June 15, 2021 Posted in How-to
Eva Johnson

Digital nomad born in New York but currently living online, Eva knows everything there is to know about packing and moving.

Moving Cross Country? Here’s How to Transfer Utilities to Your New Home

The second-biggest consumer of energy in the world is the USA. Can you imagine your life without electricity or water? If you don’t know how to transfer utilities from one home to another, you may find out what it is like. And you certainly don’t want that to happen.

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Transferring your bills can be exhausting, but this can be done without much fuss if you start everything on time

Relocating to a different state can be messy and chaotic if you are not well prepared and organized. Excitement about a new home can quickly turn into a nightmare. This is why it is important to know how to transfer utilities when buying a home, and even if you can hire professional cross-country movers to help you with your relocation, you will have to deal with this issue alone.

Organize Your Schedule One Month Before a Moving Day

Cross-country moving is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life, as some studies have shown. But if you wish to put your anxiety about relocating to a minimum, you will have to be organized and plan everything in advance. Start by asking around for recommendations for long-distance moving companies. In order to avoid relocating scams, double-check if your cross-country moving company has a US DOT number. Contact the ones you prefer and ask them to give you a quote for their cross-country moving services. Set up a relocation date and hire long-distance movers that fit your relocating budget in the best way, at least one month in advance.

It will be best if you can hire one company to do the whole relocation process. This way, you will not have to juggle between different service providers and coordinate everything. For example, if you take auto shipping from one company, long-distance movers and a truck from another, and packing service from a third party, coordinating everything will take you more energy and money, and you probably won’t have time to do other arrangements. And there are so many things you have to do yourself – like changing your address or, equally important, finding a job in a new state and transferring your accounts.

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Hire professionals to help you with your move

Create a List of Utilities You’ll be Transferring

There will be a lot of phone calls and emails you will have to take and send, and if you wish not to forget something, the best way is to create a list of service providers you currently use. You should write down all information about providers and how much you pay them. Here are providers you have to put on your list:

  • Electricity,
  • Water and sewer,
  • Gas and heat,
  • Internet and cable,
  • Phone,
  • Trash and recycling,
  • Security.
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Decide Will You Change or Transfer Your Utilities

Before you start transferring everything, research your city of choice and find if any local company is cheaper than the one you use now. Create a list of companies from your city of choice, start calling them, and ask how much it will cost you to take their services. For example, if you are relocating to a smaller house, maybe you can switch to solar energy or other renewable energy sources that can supply smaller homes. Or maybe you need faster internet but don’t want cable. Relocation is a good opportunity to change whatever you weren’t satisfied with.

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If possible, change some utility companies and save some money

Bring Your Balance to Zero if Possible

If you plan to rent your home, you should pay all the bills you have and transfer utilities to a new tenant. If your tenant doesn’t need your accounts, you can have them transferred to your new home. Some accounts can be transferred even if there are some unpaid bills, but some companies do not allow this, so make sure you contact your providers on time and ask about this. On the other hand, if you plan to cancel some of your accounts, you will have to pay for everything you haven’t already.

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Pay all unpaid bills

Contact Your Providers Week Before Your Moving Day

First, go on each provider’s website and see if it is possible to do a relocation online. If it’s not, call them to notify them about your relocation and arrange relocation or cancelation. Do this at least one week before leaving your home. If you are relocating to a different state, you will have to find out if this provider offers its services in your city of choice. If they don’t have one, you will have to cancel them and contact the utility company in that particular city.

Keep your personal information and address info close to you when making these calls. Also, it would be good to schedule turning off your services such as electricity and HVC system for two days after you relocate – maybe you will have to come back to your old house for some reason if you forget something. And last but not least, be assured you have your electricity and heat up and running the moment you arrive at your brand-new house, especially if you are relocating in winter.

How to Transfer Water Service

When it comes to transferring water and sewer, things might get a little complicated. If you are renting an apartment in a different city, these services will probably be included in your rent, and your landlord will handle everything. But if you are buying an apartment or house, you will have to contact the city or county and register this utility to your name. This will be one of the essential things to do after moving, so if you wish that everything goes smoothly and fast, arrange everything in advance and gather all the documents you need.

