A Quick Guide on How to Transfer Utilities When Moving Cross Country

Relocation to a new home means you’ll need to do a lot of things, and one of them is to learn how to transfer utilities. Once you decide to move, it is essential to switch them so you can start your life in normal conditions, with water, electricity, and gas. If you consider that an average American moves around 12 times in a lifetime, it could come quite in handy knowing this one step.

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June 15, 2021 Posted in Housing Tips

Relocation to a new home means you’ll need to do a lot of things, and one of them is to learn how to transfer utilities. Once you decide to move, it is essential to switch them so you can start your life in normal conditions, with water, electricity, and gas. If you consider that an average American moves around 12 times in a lifetime, it could come quite in handy knowing this one step.

We all know that without electricity and water, it is almost impossible to live. So, having them switched and transferred to your future apartment is an essential step in the whole relocation process. No matter what are your reasons to move, if you’re moving for love or you decided to relocate alone because it’s the right moment to start a new chapter and live on your own. Either way, if you want to avoid relocation stress, you’ll have to be organized and create your relocation checklist. It will keep you on track with all tasks that still await you.

If you’re in the process of using long-distance moving services and you’re asking yourself how do I transfer utilities to a new tenant, we have a quick guide on how to do it efficiently and correctly. To be frank, no one wants to sit in the dark once they move to the future apartment.

Why Is Important to Know How to Transfer Utilities to New Owner When Moving Long-Distance

This is certainly not the most fun task on your relocation list, but it must be done in advance, so when you move to a future home, you could start adjusting to the environment with electricity and the internet. So, questions like how do I transfer a utility bill to another name are completely normal to ask if you’re moving to your first apartment.

It is essential that you know the answers to these questions because when you’re buying a home, you have to set up an account for all the different utilities that the home has. The goal is not to have gaps in utility coverage and, consequently, not having running water or heating when relocating in winter, for example.

Old radiator near the window
Don't forget the heating, especially when relocating during winter

Begin to Transfer Utilities to New Tenant on Time – Create a Checklist of Each Utility You’ll Change

If you’re in the last-minute move and you’re focusing on what essentials to pack, how to transfer utility bills to another name might be the last on your mind, and it’s often the forgotten task in the whole process. That’s why it should be on your do-to list. To make it a bit easier, it’s best to create another checklist only for services you’ll have to deal with and avoid relocation mistakes. Here are the services to think about when relocating:

  • Electricity,
  • Gas,
  • Water,
  • Sewer,
  • Internet,
  • Landline telephone,
  • Home security,
  • Trash.

To ensure that everything is done on time, begin transferring utilities at least two weeks before the relocation day. Sometimes it can take a lot to get it all done because you have to deal with different companies. Don’t forget to prepare all the essential questions to ask each company, like how much you will pay each month or what utilities will be included in rent.

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Thinking How to Transfer Utilities When Buying a Home – Set It as Your Priority

In case something goes wrong, and we know how the relocation process can be chaotic, it’s better to do it in advance. Once every task is completed and you are sure that everything will be ready and set when you arrive at your future apartment, adjusting to a new town can start without stress.

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This task should be a priority when relocating because it often takes a lot to be done

Decide Will You Change or Transfer Utility Service – Call Your Utility Company

After you created a list of your services, the best thing to do is to go over it and check each service. This can help decide whether you need all of them in a future house. Of course, water,  electricity, and alike are something you have to keep, but you might exclude the TV or cable since you don’t watch it as much. This could save you money in the long run, and the best thing is that even if you cancel a service, nothing is definitive. You can renew it at any moment.

So, the real question is will you be able to keep your utility service providers and transfer services to the future address, or you’ll have to change them. This depends on the companies and where you are moving. This is why you have to contact your service provider company by phone or online and ask if it is possible to change only the address in the existing account. Don’t forget to check the fees you might have to pay for cancellation and connection and whether they require a deposit. Here are some additional things you should ask:

  • Do you have to be present when the old services are turned off, or the future ones turned on?
  • Are there any discounts for new accounts?
  • Is there any way to lower your bill?

