have a choice in who the provider is because only one company is approved to deliver services. You can move on to Step 3. But if your new home is in a deregulated energy market that means you have the power to choose your provider.
Step 2. Compare Electricity Providers and Plans
Homeowners that live in a deregulated energy market have an extra step to take, but it’s a good problem to have. Research has found that when consumers take the time to compare electric providers and plans they can benefit more compared to being in a regulated market with no choice. The average rate difference between regulated and deregulated energy markets is shrinking, but if you skip this step you could end up paying more than expected.
Some states have set up websites where consumers can compare current plans and rates from approved providers. This is a good place to start, but to get a complete picture of a plan you’ll need to visit the retail electric provider’s website. That way you can also get a feel for the company culture, customers that they serve and their service level.
Another thing to look for is the electric plan’s rate to make sure it’s what you expected and there are no hidden fees that drive the rate up. It’s important to know that kilowatt-hour rates fluctuate by location and over time. The rates you see for electricity plans today may not be offered tomorrow.
Step 3. Set Up an Account With Your Electric Provider
Now that you know who your electricity provider is going to be you’ll need to set up an account. This should be done at least two weeks before your moving date.
When you sign up for electric service the account setup may be part of the process. If not, you’ll need to get it done in order to arrange for the electricity to come on, set up payments and monitor electric use.
Some electricity providers request that new customers put down a security deposit. Since you just bought a home and are trying to minimize the moving expenses, check to see if the security deposit can be waived. If you’re in good standing with your current electric provider a letter stating such might be enough to avoid paying a security deposit.
Step 4. Line Up a Service Start Date
One of the most important parts of the setup process is choosing a date for the electric service to start. When you’re moving into a new home it’s best to err on the side of caution and set the electricity up to start a day or two before you plan to move in. If your move-in date changes to an earlier date you should contact your electricity provider right away to adjust the start of your service.
Step 5. Cancel Your Current Electricity Service
Unless you are moving within the same energy market and plan to keep the same provider, you’ll need to arrange for your current electricity services to end. The electric provider will need to know your basic account information, including the address, and when you want the service to end. It’s best to select the day after you plan to move out so that you have electricity all day on moving day.
Step 6. Verify the Electricity is On/Off
The first thing you’ll want to do on moving day is to make sure the electricity is on at your new place. If it isn’t on as scheduled give the provider a call immediately. It may take a few more hours or it could have been on oversight.
The next day give your old electricity company a call to make sure the electricity was turned off at your old address. You may also want to verify that they have your new address for billing purposes and ask how the final bill will be handled.
Whether you need gas or electricity Spark Energy can supply the energy you need. We serve millions of customers in markets across the country. Use your zip code to see which gas and electricity plans are available in your area.