Moving Home - How To Set Up Gas and Electricity When Renting

Updated on
min reading
Lightbulb and flame icons next to a woman carrying a box

Setting up your gas and electricity will be number one on your to-do list when moving into a new rental property. From meter readings to choosing a provider, our easy-to-follow guide will help you by providing important information you need to know when setting up gas and electricity at your new rental property to make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Can I Set up My Own Gas and Electricity as a Tenant?

Generally speaking, tenants have control over their own gas and electricity bills and therefore the right to set up the accounts in their own name. This is especially true when you and your other housemates are renting the property under the terms of a lease agreement for a set period of time.

In this case, you will be responsible for setting up your home utilities including gas, electricity, internet, waste disposal etc, and you do not need the landlords' permission as the accounts will be in your name, giving you the right to choose how you want to manage your bills.

Before moving in, always check the terms of your rental contract and look out for the following details:

  • That you have the right to set up and control your own domestic utilities including gas and electricity and as the tenant, the accounts will be in your name.
  • Bills are not charged at a non-negotiable set amount each month by the landlord.

What Do I Need To Set up My Gas and Electricity?

Moving to a new rental property is more or less the same as moving to a new home you’ve bought, and the steps for setting up a new gas and electricity connection are largely the same.

Here’s what you need to do:

Find Your Gas and Electricity Meters

If they haven’t already been shown to you, look around your new rental for your gas and electricity meters. It can happen that if your home is a new build, the meters haven’t been installed yet.

If this is the case, you will need to request a meter instillation from the energy supplier you choose. As all new meters in Ireland are now smart meters, you won't be charged for its instillation.  

Meters are often installed on the outside of houses, but if you are having trouble finding yours, you can try looking in the following places:

  1. Under the stairs
  2. Under the sink
  3. In the cupboard
  4. In the garage
  5. Near the entrance

Read our guide to understanding your energy meters and how they work

When you find your meters, you should identify the type. Keep in mind some important things to look for, including the following:

  • Do you have an electricity and gas meter, or only an electricity only meter?
  • Is the meter a credit meter, or a pay-as-you-go meter?
  • Do you have a standard meter or a smart meter?

These questions will help you have all the necessary information for later when you call to set up your new gas and electricity accounts.

Take a Meter Reading!

The most important thing to do once you move in is to take a meter reading. Your energy supplier will also need this when helping you set up your new account. It’s essential that you do this to ensure that you get an accurate first bill, even if the previous occupants took a final one.

If you find that the property has a pay as you go meter, you’ll likely find that the electricity is turned off. You can test this by seeing if the lights are working properly. You can get the electricity back on by topping up the pre-pay cards.

Find Out Who The Current Suppliers Are

Now that you have found the meters, it’s time to find out who the current supplier is. You will need to confirm your move in date with them as well as provide them with your meter reading to make sure you are not paying for any gas or electricity used by the previous tenant.

Even when you set up an account with your new supplier, your new account won’t be activated for at least 2 or 3 weeks, so you will still be with the home’s current supplier.

You can find out who the current supplier is in the following ways:

  • Ask your landlord or the previous occupants.
  • Check the mail (the current supplier should send a letter to introduce themselves).
  • Look around for an old bill.
  • Contact ESB Networks.

If your new home has a pay-as-you-go meter, ask the supplier to clear any debt that may be on the meter from the previous occupants. If you don’t have the debt cleared, you could end up paying it off yourself each time you top up.

When renting a new property, you are not obligated to remain with the previous tenant's supplier, and in fact this can be the perfect opportunity to make some savings on your gas and electricity bills.

You might be able to find a cheaper tariff than the previous occupants, so it’s worth having a look at what’s on offer to take advantage of any introductory discounts or special rates when setting up your gas and electricity.

Set Up Gas and Electricity With Your New Provider

Now that you have done all your checks and taken your meter readings, it's time to get connected!

Most companies will let you set up an account online through their websites. Make sure to have the following information at hand to set everything up:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your meter types
  • Your annual energy consumption
  • Your MPRN (Meter Point Reference Number) and GPRN (Gas Point Reference Number)

After signing up to a new energy tariff, you are entitled to a 14-day cooling-off period, during which you can change your mind and cancel without a reason or an exit fee.

The set up will not take effect until after this two-week period but don’t worry, you won’t be without electricity during this time.

Energy companies work together to ensure that the hand-over is a smooth as possible, so you won’t be left in the dark during your cooling-off period.

If you decide to stick with your decision, your new contract will come into effect 15 to 21 days from the date you signed up.

My New Rental Has a Pre-Pay Meter

Pre-pay gas and electricity is often very common in rental properties, as landlords don’t have to worry about unpaid bills or other issues arising from tenants.

If your new rental has a pre-pay meter for electricity and gas, then the steps for setting up a new account are largely the same, but with some additional points to consider.

  • You will need to contact your provider and inform them that you are moving, including the exact date, to avoid any confusion.
  • It won’t be necessary to take a meter reading, as the previous tenants should have used up their remaining credit before leaving the property, allowing you to start from 0.
  • Check that the cards have been left at the property by the previous tenants so that you can use them once you move in. If you already have cards from your current rental, you can bring them with you, as technically they can be used in any pay as you go meter.

Before singing a lease, it is a good idea to ask the landlord if you can change from a pre-pay meter to a credit meter. Pre-pay tariffs can often be very costly, whereas a credit meter gives you some more flexibility with the cost of your gas and electricity, especially if you choose a day/night tariff or indeed, a smart tariff.

What Do I Do if I Have Problems With My Landlord?

If you find that your landlord is unwilling to let you take control of the bills of the rental property, then there are some steps you can take to try and find information and help with the situation by contacting the following:

  1. Residential Tenancies Board (RTB): The RTB offer information and advice on tenants rights and while also offering dispute resolution services between tenants and landlords.
  2. Citizen Information Centres: Providing services and advice related to tenancy issues and disputes with landlords.
  3. Local Authorities: Tenants can contact their local authority's housing department for assistance with issues such as housing standards, rent supplement, or social housing applications.

Setting Up Gas and Electricity Made Easy

Here at Selectra, we want to take the hassle out of setting up your gas and electricity, and no time more important than when you are moving to a new rental property. Our dedicated team of energy experts are on call to help you when it comes to choosing the best provider for you and your new home.

The services and products mentioned on this website may only represent a small selection of the options available to you. Selectra encourages you to carry out your own research and seek advice if necessary before making any decisions. We may receive commission from selected partner providers on sales of some products and/or services mentioned within this website. Our website is free to use, and the commission we receive does not affect our opinion or the information we provide.

Take The Stress Out of Moving

Moving Home With Selectra

🎧 Our Call Agents Are Waiting To Help You With:

Setting Up Your Utilities

Advice On Moving Home

Renting and Student Housing

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4.6/5 - Our Customer Reviews on Trustpilot 

Our Call Centre Is Currently Closed But You Can Still Talk To One Of Our Moving Specialists

Click Here To Request a Free Callback Mon-Thurs: 8:30AM - 6PM and Fri: 9AM - 5:30PM and One of Our Agents Will Be In Contact With You