Moving Utilities

Published Friday, 16 March 2012
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The Consumer Council advises you on what to do about your electricity and gas suppliers when you move home.

When you move home it is important to tell your existing supplier you are leaving and to register with your new supplier. If you forget to do this you could run the risk of a mix up with names on the account or meter readings. At worst, you could find yourself facing a high bill or being made responsible for a previous occupier's bill.

Moving out of your home:

It is advisable to inform your electricity and gas supplier that you are moving out at least 48 hours in advance of your leaving date - this applies however you pay your bill. You will need to give your name, current address and security information. You should also have to hand your:

- Customer Reference Number which can be found on your bill if you receive one;
- The latest meter reading and the date that it was taken;
- The Meter Serial Number which is on the front of your electric or gas meter; and
- Your new address.

Give these to the supplier and keep a record in case you need to refer to them later on. Your supplier will work out the final bill and send it to your new address.

Often, your supplier may ask you to call back on the day that you move out and provide a final meter read. This ensures your final bill is as accurate as possible.

Moving into your new home

As soon as you move in:

- Take a note of the reading on both the electric and gas meter; and
- Contact your electricity and gas suppliers immediately to register your accounts and provide the meter readings.

If there is a PAYG meter installed at your property you should call the supplier to register and also get a new payment card. Do not use the previous occupant's card as he/she may have accrued debt on the account and you could end up paying for this.

If you don't register with your utility suppliers there is a greater chance that there could be a mix up with accounts.

Dealing with mix ups

Even if you have taken all the right steps to close your old account or open a new one with your energy supplier, meter mix ups and billing errors can still occur through no fault of your own.

If you become aware of a problem with your account, you should immediately contact your current supplier. They will investigate the issue and work with you to resolve it. You should give your supplier a reasonable time to sort out any errors. You can help them by providing access to your meter.

Whilst the problem is being investigated get your supplier to suspend any action to recover outstanding payments on the accounts that are in dispute, until the matter is resolved. Energy companies have procedures for recovering unpaid bills and they must notify you if they intend to take action against you. If you do receive notification of action contact the supplier immediately. When you call take a note of the time, date and what is said in case you need this later.

Energy suppliers will only disconnect properties when there is no alternative and they must notify you if they intend doing so. However, if you find yourself disconnected by mistake contact the company immediately. They should reconnect you straight away. You should not be charged for a reconnection and may be entitled to some redress if this happens without good reason or if the correct procedures are not followed.

If you are not happy with the response of the company or experience any delays, contact the Consumer Council by calling our complaints line on 0800 121 6022 or email For more information visit our website at

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Consumer Council
Consumer Council

The Consumer Council is an independent consumer organisation, working to bring about change to benefit Northern Ireland's consumers.

They aim to make consumer voices heard and make them count.

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