Moving can be stressful, especially if you are a first-time renter, so we wanted to help you out and explain everything you need to know about utilities. We’ll help you budget accordingly and never have to worry about those unexpected expenses for when you move into – or out of – your next home.

What are utilities?

Utilities are basic services that you need to have in order for your home to function properly. For instance, you will need water to turn on your taps, or gas to heat your apartment, or even need the city to pick up your trash. However, when you move into or out of your next home, the responsibility of taking on each utility can be up to your lease agreement.

For instance, some of our buildings offer to take on the responsibility of coordinating your utilities for you and include the charge in your rent. Most include heat, water and garbage disposal, but exclude electricity. So, make sure you understand what you are responsible for and what is included in your rent.

When should you set up utilities?

When moving into your next home, it's important to make sure your utilities are set up before you move in because no one wants to be left in the dark on their move-in date. We suggest checking with your Leasing Specialist to let you know if the utilities are active in your suite; if they are not, we suggest setting up your utilities at least two weeks before your move-in date to allow time for the service provider to either connect or reconnect the services.

The retailer or distributor may request a deposit or connection fee to set up your utilities. When setting up services, ask if you need to pay these fees before the service is delivered or if they will be charged on your first statement.

Note: When moving out of a building, make sure to check with your provider if there are any cancellation fees and if the provider did take a deposit, make sure to know how and when you will get it back.

How to set up utilities 

Getting a utility account set up in your name could be as easy as making a phone call. Make sure you contact your provider with your move-in date and address. You can sign up with the regulated retailer or any of the retailers below according to your place of residence.

Check to see if you are receiving monthly billing for all utilities for which you are responsible. If you are not receiving bills, contact the retailer as soon as possible.

Providers in Alberta

  • - Utilities Consumer Advocate - Retailers and Distributors (

Providers in Saskatchewan

Providers in Fort Saskatchewan

Providers in Manitoba

  • - Winnipeg Electricity Providers and Natural Gas Services (

How to save on utilities

Now that you know what utilities are and how to set them up, we would like to outline some ways you can save on utilities:

  • - Opt for energy-efficient appliances: Energy-efficient appliances use less power and water, so you can lower your utility bills and have a lower carbon footprint
  • - Educate yourself about utility rates: One of the best ways to save on utilities is to know how utility rates work so you can budget your monthly expenses and avoid overspending
  • - Look at all service providers: By understanding and shopping around, you can make sure to get the best deal as not all providers have the same packages
  • - Utilize your thermostat: We suggest turning down your heat when you are out of your home and at night. By adjusting your thermostat, you can use less energy and save money.
  • - Use less water: Water is one of the most expensive utilities, so we suggest cutting down on how much water you use. For instance, instead of constantly running your tap when washing dishes, try filling your sink and only use that water to wash all your dishes, or taking a bath instead of a shower.

If you have any other questions regarding utilities in an Avenue Living Communities building, please contact your Leasing Specialist or call our Customer Experience Centre at 1.855.247.1492.