If this is your first time moving into a new property, renting or buying, you’ll need to find an energy provider. You may have to find a retailer that offers gas and electricity or just electricity, depending on what is connected to your property. This means finding the right energy plan and retailer will mean looking at your own personal circumstances and gas and electricity needs.
It’s best to have your energy contracts in place when you move into your new property. As a first time home buyer, gas and electric contracts may mean a bit of research and planning, but it’s all part of the home buying process. Even if you’re renting, you’ll want to do research to make sure you’re getting a gas and electricity deal that fits your needs.
How to get gas and electricity quotes for first-time buyers?
There are many retailers to choose from when you’re looking at electricity and gas deals for your new home. And each of these retailers have a range of offers and deals. Before you start comparing plans, you need to find out which providers and plans are available in your area.
Once you have that information, you’ll want to understand the different types of tariffs and features of the available energy plans. This will then help you select the most suitable and affordable one for your energy consumption. You should also check whether retailers who provide both gas and electricity give you a good discount to take out both contracts with them.
Does your new home have a smart meter? If yes, then you can select a plan with flexible or time-of-use tariffs. These plans allow you to pay more when you consume electricity during peak load times and less if you consume at off-peak times.
If you think you’ll be able to time the usage of your high energy consumption appliances at non-peak hours, then a flexible tariff plan will suit you. On the other hand, if you need to use your high energy consumption appliances at peak times such as weekday evenings, then a flat-rate or single-rate tariff will be more affordable.
You can then compare the discounts offered with various plans, but remember to check how long the discount will apply. You should also compare the terms of each plan, such as late payment charges or other charges. Find out whether you’ll be locked into the plan for a period and if you have to pay an exit fee if you decide to cancel during that time.
If your property has solar panels, you may want to consider a plan that offers a solar feed-in tariff. This is when your energy provider will credit you for solar power that you generate but don’t need and feed into the grid.
How to go about getting gas and electricity connected for the first time
Once you’ve identified the right plan for your new home, read through the basic plan information to understand the details and then contact the retailer to organise a contract. You should receive a contract document in a few days.
If you’re the first occupant of the new house, then the energy retailer will need to provide a new connection, and you may also have to get electricity and gas meters installed. This process can take some days and is often done during construction. You should check with the energy retailer and ensure that the connection is in place before you move into the house.
If the house was occupied by someone else before you, make sure that their energy contracts have been cancelled before moving in. You may have chosen a different energy retailer from the previous occupant, but the distributor will be the same, and therefore, the switchover should be rather fast. Once your energy retailer switches your connection on, it should cancel any previous connections to that property. Ensure you inform your energy retailer of the date when you plan to occupy the property so they make the switch on the correct date. You may want to also note the meter reading on the day that you occupy your new home.