Okay so you're going to live on your own outside of halls for the first time and now you need to sort your monthly bills.

Don't panic, you've got this.

Keep scrolling to find out about the bills you need to pay, or check out our other guide on how to pay the bills in your student house.

Here are quick links to the important bits:


Ready? Let's go.

Share with your housemates so you all know what you're getting into, and if it all seems too much, you could always get someone to sort your student bills for you in one easy monthly payment.


What bills do you need to pay as a student?

Forget about your Spotify and gym membership for a sec, these are the monthly bills you need to pay to get the basics covered:

  • Energy (including gas and/or electricity
    Your student house's power supply could be a mix of gas and electricity or electricity only. Your letting agent should know!

  • Water
    Water bills pay for the systems that carry clean water to your house and drain dirty water and sewage away 👋💩

  • Broadband
    A good broadband deal is a must-have for students! You'll pay based on how fast your broadband is and the type of connection.

  • TV package
    Split between you, the right TV package can be a really budget-friendly way to chill at the weekend (or whenever).

  • TV licence
    If you watch live TV anywhere, you need a TV licence. It's pretty cheap if it's split between you and your housemates. Keep scrolling to see what you need.

A quick, easy option is to get a quote for a student bills package, which sorts everything for you + Unlimited Renewable Energy as standard in one easy payment.

Keep scrolling to read more about bills, and share this with your housemates so everybody's in the loop.

Energy bills for students

Energy will probably be your biggest monthly bill, after rent. Getting the right energy deal is important. Whatever you choose will have a big impact on your budget.

It's worth comparing what you get for your money from different energy suppliers.

What is a capped energy deal?

A capped energy deal is what you get by going direct to energy suppliers. They charge you based on your estimated usage for the month. They could offer a fixed or variable tariff. More on tariffs in a sec'.

If you use more than predicted, you'll get a bill for the difference at the end of the contract.

Check out our Unlimited Energy page for a video breakdown of Unlimited Energyfrom Kira ⚡️

Finn got an £800+ bill because their housemate used waaaay over their capped energy allowance.

What is an unlimited energy deal? 

  • Unlimited Energy is included in some student bills packagesincluding ours. It often looks more expensive than the limited rates, but there's never a charge for over usage, and it could help you avoid common problems like Finn's.
  • Check out these stats from Save the Student in 2023:

    • more than 50% of students said they'd avoided putting the heating on to use less energy

    • 35% stayed at uni longer to use less energy at home

    • 50% stayed in bed longer than usual to stay warm

Make really sure that you and your housemates know what you're getting into if you sign up to the cheapest energy deal you can find. You could end up paying in other ways. 

Get a quote or find out more about Unlimited Energy for students.

What's an energy tariff?

An energy tariff sets the price you pay for the power you use in your home. A tariff is priced per kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy, which is the unit energy is measured in.

Depending on the energy supplies at your student house, you might need to pay for gas and electricity, or just electricity.

Regardless of the type of energy you use, your energy bill will always be priced on an energy tariff.

What's a variable tariff?

For most suppliers, their default tariff is the Standard Variable Tariff (SVT)

  • The SVT is based on the wholesale cost of energy and goes up and down as prices change. The maximum suppliers can charge for the SVT is dictated by the energy price cap, which is set by a government regulator.

  • Variable tariffs change with energy prices. If there's a dip in wholesale energy costs your bills will cost less, if prices go up, so do your bills. This is risky, especially if you're on a fixed budget. 

  • Check out our guide to the energy price cap if you're curious.

What's a fixed rate tariff?

A fixed rate is a set price you'll pay for energy for the length of your contract. This makes your bills more predictable, but it also means if energy prices fall your bills won't.

Whatever tariff you're on, make sure you check the terms and conditions so you know if and when your prices could change. 

How energy bills are calculated:

Your energy bill is made up of a few different costs, including:

  • Wholesale cost of energy
    This is what increased prices so dramatically during the energy crisis.

  • Network costs
    This includes the standing charge, which is a set amount you pay per day, no matter how much energy you use. 

  • Supplier fees and profit.
    Suppliers charge for their operating costs and other costs involved in delivering energy, as well as making sure they turn a profit.

  • VAT
    Value Added Tax is added to a lot of everyday prices, including your energy bill. The VAT rate for domestic energy is 5%.

    how-an-energy-bill-is-made-up

What's a meter reading?

A meter reading means submitting the numbers from your gas or electricity meter to your energy provider. 

Here's our ultimate guide to meter readings so you can get the right info, no matter what type of meter you have.

Broadband for students

Getting your broadband sorted is top of the list for most student houses, and honestly, it is pretty important.

Until you've got your router set up, you can't join video calls, research your coursework, or binge a box set without draining your mobile data.

Check out our guide to student broadband if you're curious, or get a quoteto add broadband to a student bills package.

Here's what you need to consider when choosing the broadband in your student bills package:

  • What's available where you live?
    Providers will usually have a postcode checker on their website so you can scope out suppliers for your new address. 

  • What speed do you need?
    The higher the speed, the more you can do at once and the faster you can download. A 1GB connection means you could download a six season boxset in 90s.

    Speed is written in mb/s or gb/s. A higher humber usually is better, but a 1GB connection is faster than a 500mb connection, so make sure you check what you're getting.

  • What's your budget?
    How much do you want to pay each month? You can get a quote from most providers, or get a quote for a student bills package and bundle the broadband in there.

  • How long is the contract?
    Weirdly, lots of broadband providers offer 18 month contracts. You're only going to be in your student house for 12 months, max! If you end contracts early, you often have to pay a fee.

    Check out providers with rolling contracts, or get a student bills package with a custom contract length.

