Check your meter
Energy companies are only legally required to check your meter once every two years. In the meantime they’ll send you bills based on anticipated usage. This often leads to under- or over-paying and you can get hit with a huge bill when you weren’t expecting it. Fortunately, there’s a way round this. You can read your own meter and fill in the correct figure on your provider’s website. While this won’t necessarily save you money in the short term, it will make your payments more manageable.
You may be living in rented accommodation, but you don’t have to put up with an expensive or underperforming energy provider. Switching is straightforward. All you need is your postcode and a recent bill. Enter this information into your choice of comparison site and see what’s available. If you come across a deal you like, just enter your address and bank details. Congratulations, you’ve switched.
Pay by direct debit
Energy companies like to know you’re going to pay them on time every month. So if you set up your payment via direct debit, they don’t need to chase you and they’ll pass the savings on to you. Just make sure your housemates set up standing orders to go into your account a couple of days before the direct debit comes out.
While you can’t choose the white goods in your accommodation, you can pick the appliances you bring with you. Replacing your lightbulbs with energy saving bulbs will knock money off your electricity bill. You can also make informed choices about items like kettles and toasters (often the first purchase you’ll make with your housemates) through to laptops and hairdryers.
Remaining mindful of the energy you’re using can dramatically reduce the money you spend. Only boil the water you need, turn lights off when you leave the room and put another layer on instead of turning up the heating. These small changes will make a big impact over the course of your time studying, leaving you with extra cash for textbooks and evenings out.