Household Bills & Additional Costs

Household Bills & Additional Costs


  • Household bills include energy bills for gas and electricity, water rates, TV licence and telephone and internet charges.

  • Check to see which bills are included in your rent - sometimes private landlords will cover the cost of bills.

  • Make sure you know what is and isn't covered when you choose your accommodation.

Household Bills   

Gas and Electricity - as of May 2019, according to Ofgem, the average variable tariff for a dual fuel customer was £1,254 per year, but obviously this varies depending on the size of the property.

Water - the average annual household water and sewerage bill for 2019/20 is estimated at £415, although this varies by region. If you have a water meter, you will be charged based on how much water you use. If not, you will pay a fixed amount each year.

TV Licence - You need a TV Licence to watch or record programmes at the same time as they are shown on TV, whether you are watching on TV sets, or other devices including tablets and laptops. You will also need a TV Licence to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV, on BBC iPlayer. This applies to any device and provider you use. If you have a TV in your room you will need a TV licence, regardless of whether you are living in halls or rented accommodation. If you have a joint tenancy several TVs are covered by one licence, but if you have a separate tenancy a licence is needed for each set. The current TV Licence costs £154.50 per year (as at April 2019).

If you go home for the summer holidays, you may be able to get a refund on your TV licence for the remaining months.

Broadband - most broadband connections will require a home phone line, but this is often included in the broadband package. Prices start from around £15/month for Standard broadband. Faster fibre-optic connections cost more, but may be more suitable if there are lots of people sharing one connection. Check out Money Saving Expert's tips on how to get cheap broadband at:

Mobile Phone - think about your mobile deal.  It's normally cheapest to buy a package of minutes, texts and internet data each month. Shop around for the best deal, but read what you’re signing carefully, and factor those monthly fees into your budget.

Council Tax - full-time students are exempt from Council Tax unless living with non-student adults. Exemption certificates can be printed from the student SOLE page.  Where a student is sharing a house with a non-student adult the Council Tax bill for the household will be liable to a 25% reduction.


Shop around for the best deals on gas, electric, broadband, car insurance, mobile phones etc, by using comparison sites such as:


Additional Costs

According to the NatWest Student Living Index 2019 students spend on average per month:

  • £83.50 on Supermarket food shopping, toiletries & household items
  • £38.20 on Eating out
  • £29.90 on Clothes, shoes & accessories
  • £27.20 on Alcohol
  • £26.80 on Going out
  • £23.10 on Transport whilst visiting home during term time
  • £22.30 on Public transport day-to-day travel

Find more information about Costs and Money Saving Tips in our Guide:

How much does it cost to go to University?