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Moving In: How to Set up Electricity Service in New York State

This article details how to start electricity service when moving in to a new home in New York State.

Directions to Start Service Based on Your Utility

The process to open up new electricity service varies based on the utility. If you are moving into a new home in New York state, select your new utility below.

Starting Electricity Service in New York State

Based on your new home's service area, you will have to call your new utility's customer service line in advance so that power is on by the time you move in. The amount of time you should call before your move in date varies by utility.

Your utility will need certain information to open a new electricity account. This often includes things like your:

  • Your full name and contact information (phone number, email address)
  • Social Security Number (or Passport info if you don't have one)
  • New Address
  • Move in Date
  • Date of Birth
  • If rental property, type of lease

Procedures vary based on utility. Click on one of the links above to find out more about your utility's new account process.

If your new home's electricity line has been cut, usually because the previous tenant has left a while ago, your utility will need to send a technician onsite. For most utilities, this can take up to 5 business days and depends on technician availability. There is no way to speed up this process.

For homes where electricity has not been deactivated, a technician may still need to come to your home for a meter reading, although many utilities allow activation over the phone as long as you have your meter reading handy.

Normal Electricity Plans

Most utilities will put you on a default variable rate plan if you do not specify another plan of your choice. This means that the rate of electricity varies throughout the month based on market prices. Your monthly electricity bill will reflect the price of electricity per kilowatt-hour averaged over the month.

Signing up with an Energy Service Company (ESCO)

Normally your local utility (included in the list above) automatically takes care of supply and delivery for your electricity. Supply covers the actual cost of the electricity you consume, plus administrative and customer service charges. Delivery includes all costs related to building and maintaining transmission and delivery infrastructure, as well as getting electricity to your home.

Deregulation and Freedom to Choose

Since the New York electricity and gas markets were deregulated, New Yorkers can pick another alternative Energy Service Company (ESCO) for their electricity supply. This means that while your local utility is still responsible for delivering your electricity, your ESCO charges you for all supply-related costs. The good news for consumers is that ESCOs must compete with each other and your local utility company to deliver the lowest prices.

How it Works

Because the charges are separate, after signing up with an ESCO you will have two different plans for electricity. This means you will receive a bill from your ESCO and your traditional utility company. There is no interruption of service when you make the switch, since your traditional utility will continue to deliver your energy.

You will need to start service with your local utility company before choosing an ESCO plan, since your ESCO will help coordinate the change with your local utility.