A guide to changing your household bills
Last updated: 02/03/2022
Whether you’re moving house or simply want to find a better value supplier for household services and utilities, here’s what you need to know about changing your bills.
- Home phone and broadband
- Water bills
- Gas and electricity
- Home insurance
If you want to change your phone and broadband supplier, then start with your existing company. Call them and ask for a better price. Suppliers often aren’t forthcoming with better deals for existing customers, but calling up and explaining you’re not happy with your current deal can encourage them to offer you something better.
But don’t stop there. Use a price comparison website to find a cheaper deal.
If you’re moving home, then with most broadband providers you can simply take your existing service with you, assuming they have coverage at your new location. You may need to pay a small charge, or commit to a new contract.
You should certainly shop around to make sure this is the best plan of action. Bear in mind though that if you're still within your initial contract period with your existing supplier, then cancelling will incur an early termination fee.
It could take you around a week to be connected at your new home, so the earlier in advance you start this process, the better.
Unfortunately, you can’t shop around for a new water supplier - you’re stuck with whatever firm supplies your area.
If you’re planning to move and are staying with the same water company - likely if you’re moving locally - then you need to let them know your new address. If you're moving to an area with a different water company, then get in touch with them to let them know.
If you have a water meter in the home you’re moving out of, then contact your supplier to arrange a final meter reading. If your new home has a water meter, take a reading as soon as you move in so you’re clear on what you’ve used, and what the previous owners used.
Normally, it’s a good idea to regularly shop around to find a better energy deal and save money by switching.
You would compare quotes on price comparison sites, choose the one for you and your new supplier will do everything else for you. It then normally takes around 17 days to complete a switch, according to energy regulator Ofgem.
However, currently - with energy prices very high - households are being advised not to switch. This is because your supplier’s standard default tariff rate, set at the energy price cap by regulator Ofgem, is likely to be the cheapest rate available.
If you are moving home, then let your electricity and gas supplier know that you're moving, at least 48 hours before you shut the door for the last time. Then, on the last day, read your meters and give the readings to your supplier. They’ll send you a final bill, or they may even owe you money if you’re in credit. If you’re on a fixed-term tariff, you might have to pay an exit fee.
After you move, contact the current supplier at your new home to tell them you’ve moved in. You’ll be put onto a ‘deemed contract’ with them. Read your meters on the day you move in and give the readings to the current supplier. This will help them give you an accurate first bill.
As explained above, like everyone else, currently house movers are unlikely to save money by switching suppliers in their new property.
Home insurance is actually a catch all term for two types of insurance.
The first is buildings insurance, which provides cover for the structure of your property; if you’re buying your home with a mortgage, then your lender will require you to have building insurance from the date you exchange contracts. That is, unless you're buying a leasehold property, in which case your service charge will likely include insurance.
If you already have buildings insurance for your current home, you could speak to your insurer and keep the same policy - although the price will change, as it will be based on where you live and the type of property you're buying. Or you could use a few different price comparison sites to see whether you can get a better deal elsewhere.
At the same time as buying insurance for your new home, you may also need to cancel an existing policy, which you would do when you exchange contracts with your buyer.
The second type of home insurance is to cover your contents. This isn’t compulsory, but is highly recommended. It’s a good idea to arrange a policy before moving day, as most policies will cover your belongings during transit. Again, shop around and get the best possible deal you can.