Utilities aren't all-inclusive at my apartment. What do I do?

Living Room & KitchenSome apartments come completely prepackaged (furniture/utilities) like 2nd Avenue. The further you go from the student rental communities the more likely you'll have to get your own utilities.

You just moved in all of your stuff to your apartment. You're getting ready to go break in the shower - but it doesn't turn on. You go downstairs to grab a cold brew from the fridge instead and realize it's still warm. What you realize is your utilities were never set up before you moved in. Yikes!

While you may find all-inclusive apartments common in Gainesville (especially near campus) utilities sometimes need to be purchased separately from the complex. If you need to purchase utilities for your Gainesville apartment then there are things you need to get into action as soon as you sign the lease.

Determine the utility company your area is contracted with and contact them
Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) has an almost exclusive lock on the Gainesville region's utilities, go figure. Unless you're living way out of the way then this is the utility company to contact. GRU plans have the option for power/water/sewer/gas plans and are usually rolled into one. Apartment managers usually include the steps for setting up power in their guides!

GRU: (352) 334-3434 / https://www.gru.com

Set an appointment for them to come to your apartment and set the meters
Utility companies usually charge to come and set up the meters ($10 to $30 on your next bill usually). Some apartments offer a leniency period where they provide utilities until yours is set up. Check with the managers!

Enroll in their online services
Skip those annoying monthly letters in the mail from multiple utility companies and just enroll online. Then you can set bills to auto-deduct or pay easily with the online settings.

Keep track of usage
Summer months will always be higher with the A/C cranked up to max. Check out the graphs of usage as many companies allow you to compare usage statistics with other residents in Gainesville and give you a good gauge as to how much you should be spending.

Set utility ground rules with roommates
Don't get footed with the whole bill. Don't let one roommate get away with hour-long showers. Set ground rules early on so there aren't conflicts about your bills. Also, find out all the ways you save power in your new apartment.

You don't want to end up in the scenario where you could have had had a warm shower with a cold beer (hey, it happens) instead of a no shower and warm beer. Especially after being hot and sweaty from moving furniture.

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of SwampRentals.com or any of our advertising partners.