Cheap Student Bills – 10 Ways to Save Money On Energy Bills

 Cheap Student Bills

One of the biggest drains on many students homes is the energy bills. Apparently, an average-sized UK student household will spend around £90 a month on gas and electricity. In this part of our student bill series, we offer some quick and painless ways to make the dream of cheap student bills an actual reality.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘Student’ as ‘One who is often broke!‘. Even if you don’t feel all that broke, rest assured, if you’re a UK university student, then, you’re probably broke!

By the time we’re done with university, most of us anyway, will have a debt of around £50k in loans to pay back and yet somehow the ‘maintenance loan’ we receive from Student Finance is only enough to maintain our poverty.

It could be argued, that we could all spend less money on nights out, taxis, microwave meals and streaming subscriptions – but then, what would be the point in going to uni in the first place?

As much as our energy bills can drain our bank account, there are certain things we can do and ways to manage that drain which would significantly cut down the overall costs. Sound like something you’d like to learn more about? Then read on for student money saving tips, so hot your radiator will look embarrassed!

Ten Tips For Cheap Student Bills


Tip #0: Use Your Common Sense

This isn’t really a ‘hot tip’ as such, but some of you may need to hear these:

  • Don’t set your thermostat to 24C and then sit in your underwear when you could have just put a hoodie
  • Don’t leave windows wide open (especially when you go out!)
  • Don’t leave the lights on in rooms you aren’t using.
  • Turn off plug switches for any appliances you’re not using.
  • Turn the boiler off when not at home, even if it’s just for a few hours.
  • Don’t block your radiators with furniture or clothing.
  • Take showers instead of baths as they use less heat as well as water.

If these tips and ideas are new and interesting to you, then prepare to have your mind blown with the tips which follow… let’s continue!

Tip #1: Get Your Bills Included in the Rent

If you haven’t yet accepted a tenancy agreement for the academic year, try to look for student accommodation where the landlord includes the energy bills as part of the rent, in a cheap student bills package.

Besides simplifying your outgoing costs and preventing arguments amongst your flatmates, it means you can blast the radiator and leave the lights on all day and not have to worry about anything – except, of course, the poor polar bears.

The rest of the utilities, like your water usage will also likely be included. Just make sure you inspect the contract carefully for any usage limits, so there’s no nasty surprises when the fridge turns off halfway through the month.

Spare student rooms in a private household can be a great option, as bills are usually bundled with the rent.

If included bills isn’t on the cards, asking for the energy-rating of the property, which accounts for the quality of radiators, windows and insulation – is a smart consideration to make before deciding to rent somewhere. The range is large: from A to G; so make sure you’re somewhere near the start of the alphabet at least.

Tip #2: Shop Around for the Best Deals

If you end up having to pay and manage your own energy bills, don’t fret, there are still savings to be had if you’re willing to put the work in and do some research.

Sadly, an entire third of the country’s household population have never switched energy providers. Half haven’t switched in the last three years. Those households are missing out on potential savings of £320 per year.

Use comparison sites like MoneySupermarket to compare prices and keep those profit-hungry energy monoliths in check! This is basically activism, and woke, activist students are far more successful on Tinder.

— Learn more about comparing energy providers and finding the best deals

Tip #3: Take Your Own Meter Readings & Avoid Estimates

In addition to never checking if they’re even getting a good deal from their provider, on their price per unit of gas and electricity, most households also let their provider estimate their usage. This means the provider assumes your usage based on factors such as past usage, local weather and building insulation and then charges you based on that.

Your student accommodation could have been empty and unused for days but the energy provider would assume you were using heating, etc. as usual. You could be following all the common sense tips – diligently switching off lights and appliances – and they may well be assuming usage based on past care-free student tenants.

This is obviously less than ideal. If your unsure how to take a meter reading or not even sure where your utility meters are  located, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

How to take an Electric Meter Reading

How to take a Gas Meter Reading

Calculating your own energy usage may look lame, but it’s the holy grail of cheap student bills.

