How to Smoothly Transfer an Electric Bill to a New Tenant

Moving to a new rental property can be an exciting yet stressful time. As a new tenant, one of your responsibilities is transferring the electric bill into your name so you can keep the lights on. Similarly, as a landlord, you’ll need to transfer an electric bill out of your name when a new tenant moves in.

With some preparation and clear communication, transferring an electric bill to a new tenant can be a smooth process. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know.

For New Tenants: Opening a New Electric Account

When you move into a rental property, you’ll need to open a new account with the electric provider servicing that address. Here’s how to go about it:

Step 1: Identify Your Electric Provider

  • If it’s a single provider: Your landlord can let you know the electric company to contact.

  • If there are multiple providers: Do an online search for “(Your city) electric providers” to compare plans and prices. Ask for recommendations from your landlord, friends, or family in the area.

Step 2: Choose a Plan

If you have multiple provider options, research each company’s rates, fees, and reviews. Then select the plan that best fits your needs and budget.

Step 3: Set Up Your New Account

  • Call or go online to set up new service 2-3 weeks before your move-in date. This ensures the electric will be on when you move in.

  • Provide your personal details, new address, and move-in date.

  • Pay any required deposit. Expect to pay about 1 month’s average bill.

  • Confirm your start date and keep your account number.

Step 4: Notify Your Landlord

Let your landlord know when you scheduled the electric transfer. Coordinate so there’s no gap in service.

For Landlords: Transferring Service to the New Tenant

As a landlord, you’ll need to take your name off the electric bill and put your new tenant’s name on it. Here’s the process:

Step 1: Confirm Logistics with Tenant

Discuss timelines with your new tenant. Agree on a date to transfer electric service to their name that aligns with the start of their lease.

Step 2: Contact the Electric Company

Call your provider to take your name off the account and your tenant’s name on it. Provide:

  • Your account number
  • Tenant’s full name, phone, email
  • Date to transfer service

Step 3: Verify the Transfer

Double check with the electric company a few days before the tenant moves in to confirm service is in their name.

For Moving Tenants: Transferring an Existing Account

If you’re moving locally, you may be able to transfer your electric service. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Notify Your Electric Company

Call or go online 2-3 weeks pre-move to arrange a service transfer. Provide:

  • Your existing account details
  • New service address
  • Move-in date

Step 2: Inform Your Landlord

Give your landlord the transfer date so they can coordinate terminating service on their end.

Step 3: Verify Account Details

Call the electric company a few days before your move-in date to verify your service transfer is scheduled properly.

Canceling an Electric Account

Both tenants and landlords need to officially cancel electric service when vacating a property. Follow these steps:

For Tenants

  • Call your electric provider and ask to terminate service. Provide your move-out date.

  • Give a forwarding address for your final bill. Pay your last bill promptly.

For Landlords

  • Call to cancel service when your tenant moves out. Schedule it to coincide with the tenant’s move-out date.

  • During vacancies, transfer service back to your name so electricity remains on.

  • When a new tenant moves in, follow the steps above to transfer service to them.

Key Laws and Regulations

There are a few key laws and regulations related to transferring electric service:

  • Landlords cannot shut off utilities when a tenant is living in the property, even if the bill is still in the landlord’s name.

  • The tenant is usually responsible for utilities, but local laws may require landlords to pay certain bills. Check your state and local ordinances.

  • The electric company may require identification documents or social security numbers from new account holders.

  • Deposits may be required from new customers without an established payment history.

Tips for a Seamless Transfer

Follow these tips for a smooth electric bill transfer between landlords and tenants:

  • Communicate early and clearly about who is responsible for handling the transfer.

  • Provide plenty of advance notice (2-3 weeks minimum) to electric companies before move-in and move-out dates.

  • Double check with electric providers a few days before move-in dates to ensure service transfers are completed accurately.

  • Exchange account numbers and provider details between landlord and tenant.

  • Take meter readings on move-in and move-out days and share with the electric company for accurate billing.

  • Have a brief buffer period where service is active in both tenant and landlord’s names to avoid any lapse in electricity.

Transferring an electric bill doesn’t need to be complicated. With some foresight and coordination, landlords and new tenants can ensure a seamless transition of service. Follow the steps outlined above for a smooth electric bill transfer process.


How do I set up utilities in New York?


Electricity and Gas If you are new to New York, you can open an account in your name by calling them at 1-212-243-1900 or by applying online. To start an account with Con Edison for natural gas, call 1.212. 243.1900. Call National Grid at 1.718.

How do I set up utilities in NJ?


Moving In, Out, or Transferring Service? Log in to My Account to start, stop, or move service, or call us at 1-800-436-PSEG (7734).

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