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When moving to a new home, setting up gas and electricity in a new build may be a source of worry for you. There are many different suppliers, each of them with a few different plans – which can make the whole process extremely confusing. In addition, if you’re setting up gas and electricity in a new build, you’ll sometimes have to request a connection from the supplier yourself. This can be fairly stressful, but don’t worry; we’ll show you how to handle this situation in the best way possible.
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to affect all of our personal finances. However, the UK lockdown will not affect the services we provide. Our team of experts are working hard to ensure that you make savings on your energy bill by switching suppliers. Read more about your energy supply during COVID-19 here.
When it comes to setting up gas and electricity in your new build, it’s useful to know that developers often appoint gas and electricity suppliers during the building process. As such, you can either choose to keep the same supplier your contractors used or opt for a different one. This decision will depend on your individual needs, including the size of your house and the types of appliances you use.
When a contractor builds a new house, they will have had meters installed. New builds very often have a smart meter installed, which will help you save energy and control your spending – so you’re better able to avoid any nasty surprises when it comes to your energy bills.
If, on the other hand, you’ve built your new house yourself, then you’ll need to contact the DNOs (Distribution Network Operators) and suppliers to get your house connected to the network and your meter installed.
How do I set up gas and electricity in a new build?
The fact that electricity and gas are installed during the building process makes it easier to move as soon as your new home is ready. However, suppliers usually pick standard tariffs for new builds, which don’t always offer the best value for money. Once you’ve moved into your new home it’s therefore a good idea to explore various plans to find one that’s suited to your needs.
Find out who your temporary supplier is
The first thing you need to do to sort your gas and electricity in a new build is to ask your contractor which supplier they used to set up these utilities in the first place. Do bear in mind that though some suppliers offer both gas and electricity, on some occasions you may need a separate supplier for each.
You’ll also need to know your Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN), which identifies your home as a point of supply within the network. In most cases your MPRN will be clearly marked on your meter.
If your contractor is unable to tell you which supplier your temporary contract is on, another option is to call your local Meter Point Administration Service (MPAS) to find out. In the next table, you’ll find all the contacts for each local MPAS.
|Region and Distributor||Telephone Number|
|South West England Western Power Distribution||0845 601 5972|
|South Wales Western Power Distribution||0845 601 5972|
|Southern England SSE Power Distribution||0345 026 2554|
|South East England (Kent & EDF Energy parts of Sussex and Surrey)||0845 601 5467|
|South Scotland SP Power Systems||0845 270 9101|
|North Scotland SSE Power Distribution||0345 026 2554|
|North West United Utilities||0870 751 0093|
|North East England and CE Electric UK||0845 070 7172|
|North Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire Sp Power Systems and North Shropshire||0845 270 9101|
|London EDF Energy||0845 600 0102|
|East and West Midlands Central Networks||0845 603 0618|
|Eastern England EDF Energy||0845 601 5467|
How do you set up bills in a new build or a new house?
So, now that you know your supplier and your MPRN, you need to decide on whether you keep the same supplier or change. Just follow the steps:
Contact your supplier with your meter reading
Once you know which supplier you’re on, you need to contact them and give them your first reading. Providing an accurate reading will help you to avoid excess charges, as you should only be billed for the energy you’ve used.
Through your MPRN, you’ll be able to know how much electricity has been spent before you moved in.
How do you get the best price for electricity and gas?
Getting the best pricing plan possible according to your needs can be tricky, as researching the many providers and plans available can take time.. Switch Plan makes all this a lot easier: just call the free number available at 0330 054 0017.
Switch Plan sets you up with the right supplier and the plan that suits your needs. This makes it possible to get your new contracts done without any hassle. Easy, right?
The whole process is quite simple using Switch Plan. Just get in touch using the number above, and we’ll help you pick the best and most cost-effective plan for your new home – in ten minutes you should have all the paperwork sorted!
For extra peace of mind, it’s also handy to know that each new energy contract is subject to a so-called “cooling off” period of 14 days. During this time you’ll be free to change your mind without incurring any charges or penalties for doing so..
After those two weeks, you should have your ideal plan in place and you can enjoy your new home free of worries!
Setting up your energy account
Once you’ve settled in, a lot of things will take up your time, but there is one thing you should not forget: give your supplier new readings often so they can establish your usual consumption.
It can take a bit of time to establish prices and billing because since it is a new home, there are no previous bills for your supplier to base their billing on. However giving them the current readings often in the first few weeks should help your regular consumption to be correctly defined.
After a while, your supplier will be able to provide you with an accurate value for your energy bill.
How to arrange connections to the grid
When you build your house on your own, you’ll need to bring electricity to the site as soon as possible. This is how you do it:
- Find out which DNO distributes your energy locally;
- Get a quote from your local DNO as soon as you have the house plans;
- Find out if a wayleave is necessary to make the connection (that is sometimes the case when the connection needs to go through private land);
- Buy a smart meter and install it;
- Dig up any trenches needed inside your property to make the connection.
