Moving to Columbus?

Check out these 13 tips, from choosing a Columbus electric company to exploring your new neighborhood

Ohio is often referred to as the “Heart of it All.” There’s a good reason why. Nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population lives within 600 miles of Columbus, the state’s capital, making a one-day drive from New York City, Atlanta and Washington, D.C., relatively simple.


It also means making the move from one of those pricier ZIP codes to one of America’s more affordable cities – cost of living in Columbus is almost 10 percent less than the national average – is easier than most relocations.

A growing economy and community

Columbus is the 14th most populous city in the U.S., and career advancement and job opportunities fuel much of the city’s economic and population growth. The city’s job market is healthier than most similarly sized metro areas, according to U.S. News and World Report, and its unemployment rate is often below the national average.


Education is one of Columbus’s major industries. The city is probably best known for The Ohio State University (OSU). OSU is a “public ivy,” considered one of the country’s best public undergraduate schools, one of two in Ohio, along with Miami University of Ohio in Oxford.


Other major industries include retail, insurance, healthcare and natural gas and electric utility companies. International organizations like L Brands and Schottenstein Stores are headquartered here, along with OhioHealth, the city’s largest healthcare system.


Thinking about making the move? Here’s everything you need to know to make the transition easier, from finding a Columbus, Ohio, electric company or healthcare provider, to getting to know the neighbors.

A ‘moving’ opportunity: compare electric rates in Columbus, Ohio, and pick your energy provider

Before we talk more about how to make the move to Columbus easier, we want to spotlight an opportunity for Ohio residents – an opportunity you can take advantage of before you move.


Ohio is an Energy Choice state, which means residents have the freedom to compare electric and natural gas providers and choose the energy supplier and plan that best fits their individual situation, whether that’s choosing a fixed-rate plan to make monthly budgeting more predictable, or choosing an energy supplier that offers environmentally friendly clean, green energy.

Energy reaches Ohio homes through the interconnected work of three providers:

If you live in Columbus or one of its many suburbs, you can choose your supplier, sometimes called your Competitive Retail Electric Service (CRES) provider. CRES providers are certified by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and offer alternative competitive prices, renewable energy options and other services or incentives. Energy Harbor, for example, is a CRES provider. 


Electric utility companies in Ohio include AEP Ohio (Columbus Southern Power and Ohio Power Company), AES Ohio (formerly Dayton Power & Light), Duke Energy Ohio, and FirstEnergy (The Illuminating Company, Ohio Edison, and Toledo Edison).


Comparing and selecting an energy provider is simple. And Columbus residents who make the switch still receive the same bill from their local utility company, making the transition even easier. After setting up an account with your utility, shop plans from suppliers so you can be sure you have the plan that’s right for you when you move into your new home.

Your ‘moving to Columbus’ checklist

From choosing a Columbus electric supplier to visiting the BMV, checking off these tasks will help you start fresh and stress-free in your new Columbus home.

1. Inform your insurance provider: Well before your move, contact your insurance company to discuss both homeowner’s and auto policy options. Laws governing how insurance companies operate vary state to state, so moving to Columbus from outside Ohio may require updated policies – and maybe a new insurance provider.


2. Set up home energy services: Ensure your new home is powered up and ready to go on Day 1 by setting up gas and electrical service with your local utiliy companies. When establishing your gas and electrical utility make sure to compare energy rates. For example, Energy Harbor offers Columbus residents competitive fixed-rate plans that can help eliminate rate surprises on your electric bill. And then, when you move in, consider other ways to lower your energy bill.


3. Forward your mail and update your address online: Take time to set up mail forwarding to your new home address. It’s as simple as filling out a Change of Address e-form at Update your shipping address at online retailers like Amazon and any subscription services you might have, like Blue Ribbon or Dollar Shave Club.


4. Turn on cable and internet: Not as vital as electric power, but set a moment aside before your move to choose a communications provider and establish Internet and Wi-Fi services. With more people working from home and sharing broadband plans, connecting Wi-Fi will help make the move smoother for everyone.


5. Visit the BMV: Soon after you’re settled, find the closest Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch and take time to get a new driver license and register your vehicles. Visit the Ohio BMV’s website to choose a branch, review BMV services and learn more about Ohio vehicle and traffic laws.

Getting to know your new city

Putting down roots in a new city means more than getting your home in order and meeting the neighbors. To truly feel at home, new residents should get out and explore Columbus. Here are four ways to get started:

Check out your community’s web site:

Dozens of neighborhoods comprise Greater Columbus, each with its own unique personality. Foodies descend on historic German Village while arts enthusiasts explore galleries in Franklinton and the Short North. Check out online resources for most of Columbus’s larger districts to see what your new neighborhood has to offer.

Explore the city’s cultural side:

Columbus’s arts and entertainment scene rivals that of larger cities. Residents support a vibrant performing arts culture, attending sold out events at Nationwide Arena, the Jerome Schottenstein Center and Newport Music Hall. The city is home to several museums, including the Columbus Museum of Art and COSI, one of the largest science and children’s museums in the region.

Pick a new favorite team:

Sports fans cheer on perennial NCAA football champs, The Ohio State Buckeyes, Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, NHL contenders the Columbus Blue Jackets and the minor league Columbus Clippers, a Cleveland MLB affiliate. The city also has close connections to world-renowned athletes like Simone Biles, Jesse Owens, and Jack Nicklaus.

Take a bite out of Cbus:

Travel writer Cameron Hewitt calls Columbus an unexpected foodie mecca. “If you’re headed to Columbus, be ready for some great food,” he writes. “From Himalayan dumplings and explosively flavorful fried chicken, to high-end molecular gastronomy feasts, to artisanal microbrews and spirits, to the best ice cream in the land.” Hewitt’s favorites include Jeni’s Ice Cream, Hot Chicken Takeover and Momo Ghar.

Fascinating facts about Columbus

We wouldn’t want to end our overview of Columbus without sharing a few fascinating facts about the state capital. Here are four of our favorites, sure to get you excited about your new home.

Diners, Drive-ins and Goosebumps:

Columbus is the birthplace of some famous people, including young adult horror writer R.L. Stine, famous for creating the Goosebumps series, and Guy Fieri, host of Food Network’s long-running show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Former home of the NFL:

The National Football League was headquartered in Columbus for more than a decade, from 1927 to 1939. The home team Columbus Panhandles made history when it became one of the first NFL teams to play another officially sanctioned NFL team.

It’s not corny, it’s art:

Travel a bit outside Columbus to Dublin and you’ll find 109 ears of corn made of concrete. Unofficially called Cornhenge and officially titled Field of Corn (with Osage Oranges), the six-foot tall sculptures were built by artist Michael Cochran to celebrate Ohio’s agricultural roots.

Energy is yours for the picking:

Ohio is one of only seven states in the U.S. that provides residents with energy choice through Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Similar to choosing between other products and services, Columbus residents can shop for energy providers by comparing Columbus electricity rates and choosing the best option for their situation.

If you’re making the move to Columbus, take some time to compare power options at Energy Harbor. A simple fixed-rate plan can help residents avoid seasonal utility hikes by paying a predictable rate for the full length of the plan.


You don’t have to move to make a choice, however. If you are already a Columbus resident – or call any Ohio town home – compare energy rates today and make the switch.