Gas & Electricity
Which energy supplier should you choose for your new home?
Moving home is stressful, but once you’re in the hard part’s done, right? Not quite, there are plenty of essential tasks that come with moving into a new residence. Don’t worry, though, we’ve laid out everything you’ll need to do below with plenty of moving tips and links. Everything you need to stop stressing and start living.
After moving house, the first thing you should check in your new home is, well, everything! A quick walkthrough on your first day in your new flat or house will either give you peace of mind, or bring potential problems to your attention so you can deal with them straight away.
Even though you’ve explored the place thoroughly before purchasing or signing the rental agreement on your new place, you should still have another walkthrough now that you’re officially living there. Home maintenance issues have a funny way of waiting until the contract is signed and the movers have left before they reveal themselves.
Still getting ready for moving day? Check out our moving checklist for a stress-free move.
The purpose of the walkthrough is simple, to look for any potential issues in your new home. Specifically, keep an eye out for the following:
You’ll also want to turn on all lights, fans, taps, the boiler and air conditioning if applicable to make sure everything is working.
So what should you do if you do find a problem? If you’re renting, you should contact the owner, landlord or property manager straight away. You may feel like you’re being pushy, but don’t worry, you’re not! In the UK renters are guaranteed certain rights, making many home maintenance issues the responsibility of the owner.
It may seem obvious, but if you are the owner of your home, you’re responsible for its upkeep. That means you’ll either have to hire a professional or tackle the project yourself.
If you opt to hire someone to handle an issue with your home, be sure to find a reputable technician with all applicable licences and permits, such as the Gas Safe register. Stay away from individuals who are unwilling to give references of former customers!
Before you start researching a contractor, plumber, etc., do a bit of research online. You may be surprised by how easily some seemingly intimidating problems can be solved with limited technical skills. Youtube and other video tutorials can be extremely helpful.
If you have a problem with your electrical wiring, we strongly advise contracting a professional electrician. Handling electrical wires can be extremely dangerous and even deadly!
Apart from searching for potential problems, take this opportunity to note the locations of useful items in your home. It’s important to know where to find your water shut-off valve (also known as the stopcock) and the circuit breaker so you can access them quickly in case of emergency.
You should also locate your gas and electricity meters. You’ll need to find them and take a meter reading to be sure everything is in order. If you find unexpected debt on the meter, you should contact your supplier to make sure you won’t receive bills for energy used by former tenants.
It’s possible that you’ll need to set up a new gas or electricity connection in your home if it is a brand new construction. You’ll need to contact your local Distribution Network Operator (which is not the same as your energy supplier).
They’ll quote you a price for setting up the line, but you can contest that price if it seems too high.
It may seem a bit boring, but making sure you have competitively priced gas and electricity tariffs is one of the most important things you can do in your new home; switching can save households more than £450 per year!
Most likely, your new home is currently supplied by one of the Big Six energy companies. That’s unfortunate, as their prices are higher and customer service is ranked lower across the board compared to smaller independent energy suppliers.
If you’ve never done it before, switching tariffs may seem confusing or difficult, but in reality it’s quick and easy. Our dedicated staff can sort you out with the perfect tariff for your new home in minutes.
If you already have a fixed tariff plan, you may have a termination fee as part of your tariff, meaning if you change your tariff before the end of its expiry date you’ll have to pay a fee. Don’t let that stop you, though - most customers can find rates so much cheaper they can save money even with an exit fee.
Moving is a great opportunity to make positive changes. One of the best things you can do for the environment is to switch to renewably sourced energy tariffs. That is, energy that is produced from renewable, green sources like solar panels, wind farms and biodegradables.
You’ll need to officially notify a few different places of your new address. This is an essential part of relocating, as without an official change, you could miss mail, have trouble registering for local services and even have legal problems in the future!
Be sure to check out our full change of address guide to make sure you make your move official. In the meantine, here are some of the most important government agencies you’ll need to inform.
Notifying your employer, bank, credit card provider, gym and any schools or universities you or your children attend is also necessary in case they need to contact you. And of course, don’t forget to update your friends and family.
We strongly advise that you don’t publicly post your new address on Facebook or other social media websites. Doing so could be an invitation for thieves, especially if your page isn’t set to private.
If you’re planning on altering your home, you’ll probably want to do so immediately if at all possible; it’s much harder to knock down walls or change the floor when the space is full of furniture. Even something relatively minor, like painting the interior, will be much easier if done before filling out your space.
That being said, it’s important not to rush the construction process, especially if the project is a large one. Take plenty of time to plan your budget, research and choose the right contractor, and figure out how much time your space will be unusable because of construction.
By taking more time in planning your project, you can avoid weeks of stress and delays due to potential complications with a sub-par contractor or unforeseen technical issues.
The best way to avoid a bad contractor or workers is to seek out their previous clients. Odds are that if their former clients are happy, you will be too, and of course, the opposite is also true.
Construction projects can put your possessions at risk, so we highly advise anyone interested in upgrading their home to purchase content or tenant’s insurance.
If your new home is unfurnished, you’ll want to prioritise finding furniture for your house or flat.
One of the first things you should do is evaluate the furniture you already have. If you have pieces you still like, why change them? If you haven’t already done so, be sure that a mover haven’t left anything behind!
