Moving into a new home comes with a lot of stress.
But one of the most stressful parts is coordinating the services that make a home livable. Utilities are a necessity, but there are so many and sometimes confusing to understand.
Read on for our guide on how to set up utilities so that it’ll feel like home from the moment you walk through the door.
What Are Utilities?
Utilities are the services at a fee available to homeowners and renters that are essential to a functioning living space. There are two categories of utilities, and we’ve described them below.
Water, power, gas, sewer, and garbage are considered public utilities. A city usually has one provider for each of these utilities.
Some states offer energy provider options. This is called “energy choice.” Use this database to determine if you have energy choice in your state and which is most economical.
Private utilities are the services offered by a variety of privately owned companies. These include internet, cable, phone, and security services. There are usually a few options for each of these services which allows for competitive pricing.
How Do I Set up Utilities?
Now that you know what utilities you’ll need to set up, let’s talk about how to do it.
Choose a Provider
If you live in a state with the energy supplier choice, you’ll need to select public utility providers as well as private. Compare prices, read reviews, and make a decision based on your best judgment and budget.
Schedule a Set-Up or Start Date
Once you’ve selected providers, you’ll need to schedule a set-up or start date. Some utilities require a technician to come on site and activate or install equipment.
Many companies need a few days’ notice before they can send a technician, so it’s a good idea to schedule your set-up well in advance, even if the actual start date is a few weeks away.
Utilities like garbage don’t require installation, but you’ll need to contact the provider to schedule a start date.
To schedule a set-up, you can usually visit a utility provider’s website. After a brief application, you should be able to select a start date and schedule set-up if necessary.
If they don’t provide online services, you will be able to contact someone via phone.
While you can still manually send a check or submit payments each month for these services, it’s recommended that you set up automatic payment for utilities.
Automatic payments allow a withdrawal to be made in the exact bill amount each month without additional authorization.
If you miss a payment, the utility provider has the right to turn off the service, which can be a great inconvenience to you. If the bill goes to collections, it can even affect your credit score.
Automatic payments eliminate the risk of late bills due to forgetfulness.
Once you’ve selected a provider, gotten the equipment set up, scheduled a start date, and coordinated payment, you’re done.
It’s a good idea to set up utilities at least a few days to a week before you are planning on moving into a new home or apartment. This way, you’ll have everything you need to be comfortable once you arrive!
Take the hassle out of moving. Use a residential moving service to get you into your new home the easy way.