How to Check a Utility Bill Before Moving

Knowing your expenses before moving can help you plan your budget.

Knowing your expenses before moving can help you plan your budget.

A move can be financially unsettling — but knowing how much your final electric, water, trash and other utility bills will be can help you to properly budget. This won't help you get your bed moved and your wireless Internet router set up, but at least it will let you know whether your budget will take an unexpected hit or maybe get a boost from a nice refund. Depending on the specific utility and where you live, you may be able to roll your old account directly into your new one. Be aware, though, that some companies may require that you fully close one account and pay off the balance before opening another account for your new address.

Step 1

Call the utility company as soon as you know your moving date. Most organizations allow you to set the date of termination of services in advance. Many utility companies will also prorate your bill to your move date, which means that you do not have to pay for services on any days that you aren't living in the residence.

Step 2

Confirm the number of days that will be in your final billing cycle. If you are moving before the end of your normal billing cycle, then the utility company may charge you only for the days that you are actually using the service. For example, you may be moving one week into the new billing cycle. Rather than be charged for the full 30 days, you may only have to pay for those seven days.

Step 3

Ask if there are any termination fees associated with your account. Some utility companies may charge a disconnection fee, or possibly a transfer fee if you will be setting up service in your new residence.

Step 4

Check that you do not have any outstanding charges on the account. These may include repair charges or late payment fees. You may have also added services that you forgot about.

Step 5

Request that a paper or emailed copy of your final bill be sent to you. Make sure you tell the utility company to include all current and past due charges so that you do not receive any surprise bills in the future. Double-check the bill when you receive it to confirm that the charges match what you were originally told. If the fees are different in any way, call the utility company to find out the reason.

About the Author

Based in San Francisco, Beth Rifkin has been writing health- and fitness-related articles since 2005. Her bylines include "Tennis Life," "Ms. Fitness," "Triathlon Magazine," "Inside Tennis," "American Fitness" and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University.

Photo Credits

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