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Problems with utility bills

Excessively high utility bills can sometimes be caused by faulty meters or appliances. You can ask for your meter to be tested but if it is tested and is found to be working correctly you will be charged for the test. This could cost as much as £100. You can ask your landlord to repair any faulty appliances but s/he doesn't have to replace old appliances with more energy efficient models.

Check for water leaks. If you have a water meter, a leak will have a significant impact on your bill.

If you are very worried, read your meters every day and try to monitor the cost of individual appliances by checking energy consumption when they are in use.

Try to save energy and therefore reduce your bills (as well as help fight climate change) by:

  • setting thermostatic controls and timers on your heating system if you have them
  • wearing warm clothes in the house
  • having showers instead of baths
  • turning electrical appliances off at the plug and not leaving them on standby.

For more energy saving ideas click here.

If you are struggling to pay your bills, contact your supplier. Ask to arrange a payment plan but make sure that you don't agree to pay more than you can afford. Don’t just ignore your bills - if you do you may incur extra costs, have the supply cut off or face legal action.

Contact the Student Advice Centre if you are having problems paying your bills or getting housemates to pay their share, or if you have general financial difficulties.

Top Tip

Before signing up for a new place to live, ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate before you commit to a contract. Properties with poor ratings are likely to have higher bills.