Utility bills in the UK are going to increase. It's difficult to know if you have the best deal, and at times you may wonder if changing energy providers is going to help you at all. The UK's average electricity bill works out at around £58 a month, and the average broadband bill is around £30. People are paying £56 for gas too. If you believe that you are paying more than this then this could be a sign that something needs to change.
Gas and Energy
According to Ofgem, in May 2019 the average tariff for someone who is on a dual-fuel policy is around £1,254 every year. This equates to 5% of the UK's household budget. The study that was done by Ofgem also found that there is a difference between the standard variable tariff when you compare the six biggest suppliers. The cheapest tariff currently stands at £374. Sure, if you live alone or if there are only two of you in a one or two-bedroom flat then there's a high chance that your bills are going to be lower. The UK Power company estimates that gas comes in at around £33 a month. Electricity tends to be around £34 every month, and this is less than half of the bill someone would be paying if they had a five-bedroom house.
This does tend to vary a lot depending on the region, but Water UK have estimated that the average sewage and water bill comes to around £415 a year. This equates to around £34.58 every month. If you reside in the North West however then you will end up paying over £18 a month more. If you live in the South West however then you'll be paying £14 less. If you are not on a water meter, then it may be worth you getting one installed. You only end up paying for the water that you use, and sometimes this can be way better when compared to being on a fixed tariff. You also need to be super mindful of the water that you are using if you are on a meter. Turn off the tap when you start to brush your teeth and always make sure that you are putting on a full load of washing when you do that. The washing machine can also be put on a faster load too, as this will use less water.
Broadband packages tend to come with media bundles. This can include TV deals or even sports. The average price can vary for this very reason. Studies have shown that people tend to spend around £30 on broadband every single year, so if you are paying more than this then you need to think to yourself, are you actually using everything that is in your package? Do you need the highest speed for your broadband? Are you using the channels that you are paying for? A study done by ONS found that people were paying double what they thought on their phone, TV and broadband. For this reason, it is important that you focus on what you actually use rather than what you think you like.
If you are one of those people who like to always upgrade their phone to the newest model whenever a new one comes out, then there's a chance that your mobile phone bill is going to be pretty high. The average price tends to come in at around £45.60 every month. If you are paying more than this or if you are happy with the phone bill that you have then it may be worth you trying to see if you can downgrade. If you can, you will save a small fortune. You might also want to swap to a SIM-only deal. This is the best way for you to find the right tariff and it also means that you are not using data unnecessarily too.
If you are just paying for your TV license and if you are sticking to Freeview, there's a high chance that you are only paying around £12.88 a month. This equates to £154.50 a year. If you have a TV subscription package, your monthly fee will probably be double this. Some data has been released and it shows that the cheapest mid-level Sky package starts at around £19 a month. The highest that some people pay however is around £65 a month. Sure, if you have a super-premium package however then you will be paying way more. Virgin also tends to vary. It starts from £67 and it goes all the way up to £102.
How to Get the Best Deal
Believe it or not, comparison sites really are your friend when it comes to finding the cheapest deal. If you have been with the provider that you have right now for quite some time, then you are probably paying more than you should. There are a few general rules when it comes to using them. One rule is to make sure that you are always using different sites. This will help you to compare and it will also help you to find out every provider too. Some providers are not on comparison sites at all, and you need to take them into account when you start to do your research. When using comparison sites, you also have to be cautious of the ones that appear at the top. These could be sponsored deals and you might not be getting the best value. Sure, this can be contradictory when you think about the idea of a comparison site but either way, it's something that you do need to be aware of.
Finally, if you have seen a cheaper deal elsewhere but you are generally happy with the provider you have, then a quick phone call can easily help you to get the whole thing sorted out. Remember that there's nothing wrong with haggling at all!