The cost of living is rising, energy bills are predicted to go up by more than 50%. With the hassle involved in sorting out bills between multiple providers and especially in a large shared house, who pays what. Simplifying the whole process into one simple weekly or monthly payment per person by looking for bills inclusive student accommodation could be the solution.
Sorting out your utilities.
Moving into a new property means setting up new utility providers for energy, water and telecommunications such as broadband and phone line. Although the latter could still be classed as optional, with today’s online world you will need it.
The first place to start would be to choose who to use to provide your utilities and how to pay for them. Using comparison sites such as Compare The Market, Uswitch etc. are a good place to start looking for a comparison. However, you probably won’t know what your actual usage may be and quotes may be too high or low compared to your actual consumption.
Think about how to pay for your energy usage, paying by direct debit can lead to energy debt if you use more than you pay monthly, whereas pay as you go options stop debt from occurring, running out of energy could mean the contents of the fridge freezer need replacing if it goes off and you are not around.
Contract lengths for many utilities are 12 or 18 months, with those that offer month to month often charging more for these tariffs. If you are only living in the property during the academic year you will still be paying a minimum standing charge for the months you are not there.
Gas prices have been rising exponentially over the recent months fuelled by current global events over the last 2 years. Setting up a new gas account with a company is not always straightforward with call centre shortages. Even once you decide on a provider you have to decide which tariff to go for, with the volatility of the market you could be paying more than you thought.
Be aware if you share your property and you are the named bill holder you could be liable for the full amount if your housemates don’t chip in their share of the costs.
Similar to gas prices the cost of electricity has grown to the point of putting many people into “fuel poverty.” This is where your energy bills take up more than 10% of your household income. The same issues that come with choosing a gas supplier applies to electricity. Contract locks, lengths and estimated usage. With more devices than ever being plugged and left on or charging, usage can increase without you even thinking about it.
As with everything else water charges are going up, Water charges not only include the amount of freshwater you use but a charge for the amount of sewage taken away. If the property you have includes a water meter. It won’t take long before you start thinking again about leaving the tap running!
Broadband is these days being classed as an essential utility. With covid still around and the risk of switching to online learning at any moment, it has shown why we now rely on the internet more than ever for every aspect of our lives as much as heating and light. Broadband like other contracts generally comes in 12/18 or 24-month contracts with you paying much more for a month to month rolling contract. A standard broadband connection can cost around £20-25 per month usually with a set-up fee to boot. While this may be ok for up to 3 or 4 people on usage, The more people use it for high data loads such as Downloads/Netflix/gaming etc. the less reliable it can be.
Although becoming rarer these days high usage of broadband can also result in a fair usage policy being applied if it is deemed you are using too much data.
How can bills inclusive student accommodation can help
Going bills inclusive means all the hassle is taken out of your hands. Everything will be up and ready by the day you move in. Rather than having to find the best deals for each provider and manage them individually, all this is done for you. If you share your property no chasing around for payment of others if it’s up to you to pay the bills and no arguments about anyone paying more or less than others. Everyone pays the same amount.
Bills inclusive options also mean you are not tied into any contracts of any length longer than your tenancy agreement.
How it works.
At Thornsett we offer bills-included options in the majority of our properties. This is provided through Unihomes or Ourselves depending on the property.
Each member of the household signs up and pays one monthly bill to cover the cost of utilities. Everyone pays the same cost which is collected either with your rent or through a separate direct debit.
One point of contact
If you have an issue with your utility payments or supply, then rather than having to mess around with multiple companies it just boiled down to one hassle-free point of contact to resolve any issues.
It’s prudent to say that before everyone in your household decides to plug the sunbed in and binge watch Netflix. A fair usage policy is in place with all bills inclusive plans. So it’s worth while being mindful of any energy usage you occur (and to keep you carbon footprint down)
In case of broadband data usage, you may have the option to upgrade to fibre if the relevant infrastructure is in place so no less chance of slow internet speeds when more people are using it.
About Thornsett Properties
Thornsett Properties have been providing bills inclusive student accommodation in Sheffield since 1985. We supply accommodation to over 650 undergraduates and postgraduate students studying at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University every year. Designed to fit with your budget whilst looking for student accommodation. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents. This means all our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. Our aim is to help you succeed in our student accommodation in Sheffield