If you already bought a house and all the paperwork is done, it would be good to go to your city authorities before your relocation day and ask them the big question – how do I transfer a utility bill to another name. So you have everything ready the moment you arrive. This is especially important if you are relocating with kids or if you are relocating with pets. But even if you are relocating to a new state alone, you will need water the moment you arrive so you can clean everything up before your truck with all your belongings arrive.

See if There Are Some Exclusive Utility Service at Your New Apartment

If you are relocating to another state, do your research thoroughly, especially if you are renting or buying an apartment. Some buildings may have providers you can not change, so contact your landlord or your real estate agent and ask if there are some exclusive services at your brand-new home. If the answer is yes, cancel these services at your old company.

Return Equipment and Get Your Deposits Back Before Your Moving Day Comes

A common relocation mistake people make is forgetting about equipment returning. If you have internet, you probably have a company router you’ll have to return. Also, your cable box and security company equipment must be returned as well. In most cases, this equipment doesn’t work without service provider authorization. And if you are moving in with your significant other, you could have cable and internet transferred to your roommate or tenant.

Now, we will talk about how to transfer the electric bill to the new owner and the common question of “how do I transfer utilities to a new tenant.” If you put down a deposit, you will get it back once you return everything. Also, one of the things you will have to ask your provider is how much you need to pay in terms of deposit before they come to set everything up. If you are setting up a brand-new account, you will have to pay for installation and to give a deposit for new equipment. But if this is not the case, you can have your services transferred without any extra charges, and you will reduce relocation costs along the way.

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Ask your company if you have to return the equipment

How to Transfer Utilities to Another Person

If you wonder how to transfer utilities to the new owner you came to the right place. As you know, if your name is on the bill, it will be your obligation to pay it. So, if you sold your old house, notify your service provider and request a name change. You can do this online, by phone, and in person. You will have to fill out the change of account holder information in your old apartment or just cancel your account. The procedure is the same when you want to add your name to an existing account. Make sure you begin this process in advance. Even if you are relocating at the last minute, you should start this process and finish it later on when you are settled in. You can put more than one person to a bill if you have more than one tenant. But if you are relocating to another state, it is probably better if you just cancel your account.

Man and woman holding a piggy bank overlay
If you are relocating long distance, it is probably better if you just have your accounts transferred to a tenant

Final Step – Set a Date to Disconnect Your Utilities

Now that you know the answer to “how do I transfer utility bills to another name,” It is time to talk about when and how to disconnect your accounts if you transferred them to a different location. As we mentioned before, the best moving day tip is that you leave your water and electricity on at your old house until all your belongings are loaded on a truck. You will need light, heat, and water in order to move furniture and other belongings from a house. And also, make sure you tell each company the exact date when you wish everything is turned on – especially water and electricity, so you don’t end up in a cold dark house filled with boxes and other belongings.

When it comes to setting up a cable, and other non-essential accounts, tell your companies to come one or two days after your arrival. Because your house will be messy and crowded with stuff for at least two days so setting up a cable in these circumstances can be tricky. Check out this video for more tips on how to transfer your accounts

Check if Everything Is Turned Off or On

So you arranged everything with your providers, and you now know the answer to “How do I set up utilities when I move.” On relocation day, you will have to make sure everything is turned on at your new house and turned off at your old. If, for some reason, your electricity is not shut off after your truck has left, make sure you don’t get extra charges on your bill. Add the image of your electricity meter to your photo inventory or write down how much electricity you spent until this moment. If you get a higher bill than expected, you can ask for reimbursement, and you will have a photo to prove your case. The trickiest part is to set a good timing of your utilities turning off and on. On the other hand, if you are relocating long-distance, you can always leave your old house weeks before you get to your new one. In this case, all your belongings will be in storage facilities and shipped to you once you are all settled in. So when picking a cross-country moving company, consider this because the best way to have stress-free relocation is to have a lot of time and not do everything in a couple of days.


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