A First Time Buyers' Guide To Utility Bills

May 27, 2022
First Time Buyers' Guide To Utility Bills
Once you’ve filled in all the paperwork and completed the purchase of your first home, the most daunting part of the process is over. But before you can settle in properly, there a few final things to arrange – and below is everything you need to know to set up gas and electricity as a first-time buyer.

What do I need to consider first with utilities when moving house?

As a first-time buyer, it’s likely you’ll be moving from a rented property or the family home. If it’s the latter, you won’t need to do anything before you move. In the case of the former, contact your current supplier and:
  • Notify them of the move
  • Give them 48 hours’ notice
  • Arrange for the final bill to be sent to the new property
Also make sure to check if your current plan has an early exit fee, although this may be waived in some instances. The supplier may also speak to you about setting up with them at your new address, but you don’t have to decide immediately.


On moving day:

  • Take final meter readings and inform the supplier
  • Keep records for yourself to compare against the final bill
You’ll most likely need to inform your landlord that you’re moving and confirm the meter readings with them. Once the final bill arrives, settle it as soon as possible, as well as checking if you’re in credit. If you are, you’ll be due a refund which should be paid directly to your account.



How to get gas and electric set up in your new home

Before moving day, check the existing gas and electricity providers for your new home. If you’re buying a brand-new home, one of our Sales Advisers will be able to help. Otherwise, you should be able to get this information from the estate agent – but you can easily find out yourself too. Simply call the Meter Number Helpline for gas and contact the local distribution number for the area to find out for electricity. Often it will be the same provider. The water supplier and sewerage service provider will depend on the area you’ve moved to and isn’t something you can change.

Sometimes, you may also be automatically placed on the standard tariff with the property’s current providers. As soon as you can at your new home, make sure to:

  • Take accurate meter readings
  • Contact the supplier to provide the meter reading



How do I change utility suppliers?

It’s quick and easy to switch utility providers. Simply enter your address details and information on the supplier and plan into the Citizens Advice Comparison Tool for an idea of what you could be saving.

  • The tool will detail the best deals as well as a rating for each of the available suppliers
  • The incoming company will organise everything
  • They’ll get in touch once you’ve completed the switch and will require meter readings
  • The previous provider will contact you to settle the final bill, making it so important to keep on top of meter readings as soon as you move in.



What if I find a prepayment meter at the new property?

In some instances, you may find that your new home has a prepayment meter. It’s unlikely you’ll get the best deal on it, so contact the supplier as soon as possible to switch to a standard tariff with monthly or quarterly bills. You’re also under no obligation to stay with the same provider once you’ve changed from the prepayment meter.



Setting up the utilities is the last step in getting settled into your new home – but if you’d like guidance on the home buying process from start to finish, take a look at our home buying guide. And don't forget our Low Deposit schemes to help make moving more affordable.