Utilities and bills

Utility and fuel prices are rising rapidly which is having an effect on everybody in the UK.

Gas and electricity bills

Gas and electricity bills have seen large price increases, which are expected to continue to rise.

Your bills may be included in your rental package. This is the case if you live in our University halls, for example. If your bills are included in the rent, check your contract to see if there is a cap or limit on your fuel. If your consumption goes over this cap, you will be required to pay the extra cost. It’s also best to get a copy of the bill, to check that the energy consumption is correct and not estimated.

For many in private accommodation or shared housing, this is not the case so it is important to give some thought to how you might reduce your energy consumption as a household and keep your bills as low as possible.

When you move in make sure you take the meter readings on the first day and give them to your accommodation provider or your utility companies if you are paying your own bills – this means you won’t end up paying for the previous tenant's usage.

The UK Government has recently announced a £400 energy bill discount for all households known as the Energy bills support scheme. The energy discount is a £400 payment off energy bills, starting in October over a period of six months, and paid directly by the energy supplier.

The payment is made directly to the person named on the energy supply account, apart from pre-payment meters where it will be applied to the meter or through a voucher.

The energy discount has been created in order to mitigate the impact of energy price rises and it is therefore appropriate that it supports the person or persons most impacted. In cases where the utility bills are fully inclusive or the cap is based on actual usage (kWh’s) then the tenant will not suffer detriment and the discount is unlikely to be passed on. However, where the cap is financial this payment should be added to the cap.

To help you to budget well, Liverpool Student Homes (LSH), has pulled together its top five tips for managing utility bills and reducing energy consumption by living more sustainably.

Broadband and mobile contracts

It is important to check if broadband costs are included in your rent. If they are not, do some research to make sure you get the best deal. If you already have broadband and mobile contracts make sure your contract is in date – many of the older contracts revert to standard prices after a set period rather than special deals so it can pay to switch.

If you need access to a computer on campus, you can use the PC Finder app. The app shows live data on how many computers are available in each building, how long for and how to find them.

TV licence payments

You will need a TV licence to watch or record programmes whether you are accessing it through a TV or via an online TV service. Depending on whether you have a joint or individual tenancy agreement you may need one licence for your household or an individual licence for your room. You can find out more on the TV licencing website.

Contents insurance

Before paying for contents insurance, check if you are covered by your parent's policy. It may also be covered in your rental package. If not, it’s important you take out your own to cover your belongings. Most policies protect against home theft and damage, but the level of cover is reflected in the price so shop around and make sure you only get the level of cover you actually need.

Council Tax 

If you’re a full-time student you don’t need to pay council tax but you do need to apply for an exemption to let the local council know that you, and your housemates, are students.

If you need a Council Tax Exemption Certificate you can get one through Liverpool Life

Speak to a Money Advice and Guidance advisor

If you are unable to find an answer to your query on our web pages email money@liverpool.ac.uk or book an online confidential one-one appointment.