Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket shares advice on how to get the best energy deal in your new home…
Moving house – whether you’re buying or renting – is a big life choice to make.
There are so many costs when buying a new home, including the purchase price and stamp duty if you’re buying or the landlord’s deposit when you’re renting. And then, of course, there are removal costs as well.
With all of that expenditure any new homeowner should think about getting the best deal on their household bills, especially their energy costs, as the cost of heating and lighting your home could be the third largest monthly spend, after mortgage or rental payments and council tax.
There’s also a risk of paying double for energy when you move house, by paying for bills in both the new and old properties. It’s important to contact your current and new supplier as soon as possible – to either transfer your old tariff over, cancel it, or switch to a whole new deal.
Murray explains what you need to know…
- Energy suppliers do not service individuals – they service the property. When you move house, you’ll automatically be taking on a new tariff and leaving your old one behind
- Speak to the current/previous occupants. When you’re in the process of buying a home, ask the current owners (or their estate agent) to provide you with some information from a recent bill, most importantly the energy provider, name of tariff and typical monthly or annual usage
- Inform your current supplier as soon as you have your final move date. If you haven’t notified them, you’ll still be responsible for any energy used after you leave your old property
- It’s worth checking whether you’re currently on a ‘portable tariff’, which can be moved from one property to another, as not all tariffs can be transferred
- When you’re in the new property, contact the property’s current supplier. If you haven’t been given the information by the previous occupants, you can call the meter number helpline on 0870 608 1524 to find out who supplies energy to your home
- Do a meter reading the day you move in, keeping a copy of the readings and the date to ensure you’re not overpaying for energy consumed before you lived there
- If you’re moving into a rental property –the process is very similar – unless your landlord pays the energy bills – but you may have to give any meter readings to your landlord as well as your supplier
- Consider switching. While a tariff may have been cheapest in one area, it may not be the best option available for your new home – so it’s worth shopping around to see what else is available
- If you’re on a fixed-term deal, such as a fixed-rate tariff, you may be charged a termination fee if you switch at your new house before the fix expires. If this is the case, it might be worth staying with your old supplier and taking the fix to your new home – ready to switch when it expires.