When it comes to costs, it will depend on several factors. These are the costs you’ll be looking at if you need to arrange a connection to the grid.
This is not as easy as setting up energy in a pre-built home, but if you have experience as a builder and follow the steps, you should be alright!
- In the best case scenario, your home will be close to a pole that connects to an overhead line. In this situation, all you have to do is dig the trenches yourself so your home will be connected to the pole. This would cost you around £450.
- If there is not a pole next to your house, you’ll have to ask for a pole to be installed, including a transformer. With the cables running to your house for 35m, this should cost you close to £7000.
- If your new build is in a rural spot that’s far from the pole, you’ll be looking at costs of around £10000. In this case, it is more costly because the DNO will have to extend its network until the cables get to your home, crossing public roads.
We recommend taking care of this connection as early as possible during the construction period. Your new build should be connected to the energy network as soon as possible, to avoid having to use a generator or anything of the sorts, which are typically less reliable.
Are there any other expenses involved in connecting to the grid?
As we mentioned previously, you might have to pay a wayleave in some cases, which comes with an extra cost. The reason behind this is that the distribution network operators cannot cross private land, or land that is owned by British Waterways, Forestry Commission, or Network Rail.
A wayleave is a legal agreement between the DNO and the owner of the private land, which involves paying a fee to the owner.
Can you set up bills before moving in?
When you move into a new house, you can only sign up for a new account when you become responsible for the new build. At the same time, in your previous house, you have to let the supplier know you’re leaving at least 48 hours before your last day in that home.
It can take up to 21 days to switch from one contract to the other, so it’s always better to get the ball rolling up to three or four weeks before the time you want to move.
Pay only for what you spend
In your previous house, remember to get the reading on the day you are moving out in order to have a correct last bill.
We know it’s going to be a stressful day, but getting the reading when you leave is crucial when it comes to making sure you’re billed correctly. If you pay your bills by direct debit, then once you’ve given your final meter reading, the correct amount should be charged at the end of the current billing cycle.
Alternatively, if you don’t have direct debit set up, make sure your previous provider has your email address or new home address so you’ll receive your last bill.
Moving into your new house checklist
Before you Move
|Inform your current provider||No matter if you’re keeping your supplier in your new house or changing to a new one, you need to make sure your contract in your previous home is correctly closed. Contact your previous supplier at least three weeks before your moving day in order to avoid double billing.|
|Get your meter readings from your old house||To make sure you pay only for the energy you’ve used, we highly recommend getting your last meter reading when you leave your house for the last time and communicating this value to your old provider.|
In Your New House
|Take the First Meter Reading||Once you arrive in your new home after moving, locate the gas and electricity meters, and register the first values. You’ll have to communicate these to your new provider so you won’t be overbilled in your first month.|
|Check Out the Meter Type||Check if your meter is a prepayment one, an economy 7 meter, or any other type available. We recommend getting a smart meter from your supplier, as those are the best option to save money and keep your spending under tabs.|
|Check the Supplier||Find out which supplier is currently supplying your new home and decide whether you’d like to stay with them or switch to a new supplier. Your contractor should be able to inform you, but in the event that they can’t, call the MPAS in your area to find out using your MPRN (located in the meter).|
|Avoid Standard Tariffs||Standard tariffs are usually set up in houses that are newly built. We recommend finding out as soon as possible if you’re on a standard tariff as these are usually not the best option for the average consumer.|
Who should I notify?
When you move to a new house, you’ll need to contact a few services in order to let them know of your new address. Find out which below:
- Register with a new doctor or dentist
- Inform your bank and/or building society
- Inform the DVLA
- Inform the HR department of the company you work for
- Inform your children’s school
- Update your details with your optician
Register with a new doctor or dentist
You always need to inform your current doctor and dentist of your new address. Nonetheless, if it is no longer convenient to go to the same doctor, you might need to arrange a new doctor and dentist for you and your family. It all depends on how far your new house is from the previous one.
If you have friends or family near your new location, reach out to them for recommendations of doctors and dentists that might be suitable for you. If that is not possible, ask your current doctor and dentist for recommendations..
Inform your bank and/or building society
It’s crucial to inform your bank or building society that you’re moving – that way, you can be sure that all bank statements and other sensitive information is delivered to your new address. There are usually multiple ways to do this, depending on who you bank with – popping into your local branch may be a good option, or there may be easy ways to update your address online or via telephone.
You need to reach out to your credit card company too, and if you have any store cards then you’ll have to update your address with those stores as well.
Inform the DVLA
If you have a driving licence, you need to inform the DVLA of your new address as soon as possible. While you wait for the updated document, you can use your driving licence with the previous address with no issues, but the DVLA requires that you inform them of your new home address.
