Setting up utilities is one of many things on the moving to-do list, but it’s a big one. If you don’t have electricity on the day you move in it can cut unpacking short and make the first night pretty uncomfortable.
The good news is, switching electric providers is easy (for the most part), and you may not even have to switch if you’re making an in-town move. That said, a move is a great time to evaluate your electricity plan and see if there are better options available. Here’s how!
Nail Down the Move-in Date
Before you start looking at electricity plans, you’ll need to know when the new service should start. If your moving plans aren’t finalized you may want to hold off on establishing electricity service. When you sign up for an electricity plan usually you must select a start date. It may be a good idea to err on the side of caution and choose to have the electric service begin the day before moving in.
Is the Energy Market Regulated or Deregulated?
If you’re moving to a new city the first thing you’ll want to do is verify whether the local energy market is regulated or deregulated.
In a regulated market, the local utility handles every aspect of electricity service and that’s your only option. Rates are set by state regulators so there’s no way to get a better deal. Check with the local government utility department for details on what to do to set up service.
A deregulated energy market doesn’t have a sole electricity provider. There are a number of suppliers who buy electricity wholesale from generators. The suppliers then provide consumers with electricity. This allows for competition and a wider selection of electric plans with varying rates. In a deregulated energy market it’s best to comparison shop to find the plan with the best rate, customer service and features. For example, if getting electricity that’s generated by renewable energy sources is important you can focus only on green plans from providers like Verde Energy.
Once you find the plan you like, you’ll sign up for service on the supplier’s website or over the phone. Select the start date and provide some basic information to complete the setup process. Most providers require at least 48 hours notice before service can be initiated. Also, keep in mind many electric suppliers don’t start service on weekends and holidays.
Check on the Deposit
Many electricity providers require a deposit from new customers. The deposit helps protect the provider from financial loss if you fail to pay your utility bill. Usually, the deposit is around $100-$250. The electricity provider will hold on to the deposit for the first year and then either refund the deposit or apply it to your utility bill as a credit after 12 months of timely payments.
Since moving comes with a lot of expenses, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to circumvent the deposit. The answer is, yes. Every provider has its own deposit policies, but most will waive the deposit if you can produce proof that you made timely payments with your current electric company or you provide a letter of guarantee. A letter of guarantee is basically another person promising to pay your utility bill if you fail to do so.
Check the state laws regarding electricity plan deposits. Some states have stipulations that limit deposit amounts and who has to pay them.
Did you pay a deposit for your current electric service? If so, the provider must refund the deposit if you don’t have an outstanding balance. The refund is typically issued within 30 days of closing the account.
Request Service Shut Off
Starting a service with another electricity supplier means that your current service will need to be turned off. This shouldn’t be a complicated process. Simply contact your supplier to let them know you are moving and need to submit a service shut off request. Be prepared to provide account details including your name, address, account number, and a date for the service to be switched off.
Try to Get Cancellation Fees Waived
At Verde Energy, we don’t charge cancellation fees, but If you have a contract with your current electricity provider there may be an early termination fee. When a customer moves out of town, most providers are understanding and will waive the cancellation fee so long as you can prove you’re moving out of the service area. Your provider may request that you send them the address of your new home or proof of the change of address.
Verde Energy makes it easy to switch providers and set up electricity service at your new home. You can sign up for an electricity plan online in minutes or call us to set up service over the phone. Once the service is selected we’ll handle the rest. You don’t have to worry about contacting your current provider or service interruptions.
Ready to make the switch to a green electricity plan? Sign up today!