Setting up gas and electricity for the first time

When moving house, one of the key jobs that needs doing is moving your utilities over, including gas and electricity.

As you'll be entering a new property, there's no better time than now to review which supplier the current tenant or homeowner was with, and have a look on the market for better energy deals.

Follow the below steps to help with setting up your gas and electricity for the first time.

Step 1: Notify your old energy supplier before moving

Before moving out you'll need to notify your energy supplier that you'll be vacating the property and the exact moving date. This will allow your provider to generate a final bill along with any exit fees you are liable for. You may be able to take your fixed energy plan with you, but be wary that this may not be possible due to location and the size of the new property.

Before your last day, take a final meter reading so you can make sure you won't be overcharged for any gas and electricity that will be used by the new occupants going forward.

If you're buying or renting a house for the first time then you can skip this stage.

Step 2: In your new home find out who supplies your energy

The first step with your new property will be to find out who supplies your electricity and gas. You might be able to get this information from the previous owners, tenants, letting agencies, landlords or developers.

If, as above, the previous occupant has informed their energy supplier they're leaving, you should also receive a letter from the supplier when you move in. You'll be able to contact them from this.

Step 3: Find the gas and electricity meters

Letting / estate agents or previous owners will be able to show you the locations of the meters. If, for any reason they're unsure, check the kitchen, hallway or outside of the property as this is where the meters are usually located.

The property may have any one of the following three meters:

  • Standard credit meter - this is the most common type of meter and will show readings either in mechanical form (displaying black numbers), dial form (showing as clock dials) or digital form (showing on an LCD screen)
  • Prepayment meter - most prepayment meters are digital and will show the energy consumed and remaining credit on the account. These meters work by paying in advance and topping up the credit via a card, key or app.
  • Smart meter - this meter submits regular gas and electric energy readings and is directly connected to your supplier. With smart meters you don't need to take a meter reading but it is wise to keep an eye on energy being used.

Once you have located your meters (if not a smart meter) take a meter reading and supply it to the current provider once an account has been set up for you.

Going forward, try to take a reading at least every month to help keep your bills as accurate as possible.

Step 4: Find the fuse box and trip switch

In the case of a power outage, you'll need to know where your main fuse box is (sometimes referred to as a consumer unit). It's usually in the same place as the electricity meter and is where your household electricity is controlled from.

The fuse box will either have fuses or trip switches. If a fault has occurred then a switch will trip, breaking the circuit. Simply check inside the fuse box to look at which switches have tripped to the OFF position and put them back to ON.

Step 5: Find your meter number

Gas and electricity meters each have a unique identification number, which you will need when contacting your supplier to set up an account.

For gas this is known as a MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) and is usually between 6-10 digits long. For electricity, it is a MPAN (Meter Point Administration Number), which is 21 digits long. Both these numbers will be displayed on your bills. If you're yet to receive a bill then contact your supplier.

Step 6: Contact your energy supplier

As soon as you move in, let your new energy supplier know. This can help if you need a backlog of utility bills in the near future with your address on and also helps you avoid any previous debt from a former occupant.

Step 7: Find out what tariff you are on

Once you have contacted your supplier, they'll be able to supply you with this information. You may find yourself on a standard tariff, which can end up being a more expensive option, so it is worth shopping around.

Step 8: Find a better energy deal

Moving house is a great time to compare energy prices, and get the best deal for your energy consumption.

At The Energy Shop, we can guide you through exactly how to switch supplier and get the best rate all in a matter of minutes. Use our energy deals comparison tool today to find out exactly how much you could be saving.

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