When you move into your flat or house there are many things to consider: which poster are you going to hang where, which spot on the couch is the best, etc. As important as these decisions are, there are decisions about your gas, electricity and internet providers that are especially important.
When you move in your landlord or letting agent should tell you who your provider is so that you can call them to tell them you have moved in. Some will do this for you and it is important to check which tariff they have put you on. In most cases, you should be able to change the tariff and/or the provider if you find a better deal. Be sure to ask your landlord or letting agent before doing this.
Gas and Electricity:
There are two main providers of gas and electricity to choose from each with four different options for tariffs. You may choose one for gas and the other for electricity or use the same one for both. It is up to you, but there are often discounts that can be applied if you use the same provider for both your gas and electricity.
The first gas and electricity provider is British Gas. Every tariff option includes a £15 dual fuel discount if you use them for both gas and electricity and they do not have exit fees in case you ever choose to switch.
Here are their options for tariffs:
- Fixed Price: The price will remain fixed, even if prices rise, until March 2018. This is a less risky option and means you will always know your rate no matter what.
- Standard: The price can vary based on gas prices. This means your rate could go up but it also means that it could go down. However, this option is more risky than the fixed price tariff.
- Fixed & Reward: The price will remain fixed until January 2017 and you receive a £50 Amazon gift card. If you choose this option, make sure you check how much it will cost and whether you think the gift card is worth it.
- Fix & Fall: The price is fixed, but it may come down if gas prices go down. The prices will never go up.
The second gas and electricity provider is Scottish Power. Every one of their tariffs also includes a dual fuel discount and does not include exit fees.
Here are their options for tariffs:
- Online Fixed Price: Fixed price until September 2016.
- Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price: Fixed price until November 2017 and access to support Cancer Research UK.
- Online Standard: This is a variable rate tariff, so the rate could go up or down.
- Fixed Price: Fixed price until January 2018. This tariff includes HomeComfort Premium Care, which means you have access to the emergency call centre, annual boiler service and safety checks, and cover for radiators.
When you speak to either British Gas or Scottish Power they can give you estimates based on information about your flat or house and it is important to ask for these. The amount you pay is determined by many factors including which tariff you choose, where your flat or house is, how big it is, etc. It is important to explore your options.
There are three main internet providers available for you to choose from. Each offer fibre however it is important to check on their website whether or not your flat or house is eligible for this service. Keep in mind that fibre is usually more expensive. Every provider has many options, which come with different perks and downfalls. Internet packages tend to require you to purchase an included phone plan, whether or not you feel you will use it. It also important to note that whatever cost the company advertises it will not generally include the phone line rental or the installation fee. Make sure you add up all those numbers before you make your decision.
The first option is BT Internet, which is the most popular. BT often offers online deals but it is important to read the details of them carefully. Sometimes they will say that you can save 50% a month but this is only for the first one or two months of your contract. The options for BT can be found here.
The second option is TalkTalk tends to compare itself to BT and claim they are cheaper, but most of their contracts are at least 18 months, which you most likely won’t need. Be careful to check how long the contract is and whether there is an exit fee if you choose to terminate it early. The options for TalkTalk can be found here.
The third option is Sky, which has just started offering one-year contracts that are ideal for student flats. The options for Sky can be found here.
Remember that if you have any questions or concerns when making these decisions you can always call their free hotlines for more information.