As we know for many students making your money cover the basics is not easy so the idea that energy prices are rising is quite worrying.
As we know for many students making your money cover the basics is not easy, especially when maintenance loans either don’t or barely cover rent and living costs. So the idea that energy prices are rising is quite worrying.
Why are the prices going up?
Being reliant on importing gas from Europe, means that we are also subject to fluctuations in the price of this. As much of our electricity comes from burning gas, electricity prices can also depend on the price of gas. Events such as the conflict in Ukraine and Brexit are also impacting the price. You can read more about this here.
How much are they going up?
This isn’t just a small increase that we would normally see and be able to manage. We will be seeing increases of 50% and more, with a further increase expected in October 2022.
When are they going up?
We are expecting them to go up from the 1 April, but many of us will have already seen our energy bills rising already. This date is linked to a new cap in energy prices and while companies could charge less most are choosing to move their prices up to the limit.
My bills are included will my rent go up?
Your landlord isn’t able to increase your rent during the term of the rental agreement- for most students this is an 11 month contract. Sometimes you will see a fair usage clause in the contract and if your energy use goes over what would be considered ‘fair use’ they can charge more. If you have any worries or requests from your landlord or agent, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
What you can do:
Take a meter reading (and a photo) and report this to your energy provider before the 1 April. We did a quick check and found that many students (actually most) did not know where their gas and electric meters are and have never taken a meter reading. Those that did, most commonly found them under the stairs, or in a box outside on the front of the house. Sometimes a torch is handy, a key might be needed to get into the box and watch out for cobwebs. Check out a mix of some of Guild and staff meter readings. Giving regular up to date reading means you will not be billed for estimated usage, which is likely to be higher.
When it is cold you still need to put the heating on. Not heating your property can make living and studying in your home pretty miserable, it can also cause damp and mould which can also impact your health and damage property. Making sure doors are shut and thinking about the best times for the heating to be on and using a timer can be a good way to ensure that the property does not get too cold.
Apply to the Success for all fund. The fund’s purpose is to support all registered University of Exeter undergraduate and postgraduate students who are experiencing unexpected financial challenges affecting their ability to study.
Most of the funds are means tested and you will be asked to provide evidence of your financial situation in your application. All funds are based on the student’s finances and not parents. Full information about the fund and helpful Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.
Create and budget to manage your money- We know that people who know what is going in and out, have much better control of their money and are able to make it go further. If you would like help to create a budget and take control of your money please contact the advice service for a budget appointment email@example.com
Understanding your homes Energy efficiency
When you moved in you should have been given the Energy Performance certificate, with a rating of between A and G. A is the best and G the worst. All rental properties need to have a EPC rating E but this is set to increase to C by 2025. Landlords could get financial assistance with grants for things like insulation especially if tenants are on a low income. If your student house income is below £30,000 this could be worth talking to your landlord about.
Quick ways to reduce your energy use:
Switch things off – lots of appliances still use power when they are on standby – get into the habit of turning off your tv fully when you are not using it.
Wash your clothes at 30C or lower - doing your laundry 10 degrees cooler can reduce your energy use.
Spend less time in the shower – a 1 minute shorter shower could cut your energy bill by £4 a year for each person in your household. You’ll also save water if you’re on a meter.
Turn down room thermostats – if you have these, try keeping them at the lowest comfortable temperature (between 18C-21C).