You’re moving house - what should you do about your old and new energy supplier? For a smooth transition on moving day, follow our simple checklist.
According to psychologists and the Employee Relocation Council, after bereavement and divorce, moving house is the third most stressful life event.
It's not only the huge financial hoo-hah moving home involves, but also packing your life into crates and boxes and starting the To-Do list that seems to get longer the nearer you get to moving day.
Often missing from the big To-Do list - or a very late entry on it - is what to do about your energy supply. Many people move house without ever telling their energy supplier and arrive at the new property with no clue which company is providing the power.
Now, this isn't ideal. The worst case scenario is that you'll end up paying both bills: the new occupants of your old home could be running up a bill you might have to pay while you're also paying the bill for your new home.
So if you're moving home, follow our six simple steps to make sure you do everything you need to before - and after - moving:
Before you move
You're moving- Tell your gas and electricity supplier that you're moving at least a week before you actually do. The supplier will either arrange for your meters to be read or (more likely) ask you to do it, so they can calculate your final bill. You may have to submit these online or over the phone.
Make sure you give them your new address to send the final bill. Any remaining credit on your account should be reimbursed by your supplier; simply check what their policy is to find out how long this may take.
Take note- In case there are any discrepancies with your final bill, keep a note of your gas and electricity meter readings, and the dates on which they were taken.
New homeowners- If possible, tell the people moving into your old house who your current energy supplier is, and give them the house Gas Meter Point Reference Number and Electricity Supply Number (both of which can be found on your bills) as well as the supplier's customer service number.
After you move
Moving day- On the day you move in to your new home, make sure you take a gas and electricity meter reading and keep a copy of these as well as forwarding them to your new supplier. This will allow them to send you an accurate first bill.
Who supplies you?- If the old occupants of the house haven't had the foresight to leave you with the supplier details, it's easy to find them. To find out who supplies the gas to your new home, or your Gas Meter Point Reference Number, contact the meter number helpline on 0870 608 1524.
To find out who supplies the electricity to your new home, or your Electricity Supply Number, search online for the local electricity distribution company or try one of the numbers below.
- Scotland North 0870 900 9690
- Scotland South 0845 270 9101
- North East England 0845 601 3268
- North West England 0870 751 0093
- Eastern England 0870 196 3082
- Southern England 0870 905 0806
- South West England 0845 601 2989
- South East England 0845 601 5467
- London 0845 601 5467
- Yorkshire 0845 330 0889
- Merseyside and North Wales 0845 270 9101
- South Wales 01752 502 299
- West Midlands 01384 343 838
- East Midlands 0845 603 0618
If calling the region you believe supplies your electricity draws a blank, do an online search. The customer service contact number will be fairly prominent on the homepage of your supplier's website. You should ask for the company's Meter Point Administration Service (MPAS).
If you can't find this information, don't panic. It's likely the previous tenant of your property will have called the electricity and gas supplier to let them know they're moving. Keen not to lose a customer, it's likely the supplier will quickly send you a letter addressed to 'The Occupier'. This letter should provide any details you need about your electricity supplier.
'Deemed contract'- When you move into your new home, your energy supply will be under a 'deemed contract'. This means that the gas and electricity supplier for the previous owner will automatically become yours. This may not necessarily be the best supplier for your usage, or the area so check using our Energy Comparison tool.
If you don't know how much energy you're likely to be using in your new home, because it is either bigger or smaller, our tool can estimate it for you - just select the number of bedrooms in your home. This will provide you with an indication of which suppliers may be cheapest.
For prepayment meters
If your new home's energy supply is through a prepayment meter, either for gas or electricity, you will need to ensure that you obtain your own prepayment card or key from the supplier, they may also need to visit the property to reset the meter (to ensure you only pay for what you use). Do not use the previous homeowner's prepayment card or key as any money you pay will be credited to their account.
Consider changing to a credit meter, as this will allow you to take advantage of cheaper payment methods and tariffs.
However, if you're signing up with the existing supplier, you may be asked to remain on the prepay meter for six months before switching to a credit meter. If the current supplier won't change the meter, you could make this a condition of signing up with a new supplier.
Remember, if you don't tell your existing energy supplier you're moving, you may have to keep paying the bills - even after you have moved.