Whether you're moving into a new home or moving out of a former residence, changing the name on the utility bill can save you money. If you don't remove your name from the utilities when you move out, you may still be financially responsible for any new charges incurred by the new residents. If you change the account on a residence when you move in, you may be able to take advantage of new discounts or tailor your usage and reduce your bill.
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Things you need
- Name change request form (optional)
- Current meter reading (optional)
- Title or other proof of property ownership or transfer
Check with the utility company and find out if a specific form will need to be completed in order to request a name change on an existing account. Often, any required forms will be available on the company's website. If not, you'll need to visit the nearest utility office to pick up the form in person.
Gather any requested information needed for verification of the account, such as proof of property ownership if you've recently purchased or sold a home, or a rental agreement with the landlord's name included if you're renting an apartment and want your name added to the utility bill. If you are renting, the landlord may also need to fill out a separate form for the name change request.
Decide on any other aspects of the utility account that may need to be changed, since some cities roll your water, electric and garbage removal into one account. Do you need larger trash containers? Will you participate in any recycling programs? Would you prefer automatic debit of your utility bill over paper bills and payment? Knowing the answers ahead of time will allow you to make any changes needed at once and cut down on red tape.
Fill out the form provided by your utility company and return it with any needed paperwork. Another visit to the company office will be required unless the company accepts digital documents attached and e-mailed with the form.
Allow one billing cycle for any changes to show up on your statement. A name change may not happen immediately and the billing cycle cut-off date may be too close to reflect your request. If the account still shows the old name after one billing cycle is complete, call customer service and ask about the status of your requested name change. You should be able to resolve this issue with a follow up phone call.
Tips and warnings
- Be prepared to pay a deposit to the utility company, if required. You may be able to avoid one if you can demonstrate your good credit history.
- Make copies of completed and submitted forms for your own records in the event you need to confirm everything later on.
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