There’s so much to do when relocating that it’s easy to overlook such essential details as sorting out your gas and electricity. But the last thing you want is to not have your energy supply in place when you move to your new home.
Rather than scrabble around on the big day, it makes a lot of sense to ensure you’re up and running when you move in.
Can I compare gas and electricity deals for a new home?
Anyone looking for attractive gas and electricity deals should brace themselves for a disappointment as there really aren't any tariffs worth getting excited about.
That's not to say you should just put all matters energy to the back of your mind. The last thing you need is massive and unexpected gas and electricity bills appearing when your first rent bill or mortgage repayment goes out. To reduce the chance of this taking you by surprise, it’s essential to do all you can to keep what you spend on energy down.
What to do before you move house
There are several things you can do to ensure you’re prepared for your first new energy bill. You should:
1. Notify your current energy supplier
- Call your existing energy supplier at least 48 hours before you move out to let them know the date of your move, as well as the address you are moving to, so they can send your final bill.
- Your energy supplier will arrange a meter reading for you, or more likely ask you to take one on the day of your move. You can find your supplier's contact details on your bill or online.
2. Check your energy account
- Are you in credit or do you owe money to your supplier? By checking now, you know what to expect and can budget for it. With all the costs of moving it can be easy to miss a substantial bill that might be coming your way.
3. Take a meter reading on the day that you move out
- Even if you have a smart meter, take meter readings from your gas and electricity meters and make a note of them. If you can, take a photo on your phone.
- Leave a copy of the meter readings for the next owners, tenants or your landlord, along with details of the energy supplier(s) you use.
- Submit the meter readings to your energy supplier either online, through your app or over the phone, so everyone has a record.
4. Speak to the other party
- It’s worth asking the people you’re buying your new home from what they typically pay each month or quarter. You could also ask how much energy they use over the same period - it should be on their bill. This could give you an indication of whether you’re likely to be paying more or less for your energy.
What to do when you move into your new home
There’s a lot to think about when you get the keys to your new home, but sorting out your energy is right up there with choosing bedrooms. Here are some tasks that shouldn’t be put off.
1. Take gas and electricity readings on moving day
- Take fresh gas and electricity meter readings when you move into your new home as soon as possible. Hopefully the previous occupants will have left readings, but always take your own to avoid issues later.
- This will ensure that you only pay for the gas and electricity you use, and not energy used by the previous occupants.
- Check the heating and hot water timers and the thermostat. The previous inhabitants may have preferred a more tropical feel than you’re used to!
2. Find out who your new energy supplier is
Again, hopefully this information has been supplied but if it hasn’t there are some easy ways to find out.
Find your gas supplier
- To find your gas supplier visit the Find My Supplier website and enter your postcode. Alternatively, call the Meter Number Helpline on 0870 608 1524 (calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge). Be sure to get the Meter Point Reference Number assigned to your property.
Find your electricity supplier
- To find your electricity supplier you can use the Energy Networks Association postcode search tool to locate the provider servicing your area. It should be one of the following:
- London, South East and Eastern England: 0800 029 4285
- Southern England: 0800 048 3516
- South West England: 0845 601 2989
- North West England: 0800 048 1820
- Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire and North Wales: 0330 101 0444
- Yorkshire: 0800 011 3332
- North East England: 0845 070 7172
- South Wales, West & East Midlands: 0800 096 3080
- Central and Southern Scotland: 0330 101 0444
- Northern Scotland: 0800 048 3516
- Northern Ireland: 03457 643 643
- You could also contact MPAS, the Meter Point Administration Service. MPAS should confirm who’s registered to supply electricity to your home and issue you a 21-digit Meter Point Administration number. You can use this when enquiring about your energy.
3. Give your energy supplier the meter readings
Once you’ve established who provides your gas and electricity, contact the suppliers to set up your account. You need to confirm the date you moved into the property and pass on the meter readings for this date.
If there’s a prepayment meter at your new home, you need to arrange for a new top up key or card to be sent out for when you move in. You can find out more about prepayment meters in our guide on how to pay your energy bill.
Can I change my energy supplier if I rent?
Whether you can change your energy supplier depends on who pays the bills. If you’re responsible for this, then yes you can. If your landlord pays them, they can change suppliers. This doesn’t stop you looking for the best deals (when they return) and passing this information to your landlord. Doing so could help keep your total costs down.
If you’re not sure who's responsible for the gas and electricity, check your tenancy agreement. It’s worth noting if your landlord has a preferred supplier. This doesn't prevent you from switching if you’re paying the energy bill, but you should tell your landlord or letting agent if you change supplier. This is because you may have to arrange for the account to revert to the original supplier when you move out.
What if I’m moving to a new business premises?
As with a domestic arrangement, when you move business premises one of 2 things happens:
- Your energy contracts move with you
- Your existing energy tariffs end and you need to set up new ones
Either way, you don’t want to leave making a decision on how your new workplace will be heated and powered until the last minute. In many cases, you aren't able to operate without your energy supply.
The best course of action is to let your energy supplier know that you’re moving about a month in advance. Ensure you have the following information to hand when you contact them, and on the day of the move:
- Your business address.
- Your account and meter numbers.
- Your final meter readings and the date they were noted.
- The date your lease or ownership of the property ended.
- The full address of your new business premises. You can ask your energy providers to bill you at your home address if you prefer, but they need your workplace address in any case.
- The meter readings at your new business premises on the day you take up occupancy.
Top tip: Don’t assume your landlord will cover the energy bills if you’re renting your business premises. Check your tenancy agreement and even if you’re not responsible for the gas and electricity make a note of the meter reading. Even better, take a photo of the meter to retain as proof should there be a dispute over who owes what.
Can I keep my energy tariff if I move house?
You can change suppliers when you move or take your current one with you (depending on where you move). There aren’t many deals around at the present time but we can keep you up to date with any new and tariffs that pop up via our Get Switch Ready service.
What if I’m struggling or unable to pay my energy bills?
The cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone, meaning a lot of us are having to juggle our finances right now. If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills, get in contact with your energy company and explain your situation - they should be able to help.