Inform the HR department of the company you work for
Of course, your workplace needs to know if you’ve moved. We recommend notifying your human resources department in writing and keeping a copy of the correspondence.
If you work in a smaller company, reach out to your manager and let him or her know of your new address. Just make sure everyone who is in charge knows your new address.
Inform your children’s school
If you have children, it’s very important for your address and contacts to be updated in case of an emergency. You should also inform any other places in which your children do extra-curricular activities – such as music schools, choirs, drama clubs, football clubs, and anywhere else that your children usually spend time.
It is also important to let all the parents of your children’s friends know about your new address.
Update your details with your optician
If you wear contact lenses, you may have an active subscription to deliver your contacts to your address. It is therefore essential to call your optician or stop by to inform them of this change.
List of necessary certificates
When you build a new house, there are also a few certificates you’re going to need legally – and which help keep you and your family safe. These are the necessary certificates for your home to be all set:
When all the electrical installation is properly finished and connected to the supplier, your electrician should be able to provide you with the so-called Part P certificate.
To ensure there are no hiccups in this process, make sure that you hire an electrician that is under the Part P scheme in order to be able to get this certificate.
Air Pressure Test
When building a house, energy efficiency calculations have to be applied, including an air tightness value.
For this test, you’ll need to hire a member of Air Tightess Testing and Measurement Association (ATTMA). The test consists of using a very large fan connected to the back of a trailer that will blow air through the main doorway, bringing the air pressure in the home to a maximum of 50 Pa (Pascals). To calculate the rate (which should be under 15), the air pressure that leaks after the air is blown in will be timed.
If the rate is higher than 15 cu.m/h/m² at a 50 Pa pressure, your new home will have to go through remedial work to improve the insulation or sealing gaps.
To carry out this test, the area of the building needs to be provided to the ATTMA member who is carrying out the test. Your building company also needs to use a pre-inspection checklist to make sure the test is done correctly. If it’s too windy, the accuracy of the results can also be affected, so wind velocity when testing should be under 6m/sec. The difference in barometric pressure between the outside and inside your home should also be under 5 Pascals.
Whew! That seems complicated. But the right professional will make sure everything goes according to plan.
SAP stands for Standard Assessment Procedure, and it is an energy rating that is evaluated when designing the house by your architects and engineers, which should get you your Distributed Energy Resources (DER) certificate.
After construction, the rating is once again checked to make sure it matches the initial prediction and to produce a final certificate for you. Sometimes, the values will be slightly different than was predicted in the project, making it necessary to edit the calculations of energy efficiency. The professional that provides you with this certificate will ensure that the final figure in your SAP is true and tested.
SAP calculates how much carbon is produced by your house annually and is a mandatory certificate in order for a house to be sold and bought.
Benchmark Certificates for Hot Water
These will usually be filled by your electrician using the information from your installed appliances, such as the boiler.
If you’re using a gas boiler, you are going to need the engineer’s Gas Safe Register membership number in your benchmark certificate as well. Gas Safe Register replaced the previously used CORGI standard in 2009.
In rural areas, it is common for new homes to use fuel to feed specific appliances. The easiest way to get these certified is to contact the manufacturers, which always offer support in certifying their appliances. Not all engineers have the skills or the knowledge to certify fuel storage.
Chimneys and Open-flued Appliances
These are certified through a smoke test that will make sure there are no leaks or blockages in your chimney. Your contractor can usually provide you with this certificate.
If your new house is under a ten-year warranty scheme, as are offered by NHBC and LABC, they will also pass a completion certificate. This certificate allows you to claim VAT on your home, saving you money and ensuring you and your family are safe.
Can you set up bills before moving in?
Yes! Since it takes two weeks for your new contract to begin in your new home, it’s essential to start taking care of everything as soon as possible. However, you can only take care of this once the new home is under your responsibility, so as soon as you get the house in your name, call Switch Plan.
How do I make sure I don’t get billed twice?
The best way to avoid duplicate billing is to follow these steps:
- Inform your supplier of your old house at least two days before you move;
- Provide your reading from your old house on the day you leave;
- Get the first reading on your new house the day you move in.
- Let your new supplier know of your first reading as soon as possible.
How do I find my MPRN?
In a new house, your MPRN is always going to be marked on your meter. If you can’t find it, call your local Meter Point Administration Service and they’ll be able to help.
Your MPRN is essential when setting up gas and electricity in a new build.
How do I know if I have a smart meter?
Smart meters are vastly different from the ones we were used to years ago. It’s easy to distinguish them by the way they look: a smart meter has an LCD screen and (usually) a white front. LCD screens are the ones used on other displays such as TVs, digital watches, etc. If your meter has an LCD screen, it’s almost certain it is a smart meter. If you’re still unsure, call your local MPAS to confirm.
To read more on this topic, check out these guides:
Updated on 25 Nov, 2020