What to do with your energy bills when you move house
It’s finally happening. You’re moving house. It’s a long, drawn out process with a million and one things to think about, but after you’ve read this article, you’ll certainly have one less thing to worry about. Getting your gas and electricity bills in order when you move house is extremely simple when you know what you’re doing; you just need to read up on it a little. There are two main sections to this process: before you move; and after you move. You should follow this article through as if it were a step by step guide, as you’ll most likely end up doing it that way anyway.
Before you move
Step one – Give your provider a call
Before you move you need to let your current supplier know that you are about to have a change of address. You should do this with at least 48 hours notice. The best way to do this is generally by giving them a call; however, some suppliers now have an online service that makes it possible to do all of this over the internet. While you are on the phone or chatting to your supplier, you may as well also inform them of the actual address that you are going to be moving to as well. If not, you’ll only have to contact them again at a later date to do this.
Step two – Take a meter reading
Your next step is to take a meter reading for your gas and electricity on your last day in the property. If you have a smart meter this will be much easier as you can just take a photo of your digital display. We do this to avoid any crossover in ownership of bills. Identifying where your tenancy ended, and the new one begins, will prevent any of the new tenant’s usage appearing in your final bill. Even if the energy company offers to come and take a reading for themselves, you should still do one yourself too, just to have in case.
Step three – Inform your supplier of your new address
If you already did this in step one, you can skip to step four; however, if not, all you need to do is give your supplier another call or enter their live chat service, informing them of your new address. This is so that you can receive a tangible copy of your final bill to your new address.
After you move
Step four – Pay your final bill
Now that you’ve moved house, you’ve pretty much taken care of your old bills. They’ll be cancelled, or if you decided to carry it onto your new property, you’ll simply continue paying. If your contract has been cancelled you will receive your final bill through the post. If you have a direct debit contract, you’ll most likely have this taken out of your account as normal; however, if you pay on receipt or any other non-automatic payment method, you’ll have to take care of this.
If you notice anything strange in your final bill, such as a higher usage than you think you have used, then you should call your old supplier immediately with your meter reading at hand. It could be that there has been a slight overlap in tenancies, meaning you’re paying for some of the energy used by the new tenants in your old property. A short call to your supplier should resolve this matter.
What will my new tariff be?
Unless you decided to keep your old supplier and tariff, in which case the switchover is most likely taking place as we speak, you’re going to have to think about switching your supplier to a newer, cheaper one. With a bit of luck, the old tenants, landlord or estate agent will have left information about your utilities to make your arrival that bit easier; however, if not, don’t worry.
Finding out who supplies your gas and electricity is a pretty straightforward process. All you have to do is give your distribution network operator (DNO) a call for electricity and gas distributor a call for gas. It is likely that the same company will supply both your fuels, but it is certainly worth double checking: there are some people who contract their gas and electricity separately.
How to switch?
Switching is always a good idea, whether you have just moved or not. It is recommended that households in the UK should compare gas and electricity to check that they are on a cheap tariff at least once a year. Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Switching your tariff is easy: just use one of the many comparison engines available, such as Selectra or Go Compare.
If you were on a cheap tariff in your old property and you were looking for a similar one for your new property you may realise that the price is different if you have moved to a different area of the country. Due to varying local static charges energy suppliers are forced to adapt their pricing depending on where you are in the country. As such you may realise that SSE prices are cheaper in London that they were in Liverpool, for example.