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What is the average cost of utility bills per month?

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Since October 1st 2021, prepayment customers paying the price cap have seen an annual increase of around £153 from £1156 to £1309.

Even in less uncertain times, it’s difficult to know if you are paying too much per month. If your monthly outgoings are high, you may want to save money and reduce these bills but aren’t sure how. Perhaps you are struggling with managing your bills and wondering what to do next? 

Average gas and electricity bills per month

As you may be aware, gas prices have recently gone up. Fixed deals have become much more expensive and the Ofgem price cap has increased by £139 to £1277 a year. This means that on average households with standard usage paying by Direct Debit will pay £106.41 per month towards energy.

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The average annual gas bill for 2021 was £575, or £47.92 each month. Costs increased by 3.2% last year compared to the prices for 2020. 

The average annual electricity bill for 2021 was £764. That’s £64 per month, an increase of 7.5% on 2020.  This is likely to be less than what you’re currently paying as prices are rising so quickly. 

At the moment, there are no cheaper fixed energy tariffs than the standard variable rate, which is limited by the Ofgem price cap. That means that unusually, you won’t save any money by switching suppliers. However, it’s worth checking regularly to see if that changes, especially once the price cap increases again in April 2022.  
 
The cost of your own bill will depend on the type of property you live in, where you live, the heating system that you have, the energy efficiency of the property, the number of people living there, and your personal usage. 

If you live alone or there’s only two of you in a one or two bed flat, then chances are your bills are going to be lower. 

Why have energy prices gone up?

The reason that households are facing a steep increase in their energy prices is because wholesale gas prices (the amount that energy firms pay) have gone up significantly since Ofgem last updated the price cap.  Gas prices have hit a record high as the world emerges from the pandemic at the same time as other economic factors have an impact.

This has driven up the amount providers pay for gas and electricity - and that cost is now being passed on to the consumer.

The energy price cap only affects you if you live in England, Wales or Scotland. 

In Northern Ireland, energy prices are governed by the Utility Regulator. You can find out more about the help available with paying your energy bills on the Consumer Council website (Opens in a new window)

How to save on your gas and electricity bill?

To help you deal with the recent increase in energy prices, here are some things you can do to save on your gas and electricity bills.

Heating controls

One of the best ways you can save money is by making sure that your heating controls are set up effectively.  The Energy Saving Trust (Opens in a new window) has plenty of tips on how to do this. Depending on what system you have, your heating controls can include your thermostats, timers, heaters, meters, radiator valves and other programmable controls.  Having these set up correctly will save you money.

Immersion heater

For an immersion heater, you only need to run this a few hours a day to get enough water for the whole day.  If you pay less money for electricity at night, set the timer on your immersion heater so it only switches on and heats water at night. 

Check that you have proper insulation for the immersion heater and for any hot water pipes. 

According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy (Opens in a new window) insulating cylinder jackets usually cost about £15 but can save you about £49 a year. 

To insulate hot water pipes with foam insulation or 'lagging' can cost about £10 but should save you £15 each year and help keep your hot water warm longer. 

Other ways in which you can save money on your heating bill include:

  1. Turning the heating down.
  2. Draught proofing.
  3. Using energy efficient appliances and energy efficient lighting.
  4. Using low rinse and low temperature wash options on your washing machine.
  5. Checking whether you are eligible for grants and benefits that help you pay your energy bills.  
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I am struggling to pay my energy bills – what can I do?

Not being able to pay your gas and electricity bills can be very stressful. If you are struggling to pay your energy bills, there are steps you can take to get help and support. For more information read our guide Struggling to pay your gas or electricity bill.

Average water bill a month

Although this varies by region and water company, according to information shared by Water UK (Opens in a new window) the average household’s combined water and sewerage bill is £408 a year. That is £34 a month or £1.12 a day.  After inflation, average bills are around the same level that they were a decade ago.  
 

How are water bills set?

According to Discover Water, to make sure that bills are fair and provide value for money, water companies must follow strict rules by the regulator, Ofwat.  This means that the water companies can’t just set whatever bills they like.  If the companies don’t deliver on their promises, Ofwat can step in and take action.  
 

