What you need to know about energy as a first-time buyer

If you’re looking to get on the property ladder – congratulations! Moving into a new home is exciting, whether you’ve done it all before or are stepping into unchartered territory.

Although it’s an exciting time, there are a few things you need to do before you can start unpacking your bags and choosing the best colour for your living room. Perhaps the most important is making sure your gas and electricity are in order, especially with energy bills soaring in 2023.

Not sure where to start? Luckily, we’ve broken down everything you need to know below.

What to do before you move?

Before you move house, the chances are, you’re in rented accommodation. If so, you should give your current energy supplier notice. It’s usually recommended to give at least 48 hours’ notice.

On the morning of your move, be sure to take some meter readings and pass these over to your supplier. Where possible, it’s a good idea to write these down and take a picture. Then, in the event you don’t agree with your final bill, you can provide evidence to your old supplier. That way, you won’t be overcharged.

If you have a smart meter, it’s good practice to check that it’s working as it should before you hand back your keys.

What to do after you move

As soon as you open the door to your new abode, it’s important to contact the current energy supplier to let them know that you’ve moved in. You’ll then automatically be enrolled on a standard variable tariff to see you through.

This can be difficult at times, but generally, you need to do the following:

  1. Find out who the chosen energy supplier for your new home.
  2. Find the gas and electric meters.
  3. Contact the energy supplier with up-to-date meter readings.
  4. Find your fuse box.
  5. Look at your meter number to find out what tariff you’re on.

Then it’s time for the fun part: finding a better energy deal!

How to find a better deal

If you’re paying over the odds for your energy bills, you might want to consider swapping to a new provider. Although you’ll need to wait for at least one billing cycle with your current supplier, you can normally find a better deal by:

  • Contacting your supplier directly – Most providers don’t want to lose a customer. By speaking to your current provider, you can find out about other, more affordable tariffs that might be suitable.
  • Check how you’re paying your bills – Generally speaking, paying by direct debit is cheaper than paying in cash. If you can afford to do so, try swapping payment methods.
  • Switch providers – Sometimes, the grass is greener on the other side. So, head over to price comparison sites to see if you could save money by switching.

Now all that’s left to do is enjoy your new (toasty warm!) home.