Students often have a limited income, so it’s really important to make every penny count. After rent, the greatest ongoing cost associated with moving away are the student gas and electricity bills – particularly when you take into account most students’ reliance on computers and mobiles.
Although there are no tariffs that offer cheap gas and electricity for students, there are plans that are more affordable than others, so our switching advice is the same for students as it is for regular homeowners – just enter your postcode in the box above to run an energy comparison that could potentially help knock hundreds of pounds off your annual gas and electricity bills.
Or keep on reading for more tips on how students can keep energy prices as low as possible.
If you're sharing a property with others (a student home, for example) then there are a couple of points that you may want to consider.
If possible, designate one person who can manage the household bills and keep on top of how much each householder owes and when they need to pay it.
Find out the last time the property’s energy supplier was switched - if it was more than a year ago then it is likely that the tariff the previous owners were on has expired. If this is the case, you'll almost certainly be on an expensive, standard plan and it’s time to run quotes to find the cheapest energy provider for students. To get started, enter your postcode above.
As a handy tip, make sure that each member of the house is named on the energy account - this way, everyone in the house is liable for the debt, not just one person. It sometimes pays to be smart.
You also need to find out is what sort of energy meter your student property uses.
Prepayment meters are often installed in student properties, meaning you’ll have to pay for your gas and electricity upfront by purchasing tokens or adding credit to a top-up card.
They're popular with landlords because it gives them a level of security against energy debt, but the bad news for students is that this is probably the most expensive way to pay for your power. If you've moved into a home with a prepayment meter, it’s unlikely the landlord will change to a credit meter, but it might be worth asking anyway, to help cut your bills.
But if you’re stuck with a prepayment meter, there are different prepayment tariffs available. Some are cheaper than others, so you should still be comparing these to see if you could save money. There is more information about this on our prepayment meters page.
If you have a standard system that allows you to use energy first, with a bill coming later, then you have a better chance of making a bigger saving on your energy bills.
The first couple of things you should do when you move in are take meter readings and call up your energy supplier. You do this because you need to update the information from the previous tenant. It doesn't take long and, although it's a bit of a pain, it 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.
If you're moving into a student rental where you’re responsible for paying the energy bill, you are entitled to shop around in order to find a cheaper supplier for your home. You can either:
Then you just need to enter your postcode at UKPower to run an instant energy comparison to see how much you could save – every penny helps as the end of term approaches.