Some landlords may include some of your bills in the rent. If your landlord does not do this, you will need to set up your utility bills when you move into your accommodation. This includes gas, electricity and water.
Finding out your current energy supplier
Your accommodation will usually already have a supplier, which has been supplying gas and electricity to the person who lived there before you. You may be able to find out who this is by asking your landlord or letting agent, or you may receive a letter from the supplier after you move in.
Or you can use the uSwitch website to find helpline numbers you can phone to find out.
Changing energy supplier
You don’t need to stay with the same supplier. You can choose to look around for a new or cheaper supplier.
Money Buddies is a free service which can also help you switch energy suppliers. You can speak to a Money Buddy face to face either at their head office (on Wednesdays only) or at a One Stop Centre or Community Hub but you will need to make an appointment first.
Ebor Gardens Advice Centre, 93 Haslewood Drive, Leeds LS9 7PS
Leeds Money Buddies (online chat also available)
Or you can switch suppliers online using comparison sites. Websites which have been recommended for comparing suppliers include:
You can find more here:
Paying your energy bill
You can usually either pay your bills monthly, or every three months. You can sometimes get cheaper bills if you pay by Direct Debit.
Some accommodation has a prepayment meter instead. This means you pay for your energy before you use it, either with a card or key which you ‘top up’ with credit (a bit like pay as you go phones). Every time you use energy, you use some credit.
Prepayment meters can be useful because they can help you control what you spend more easily, but they can also be expensive if you use a lot of energy.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bill
If you don’t pay your bills on time, your energy supplier may cut off your gas or electricity, so it is important to ask for help if you are struggling.
If you get into debt with your energy bills, you must pay this debt as a priority. This means it is more important than paying debts like credit cards.
You should speak to your energy supplier or make an appointment to see an adviser at Citizens Advice Leeds. Both can help you find ways to pay off the debt.
Leeds Citizens Advice Bureau
31 New York St, Leeds LS2 7DT, Mondays to Fridays, 9am-4pm.
0113 223 4400, 9am – 5pm
You can also visit the Leeds Money Information Centre website and the national Money Advice Service website for online advice:
There are also schemes running in Leeds that can help you find affordable ways to make your home easier to keep warm or reduce your fuel bills or both. Find out more:
Find out more about getting support with money problems here.
Yorkshire Water is the water supplier for Leeds and unlike gas and electricity you can not switch suppliers. But you do still need to set up an account when you move in. If your new property has a water meter, it is worth taking a reading and passing it on to the supplier as soon as you can, to make sure you only pay for what you owe.
You can set up your account by contacting Yorkshire Water:
Here are some helpful tips to save money on water bills
If you have a TV or watch BBC iPlayer on any device including a computer, tablet or mobile you’ll need to have a TV licence. You can find out the cost and ways to pay online.
Telephone & internet
If you want broadband internet, and to make phone calls using a landline, you’ll need an active phone line. If your accommodation is not set up with one already, there are several suppliers you can choose from. It is a good idea to look around to find one offering the best deal for you.
You will need to pay for the line to be installed and you will also need to pay for a package that offers you broadband and/or phone calls. These are usually paid for monthly.
BT Basic – If you are claiming Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit, you might be entitled to a BT Basic low-cost phone and broadband package.
It comes with a price cap to help you budget and an amount of internet access for web browsing and downloads.
You must be a BT customer. If you are not, you can get connected for free. A phone and broadband package costs around £9.95 per month.
Find out more about BT Basic: