Buying Your First Home: How To Prepare And What To Expect

One of the most meaningful and exciting milestones in life is buying your first home (plus a little stressful!). However, with everything else to consider many first-time homeowners forget about setting up their home’s utilities. Setting up your gas and electricity service before you move in is a key consideration often overlooked.

Here are some of the crucial factors and procedures for setting up gas and electricity services for your new home, including choosing your energy provider and understanding the various meter types and tariffs. Following this simple guide, you can be well-prepared and aware of what to expect, which will guarantee that your new home is ready for you to move in.

Setting Up Your Home’s Utility Services For The First Time

Setting up gas and electricity as a first-time house owner can be challenging. The following checklist will ensure you have had everything covered.

  1. Find Out Who Your Energy Supplier Is

The first step before moving is finding your current energy supplier. A better solution to find your supplier is to look at the seller’s Property Information Form TA6. This form contains essential details about the sale of your property, such as your water and energy suppliers. You can use this information to check energy rates for your postcode, and the current tariff plan your home is on.

Usually, both your gas and electricity come from the same energy supplier. If not, you can use the Find My Supplier website to identify your gas supplier. To find your electricity supplier, you need to know who the network operator is, who owns and manages the cables in your location. 

Websites like Power Cut 105 allow you to enter the property’s postcode to find your network operator and who your current electricity provider is. Alternatively, contact your Local Distribution Centre (LDC) to find your electricity supplier.

The process for a new build will be different. Newly built homes will come with gas and electricity installed. The developer or contractor would set this up with an energy supplier who would have established the meters and checked the energy supply.

  1. Find Your Meter Numbers

The reference numbers on your energy meter identify your home’s energy supply. You will have two different energy meter numbers if you are supplied with gas and electricity.

Your electricity is identified by a number called MPAN or Meter Point Administration Number, which can also be called a supply number or an S number. The MPAN is 21 digits long, specific to your home, unique and appears on your bill as an “S number”.

Your gas is referred to by the MPRN or Meter Point Reference Number. The MPRN has six to ten digits and appears as the “M number” on your bill.

  1. Find Out Which Tariff You’re On

You can take a meter reading and submit it to the energy supplier once you have located your gas and electricity meters and know your energy supplier. You can find out what tariff you’re on from your energy provider. Usually, they will put you on their standard variable tariff, which is frequently the most expensive. Finding a supplier with a better deal would be better the better option.

  1. Switching Energy Suppliers

Buying a new house allows you to switch energy providers and find a suitably priced energy contract. To find new energy suppliers, use comparison websites or energy brokers. This is the perfect time to do your homework and find a better energy deal that will lower your overall bill or allow you to switch to a green energy contract that uses renewable resources.

Your Gas And Electricity Meters

There are various gas and electricity meters; however, it’s best to contact your energy supplier if you have a smart or prepayment meter at home to prevent paying for unpaid debts.

If Your Home Has a Prepayment Meter

It’s crucial to contact the current energy provider immediately if your new house has a prepayment meter. You should wait to use the key, card, or top off the meter until you have done so. This is to prevent having to pay off any debts that the previous occupants may have incurred.

Ask your current energy provider to remove any outstanding debt from the meter before contacting them to put money on it. They will give you a new prepayment key or card to keep you from paying more. If you have spent any additional fees, they must reimburse you if you can show that you are the property’s new owners.

If Your Home Has a Smart Meter

If your new property has a smart meter, inform your energy provider of its reading, and confirm if it is operating in ‘smart mode’, which will automatically send the provider readings of your usage. If this is not activated, you must manually send your provider the readings.

Final Thoughts

It can be exciting to buy a new house. However, confirming the meter serial numbers with the current supplier is crucial before switching providers if you intend to move into a newly constructed building with multiple flats.

There are instances where meters are inadvertently assigned to various flats within a single building, resulting in inaccurate charges for residents. Before switching, any errors can be discovered, making it much easier to fix since there will be just one supplier involved. Good luck with your planning and enjoy your new home!

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