Gas and electricity for students

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Students often have a limited income and it is important to make every penny count. One of the greatest costs with moving into student accommodation is that of the energy bills – particularly considering the amount of electrical devices such as computers and televisions that are in use regularly.

While there are unfortunately no specific tariffs available for students, there are some tariffs that are more suitable than others, so generally speaking the advice is the same as for regular homeowners – compare the entire market and switch to the cheapest tariff that suits your personal circumstances. You can do this at by entering your postcode in the box to the right. The rest of this guide provides advice for students on how to switch their energy tariff and ways of lowering their energy bills

What Type of Meter do You Have?

The first thing to assess is what sort of energy meter your student property uses. Prepayment meters are often installed in student properties. This type of meter requires tenants to pay for their gas and electricity upfront by purchasing tokens or adding credit to a top-up card or key. These are often popular with student landlords as it ensures that an energy debt can never be built up on the property. The bad news for students is that this is one of the most expensive ways to pay for your energy and switching the meter for a normal credit meter is not normally an option, as it is up to the landlord to decide the type of meter installed.

However there are different prepayment tariffs available, some cheaper than others so it is worth comparing these to see if you could save money. There is more information on prepayment meters on our prepayment meters page.

If you have a normal credit meter where your energy usage is recorded and then a regular bill is sent out, then you have more leeway to save money. The first thing you should do when moving into a property with a gas/electricity credit meter is take meter readings and call up your energy supplier to change the names associated with the account, ensuring you include every tenant living in the property. This ensures that you won’t be paying the previous tenants debt (if there is any) and that any future debt will be the responsibility of every tenant in the house, not just the person that set up the account.

Once this has been accomplished, students can use to compare the whole market to find the cheapest tariff available to them by entering their postcode in the box below.

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