|Connecting utilities may seem simple enough, but there is a lot to consider.
You'll be dealing with different companies that work on different schedules, so
you'll need to make sure you have everything planned out in advance. Doing this
will limit the unexpected and reduce the potential stress involved with missed
installation appointments, forgotten services, or other problems that crop up.
It will also help ensure that all your utilities are up and running by the time
you take up residence in your new home.
Physical Utilities (Water, Gas, Electric, Etc.)
It usually only takes a physical utility company a
few days to activate service and make all the appropriate connections to your
new home, but the earlier you notify them of your expected move-in date, the
better. With less notice, there's a higher chance the company won't get to you
because of an overbooked schedule.
Physical utilities, such
as water and electricity, are most often provided by local companies. Depending
on where your new home is, you may or may not have a choice of services. Check
online or in your local phone book to see which service providers are available
to you, and from there make your selections. You should check price and quality
of service (perhaps ask for references or check with neighbors) before making
your final decision.
Television and Telecommunications ServicesThere are many
decisions that need to be made in regard to TV, phone, and internet service. For example, you may need to
consider whether you want standard or high definition TV or satellite or cable
for TV and Internet. You'll also need to decide what kind of calling plan you
Most major providers of these services offer service bundles. Doing
this allows you to consolidate your utilities into one bill and also simplifies
things by allowing you to deal with just one company.
Figure out which service providers will best suit your needs by researching
online, calling various providers in your area, or asking friends and neighbors.
You will be required to be present for the installation of your TV and
telecommunications services. Installation may take up to four hours (or possibly
more), and it often takes about a week for an installer to actually come to your
home, so plan accordingly.
Researching UtilitiesIf available to you, the Internet can be a
useful tool for selecting a utility service, arranging installation, and
managing your account. Most utility companies have websites where you can sign
up for services, and from there arrange for their connection and activation.
Usually this has the added benefit of allowing you to manage your account and
pay your bills online, either by credit card or directly from your bank account.
TIP: You should be able to find a listing of your
local utility providers on your state's board of public utilities website.If
you don't have access to the Internet, there's no need to worry. You can do all
of the things above by simply using the phone to call your selected utility
providers. Phone numbers for local utility providers should be listed in your
local phone book.
Timely Utility Connection
In addition to finding the
best utility service providers and service options for you, it's important to
make sure you connect utilities in the right order. For example, your
electricity will need to be turned on prior to installation of electronic
utilities like TV and Internet. As stated above, it may only take your electric
company a few days to activate your service, but it can be a much longer delay
between when you call to have your TV and Internet service installation set up
and when they actually come to do it.
Your best bet is to arrange TV,
Internet, and/or phone service installation 2-3 weeks in advance. Then, call
your selected electric company and have them activate your service a few days
before your TV and telecommunications services will be installed.
your other physical utility companies at least a week in advance (the more
notice the better) to provide them a date by which you want your service
connected and activated.
TIP: For an example of an efficient connection
schedule, check out our guide, "Efficient Connection Schedules."