Supporting Tenants

Setting up Bills and Utilities

You will also have to set up ways to pay your bills when you move into your new home.  There are lots of ways you can make sure you get the best deals on utilities such as gas and electricity so you can keep your bills as low as possible.

Shop around for the best deals

Shopping around for the best deals may seem time consuming but can really help you save.

USwitch is a website that helps you choose the cheapest energy providers. CAB also offer an online comparison tool you can use.

Switch to Save!

Switch to Save is a collective energy switch scheme that helps people get the best deal by all switching together. Once everyone has registered there will be an auction where energy providers make their best offers on prices. The winning provider is the one offering the cheapest deal.

Other help with switching

Citizens Advice offer a range of help with finding the best energy deals, the switching process and finding the right tariffs. They also offer a face-to-face advice service locally if you prefer to be seen in person. Call 01536 482281 to make an appointment.

Check your tariff

You might want to check your tariff before assessing how much you could save by switching. There are many different tariffs energy companies use and it is important that you are on the right one for your energy usage if you want to save money on your bills. You also might need to think about how you will pay for your energy and this might influence the tariff. Typical options might be;

  • Fixed or 'capped' price tariff - this is usually the cheapest option but you may need to sign a 12 month (or longer) contract. You will usually pay monthly by Direct Debit on these tariffs which means you will spread the cost of higher winter bills throughout the whole year. You should have a set, fixed amount to pay each month which can help you budget your money. There may be fees if you want to end the contract sooner.
  • Standard or Variable tariff - these offer flexibility and no minimum contracts but tend to be the most expensive, if you have a pre-payment meter you are normally restricted to this tariff which may mean you pay more.
  • Multi-rate or Economy tariffs are cheaper if you use the majority of your energy at certain times, for example during the night.
  • Green or Eco Tariffs - these are often more expensive but can help reduce your carbon footprint

Pre-Payment or Credit Meter?

Another decision that you can make is how you pay for your energy costs. The type of meter in your property when you move in may not be the best option for you so you may be able to change it by switching or asking your provider.

Basically, you have 2 or 3 options;

  • Pre-payment meters are where you pay in advance for your energy - you cannot get into debt using this option and it can help if you struggle to budget or are already in energy debt. However, bear in mind you also cannot usually access the cheapest tarriffs and if you run out of money you may not have access to energy until you put credit on the meter. You will also have a daily, standing charge to pay, even during any periods when you don't have credit on the meter.
  • Credit meters are where you pay for your energy costs after you have used it. You can usually opt to pay monthly or quarterly, by direct debit or using a bill. You have more options to save money by changing your tariff or provider and locking in prices.
  • New-style smart meters can offer the best of both worlds by allowing you to switch between pre-payment or credit.

Remember to always provide meter readings when you move into your new property so you only pay for your own energy usage.

TV, Phone and Broadband deals

A good way to find out the best deals available is to check out the price comparison sites that have been accredited by Ofcom. You can also try USwitch or MoneySupermarket to check out the best deals. You will usually need to agree to a minimum contract, try here to search for deals with no contracts.

Remember your TV Licence

If you plan on watching television in your new property you will likely need to purchase a TV licence.  There are several different payment options available.