Next, keeping in mind the furnishings you currently possess, start to form an image or a style for your home. If you’re not so stylistically inclined, don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a bit.
Finally, before you start purchasing items, be sure to create a furniture budget. Let’s face it, moving to a new home isn’t cheap, so be sure you’ll be able to afford buying needed furniture within a reasonable time-table.
If you’re running a bit short with your budget or time, you may not want to purchase all your furniture right away. Be sure to prioritise your furniture; you may want to think twice about that leather ottoman if you still haven’t purchased a bed.
You should also prioritise which rooms you’ll want to furnish first. Apart from truly essential furniture items throughout your home, you’ll want to first fill up the rooms where you spend the most time, like your bedroom or the living room.
Despite what some design companies or furniture sellers may tell you, it’s not impossible to create a cohesive looking home while buying furniture and design pieces individually. While it may be a bit more work to plan a look yourself, it can also save you money and give you a truly one-of-a-kind home.
If you don’t know where to start, one of the best ways to form a style is to choose one centrepiece for each room, such as a rug, sofa or piece of art. Choose items that complement your focal point and they’ll fit better together.
Another tip is to use colour to unify a room. Painting or staining items the same shade is a great way to make different pieces seem like they belong together.
Feel free to differentiate styles from room to room, but don’t go too wild, it should all feel like you’re still in the same house.
Still not sure about your style? Don’t worry, there are a ton of resources online on how to find your perfect style and how to successfully combine different furniture pieces. Pinterest a’hoy!
There’s nothing like sitting down to relax in front of the telly or watching football with your mates. To make that happen, be sure you set up the broadband and TV in your new home.
The broadband line for your house or apartment is most likely already connected. If it isn’t, some broadband providers will connect you with a line for free when you sign up for a broadband plan. If your provider doesn’t provide that free service or if you don’t want to sign up for a plan, you’ll have to pay a fee, which is generally around £130.
If you already have a broadband provider and don’t want to make a switch, contact them directly to confirm that they provide service in your new region. If they do, you should be able to transfer your same plan and service without any problem.
If your current broadband provider doesn’t serve your new home, you don’t have a current provider or you simply want to change to a new broadband company, it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are several details to take into account, but our experts can sort you out in minutes.
If you are switching broadband providers and still have time on your current contract, you will probably have to pay an exit fee. By calling Selectra, you can be sure that any charges will be clearly explained, and we make sure that no supplier you contract through us will charge an installation fee.
Generally in the UK, getting broadband service also requires a landline (a non-mobile phone line). Luckily, providers generally sell a combined package of landline, broadband service, and TV.
Apart from price, the most important thing in terms of choosing broadband is speed. Luckily, we’ve made it easy for you to be sure you’re getting lightning fast internet with our broadband speed test tool.
There are numerous different TV packages available, with different features including on-demand TV and streaming services included in your TV package.
However, as more content is available online on websites like Netflix, and TV is typically bundled with broadband service, we recommend prioritizing broadband speed and price as you make your decision.
Finally, be sure to update your TV licence otherwise you risk a hefty fine. Remember, even if you only use your TV for streaming through Netflix and you never watch real-time TV, you still need a licence.
You’ve bought or rented your new home, now it’s important that you protect it. After all, if you’re a homeowner, your house or flat is almost certainly the most valuable thing you own! And whether or not you have the deeds, it’s vital that you protect all the belongings inside your household with home insurance.
If you’re a homeowner, it’s a condition of your mortgage to have buildings protection. But buildings insurance only covers costs due to damage and repair of the building itself. That means that items within your home aren’t covered by building protection!
That’s why it’s vital for both homeowners and renters to take out contents insurance. This policy will cover valuables in your home, such as art, jewellery and collectables, from all sorts of damage or theft.
Because policies may differ by provider, pay close attention to your contract and be aware of what isn’t covered by your insurance policies.
Apart from contents and buildings insurance, one of the most critical things for protecting your home is purchasing boiler cover.
Just as it sounds, boiler cover insures your home for any costs due to a boiler breakdown, maintenance or other problems. Any concern about the cost of boiler cover pales in comparison to how much it costs to replace a boiler written off by an overlooked issue. Boiler cover can shoulder repair costs and prevent serious issues down the line.
There’s quite a few options on the market, but we’ve compared the best boiler cover options to help you choose the right policy for your new house or flat.
So, you’ve got your utilities, broadband, TV, furniture and insurance set up. Congratulations, now it’s time for the fun stuff!
There are still some things you’ll want to purchase for your home, but as they are less urgent you may want to wait before you splash out. Consider how important these are to you and the extent of your budget as you think about investing in:
This may seem a bit sly, but if done correctly, hinting at and receiving housewarming gifts doesn’t have to be! Keep in mind that many people visiting your new home will want to come with a gift, and would love to give you something you actually want.
Just keep in mind your friends and family’s budget range and don’t be too aggressive. Mention that bathmat you liked to Mum once, not every time you see her.
What’s the most important part of your new home? Living there, obviously!
After moving out and moving in, you’ve spent a hefty sum and lots of time, stress and effort to find your flat or house. Between research, cleaning, packing boxes and unpacking them, that’s quite a bit to handle.
The hard work is all out of the way, so now it’s time to live it up! Throw a housewarming party (remember those gift hints!), invite your extended family for dinner or just stay in with a Chinese takeaway, whatever you like. After all, it’s your house.