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First Time Buyers Utilities Checklist

Adele MacGregor

Written by

11th Nov 2022 (Last updated on 16th Feb 2024) 5 minute read

As a first-time buyer, moving into your first house can be incredibly exciting. It’s also a busy time, with various steps to take to ensure you are set up in your new home.

One of the more important steps is to set up utilities in your home. This ensures you have heating, water, gas and electricity, and access to the internet. Below we look at what utilities you will need to set up in your new home. We've also reviewed the average costs and some top tips for energy efficiency.

  1. Before You Move
  2. Setting Up Gas and Electricity for the First Time
  3. How to Keep Energy Costs Down
  4. How Much are Utilities for a First-Time Buyer?
  5. Setting Up Utilities in a New Build
What Utilities Do I Need to Set Up as a First-Time Buyer?

1. Gas

2. Electric

3. Water

4. Broadband

5. Council Tax

6. TV License

Before You Move

If you’re currently renting a property, you will need to let your suppliers know that you are moving. It is recommended that you give at least 48 hours' notice. You will also need to give them your forwarding address.

Make sure you take meter readings for gas and electricity to make sure you don’t get billed for energy you haven’t used.

If you have been living with family or elsewhere where you don't pay utilities, now is a good time to research suppliers and deals.

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Setting Up Gas and Electricity for the First Time

Below we look at the steps to setting up Gas and Electric as a first-time buyer, ensuring you have heat and light in your new home.

1. Find Out Who the Existing Suppliers Are:

You can check who the current supplier is in the seller's Property Information Form TA6. This is supplied during the conveyancing process.

You can also find out which energy company supplies your new home by using the Find My Supplier service. This enables you to find out who your Gas Supplier is, your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN) and Gas Transporter.

2. Decide Which Supplier to Use

As mentioned above, you will first need to research which energy company you want to supply the home. For convenience, you may want to use the company already supplying the home.

If you were renting beforehand, you can move your contract to you new property. Be aware that if you decide to switch suppliers from your current provider, you may need to pay exit fees.

For more information on switching suppliers when you move, read: Changing Gas and Electricty When Moving House

3. Take a Meter Reading

When you get into the home, make sure you take a meter reading. This ensures you do not pay for energy you haven’t used in the home.

  • Other aspects you should check are:
  • Is the meter pre-pay or a smart meter?
  • Find the fuse box and trip switch
  • Find your meter number
  • Look at the current tariff

How to Keep Energy Costs Down

Buying your first home is an expensive endeavour, so you will want to keep costs down where you can. Additionally, with the cost of energy rising, you’ll want to know all the tips and tricks to keep energy costs down.

Keeping your home well-insulated is essential, especially during the winter months. There are a number of ways you can do this, all which will make the home more energy efficient. They include:

  • Ensuring cladding is well laid in the attic
  • Installing shutters and/or putting up thick curtains across the windows
  • Hanging a thick curtain across the front door
  • Ensuring windows are sealed properly and the double glazing hasn’t failed. For maximum efficiency, you may want to replace old windows
  • Use radiator panels to reflect heat back into the room
  • Use draft stoppers at the bottom of doors

Other tips for keeping the house energy efficient include:

  • Putting down rugs on hardwood or tiled floors
  • Upgrade your boiler if it is more than 10 years old
  • Bleed any radiators which are npt heating effectively.
  • Make sure furniture (such as a sofa) is not blocking the radiators
  • Take showers rather than baths where possible
  • Use low-energy LED bulbs

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How Much are Utilities for a First-Time Buyer?

How much your utilities are will depend on a few factors. These include where you live, the size of your home, how many people live in the property and how much energy you use.

Below we break down each cost and look at the average you can expect to pay.

1. Gas and Electric

The price of gas and electricity has risen sharply in 2022. According to the BBC, the average energy bill in October 2021 was £1,400. By April 2022, it had risen to £2,000 and is expected to rise further. The cost of energy will depend on your provider and whether you are on a fixed rate or variable tariff.

2. Water

The average water bill in the UK rose to £419 in 2022 This will depend on your location and who your water provider is.

3. Broadband

A recent study found that Brits spent £30.30 on average each month on their broadband bills. This will vary between providers and may increase in light of rising costs.

With the increase of remote working, changing broadband when moving house is essential for many households. If you have been renting and already have a contract with a provider, you can request this is moved to your new home. Otherwise, you will need to get broadband set up in your home.

4. Council Tax

You will need to pay council tax for the area you live. This helps councils pay for the services they provide. It covers things like waste collection, street lighting, road repairs and so on.

How much you pay will depend on which band your house is in. If you like alone, you can apply for a 25% reduction on your council tax.

For more information read: Council Tax When Moving House

5. TV License

The cost for a TV license for the year is £159 (free for those over 75). You could face fines of up to £1,000 if you do not pay your TV License fee.

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Setting Up Utilities in a New Build

Building developers will often appoint gas and electricity suppliers during the house-building process. When you move into the home, you can either choose to keep the same supplier or switch.

New builds will usually have smart meters installed. These will send meter readings to your supplier.

Adele MacGregor

Having worked at Compare My Move for over five years, Adele specialises in covering a range of surveying topics.