Moving house? How to sort out your energy supplier

5 min read
August 26, 2021

If you’re moving house soon (or are considering it) then you’ll become all too aware of the many to-do lists and tasks ahead of you before settling into your new home.

One of those that can often confuse people is what to do about their energy supply before and after they’ve moved home. Here we give you the basics on how to deal with energy suppliers – both in your current home and the one you’re moving into. 

Before you move home

You’ll need to tell your current energy supplier that you’re moving home at least 48 hours before moving day. You’ll also need to provide your new address so your energy supplier knows where to send your final bill. 

Things you might want to ask include:

  • Whether you owe money to your current supplier or if you’re actually in credit.

This is important because if you are due a refund because you will be in credit with the supplier at your old home, then this should be issued to you automatically and no longer than 10 days after your final bill is issued. 

If you owe money on your energy bill, your supplier will often take this as a lump sum so it’s good to budget for this. If you owe more than £500 however, you will not be able to switch supplier when you move. Instead you will have to clear the debt before you move out or take your current energy contract with you to your new home.

  • Whether you’ll be charged an exit fee if you’re looking to switch your supplier. 

You may be charged an exit fee if you’re still ‘in contract’ but some suppliers may waive this for house moves. You can of course ask if there’s an option for you to take your current tariff with you to your new property (but you’ll need to ensure that your name is on the energy bills at your new home). 

Be aware that if you haven’t switched your supplier in more than a year, this may mean you’re on your supplier’s standard or default tariff – which is typically its most expensive, so it’s worth checking to see if you can switch to a better deal using the details of your new home to get an estimate.

Moving out day

On the day you move out, make sure you take final meter readings so that you can contact your energy supplier with those details. If you have a smart meter, you can also do this (take photos if you can) and ensure that you’ve left the details of these and your supplier for the new owners or occupiers.

In your new home

Bear in mind that you’re responsible for the energy usage in your new home from the moment you take control of the property, whether you’re moving in that day or not (for example if you’re having work done to the property before you live in it). 

Try and ask the previous owners or occupiers to leave details of the current energy suppliers and where to find meters. You can then check these meter readings as soon as you have taken over the property. 

If you still need to check who your gas supplier is for your new home, contact the Meter Point Administration Service either by using its Find My Supplier tool  or by calling 0870 608 1524. The service can also tell you what your meter point reference number is, which you will need should you choose to switch your supplier.

To find your electricity supplier, contact your distribution network operator (DNO). Different DNOs run different parts of the UK’s energy network depending on where you live. You can find the contact details for your DNO using this tool to search by postcode. Your DNO should be able to tell you who your energy supplier is.

Make sure you take a meter reading as soon as you can. Many of the issues Resolver sees come from disputes over the meter reading given by the former tenants of the house you’re moving into. So take a reading as soon as you’re in the property and ask the supplier to log it and any discrepancy with the previous tenant’s reading. 

Rental properties

You’ll probably need to provide meter readings to your landlord alongside your new supplier, but as long as your name is on the energy bills for your new home, you’ll be able to switch your energy supplier if you want to. 

Meter mazes

If you are about to move into a property with any of the following it’s good to be prepared for a bit of legwork to get your supply sorted or accurate readings when you move in.

Prepayment meters: this ‘pay as you go’ style of energy tariff means that you’ll be responsible for paying to ‘top up’ your energy or gas (usually through a meter key or a token) the moment you arrive at your new property so you can ensure you have a supply when you move. 

You may want to switch to a ‘credit meter’ (where you are charged based on your usage) as it is typically cheaper, but you will have to inform your new supplier when you do this to ensure the tariff you have chosen is compatible.

Economy 7 or Economy 10 meters: These meters often charge different rates for energy usage by day or night, so it may be that your day-to-day life suits this arrangement. However if you are looking to switch, be sure to check that the tariff you’re looking at supports these meters.

If you want to switch your energy supplier

It’s more than likely that the energy supplier(s) of your new home will have you on the standard or default tariff – which is often the priciest. You do not have to accept this and you should be able to switch your energy supplier in your new home as soon as you take ownership of the property or move in as a tenant (as long as your name is on the bills). 

Shop around to find the best deal for you. Our guide on what to have to hand to make your energy switch the smoothest possible should help take away the hassle. If your switch gets rejected, find out from your supplier the reason for the issue and take a look at what you can do to sort it quickly.

Problems with billing when you move home? Switch rejected? Then make a complaint – Resolver can help for free.

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