Skip to main content

Student Bills 101 – A handy guide to energy, bills and more

Posted August 27, 2021

We get it – energy bills aren’t the most exciting thing about university life. We also know that life can be expensive for students, and you’ll want to make the right choice for the planet.

We’ve pulled together a guide to give you the energy basics. From finding a great deal and tips to save money on energy bills to cutting your carbon footprint and splitting your bills with your housemates, we’ve made you a crib sheet. That way, you can get on with more important things (like working out how to avoid 9 am lectures).

Making energy easy for students

We have a great range of low-cost, easy-to-manage energy tariffs, and all our fixed tariffs come with zero-carbon electricity as standard. That way, you get a good deal and do your bit to help Britain achieve Net Zero.

Energy that helps you lower your carbon footprint

We're proud to be Britain's biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity. We don't just sell it - we make it! Some energy companies talk big when it comes to achieving Net Zero, but we're doing everything we can, including generating the right mix of wind, nuclear and solar electricity to make sure we're powering the nation every day. We're serious about Britain achieving its Net Zero target, and you can be a part of our journey.

All our fixed home energy customers get zero-carbon electricity as standard.

First things first - busting the jargon with key energy terms and phrases

French? Italian? Energy? Sometimes it can feel like us energy suppliers are talking a different language. Here are some of the key terms and phrases you might come across when doing your energy homework;

  • tariff is an energy contract. It’s the same as a mobile phone or broadband contract, but for energy - check out our guide to choosing the best tariff for you
  • fixed tariff locks in the price you pay for each unit of energy you use for the length of the contract (usually 1 or 2 years). 
  • variable tariff means your prices can go up and down. So, you might find that a good deal now isn’t such a good deal in 6 months
  • dual fuel tariff means you’ll have both your gas and electricity on the same tariff, and it is generally easier and cheaper. If your house only uses electricity, you’ll get a single fuel tariff
  • Exit fees mean you’ll need to pay to cancel your contract early
  • Pay As You Go is a handy way of only paying for the energy you use. You’ll need a smart meter, but once you’re set-up, you can see how much energy you're using and how much it's costing you
  • 'Green energy' might not be what it seems. Some suppliers really do generate renewable or green energy, but not everyone. Other suppliers buy things called REGO certificates to 'greenwash' their dirty energy, so what you think you're getting isn't as good for the planet as you thought. We're proud to be Britain’s biggest generator of zero-carbon electricity from wind, nuclear and solar.(1)
  • Kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the standard unit of energy that you'll be billed for using. It's how much energy you're charged for using electricity or gas per hour. You can calculate the running costs of all household appliances in kWhs — some are more expensive to run than others, like air conditioning units 

Shopping around for an energy deal - what you need to know

Getting a quote for a great deal is simple. You can do it all online, and all you need to have at hand is:

  • Your address/postcode
  • Your current energy provider (ask your landlord or letting agent, or see if you’ve got a letter from them)
  • Some info about your house (like how many bedrooms there are)

Don’t have a bill to hand? No worries – you can get a quote without one.

You might get letters from the old energy provider or to the old tenants through the post. Don’t worry about them either; they must write to the new tenants, but you can shop around and find the right deal.

Already with EDF? Even better! Just give us a call at 0333 200 5100(2), and we’ll find the best deal for you

We've got a very handy guide on energy switching - changing from one supplier to another – which may be helpful, too. 

Picked your perfect tariff? Great the rest is up to us!

  • We'll talk to your current provider so you don’t have to
  • We'll get in touch when we need a meter reading(s)
  • We'll let you know when you’re fully on board
  • You can start managing your energy online or on our handy EDF app. It’s that easy.

Managing your student energy bills – our top tips

You can do a couple of things to make your life easier when it comes to managing your bills. A bit of admin now could save you stacks of time in the future when it comes to managing energy in a house share or with your flatmates.

  • Register for MyAccount so you can do all your energy admin online, 24/7. Get the app from the App Store or Google Play
  • Put your names on the account. Adding everyone’s names will mean you can all talk to your supplier about your energy. That way if someone moves out, you can keep on top of things
  • Find your meter(s) and take a reading the day you move in. That way, you only pay for your energy (and not the tenants before you). It’s always best to send readings when we ask for them so you get accurate bills (but if you’ve got a smart meter, you don’t need to – they do the hard work for you!)
  • Pay by Direct Debit so you don't have to worry about surprise bills (it's also the cheapest way to pay!) Your energy spend will get evened out over twelve months, and payments will be taken automatically each month

Student bill splitting

Splitting the bill with your housemates meant sitting around the table with a paper bill and a calculator. Not anymore! Splitting your bill is easy with apps like Splitwise. Or, if you have an account with a bank like Monzo you can create a shared tab or a standing order that will pay your share automatically each month.

Plus, if you're already paying by Direct Debit, you can just set up a regular monthly split to whoever is paying the bill no more chasing people for money.

Moving to new accommodation

Whether moving out of halls to a student house-share or getting a flat on your own, there are many things to remember when moving to new accommodation.

Our full moving house checklist details what companies, bills and accounts you need to notify when changing address.

Tips to save on student bills

Find out about our favourite energy-saving tips to help save money year-round. 

Reduce your energy usage