One of the most important issues to tackle when moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, after finding a place to live, is utility service. Utility companies in North Texas vary according to area, but most follow similar procedures for new accounts, and several companies offer service to the entire Metroplex.
In Dallas and Fort Worth, water, sewage, and trash collection are all city services. In surrounding towns, utility billing is usually handled at the city offices, even if a service originates from Fort Worth or Dallas.
Most cities require a $50 deposit to initiate water service at your new location. If you are moving within the county, you will only need to pay a $10 relocation fee. All municipal services, including water, sewage, and recycling, are billed on one monthly statement. When you call to set up service, have your new address and phone number available, as well as your driver license and Social Security numbers.
If you have a good record with your previous phone company, you will qualify for phone service with any reputable DFW phone provider. AT&T is the most widely used provider. Call to set up phone service from your previous address. Be sure to have your new address and previous phone company information on hand. You may pay a deposit to initiate service, depending on your record with the previous company. This deposit should be billed on your first monthly statement.
For cable television, most of the DFW area is covered by Time Warner Cable Services. If you prefer satellite providers, DISH Network and DIRECTV are both available in most areas. The good news is that several companies that offer cable also offer high-speed Internet connections so you can consolidate your billing. In fact, AT&T, Sprint/EMBARQ, Time Warner, and Verizon all offer phone, Internet, and cable bundles for your convenience. Call after you move to schedule a technician visit to your home to set up your cable or satellite.
Electric service in DFW underwent an enormous shift in January of 2002 when electricity was deregulated. For most of the area, this means that residents have a choice when it comes to who provides their electricity. The Public Utiltiy Commission (PUC) has a website at www.powertochoose.org to help you find the options available in your zip code. You’ll find a list of participating retail companies and the plans they offer. Find the same information by calling 866-PWR-4-TEX (1-866-797-4839).
Not all areas of DFW offer retail electric choice. The city of Garland and other municipal utilities provide only one source. Electric cooperatives such as COSERV, which serves parts of Denton, Collin, and Tarrant counties, don’t offer competitive electric plans either. Instead, electric rates are set by the city or cooperative.
Regardless of who provides your electricity, you will need to supply some basic information when you call for set-up, including your previous address and electric provider, new address and phone number, place of employment, driver license number, and Social Security number. You may also need to provide a letter of credit from your previous electric company.
Most companies require a non-refundable set-up fee and a refundable deposit. Most deposits and fees are billed on your first statement. Be sure to call at least 2-3 business days before your move-in date to ensure that service is activated in time.
If your home or apartment uses gas for heating, you’ll need to contact the local gas company. Atmos Energy provides the gas services for most of DFW. When you call to set up service, be sure to have your new address and telephone number, name of your former gas service company, place of employment, driver license number, and Social Security number at hand. You may be asked about any major gas appliances installed in your home and for a letter of credit from your previous company.
Be sure to call the gas company several days before you move to give the city enough time to inspect the lines and for a technician to turn on the pilot light.