How to Set Up Electricity When You Move?
Moving is a life event few people look forward to, even when you’re excited about living somewhere new. There’s just so much work involved with a move on top of all the regular daily tasks that still have to get done. Everything gets uprooted to the point all you can do is embrace the chaos.
One of the most important things that have to be done is setting up electricity service at your new home. In most situations, that means you also need to end service at your current address. The best way of going about it usually depends on where you’re moving.
Need a little help getting started from the electric experts? Answer the questions below to get personalized guidance on how to find electricity near you before making a move.
Are You Moving Across Town?
There’s a good chance your current provider can still supply service with very little effort on your part if you’re staying in the same general area. In this case, setting up transfer service is usually all that’s necessary. The electric company just needs to know when you need to make the switch from a plan at your old place and to one at your new place.
Tips to Transfer Service to Your New Address
Contact the electric company in advance. It isn’t difficult to transfer service, but your provider does need to get things lined up. It’s best to contact your electricity supplier at least a week before moving, if not sooner.
Arrange for the new service to start the day before the move. It helps to give yourself a little buffer room because no one wants to move into a house with no electricity. You can also go ahead and turn on the HVAC, water heater, etc. the day before moving if you live nearby.
Read through your current plan. Even if you aren’t switching providers, now is a great time to review your electricity plan and make adjustments based on your needs in the new home. Also, if you’re under contract for a specified period look to see if there is an early cancellation fee. Even if there is a fee you may be able to get it waived depending on the reason for the move.
Request that all future bills go to the new address. When you call to let your current electricity provider know you need to cancel or transfer service ask them to send the last bill for the current plan to your new address. That way you don’t miss the bill during the transition.
Are You Moving Within the Same State?
Once you venture out of the immediate area that’s when more research is needed. Some matters involving electricity are decided on the state level, but others are left to local municipalities to figure out. Most of the process will be familiar, but there could be special considerations that you never dealt with before.
Find Out If the Area is Deregulated
If you live in a deregulated energy market you may be surprised to find not every city in the state follows the same electricity delivery practices.
For example, Texas deregulated energy in 2002, but individual markets could stick with the regulated model that was already in place. As a result, Austin has never been a deregulated market, and you can only get electric service from a single provider (Austin Energy). Anyone who is moving to Austin from Houston or Dallas will have to get used to the idea that they can’t choose their provider.
If the area is deregulated it’s time to get familiar with the local retail electricity suppliers. Keep reading for more tips on comparison shopping electricity plans.
Are You Moving to a Deregulated State?
As noted above, some states are deregulated. That means state officials have decided that there can be competition in the energy market between retail suppliers. Instead of the local utility being the single source of electricity with rates set by a public utility commission, retail suppliers buy electricity from generation companies and then supply it to consumers at different rates.
Get Ready to Comparison Shop for Electric Plans
The idea is deregulation creates competition, which is beneficial for consumers. If you are moving to a deregulated state from a regulated state you now have the ability to pick who supplies your electricity. However, it’s important to comparison shop to find a plan that fits your needs.
Use electric plan comparison tools. Just about every state has a portal for comparing available electric plans side-by-side. It provides a good overview that can help you narrow the options, but more research is needed to find the best plan.
Always check out the retail energy supplier’s website. Once you’ve got a shortlist of providers and plans, take a look at each one’s website for detailed information on available plans. This is where you’ll get to read the fine print and see the most accurate rates.
Consider more than just the rate per kilowatt-hour. The rate is the top consideration for most people, but it isn’t the only factor. Things to look for include rate variability (changes to the rate), the term of the plan, penalties/fees, perks, educational material, etc. Basically, anything that’s going to help save you money and/or be a more conscious energy consumer is worth considering.
Compare customer service. Electricity is a commodity that’s constantly needed. A disruption could have a very negative impact no matter how temporary it is. This is when customer service comes into play. The local utility is responsible for fixing outages, but your supplier can still keep consumers up-to-date and help with issues related to an outage. You can get a good feel for the quality of a company’s customer service by reading reviews from past and current customers.
Electricity Set Up To-Dos Before You Move
No matter where you are moving there are a few things you can do to make sure setting up electricity goes smoothly.
Set a move-in date ASAP. The electric company will need to know the address and date before they can get a service set up. The sooner you solidify a date for the move the sooner you can take care of transfer service or establishing a new plan.
Check with the HOA. If you will be living in an HOA check first to see if the association covers any of the utilities. This isn’t usually the case with single-family homes, but maybe a factor if you live in a townhome or condo.
Pay all current balances. Check your utility accounts to make sure there are no late or outstanding payments. You don’t want an overlooked payment to hurt your credit score or ability to set up an electric service.
Spark Energy is ready to make your move a little easier. We serve thousands of customers across the country with competitively priced, reliable electricity, and natural gas. Check to see if Spark Energy electricity plans are available at your new home!