How to transfer utilities to your name when moving

Moving from one home to another can take a lot of planning, and you may have a long list of tasks to complete. Among them is switching your utilities.

The goal is to turn off utilities, including gas, electric and water at your current residence shortly after closing the sale and/or departing the premises. Then, you need to turn them on at your new dwelling — ideally prior to the arrival of the moving van.

In some cases, this can be straightforward. Many utility companies across the country have streamlined services for people leaving or moving into a home. Regardless, switching utilities still requires planning. During busy periods, a utility company may not get to all orders promptly, or a customer may forget to include vital information. This can result in no gas, water or internet service for days.

Researching your providers

Turning on utilities requires some work and several calls; one company doesn’t provide all the services you may need.

To get the names and numbers of the utility companies when you rent, you can ask your landlord or leasing office. If you're buying a home, you should be able to get the information from your real estate agent. In some cases, the landlord or condo homeowner’s association may provide and pay for a particular utility, such as waste removal. This information should be in your lease.

Plan well ahead of your moving date to switch utilities to your name and new address. Have your current account numbers at each utility if you’re shutting down service and a credit card or checking account number if you're activating service; some providers require a deposit and/or a transfer fee.

To be sure you turn service on or off precisely when you want, give the utilities at least three weeks of advance notice. When you’re deactivating a utility, give the company an address where you can receive your final bill if you don't use online bill-pay services.

Transfer utilities one day in advance

As for the best day to make the switch, it’s recommended to turn off utilities in your current home the day after you move out and to switch them on at the new home the day before you plan to move into it. You’re buying a day's time with each to contact a provider in case of a glitch, such as no electricity or Internet.

In addition, if you're selling a home, leaving the utilities on gives the buyers a chance to do a final walkthrough on their closing date if necessary. They can check to make sure everything is operating properly, and all basic utilities, like gas and electricity need to be on for this to occur.

If your relocation involves moving from one state to another, contact your insurance company for a list of agents in the new region. Then reach out to that person to ensure you have homeowners, renters insurance in place at the new abode. At the same time, contact your current insurance agent to stop coverage at your previous home before the new renter or owner occupies it.

Moving to a new home can be one of life’s great adventures if you plan ahead. Among the many services your insurance agent may provide is assistance when relocating. Contact a Nationwide agent to steer you in the right direction.

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