The water and sewerage charges are set in five-year periods.  Companies are required to increase or reduce their charges depending on Ofwat’s recommendations on how much money they need to deliver their services.

How to save on your water bill

Being careful with your water usage is really important and can have a significant impact on your bills. There are lots of way you can do this: 

Turn off that running tap

According to Ofwat (Opens in a new window) the water regulator, leaving a tap running while you brush your teeth or wash your face can waste more than nine litres of water a minute.  

Upgrade your shower head

By replacing an inefficient shower head with a water-efficient one, you could save money on both gas and water bills. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a family of four could save up to £80 a year, with £35 off their gas bills and around £45 off their water bills. 

Fix those drips

A dripping tap can waste more than 5,500 litres of water a year. Make sure your taps are turned off properly and change washers promptly when taps start to drip.

Put on a full load

A full washing machine or dishwasher cycle uses less water and energy than two half loads.   Make sure you use the most energy efficient or eco settings too. 

Choose to shower instead of bath

If possible, opt for a quick five-minute shower. You’ll be using half the water you would for a standard bath.

Install a water meter

Generally, if there are fewer people living in your home than bedrooms and you are on rateable billing, then a water meter should save you money. Instead of being on a fixed tariff, you only pay for the water you use each month. 

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Getting additional help from your water supplier

Since 1996, Ofwat (Opens in a new window) states that water companies have had a duty to promote the efficient use of water by all their customers. 

If you would like to find out more, contact your water supplier for further information on how you can save water.  

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I am struggling to pay my water bill – what can I do?

Water companies know that some customers are having trouble paying their water bills. Water UK (Opens in a new window) have said that by the year 2025, water companies plan to almost double the number of people getting help with their bills every year, an increase from 760,000 customers to at least 1.4 million. 

If you find that you need help, you should contact your water company in the first instance, as there is a range of potential help available.

Average monthly broadband bill

Broadband normally now comes packaged in a media bundle that also includes TV, so the average prices can vary. Ofcom's report on pricing trends 2021 shows that the average listed price of a standard broadband package (including TV and fixed landline) could be around £44. Interestingly, the average superfast broadband package price is closer to £40, showing the value of shopping around. 

How to save on your broadband bill?

  1. Use shopping comparison websites. 
  2.  Look at your monthly and yearly bill costs. 
  3.  Watch out for promoted products.

Average phone bill a month

If you’re someone who likes to upgrade their phone when a new model comes out then chances are your monthly phone bill isn’t going to be cheap. The average price from Ofcom comes in at £38.22 a month. However, if you’re happy with your handset then there are ways to lower this cost.

How to save on your phone bill

  1. Check your account to see if you are out of contract 
  2. Haggle with your provider to get a better deal 
  3. Switch to a SIM-only deal 
  4. Make sure you’re on the right tariff 
  5. Don’t pay for unnecessary data
  6. Check the costs if travelling abroad
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If you are struggling to pay your mobile phone, TV, or broadband bills

If you are unable to pay, contact your provider and ask what they can do to help.

Some of the ways that they may be able to support you are by:

  • giving you more time to pay 
  • giving you a payment plan
  • moving you to a contract that suits your needs better
  • reducing your bill 
  • increasing your data or download limit

Average TV cost per month

If you’re only paying for the licence and sticking to Freeview channels and free catch-up services, then chances are you’re paying around £13.25 a month for your TV Licence (or £159 a year). If, however, you’ve got a TV subscription package then your monthly fee is likely to be more than double this. 

Add on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, NOW TV, and you could see your overall spend spiralling. According to ONS (Office for National Statistics) data the average UK household spends £38.22 a month on TV packages. 

How to get the best deal on TV packages and compare

  1. Comparison sites are your friend when it comes to making sure you find the cheapest deal for you. If you’ve been with your current providers for a long time or you’re paying more than the average figures we’ve highlighted in this post, then now is the time to think about switching.
  2. Make sure you’re using different sites – so effectively comparing the comparisons, because not all suppliers will feature on every site.
  3. Be wary of those deals that appear at the very top of the internet search results page. These are sponsored deals and might not actually be the best value.
  4. Haggle with your provider.  If you’ve seen a cheaper price elsewhere but you like your current provider then it’s always worth a phone call to ask if they can give you a better price. 
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