Moving home and your energy supplyBy Property News team April 26, 2017
Money is extra tight when you are moving – which makes it even more frustrating to be paying over-the-odds for your gas and electricity. Take control with these easy steps.
If you are responsible for the energy bills at a property you rent, then you are entitled to choose both the supplier and the plan. And the good news is, switching to the best of these takes a matter of minutes and saves fortune on your household bills. Here's what to do.
Before the Move...
- Contact your current energy supplier with details of your Move date. You’ll need to give at least 48 hours’ notice but you can make the call as soon as you like. You’ll have the chance to take your current energy plan with you to your new address – even if it’s a fixed-rate tariff – but it pays to shop around first to see if you can find a better deal.
- Find out if you’ll have early exit fees to pay. Most suppliers will waive them if you’re taking the same plan with you to your new address. But if you leave the supplier or plan early, you could be charged between £20 and £30 per fuel.
- Arrange for your final bill to be sent to your new address.
- On your last day in the property, take final meter readings – it could be easier to take a quick picture of them with your phone. You’ll need these to pass onto your landlord or lettings agent, and to cross reference against your final bill when it arrives.
- Leave details of the energy supplier for the new tenants.
After the Move...
- Take meter readings as soon as possible at your new place to ensure you get an accurate first bill.
- Contact the incumbent energy supplier with these readings along with your Move date (you don’t want to be charged for usage that’s not yours). However, bear in mind you’ll be responsible for the bill as soon as you take over the property, not just from your Move date.
- Settle any final bills from your old supplier, or make sure you’ve got the right refund if one was due.
- If you haven’t taken your previous energy supplier with you to your new address, the existing one will automatically put you on its Standard tariff, which is usually the most expensive.
- Get onto a comparison website, such as uSwitch, with your new postcode, energy supplier and plan name and run an energy price comparison. If you find a better deal, make the switch there and then. You don’t need to do anything after that. The new supplier will take care of the entire handover.
Why pay more than your neighbours for the same energy? Compare deals now
What if my new property has a prepayment meter?
As it says on the tin, a prepayment meter requires you pay for your gas and electricity usage upfront. To do this, you’ll need to ask the supplier for the relevant key or token.
However, it can be cheaper to switch to a credit meter which enables you to pay for bills monthly or quarterly. Ask your supplier and be prepared to provide proof of address and undergo a credit check.