How To Set Up Electric Utilities When Moving in Together

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Deciding to take your relationship to the next level and want to live with your significant other? Congrats! While this post is not about partner compatibility or a checklist of things to watch out for when living with someone else, we will discuss, however, how to go about setting up your electricity account correctly and steps to make sure it is done in a timely manner.

Determine who wants to be the primary account holder

First off, it’s important to understand how bills will be paid and who’s going to be assigned the task of setting things up. Some important questions to discuss are:

  • Who has established credit history (ie credit card, cell phone bill, car payment, etc)?
  • Who has the better credit score?
  • Who will be the primary account holder?
  • Does the other person want to have authorization to access the account, or are they okay without it?
  • Is the primary account holder okay with paying the bill in full? The other person could pay their share via Paypal, Venmo, Zelle or similar mobile payment app.

Pros of being the primary account holder

If you’re unsure about becoming the primary account holder, consider these factors:

  • Since you will be financially responsible for the bills, you get to make changes to the account if needed.
  • If you take pride in your credit score and payment track record and wish to safeguard it, even with confidence in your relationship, consider setting up automatic payments with your credit card. This way, you can earn rewards points while ensuring your credit remains unaffected.
  • You can setup how you’d like to receive your monthly billing statements. Here’s a suggestion: opting for paperless billing allows you to send bills to a shared email, ensuring both can review expenses.

Once you’ve got a grip on who will setup the account and be financially responsible, let’s talk about setting up electricity service for your new home or apartment. Before we can do that though, you will need to find out your move-in date.

Don’t forget to check your move-in date

If you’re moving into an apartment, most will not give you the keys until you can provide proof that you have electricity setup in your name and have an account number. You want to know your move-in date because you don’t want to wait till the last minute to get power turned on the same-day. Even though you have options, like prepaid electricity, it can be super stressful waiting till the 11th hour and not have power!

Pro-tip: you will want to process your move-in request atleast 3 – 4 days prior to your scheduled move-in date to be on the safe side. Trust me, I had this happen to me — not once but twice — where I signed up for electricity the night before, oops! Thankfully, Pronto Power pulled through and turned on my power in about 2 hours, tops!

Signing up for electricity in Texas can become incredibly complicated. Especially if you’ve never lived on your own or shopped for electricity before. That’s why services like Honest Gorilla exist — to help demystify the process and make it super easy for you to comparison shop, signup and save.

Be sure to comparison shop electricity plans

Setting up electricity service might seem like a total no-brainer, but you’ll want to check your zip code to see if you can shop for electricity where you’re moving to. Not all areas give you the power to choose, so it’s important to you enter your zip code and find out.

And quick word to the wise, if life happens and you find yourself needing to move-out sooner than your electricity contract has expired, you do not have to pay an early termination fee. If you can provide a forwarding address, then you can get off the hook. You should confirm with your retail electric provider first, and if they give you any hard times, you can site the Public Utility Commission of Texas Customer Protection Rules Section §25.475(c)2(C).

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