Everything You Need to Know Before/After Cancelling your Utility Services

how to cancel electricity service

Moving to a new home entails a lot of work. As you go through the numerous tasks related to relocating, it’s easy to forget to overlook important details. On top of making arrangements to transfer your belongings, you’ll need to deal with different utility companies to cancel their services.  

So how do you go about stopping the utility services to your old home? We hope to ease the troublesome chore with this article. 

Get in Touch with your Utility 

You’ll need to get in touch with your utility companies to close your account. Five days’ notice should be enough but informing them around 2 weeks in advance works better for everyone. You can opt to call the company to terminate your account or do this through an online request. 

To facilitate the process, provide each utility company with the following information: 

  • Your full name 
  • Account number 
  • Specific moving out date 
  • Forwarding address (for your final bill)  
  • Social Security Number (SSN) 

When you schedule your disconnection date, we suggest setting it a day or two after your intended moving out day. This allows you to have lights and HVAC in case you need to return to your former home to retrieve some things you left behind. 

Check with the companies if you have overdue bills or outstanding balances and settle them immediately if you do. This not only protects your credit score but also gives you a fresh start in your new place.  

Taking Note of your Final Meter Reading  

On the day you move out, take a final meter reading and forward the details to the utility company. Keep a record of the reading in case you disagree with your utility provider’s final bill. The company may send a representative to verify the last reading. However, this won’t be necessary if you have a smart meter. 

Security Deposit  

When you first opened an account with your current utility providers, you were likely required to put down a security deposit. Depending on the company, this may have amounted to the equivalent of two months’ payment. 

You can expect to get that security deposit back from the utility companies. Your provider will usually deduct the amount from your final bill. Otherwise, they will send the check to your new address. 

 What to do if you have Service with Alternative Suppliers  

If you’ve made arrangements with alternative suppliers for your electricity or natural gas, you’ll also need to inform them of your pending move. Ideally, you should do this about a month in advance. 

The companies may be able to transfer your account to the address of your new home. On the other hand, if they don’t provide services in the area, you usually don’t have to pay a penalty or termination fee. Check the details of your plan agreement to be sure. 

Like when you terminate your account with your regular utilities, you’ll need to provide your alternate service supplier with the necessary information. These include the customer account number, your moving out date, and your new address. 

Service Activation for your New Home

After you’ve stopped the utility services for your old place, you’ll need to activate accounts with utility providers in your new address. This ensures you’ll have the services you need by the time you move in.

Apply for a new account with the utility companies one month in advance. Although most providers can work with shorter notices, giving a longer lead time lessens the chances of delays. 

Here are the steps to take when you open an account with the new service providers..

Searching for your New Utility  

The internet is your best friend when transferring utilities. Use the web to search for the different companies in your new home. The municipal governments often take charge of basic services in the locality. As such, their websites typically have the information and contact numbers you need.  

Reaching out to the former occupants of your new place is another way to discover who supplies the utilities in the area. 

If your new home or apartment is in a deregulated state, search for at least 2 alternatives to choose from. The competition between various providers increases your chances of getting better rates

Contacting your New Utility

After you’ve gathered the information you need about the new utility company, contact them to open an account in your name. Be ready to provide the information required to open an account. These include: 

  • Your full name 
  • Your new address 
  • Moving in date 
  • Birthdate 
  • Contact details, such as phone number or email address 
  • Your Social Security Number and driver’s license if you have one 
  • Your lease type if you’re renting  

Utility companies routinely ask for a security deposit. The amount typically depends on your credit rating. That’s why you need to provide them with your Social Security Number and why we suggest that you settle all outstanding and overdue bills beforehand. 

Choosing your Energy Supplier

You may have a choice between different energy supplies depending on where you move. If your new home or apartment is in a deregulated state, you can either get your electricity from your utility or alternate suppliers. Purchasing power from alternate suppliers gives you a more comprehensive option of energy plans. Do thorough research to find the plan and rates that offer more bang for your buck. 


When Should you Cancel Bills When you Move?

Most utility companies can work with a 48-hour lead time. But to reduce the stress and hassle associated with moving, start the process of cancelling your utility services earlier. Two weeks in advance of your moving out date would be ideal. The longer time allowance allows you some wiggle room if you have some last-minute changes in your schedule. 

What Happens to Utilities When you Move House?

You need to contact the companies that take care of your utility services when you move house. They then either cancel your account or transfer the services to your apartment or new home. The situation depends on whether they also provide utilities to your new location. The providers usually do a meter reading for the final bill they will send to your new address. 

Who do I Need to Inform When Moving House?

Moving is not as simple as carting your belongings to your new house or apartment. Making a seamless transition to your latest residence involves informing a host of companies, groups, and institutions about your plans. In that way, important documents get to you, and you’re sure to have working utilities when you move. 
Here’s a list of who to inform when you change residence: 
• Home or rental insurance company 
• The United States Postal Service (USPS) 
• Your employer 
• Financial institutions, such as banks and credit card companies 
• Loan and other insurance providers (health, life, dental, etc.) 
• Other financial agencies (credit reporting agency, credit union, investment account agencies, and the like) 
• The federal and state tax agencies 
• The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) 
• The Social Security Administration 
• The companies that provide your utilities  

How do I Organize Utilities When Moving?

To avoid utility nightmares, you’ll need to get everything in order when you move. Here are some simple steps to get your utilities organized. 
1. Open a utility folder and keep a copy of the bill for each company you need to inform.  
2. Make a master list of all the contact numbers of the different utility companies (both the current and new ones you’ll be working with). 
3. Write down the dates when you reached out to both sets of utility providers. 
4. Cross out the tasks you accomplished and keep the list in the utility folder for easy reference. 

Final Words

As nerve-wracking as moving may be, it’s also an exciting event and a great way to get a fresh start. Getting things organized with your utilities to help ensure that you enjoy the comforts of your new home when you move in. 

We suggest you cancel any automatic payments attached to your old place to avoid paying double for your utilities. Once you’ve settled into your new residence, check with your utilities to confirm if the service to your old place has indeed been terminated.  

After you’ve gotten everything right, you’re now all set for a new chapter in your life. 

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