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Getting Connected to a Utility Supplier

By: Sam Harrington-Lowe - Updated: 2 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
Utilities Connecting To Utilities

The chances are when you move into a property there will be power! Electricity, gas, even telephone connections may still be live. This could be left over from the previous owner, or if you're buying a vacant property, something you have set up before you moved in.

Connecting to the right suppliers takes a bit of time and thought - and some research.

The Last Owner's Choice

If you are moving in, you may find that you inherit connections from the previous owner. The seller should have let the company know they are moving out, and taken meter readings on the day they leave, so that you don't get billed for any supplies you haven't used.

Check for this, with all utilities - gas, electricity, telephone - and check the status of any other supplies such as cable or satellite TV, broadband service and so on.

Choosing the Right Suppliers

The connections left behind might not be the right options for you and your family though. It's important to shop around for the right supplier. There are lots of factors to take into consideration, such as your usage. When do you use most of your gas or electricity? If you're not there during the day there is very little point having a low rate on phone calls before 6pm for example.

There are loads of website online that compare the prices in your area, so let them do the hard work! Look also at the kind of power you want. Are you going green? You may need to build this into the equation too.

Also, check companies for dual supply deals. Sometimes it works out much cheaper to get both gas and electricity through the same supplier, so shop around. Get quotations, based on your optimum usage, and go through them carefully.

What Next?

It might be that the previous owner has already been through this and got the best deal going, and if so then that's great. You will need to call them up and give them your details. Explain that you're the new owner and also confirm the previous owner's readings so that you know you are only accurately being charged for what you use.

If you think you can improve on the deal in place you will need to call the company or companies you are moving over to and have that conversation. With some suppliers, they will handle the changeover themselves, instructing the previous suppliers that they are taking on your account. But in other cases you may have to give notice to the current supplier so you will need to talk to both.

Check to see if you need to book in any engineers to come and fit anything or wire anything in, and make sure you are available to be there. This can often be an annoying part of the process, with windows of up to eight hours being given for engineers to visit, and sometimes not turn up. Unfortunately this is just bad customer service and you'll have to deal with it - try not to get upset!

Make sure you get all the paperwork necessary, make a note of your account numbers and check all the charges made carefully

If a Property Doesn't Already Have Power

All of the advice above will go the same, except that you will need to gain access for the engineers. You can arrange this with the vendor or the agent handling the sale.

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