Let there be light. Not so fast says Con Edison, “First, you need to set up your electric account.” You say, “Who is this Con Edison guy?” Welcome to the world of New York utilities.

And it’s not just electric that you need set up in your rental apartment. There’s also cable, and, if you have a gas stove, you may want gas too.

Here’s a few simple steps to make getting started in your New York City apartment a lot easier.

Step 1: Know your utility providers:

http://www.coned.com — Con Edison for electric and gas

https://www.timewarnercable.com/en/residential.html – Time Warner Cable (TWC)  is the cable company for areas where No Fee Rentals has buildings. For Internet, TV, and phone

http://www.verizon.com/local/new-york-fios — Verizon for cellular phone

http://www.att.com — AT&T for cellular phone

Step 2: Figure out what you really need

Even though there’s a stove in your apartment, it doesn’t mean you are going to cook. If your idea of food prep is microwaving or going online for take-out, and your apartment comes with a gas stove (versus electric) you can save money and choose not to hook up gas. There are plenty of NYU students and young professionals who go this route. Really need hot water? Use the microwave or get a Keurig.

Landline? Unless you are going to use your printer for faxing, you probably don’t need a hardwire landline. And in a multi bedroom share, everyone simply uses cellular.

Step 3: Determine whose name goes on the bill

Every tenant in a rental apartment should be on the lease, whether you are splitting a one bedroom convertible or a multi bedroom share. However, utilities take only one name. Decide before you sign-up whose name is going on which account.

Step 4: Move Quickly

There’s 1.6 million people squeezed onto this island we call Manhattan, and everyone needs their electric, gas, Internet. Our advice: as soon as you know when you will be moving in, arrange to have your utilities set-up. For electric and gas, the time to set up an account can be relatively quick and started online.

Move really really quickly for Internet if you are a NYU student or are renting an apartment around NYU – There’s a crush of students moving into Greenwich Village, the East Village and West Village, especially around Washington Square Park and Waverly Place at the end of August and in early September. If you can’t live without wi fi or cable TV, make sure you get on the TWC installation schedule ASAP.

Step 5: Be Prepared

For Con Edison, you may need to show your lease if the prior rental apartment tenant didn’t cancel service. Be prepared to fax/scan & email a copy to your lease to Con Edison to prove tenancy.

For Time Warner Cable, one of the apartment tenants needs to be around on installation day. You also need to notify your building agent about your TWC appointment in case the installer needs to access the roof or basement to finish installation. Also, ask your building’s leasing department for your building’s TWC rep contact info. The TWC rep will help expedite installation and, since you are a No Fee Rentals tenant, the will also waive the installation fee. (Use the savings to celebrate your new NYC apartment!)