How do I Organise Utility Bills when Moving House?
Plan Ahead to Avoid Billing Headaches
The first time I moved to a new house, I vowed I would never do it again. Of course, I have moved again – several times in fact – but the nightmare of that first move taught me some important lessons. I learnt to plan ahead – and subsequent house moves went much more smoothly as a result.
It’s said that time flies when you’re having fun – but it also flies when you’re not having fun. You can easily get so focused on the packing and removal aspects of your move that other important aspects get pushed to the side or forgotten.
Bills and utilities (such as broadband, gas, electricity and water) need to be sorted out before you move – but they’re often left to the last minute, causing additional stress that you just don’t need. There’s an easy solution to this problem, thankfully.
How Do I Avoid Billing and Utility Nightmares?
Whether you’re moving across town or across country, there are plenty of bills and utilities that need to be managed in advance of your move. You don’t want to end up paying for gas and electricity in your old home after you move – nor do you want to move into your new home and realize that you’ve forgotten to organize the gas and electricity there.
The secret to avoiding these kinds of problems is to plan ahead. You need to ensure that these aspects (or as many of them as possible) are organized before you get buried in packing boxes and entirely focused on the physical removal of your stuff.
When Should I Start Organizing Bills and Utilities?
This really depends on the size of your move and how much time you’ve set aside for packing everything up. Some people recommend starting the process 2 months before you move – but if that’s not possible (for example if you’re moving on relatively short notice), the best advice is simply to sort the bills and utilities before you start packing. It’s one less thing to worry about.
What Do I Need to Arrange with My Bills and Utilities?
The first time I moved, I was surprised by the amount of paperwork, emails and phone calls involved in notifying the right people and arranging the essential services. The people you need to notify of your move include:
1. Postal service
An Post offer a redirection service to ensure that your mail gets diverted to your new address if you forget to notify someone that you’ve moved.
2. Home insurance provider
You may be able to transfer your house insurance to your new home – but if you want to start a new policy for your new home, you’ll have to give your current insurance company enough notice to ensure that you’re not paying for insurance for your old home after you’ve moved.
3. Gas and electricity provider
In some cases you may be able to transfer your gas and electricity into the name of the new owners of your current home, but otherwise you’ll have to close the accounts.
You can give your gas and electricity supplier notice of your moving date in advance, so that they can make the appropriate arrangements for both your old and new home.
You will, however, have to give them meter readings on the day that you move so that they can calculate your final bill, as well as take readings in your new home to start the new service.
4. Water and waste collection providers
You can notify your water and waste collection providers of your moving date well in advance.
They will issue you with final bills based on your moving date, so that you can be sure that you’ve paid the necessary charges (e.g. waste charges) before you move.
They will also be able to set up accounts for your new home, so that everything is organized when you move in.
5. Telephone, broadband and TV providers
You can organize telephone, broadband and TV for your new home in advance, as well as notifying your provider of your moving date so that accounts from your old home can either be transferred or close.
You may have to pay a connection fee for your new home if there isn’t an existing service to the property.
6. Television licence
You’ll need to change your TV licence to your new address so that it’s active on the day that you move in. You can do this online or at the post office.
While it isn’t essential to update your address on the electoral register, if you are moving towards the end of the year, it would be advisable to register your new address ahead of time, as the deadline for changes is 25 November.
8. Motor insurance
To be fully insured, you need to make sure you notify your motor insurance company of your change of address. Your insurance premium is based on where your car is kept (amongst other things) so it’s important that your details are accurate on the day that you move.
9. Schools and colleges
If you have children, sorting out the schooling arrangements has to be a priority, of course. But even if you’re only moving a short distance and your children will be attending the same school, it’s important that you notify the school of your new address and telephone number.
10. Tax matters
You’ll need to update your details with Revenue by quoting you Personal Public Service Number.
11. Social welfare payments
You’ll need to let your social welfare office or Intreo centre know of your change of address if you receive social welfare payments such as Child Benefit and the Household Benefits Package.
12. Healthcare providers
Your doctor, dentist, optician and other healthcare providers will need to know when you’re moving. This is especially important if you’re moving to a new area and need to have your medical records transferred to a new healthcare provider. You can get a list of GPs who participate in the medical card scheme from the Local Health Office.
Is There A Way To Notify Everyone At Once?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to handle all the administrative details automatically. That’s why it’s a good idea to notify as many people as you can ahead of the move. It’s also a good idea to use a checklist (you’ll find an example below) that you can use to make sure that you don’t forget to change your details.
Utilities, Bills and Other Notifications: Checklist