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Developing a Schedule For Setting Up Utilities

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Developing an efficient connection schedule for your utilities is very important, assuming you want everything ready to go by the time you move in. You might not think this is a big deal, but there a few things you'll want to consider when setting up your utilities. For example, you'll want to think about the installation process for certain services and the order in which you should connect them.

Order of connection

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. 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 set up and when they actually come to do it.

Your best bet is to arrange TV, Internet, or, phone service installation two to three 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. Contact your other physical utility companies (gas, oil, water, etc.) at least a week in advance to provide them a date by which you want your service to be connected and activated.

Appliance connection

If your home hasn't been occupied for a while, it's possible that some of your utility dependant appliances have been deactivated. For instance, your new home may have a gas powered stove that has been disconnected from the gas line or has had gas flow stopped by means of a valve or other control. You should check to see if you need to connect any appliances prior to moving in. If you're not sure how to check, you can try asking your realtor or the appropriate utility company. Utility companies will usually help you connect appliances if you ask them.

Connection schedule

Here's what a good schedule might look like:

Let's assume you plan on moving in to your new home on the 30th of the month.

On the 1st - If you haven't begun researching utility companies yet, get started now. Begin by calling and asking about the basic services they can provide. You may be able to find this information online as well. While speaking with the customer service representative, ask about promotions that may be occurring for new customers. Many times, companies offer an incentive for new customers, especially if they're switching from a competitor.

Also, be sure to ask about deposits and if you can have these waived by showing proof of good credit. If you're transferring your service with an existing company, tell the representative that you've paid your bill on time for the past year without any issues and have them verify this in the system. If you're transferring to a new company, ask how you can provide copies of your former bills and a statement from your existing company to obtain the waiver.

On the 10th - Compare your options, and finalize your decision about which companies you will use. Decide what options are right for you and what equipment is needed for each. Ask your finalized companies for their exact rates, and calculate how much your monthly payment will be.

Ask about upgrades and how these may impact your bill. Have the township perform any safety inspections needed. Based on your new home, make a schematic drawing of the layout to show the following:

  • Cable connections for television sets
  • Location of washer and dryer
  • Ethernet jacks and modem locations
  • Water and sewer line, noting any areas where a new connection should be installed

On the 15th - Arrange installation of television and telecommunications services. Make sure that you are available for most of the installation day. Providers of these services usually give you a four-to-six hour window when you need to be home. They often run behind schedule, so it's best to make yourself available for the majority of the day.

Once the installation date is arranged, call your electric company and ask them have your service activated two days prior. For example, if you arrange TV and telecommunications service installation for the 20th, have your electric company activate your service by the 18th at the latest. This will provide a couple days cushion, should they experience delays.

On the 16th - Arrange the activation of all your other physical utilities. You may want to give physical utility companies a few extra days cushion to set everything up. That way, if they experience delays of some kind they'll still be able to connect and activate your utilities before you move in.

Finally, you should double-check all your services a few days before moving in to make sure they're ready to go.

It's always better to get things done as early as possible. Doing so gives you more time to deal with unexpected complications. Planning an efficient schedule for connecting your utilities will go a long way toward reducing the stress of your move.

Photo by: Sritangphoto (

Sean McClain  Posted by Sean McClain on August 27, 2009

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