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Moving house – how to deal with gas and electricity

Moving home is a great time to make sure you’re on the right energy tariff for your needs. If you’re currently on a good-value fixed deal, you may want to move this with you to your new property. If you’re not, it could be the perfect time to switch.

Either way, here’s what to do about your utility bills when  moving house.

Moving home is a great time to make sure you’re on the right energy tariff for your needs. If you’re currently on a good-value fixed deal, you may want to move this with you to your new property. If you’re not, it could be the perfect time to switch.

Either way, here’s what to do about your utility bills when  moving house.

Written by
Sajni Shah
Utilities comparison expert
Last Updated
5 APRIL 2023
5 min read
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Can I keep my energy tariff if I move house?

Some energy suppliers will let you move your fixed tariff to the new property when you move home. This is useful if you’re on a good deal or want to avoid exit fees.

Even so, you may find that your fixed-rate tariff changes. This is because energy prices can vary depending on where you are in the UK. If you’re moving to a different part of the country, it may be that you can’t keep your current rate.

Not all energy suppliers will let their customers stick to the same deal. To be sure, get in touch with your supplier.

What to do with your energy suppliers before you move

Before you move out of your old property, here’s what you’ll need to do

  • Consider your options

    Check your current tariff to see if you’ll be charged an exit fee for leaving your contract early. You can then compare your tariff with other available deals and see if it's cheaper to keep your current tariff or pay an exit fee and switch
  • Call your energy supplier

    If it looks like you’re better off staying with your existing tariff, contact your energy supplier two weeks before you move so they can transfer your account to your new address.

    If it works out cheaper to switch, tell your supplier at least 48 hours before you move and confirm the date. They can then send the final bill to your new address.
  • Take meter readings the day you move

    If you don’t have a smart meter, be sure to take meter readings at both your old and new house the day you move. This can help prevent you being charged for someone else’s energy use.

    Having up-to-date meter readings can also offer you protection if you don't agree with your final bill. You may even find you're owed money on overpayments, which you can claim back by calling your energy supplier.

Who do I need to tell when I move?

There are various people you’ll need to contact if you’re moving house, including your bank, work, doctor and children’s school. You’ll also need to let your energy supplier know your plans. They’ll have a page on their website where you can do this quickly and easily.

You’ll also need to update your other utilities, including phone, broadband, and water.

How to take over utilities when moving house

If you move into a new home and aren’t sure who supplies the energy, don’t worry – it's easy enough to find out.

To track down your gas supplier, visit Find My Supplier or call the Meter Number Helpline on 0870 608 1524.

To find out who provides your electricity, call the Local Distribution Centre (LDC) for your area on one of these numbers:

  • London, South East and Eastern England: 0800 029 4285
  • South Wales, West & East Midlands: 0800 096 3080
  • South West England: 0845 601 2989
  • Southern England: 0800 048 3516
  • North West England: 0800 048 1820
  • Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire and North Wales: 0330 101 0444
  • Yorkshire: 0800 011 3332
  • North East England: 0845 070 7172
  • Central and Southern Scotland: 0330 101 0444
  • Northern Scotland: 0800 048 3516

You can also use the Energy Networks Association site to find your energy network operator by typing in your postcode.

What to do with your energy suppliers after you move

If you’re already in your new home, here’s what to do:

  • Find out who supplies the energy for your new home

    Unless you make other arrangements, when you move into your new home, the property’s existing energy supplier will put you onto what’s called a ‘deemed contract’. This is the supplier’s default or standard tariff and is usually more expensive.
  • Contact the new house’s suppliers

    On the day you move in, you’ll need to take a meter reading and send this to the supplier. You should also ask for their best available tariff. You can then decide whether to stay with the existing supplier or switch to a new one.
  • Compare suppliers and switch

    Remember, you’re under no obligation to stay with the property’s existing supplier. In fact, moving home is an ideal opportunity to compare energy providers and switch to the right tariff for you. Your new supplier will handle the switch and let you know if you need to submit a meter reading. And as you’re on a deemed contract, there’s no exit fee to pay.  

To find out more about how to switch, see our guide to switching energy suppliers.

Moving home and switching energy supplier

It's easy to switch your energy supplier when you move house. When it’s available again, you can use our energy comparison service to get a range of quotes from energy providers. Just give us your new postcode and a few details about yourself, and we'll do the rest.

Remember, when comparing energy suppliers there’s more to think about than just tariffs. You may also want to consider:

  • The supplier’s customer service record
  • Availability of green tariffs
  • Any incentives to switch, such as discounts or vouchers
  • Whether the supplier has signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee

Did you know?

You can only switch supplier or tariff from the day you become responsible for the property – ie, once you’ve exchanged contracts or signed a rental agreement. You’ll still need to pay a first bill with the existing supplier to the property, as the switch process can take around 15-21 days to complete.

Frequently asked questions

Can I change my energy supplier if I rent?

If you're moving into a rental property and pay for your own gas and electricity, you have the right to change energy supplier.

Your contract may say that your landlord has a preferred supplier, but this is unlikely. Even so, you’re still perfectly free to switch. You don’t need your landlord’s permission to switch unless their name is on the bill.

What if I’m moving to a new business premises?

If you’re moving your business to a new location, you’ll be put on a deemed contract. This can be more expensive, but you’re free to switch whenever you want without any penalty fees. Business energy contracts tend to last longer than domestic ones, so it’s the perfect time to switch your business energy supplier.

Is switching energy suppliers easy?

Yes, it is. Thanks to the Energy Switch Guarantee, switching is hassle-free and your new supplier will do all the heavy lifting for you, including contacting your old supplier. The guarantee means there are no fees to switch, and the process should take no more than 21 days.

What should I do if my new home has a prepayment meter?

If there’s a prepayment meter at your new home, your estate agent or landlord should provide you with a key or card to top it up. You can also ask the energy supplier of the property for a new key or card.

While prepayment meters can help those struggling to budget their energy spending, they’re generally more expensive. It’s worth talking to your energy supplier and arranging to switch to a regular or smart meter. Direct Debit is almost always the cheapest way to pay.

If you’re renting, you don’t need your landlord’s permission to change the meter. However, they can make you change it back when you move out.

What should I do if my new house has a smart meter?

If you have a smart meter, make sure it’s in ‘smart mode’. That way it should automatically send your energy supplier an opening reading when you move in. If the smart meter isn’t in smart mode, you’ll need to take manual readings and submit these as you would with a traditional meter.

Be aware that if the smart meter in your new home is first-generation (SMETS1), and you decide to switch, you may temporarily lose the smart functionalities. If this happens to you, get in touch with your energy supplier.

What else do I need to cancel when moving house?

When you move, you’ll need to cancel your utility contracts and give the providers your new address so they can send you a final bill.

Utilities to update include:

  • Gas and electricity
  • Water
  • Broadband
  • Landline
  • Council tax.
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