Tip #4: Bleed Your Radiators

Ensure radiators are bled so that they can run more efficiently. Bleeding means releasing the air that gets stuck in the system. Doing this requires a radiator key which you can buy online for less than a quid. This makes a big difference to any student money saving goals you have, also, your dad would be proud.

To get the gist of how to do it, you can watch this handy tutorial by the lovely Tony:

Tip #5: Want Cheap Student Bills? Use a Radfan!

The Radfan is a simple product that you mount on your radiator. It can be set up in 30 seconds and then runs itself by turning itself on when the radiator is hot, and off when it’s cold. It’s designed to improve the flow of convected heat around the room, thus reducing the amount of energy you need to pump into your radiator to heat your student home. They’re also lab-tested, and government funded which is pretty rad.

Find out more about them and take a look here to find a great deal.

Bonus Tip: They only fit onto the rectangular, metal, water-filled, classic-style radiators, so be sure to check before you order one.

Tip #6: Use Energy-efficient Electrical Appliances & Your
Electrical Appliances Energy-efficiently

  • Putting your appliances like your TV and Playstation on timer plugs will mean you don’t have to remember to switch them off.
  • Use your dishwasher, if you have one, as it apparently uses less energy than handwashing. Just make sure it’s full everytime.
  • If you have a washing machine, only use it when it’s loaded to capacity – coordinate with your housemates and have a laundry day together. Wash at 30?C, it works just fine with most detergents these days.
  • Don’t use a tumble-dryer as they’re horribly energy inefficient – a clothes rack will do. Swap out all your lightbulbs for energy-efficient versions. They’re a little pricier upfront, but last far longer, are cheaper to run and will save you loads of cash over their lifetime.
  • If your radiators are old-style electric heaters, consider asking your student landlord to update them. They use far more energy efficient than modern ones and they decrease the value of the property because they lower the overall energy rating – so it’s a win-win for you and your landlord.

Tip #7: Use Blankets, Hot-water bottles, and Cute Microwavable
Teddy Bears

Of course, you should always wrap up warm even when inside, so you don’t have to turn the thermostat up higher than it needs to be. But have you considered other cosy alternatives? Hot-water bottles are great, using one is like having a bath on the couch. Electric blankets may be even more energy-efficient. I am also unashamed to admit that I have a green dinosaur called Debra that I heat up in the microwave – you can buy these microwavable plushies online or in a store like Ryman’s. Debra smells like lavender too.

Tip #8: Exploit Your University’s Amenities!

The ultimate life-hack to get cheap student bills: make your university pay for them. Taking all of your devices – laptop, phone, tablet, camera, whatever, and charging them at the library is a pro move. Don’t feel guilty, you’re paying like £9000 a year, surely some of that is for some free, juicy electricity. Plus, it won’t hurt your academic prospects to spend a bit more time in that place now would it?

Hey, you could even take a few power-banks and portable batteries and charge ’em up there too, that way you can take the free, juicy electricity home with you too, it’s win-win. If only there was a way to steal their hot air…

Tip #9: Avoid Pay-as-you-go Energy Plans

Paying ad-hoc may feel cheaper, but just as with all subscription services, signing up for a longer-term contract will save you hundreds in the long run. It requires more admin on the part of the supplier and they pass the burden of that cost onto you – just avoid these altogether.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, a complete guide to getting cheaper student bills by saving costs on your energy bills. Follow every single one of these tips and the energy companies will be basically paying you. The polar bears will also express their gratitude for your environmental considerations.

Check out some our other articles for both student accommodation and money saving tips:

Best Student Boradband Deals

Best Digital TV Packages

Guide to Student Discount Cards

Find & Advertise Student Accommodation

Still looking for a student property? Search through our wide range of student accommodation and find great student diggz in your town or city. Alternatively, if you have a place your looking to rent out, place a free advert and get your student property filled quickly. Both landlords and students can place free adverts!