How Do I Set Up Utilities When I Move – Have Your Documents Ready

If you opt for renting an apartment or house, you won’t have to worry about registering services on your own since a property manager will do it. On the other hand, if you’re buying real estate, you’ll probably have to go to the town hall and set up the services or simply contact them. Here are the documents you’ll need:

  • Proof of identity – ID card or valid driver’s license,
  • Proof of residence at your future address – mortgage and rental or lease agreements.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Address

Changing the address is also a task that should be on your list. The fastest and easiest way to do it is to do it online on the USPS website. Just make sure you have a valid email account and follow the instructions online.

Two pens and a laptop on the white surface
You can change your address online

Learn How to Transfer Electric Bill to New Owner

When you pick the best season to move, you shouldn’t concentrate only on packing shoes, but you’ll have to think about changing your name on the electric bills, as well. Most utility companies nowadays allow you to change or switch service names online on their websites, which will save you a lot of nerves and time. Do your best and prepare in advance all the personal documents they might ask for. Another thing you should be aware of is that you’ll probably need to pay a fee or security deposit.

A women with a calculator and a notebook
You will have to pay your bills once you move, so you'll have to change the name on the electric bills

Check How to Transfer Water Service

When you have transferred the electricity bills in your name, you’re probably thinking about how to transfer water and sewer service. This is a task that should be done a few weeks before professional long-distance movers come to load your boxes and furniture into the truck. Arrange with the city or town’s public utility office the date and time, and the future place will seem a lot better and more appealing. After this task is checked on your list, you can start thinking about the most common things people forget to pack and start putting your belongings into boxes.

A woman with a glass of water
Transferring sewer and water service is another task on your list

Take Care of Outstanding Balances Before Cross-Country Moving

Before even beginning to think about getting friends in the future city, first, make sure you don’t have an outstanding balance. It’s better not to have any unpaid bills before you relocate, particularly if you opt to cancel services because it can hurt your credit score. This is what you should check with each company and pay if needed before the relocation day comes. On the other hand, if you’re relocating on a budget and looking for the cheapest way to move, it might seem like an unnecessary step at that moment, but look for the long term and do it now.

Return All Equipment Before Moving to New Apartment

If you don’t know how to pack a TV and you need to cancel cable and Internet provider or have to decide on a different one, you’ll have to deal with the equipment that is left at your old place. Before even start packing the equipment, make sure the providers need it – contact them and check. However, many providers would like to have tier cables and routers back.

Arrange One Last Meter Reading Before Transferring Utilities

Before shutting down all the services in your old place, arrange the last meter reading of the gas, electricity, and alike. You should do this just in case you receive some bills after the relocation, so keep a copy of the reading meter with your documents. We’ll leave you a video on how to do your own meter reading.

Final Step – Confirm the Transfer

Among many things to do after the move, checking if all utilities are turned on is the essential one. However, even before relocating, you can call each utility service to confirm that your services will be transferred on the date you settled before (at least one day before you move in). Once cross-country movers unload your boxes from their truck, check if there is electricity, running water, and the internet. Then you can start applying the tips and tricks you learned before for efficient unpacking.

A man holding a black smartphone
Make sure you check everything is set and all your utilities are ready before your relocation day

Trustworthy Long-Distance Movers Near You Will Make the Whole Relocation Process a Breeze

Changing homes isn’t an easy task, not only because you have so many things to do before and after the move itself. It’s also hard because you have to begin the adjusting process all over again, and it could be an overwhelming period in life for some people. With a helping hand, the whole process could become an experience to remember with a smile on your face. That’s why you should hire a reliable long-distance moving company that will provide you with packing service and even storage facilities where you can keep your belongings in the first few weeks of relocation. Get all the help you can get, and you’ll be more relieved when you enter your future place with all the utilities already turned on.

Jane Davis

Apart from being a freelance writer and moving expert, Jane is also an art and museum lover.



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