This guide shows you how to find out which companies supply your gas and electricity when you move into a new home.
There's a lot to think about when moving home, and many homeowners have long lists of things to tick off not just in the months leading up to the move and the moving day itself, but also in the first weeks of settling into their new home.
However, once you've moved in, finding out who supplies your gas and electricity should be high on your 'to do' list.
In this guide we show you how to do this, as well as helping you through the process of switching to a new supplier and looking at what else you need to do when you move in.
How do I find out my gas and electricity suppliers?
When you move into a new home, your landlord or letting agent may be able to tell you which company (or companies) supplies the gas and/or electricity to the property.
Also, if the previous occupiers have informed the energy companies they have moved out, then the companies should automatically send you a letter addressed "To the new occupier" which will confirm who your current supplier is.
However, if you have been in the property for a few weeks and still don't know who supplies your energy, you can find out who does by doing the following (the only information you'll need is your address):
To find out your gas supplier - Call the 'M number enquiry line' on 0870 608 1524.
To find out your electricity supplier - Contact your local electricity distribution company. If you are not sure who your local electricity distribution company is, check with the Energy Networks Association.
Do I have to stay with these suppliers?
Absolutely not! When you move in, your energy supply will be under a "deemed contract" which means the energy companies that supplied the previous occupants' gas and electricity will automatically supply yours.
However, they may not be the best suppliers for your circumstances and you are free to switch to other suppliers if you wish. When you move in to a new home you should make it a priority to compare energy tariffs to ensure you get the best deal.
How do I switch?
Switching energy suppliers is easy. If you use a switching service like ours, once you have chosen a new tariff, all you need to do is fill in some personal details on our online form. We'll pass these on to your new provider who will be in touch with details of your switch.
What else do I need to do when I move in?
On the day you move in, it's important that you take gas and electricity meter readings and keep safe copies of these. You may even want to take a dated photo, to confirm the readings in case of a dispute.
Providing accurate meter readings to your gas and electricity suppliers will ensure you only pay for what you use and not what you're utilities supplier assumes you've used. A recent report showed energy companies were sitting on a cool £1.2billion of cash - an average of £80 per household - raked in from customers who have overpaid their bills.
What if I've got a pre-payment meter?
If the property you move into has a prepayment meter, either for gas or electricity, you will need to contact the supplier and make sure you get your own prepayment card or key from them.
Do not use the previous occupant's card or key, as any money you pay will be credited to their account, not yours.
Your supplier may need to visit your home to reset the prepayment meter, to ensure you only pay for what you use - they will advise you on this.
You may want to consider changing to a credit meter, which will allow you to take advantage of cheaper tariffs. However, you may have to pay an up-front fee or put down a large deposit to get a credit meter, so you'll need to speak to your supplier and weigh up this cost against the long-term savings.