Advice on paying utility bills

We recently wrote out to our new student tenants on the subject of utilities.

Talworth kitchenAt this time of the year, we're regularly asked questions about utility bills, so we thought we'd answer your most frequently asked questions below.

What are utility bills?

Your utilities are the supplies of gas, electricity and water to the property. If the cost of your utilities are not included in your rent, you will need to arrange payment of each one accordingly.

Who supplies my gas, electricity and water?

As utility suppliers can be changed from one tenancy to the next, we don’t keep a record of who supplies to each property, but you can find our your current suppliers by calling the telephone numbers below;

Find out your electricity supplier – 01752 502299

Find out your gas supplier – 0870 608 1524

Please note that the above two telephone numbers are automated, so you will need to know the postcode and first line of your address before calling.

Your water supply will be with Welsh Water, who can be contacted on 0800 052 0145.

How do I set-up my utility accounts?

The vast majority of properties have gas and electricity meters installed – the readings on which your supplier’s bill will be based on – so you’ll first need to locate these. Once found, take a record of each reading and remember the date on which you’ve taken them. It’s also worth noting the meter serial numbers at this time.

Next, make contact with each supplier and provide them with the readings you have taken. It’s advisable to do this via telephone, but you can also do it online.

The suppliers will need to know what date to open your account from, so please ensure you provide them with your tenancy start date, rather than the day you moved in.

Water bills are typically based on a set charge determined by Welsh Water, so you’re unlikely to have a meter for this. Please make contact with Welsh Water and set-up your account from your tenancy start date.

When should I set-up my utility accounts?

Immediately. As soon as you move in, you should take your meter readings and make contact with your suppliers. Please don’t delay on this.

When and how do I pay my utility bills?

How often you’re required to pay your bills will need to be agreed direct with your supplier, but they will all accept payment by way of Direct Debit, bank transfer or debit/credit card.

Some tenants choose to set up a ‘household bank account’ which everybody pays into, whereas others will have one person pay the total bill and then collect payment from the other tenants.

Where I’ve been paying half-rent and living elsewhere, do I need to pay for the utilities?

The answer is typically “yes”, but as the property will have been empty for this period, any usage will be zero to minimal, so that part of your bill will be extremely low.

However, pretty much every utility company will apply ‘standing charges’ regardless of whether the property was occupied or not, and there’s no avoiding these.

Am I allowed to change my utility suppliers?

Yes, you’re welcome to shop around for the best deal and change your supplier if it works out cheaper elsewhere. We’re unable to help you with us, but comparison websites such as MoneySavingExpert’s Cheap Energy Club may be worth a look.

If you have any questions that haven’t been answered by this e-mail, please don’t hesitate to make contact with us via 02920 668585 or enquiries@cpshomes.co.uk.

16 September 2016

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