Some landlords may include some of your bills in the rent.
If your landlord does not do this, you need to set up your utility bills when you move into your accommodation.
This includes gas, electricity and water.
Finding out your current energy supplier
Your accommodation will usually already have a supplier. This is the company which has been supplying gas and electricity to the person who lived there before you.
You may be able to find out who this is by asking your landlord or letting agent.
Or you may receive a letter from the supplier, after you move in.
Or you can use the uSwitch website to find helpline numbers you can phone to find out.
Changing energy supplier
You do not need to stay with the same supplier.
You can choose to look around for a new or cheaper supplier.
Warm Homes Healthy People offer advice and support on switching energy suppliers, grants and repairs.
Or you can switch suppliers online using comparison sites. Websites which have been recommended for comparing suppliers include:
You can find more here:
Paying your energy bill
You can usually either pay your bills monthly, or every three months.
You can sometimes get cheaper bills if you pay by Direct Debit.
Some accommodation has a pre-payment meter instead.
This means you pay for your energy before you use it.
You use either a card or key, which you ‘top up’ with credit (like pay-as-you-go phones).
Every time you use energy, you use some credit.
Prepayment meters can be useful because they can help you control what you spend more easily. But they can also be expensive if you use a lot of energy.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bill
If you do not pay your bills on time, your energy supplier may cut off your gas or electricity.
So it is important to ask for help if you are struggling.
If you get into debt with your energy bills, you must pay this debt as a priority.
This means it is more important than paying debts like credit cards.
What can I do?
You should speak to your energy supplier.
Or make an appointment to see an adviser at Citizens Advice Bradford.
Both can help you find ways to pay off the debt.
Citizens Advice Bureau,
Bradford BD1 1HZ
Phone: 0344 245 1282
You can also visit the Money Advice Service website.
More Advice can also be found at the Bradford Council Website.
[email protected] Vincents – South Bradford
For advice about Fuel Top Ups and Fuel Debt Advice & Support
There are also schemes running in Bradford that can help you find affordable ways to make your home easier to keep warm, or reduce your fuel bills, or both. You can get more advice and support here:
Energy Grants for Households
Yorkshire Water is the water supplier for Bradford.
Unlike gas and electricity, you can not switch suppliers.
But you do still need to set up an account when you move in to new accommodation.
If your new property has a water meter, take a reading and pass it on to the supplier as soon as you can. This will make sure you only pay for what you owe.
Here are some helpful tips to save money on water bills.
TV Licence – to watch TV, or BBC on any device
You need to have a TV licence if you have a TV, or watch BBC iPlayer on any device including a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
Telephone & internet
- If you want broadband internet, and to make phone calls using a landline, you need an active phone line.
- If your accommodation is not set up with one already, there are several suppliers you can choose from.
- It is a good idea to look around to find one offering the best deal for you.
- You need to pay for the line to be installed.
- You also need to pay for a package that offers you broadband and/or phone calls.
- These are usually paid for monthly.
BT Basic (BT is British Telecom)
You may be able to get a BT Basic low-cost phone and broadband package, if you are claiming:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
This comes with:
- a price cap, to help you budget
- an amount of internet access for web browsing and downloads
You must be a BT customer. If you are not, you can get connected for free.
A phone and broadband package costs around £9.95 per month.
Find out more about BT Basic: