Setting Up Utilities

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It will be easier if you have your social security number before setting up your utilities.


To set up your telephone service, call Verizon at 1-800-640-4155. They may ask you to FAX a photocopy of your social security card and passport. If you do not yet have a social security number you may be able to FAX a notarized copy of your tenancy agreement instead.

Verizon will also ask what long distance carrier you would like. You are not required to use the same company for local and long distance, or even to have long-distance service. There are many options, including Verizon or at&t's International One Rate plan, which offers much cheaper calls than its normal plan. MCI and Sprint offer similar low-cost international plans. It is simple to change your long-distance provider at a later date if you decide another company may offer you a better deal.

Mobile phone service is available from a variety of carriers. Be aware there may be steep penalties for terminating a long-term service contract, so choose carefully. Some plans do not require a contract.


The electricity supply industry in Pennsylvania is deregulated. There are now a number of companies from which you can choose. To help you make the choice, the PA Public Utilities Commission provides information.

PECO Energy (1-800-494-4000) is the largest local supplier.

To set up an account, you will need your social security number and identification, and you will need to FAX this information to the company. If you do not yet have a social security number, it may be possible to FAX a notarized copy of your tenancy agreement.

Natural Gas

The local gas company, is the Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), at 215-235-1000. In some areas, natural gas service is also available from PECO Energy. If you live in Coventry House, you do not need to set up an account for natural gas.

Broadband Internet and TV

If you are renting an apartment in Philadelphia, broadband or TV service may be included in your rental agreement. All cable-based broadband, television, and telephone service in Philadelphia is provided by Comcast. DSL connections are available from several providers, such as  Verizon, which also offers fiber-optic FIOS digital TV service in some areas.

Wireless internet service is available throughout the Fox Chase Cancer Center campus. There is an open connection for patients and other visitors (FCCCguest) and a secure system for staff.