Cut out all the faff and get super fast broadband bundled into a handy student bills package. 

Get a quote from the best-rated student bills specialist on Trustpilot (that's us!)

A quick guide to common broadband types for your student house

What's fibre broadband or standard fibre broadband?

  • Standard fibre broadband is also called FTTC broadband: Fibre to the Cabinet.

  • The fibre cable runs to a cabinet near your property (the green boxes you see all over the place) and then into your home via copper cables.

  • This is slightly slower than full fibre broadband, because the connection is less direct, and less reliable.

  • These copper cables are old and are being phased out in most places as full fibre takes over.

What's full fibre broadband?

  • Full fibre broadband is also called FTTP broadband: Fibre to the Premises.

  • This means the fibre cable goes directly into your home, making it faster and more reliable because it's a direct connection with no old cables.

  • This technology is becoming way more common, and will be standard almost everywhere in the next few years. 

What's ADSL broadband?

  • ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (catchy) broadband

  • It’s not really found outside of rural areas, so probably won't apply to your student house.

  • ADSL relies entirely on copper wires linked to telephone lines. These cables are old and the connection isn't direct, making the connection slow and unreliable. 

Get a quote for a bills package (including broadband) for your student house from the best-rated student bills specialist on Trustpilot OR read our complete student broadband guide.

Do students pay water bills?

If you didn't know students needed to pay for water bills as a student you're not alone!

It's a super easy bill to sort out, because there's only one provider for each region.You don't need to decide on a supplier or anything like that. Th

ere's no student discount, but water isn't as expensive as power, so don't panic. The average water bill in the UK is £448 a year, or £37 a month. That isn't too bad, split between your housemates.  

How to pay water bills as a student

Step 1: Check if you're on a water meter or a standard tariff. Your letting agent should know, but your water supplier definitely will. 

Step 2: Find your supplier with this handy supplier finder from Water UK

Step 3: Let them know you're a tenant (if your letting agent hasn't already). 

Alternative Step 1: Get a Fused student bills package and pay your water bill with all your other bills in one easy monthly payment.

What's a water meter?

If you're on a water meter, you're charged for what you use, which can either be really expensive or save you a bit of money, depending on how much water you use.

Most properties aren't fitted with a water meter, and are on a standard tariff instead. Standard tariff properties pay for water monthly at a flat rate, regardless of how much you use.  

If you go for a Fused student bills package you get Unlimited Water as standard, which means you can use all the water you need with no stress!

Get a quote for Unlimited Water

What to do if your student house is on a water meter:

A water meter works like an energy meter, and records how much water you use so you know how much to pay. Water is a lot cheaper than energy, but it works in the same way.

If you'd rather pay via a standard tariff you can always ask your landlord to switch you over.

If you're on a water meter, every minute you run the tap to wash dishes or spend in the shower is costing money, so if you want predictable bills and peace of mind, it's better to switch to a flat rate, or find a student bills package with unlimited water.

How much does a water bill cost?

Your water bill cost will vary depending on where you live and whether you're on a water meter. It's usually one of the cheaper utility bills, so don't worry about it taking a big chunk of your student loan

Get a quote for Unlimited Water in a student bills package

 

TV bills for your student house

Do I need a TV licence for my student house?

You need a TV licence if you, or anybody in your student house, wants to:

  • Watch or record TV on any channel on any TV service (like Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview).

  • Watch live on streaming services (like ITVX, All 4, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video).

  • Use BBC iPlayer

The TV licence is £169.50 a year as of April 2024. You can pay in one go, or you can pay in instalments! It's a little over £14 a month split over a year, which is just a few quid split between housemates.

There's no student discount for a TV licence, but you can claim a refund for the months you aren't in your student house.

Check out the TV licensing website for more info on what a TV licence is and how to get a refund, or check out our guide to the TV licence for students!

A TV license can be added to student bills packages,including ours, and you'll only be charged for the months you're in your house!

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  • TV packages for your student house
    You don't need a TV package for your student house, but they can be a really cost-effective way to stay entertained, depending on what you and your housemates like doing.

  • Even if you're on a budget, you get a decent TV package as a student:

    • A pretty basic package will have loads of amazing TV that you can't get for free.

    • You can pay more for loads of premium extras, like movie and sports channels.

    • TV packages can be a great option if you and your housemates love a night in.

    • Getting a movie channel included works out waaaaay cheaper than cinema trips if you split it between you

    • Same for a sports channel. Heading to the pub for every match is great, but the cost soon adds up. Staying in now and then to watch games at home means the channels will pay for themselves over the year and is a good way to save money as a student.


Council tax for students

Full-time students don't need to pay council tax. So if you're sharing with other students, that's one bill you don't need to pay 🥳

A full-time student is someone on a course:

  • That lasts at least a year and at least 24 weeks of the year

  • Or involves at least 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience a week during term time.

It gets more complicated if you're a part-time student, or sharing with non-students.

You'll need to let your local council know that you're a student so you don't end up with a bill!

How to let your local council know you're a student:

Step 1: Ask your University for a council tax exemption certificate or other written confirmation that you're a student. Some universities have ready-to-download ones in your student portal. Nifty!  

Step 2: Find your local council here

Step 3: Look for a council tax section! That should have all the info you need to get your discount.

If you're sharing with any part-time students or non-students you'll still get a discount if you're a student, so it's still worth letting the council know.

Now that you know what bills to pay, you need to know how to pay them. Check out our guide on how to pay your student bills.

How to sort your student bills with the best-rated student bills service on Trustpilot:

  • Follow this link 🚶
  • Get a quote 👀
  • Add your payment details, and your housemates' 🔢
  • Chill ✌️

More bills advice for students:

Share with your housemates!