Living as a student isn’t easy: coursework, exams and deadlines, not to be aided by the fact that you are now in charge of all of your bills and outgoings. Unless you’re lucky enough to have some form of external funding, getting by on just your student loan will take some time to master. This is not to say that you need to live on just super noodles and baked beans, but you do need to take into account some of the many money saving methods out there that won’t affect your experience as a student too much. One of, if not the, best method of saving on your student expenditure is by switching your gas and electricity tariff. If you are living in a shared house, the likeliness is that each month a wad of cash from your bank account gets taken away in the name of energy. There’s nothing we can do about this, but we can change the amount that comes out. Read this article and you’ll have all the info you need to get your bills in order.
Can students switch their tariff?
Of course they can. Although your rental agreement will be catered towards a student, temporary stay, you are still subject to almost identical terms as the average renter. By law, you are entitled to switch your gas and electricity tariff with or without your landlord’s permission, but it is still recommended to first speak with your landlord just in case you decide to go with a deal that extends past your stay.
If you are prepared to keep an eye on your energy deal, it may be worth going for a standard variable tariff if there is a cheap one currently on offer. The only issue with these tariffs, although flexible and non-binding, is that the price of your deal can rise and fall at any given moment. Although the premise of your bills getting even cheaper sounds nice, the likelihood of this happening is unbelievably low.
The majority of people, when switching, opt for a fixed tariff. The length of these deals can span from 1 year to 3-4 years, depending on the company that you are using. Given that student rental agreements are usually 1 year, you may think that you wouldn’t be eligible, but think again! Getting a cheap, fixed tariff has the potential to not only benefit you, but the tenants who will move in after you. If you choose to go with a fixed tariff, it’s best to talk with your landlord and let them know of your intentions. Fixed tariffs are generally cheaper than variables due to your supplier having locked your custom in for a fixed amount of time. If you wish to cancel your contract before the pre agreed date, you’ll likely be subject to a pretty hefty exit fee.
Be responsible with your usage
The amount you pay for your energy will also rely heavily on how much you actually use. Students are famously irresponsible with their energy usage, leaving appliances switched on at all times and not having a care in the world about leaving lights on 24 hours a day. This all contributes big time to how much you pay every month. Despite only have three or four people living in a house, students will generally use two or three times more electricity than the average family. So, to say that students are so scared about turning the heating on, why do they not care about how much electricity they are using?
Just paying a little attention to not leaving lights switched on when nobody is in the room and leaving games consoles on for hours on end when nobody is using them, can save you a tonne of money every month. You may want to even talk about installing a motion sensored light switch, which may seem like a silly idea, but they are very cheap and can help you out no end.
How can you pay between the group?
Splitting your energy bills does not need to be difficult. Tensions can often arise when your monthly bills arrive. Somebody hasn’t paid or they don’t have the money right now. Well, this can be avoided by using some mobile apps or perhaps opting for a ‘payment on receipt’ method over a standard direct debit.
It is likely that you will have a number of bills to pay, such as internet, energy, cable tv, water and any others you may have. Assigning one person to be in charge of each will make sure that no one person is trying to manage everything. Ensuring that payment is being made by each housemate is a great way to spread the responsibility.