Buying a new home is an exciting time in your life, and an important part of homeownership is setting up utilities. It’s inconvenient to start moving in without working lights or outlets; so setting up electricity is usually a priority.
If you’re unfamiliar with the electric utility setup process, this guide will help you check off all the right steps. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll have an energy plan picked out and will soon have electricity flowing to your new home.
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1. Check if you’re in a regulated or deregulated energy market
A regulated versus deregulated energy market will have a big impact on your energy options. If you live in a regulated market, then there is likely one energy company with a monopoly on the energy grid. Your choice of energy company will be drastically limited, or you may only have one provider that will supply energy.
A deregulated market, on the other hand, has a lot more variety when it comes to energy providers and plans. In a deregulated market, electricity generators sell electricity to retail providers who then sell the energy to consumers. If you live in a deregulated market, then the next step is really important for you.
2. Compare energy rates & plans
Reach out to the various electricity providers in your area for price quotes and energy plan options. This is also a good time to do a little research on the different types of energy plans. As you do, you’ll be able to to pick the best option for you if you have a clear understanding of:
- The difference between a variable vs fixed-rate energy plan
- The pros and cons of long-term versus short-term electricity contracts
- What prepaid electricity is
Compare energy rates, as well as the term (length) of different energy plans to determine which option seems like the best fit. As you’re reviewing energy plans, make sure you also look for any hidden fees or other associated costs for the plan. Hidden fees can result in higher rates than you anticipated; so, make sure you fully understand the energy plan before making a decision.
3. Set up electricity with your chosen provider
After you’ve finished comparing rates and energy plans, set up your account with the new provider. You’ll want to get this done about two weeks before your move-in date. The two weeks will ensure your energy provider has enough time to process your information and get your utility set up by your move-in date.
4. Set the service start date
When you’re done creating your energy account, make sure you specify your electricity start date. It’s suggested you start your electricity service the day before you officially move into your new place. This way you can make sure it’ll be on the day you start unpacking.
5. Confirm the energy is working
When you get to your new place the first thing you should do is check to make sure the power is on. If it’s not on as scheduled, then give your energy provider a call to check when it will be coming on. It may just be a couple more hours before it’s working or there may have been an oversight in the schedule. Either way, the earlier you call to check in, the better.
A Few More Tips for Setting Up Electricity
Save time and money while signing up for the best energy plan by using these pro tips:
- Research energy plans & electricity companies before signing up: Look at rates, get estimates, and read reviews. Depending on where you’re at, you could have several options, and you could end up with far lower energy bills just by doing some research upfront.
- Time your cancellation just right: Don’t forget to shut off service at your old place or make sure it’s switched out of your name. If you’ll be moving or cleaning your place over time, you may want to keep the electricity at your old place on for a little longer after you vacate it.
- Beware of first-month fees: Set-up fees, transfer fees, and more can get tacked on to the first month’s bill, making it more expensive. Take a close look at each to make sure they’re legit, and double-check the rates to ensure you’re being charged at the rate you signed up for.
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ELECTRICITY FOR YOUR HOME
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