Making the Most of your Move

By: Caroline Poynton

Moving home has typically been rated second only to divorce in terms of stress. Not only do you need to plan the logistics for weeks in advance and then manage numerous people (and possibly pets!), as well as the safe transit of your belongings on the day of the move, but you may still be organising your affairs for weeks after. With so much to think about, it can be easy to forget things like your utilities. To ensure that you can put your feet up in your new home as quickly as possible, it's worth thinking about your utilities - including gas, electricity, water, telephone and internet connection - sooner rather than later. If you fail to think ahead, you might end up paying for utilities on your old address that you are no longer using, while sitting in your new place still waiting for the essentials to be set up. You'll have enough on your plate without such additional aggravations.

Gas, electricity, water
You should tell your electricity, gas and water suppliers at least 48 hours in advance that you are moving. The supplier will arrange for your meters to be read or ask you to do it so they can work out your final bill. At this point, your supplier will ask for your forwarding address.

Ensure that you keep a note of the readings and the dates on which they were taken. If you do not agree with your final bills, you will need this information close at hand. If possible, tell the people moving into your old home the name of the gas, electricity and water supplier. You could do this by telling your estate agent, landlord or letting agent. Also give them your gas 'Meter Point Reference Number' and your 'Electricity Supply Number' - you'll find these on your energy bills.

Once you move into your new property, you will be given a gas and electricity supply under what is known as a 'deemed contract'. This means that the gas or electricity suppliers of the previous occupant automatically becomes your supplier at the property.

Don't forget to take a gas and electricity meter reading on the day you move in, which you should pass on to the supplier as soon as possible, together with all your details. This will allow the supplier to send an accurate first bill.

As you move into your new home, you might decide this is the time to compare and possibly change suppliers. It's certainly worth doing some homework on this, as there are now so many options out there, and you could potentially save an awful lot of money, especially if you make the switch as soon as possible after your move. Remember that you will need to give you existing supplier at least 28 days' notice, though.

"When you are moving you need to ensure you have your basic utilities set up as soon as possible," said Nick Tsimbidaros, Marketing Director at BeatthatQuote.com. "But like many people, you may worry about the rising costs of your energy supply - shopping around the available suppliers will help put you back in control of your utility spend. What better time to do it than with the fresh start of your new home?"

Telephone to broadband
It's not just your energy supply you need to consider, though. Long gone are the days when you would simply shut down your existing telephone line to set up your new line in your new home. Today, more and more of us also see a broadband connection as vital - if you work part or full-time from home, for example, your internet connection will be every bit as important as your gas and electricity supply. After all, any delays in set-up may not just be irritating but could impact your ability to work.

Again, you need to give your broadband provider as much notice as possible of your move to ensure a smooth transition. Most broadband is delivered over an Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) and you will need to get BT to set up a line in your new place to enable your ADSL broadband connection. If you live in a large town or city, you may be able to look at alternatives such as cable broadband, but you will need to check out the location and availability of this in advance.

If you are still part way through your contract with your broadband provider, you should be able to continue with your existing contract at your new place, without having to start afresh. However, if you are coming to the end of your contract, it may also be worth taking a look around the market. With such a wide selection of broadband deals now available, and with the price of internet access falling at the same time as performance is improving, there has never been a better time to compare providers.

Making things easy
All of the above may seem a little daunting considering all the other things you will have to manage when moving house. But BeatThatQuote.com could help simplify the whole process. It offers a quick, easy and comprehensive comparison of possible gas and electricity suppliers in the area to which you are moving; if you would like to take this moving opportunity to be more environmentally friendly, it will even suggest some 'green' options that may make you feel more comfortable about your energy usage. BeatThatQuote can also compare a wide variety of broadband providers, explaining what kind of service and price you can expect from different suppliers.

Many of us put up with deals that may not be cost-efficient, just because it seems easier than switching suppliers. But with so much on offer and sites to help you choose the best solution for you, your next house move could prove to be a new beginning in more ways than one.

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