There are many things that need to be taken care of when you move into a new home. Setting up utilities ranks toward the top of any to-do list. Before you set up any accounts, think about what utilities you really need and want. That list may include electricity, gas, water, trash pickup, cable and Internet.
This is a good time to re-evaluate your priorities and budget. After all, you'll be living in a new home that has different costs associated with keeping it running. It's difficult to imagine going without electricity and water, but some utilities are optional and more a matter of convenience. Are there any you're willing to forgo to save money? Maybe you don't need your own Internet connection if your apartment complex has an on-site cafe that offers free WiFi, for example.
You've got two basic options for setting up utilities: transfer your existing utilities to your new home, or establish fresh accounts. The route you choose depends on the circumstances of your move. If you're only heading across town, you should be able to keep all the utility service providers you have now. This is an easy process -- just request the last day of service for your old place and the first day of service for your new home.
That said, you may not be able to transfer your account if you're moving to an area that's not serviced by your current providers. When this is the case, request a last day of service (effectively canceling the account) and set up the utility with a new provider.
Keep in mind some landlords require proof that utilities have been set up before they let you move in. Just ask your landlord which ones, if any, need to be on and what documents he or she needs to see as proof.
When you cancel or start utility services, you've got to make sure your timing is just right. After all, who wants to move into a home with no air conditioning and toilets that don't flush? Go to the next page for some practical pointers.