Student Discount Cards UK – Saving Money Guide

Student Discount Cards UK

How to get student discount cards and which UK student discount cards are best!


Getting a student discount card is a necessity for many UK students, it’s a great way to save money on goods such as food, clothing, software, stationary, travel, and entertainment. In this post, we explain the benefits of student discount cards, show you how to get them, and review the various type of cards available to UK students.

What are Student Discount Cards?

Student discount cards entitle students to discounts on various types of products allowing students to save money and buy products or services at discounted prices. Discounts can range from anywhere between 5% and 90% from the original purchase price.

There are a variety of discount card types, each with their own benefits. Some, like the NUS Extra Card are small physical plastic cards (just like bank cards) which are usable in the high street. To use them you simply show your card to the member of staff in the store where your making your purchase. Others like the UNiDAYS card are more of an online scheme in the form of a web or mobile application, as opposed to a small plastic card. These provide primarily provide discounts when purchasing online products but can also be used in high street stores.

Before you make any purchase, always shop around and check if a student discount is available and that you have the correct card to qualify for the discount.

It’s possible for certain products to already be cheaper in a specific store than it would be even using your student discount. So it’s always worth spending that extra bit of time shopping around if your main aim is to save money.

What are the Benefits of Student Discount Cards?

Student Discoiunt Card UK

As well as offering discounts there are other benefits to using student discount cards which you may not have considered:

  • Can be used as a form of ID
  • Can be used both nationally (UK) and Globally (World Wide)
  • They allow for savings on a wide and varied range of products, goods and services such as:
    • Eating Out
    • Clothing
    • Cinema
    • Travel
    • Driving Lessons
    • Books and Stationery
    • Software and Tech
    • Car Insurance and Breakdown Cover
    • Health and Beauty

How much do They Cost?

It depends on the type of discount card you are going for. Some discount cards are free while others may charge up to £70, it all depends on the type of card and it’s validity period.

Although with some of the cards there is an initial cost, it’s worth taken into account the overall discounts provided, and checking if you’re likely to really use the card in order to benefit from the savings it provides. If you choose the correct card, in the long run, it can save you a fair amount of money.

Check out our comparison table below for a quick overview on the different discount card types and their benefits and prices.

How to get a Student Discount Card

This will vary depending on the type of card you apply for but typically, they involve filling in a short application form where you’ll need to confirm

  • Where it is your studying
  • The length of your current course.

Some may also request a copy of your student ID to be and sent over as a form of proof.

Check out a quick overview below and if you wish to find further information you can navigate to each of the sites using the links provided at the bottom of the table.

Student Discount Cards Comparison

CardTOTEM (NUS)UNiDAYS16-25 RailcardISIC18+ Student Oyster Card:
OverviewEntitles students to special discounts in most major high-street storesOnline discount app for both online and in-store discounts Offers discounts on rail travel to students aged 16-25The International Student Idenity Card offers students discounts worldwide Offers discount on travel for students studying in london
BenefitsNUS Approved
Lots of Brand Discounts
An endorsed Proof of ID Card (pay extra £2.99)
Free To Get
Brand Name Discounts
Mobile App
1/3 of Rail Fairs and Tickets

Various discounts avaiable from Experiance Days to Dining
150,000 Discounts
Mobile App and Plastic Card
International Recognised ID
Save 30% on adult-rate Travelcards and Bus & Tram Pass season tickets.
Price£12 - One Year
£22 - Two Years
From £14.99 with ID Card
FREE£30 - One Year
£70 - Three Years
£15 - £20 Per Year (Price Varies)

Discount Available if you have a NUS card
NUS Discount
Bonus OfferBuy a 2-yr membership card today give and get extra year FOR FREE!N/AVarious Offers Available - Check Offers Page
RailCard Offers
Various Offers Available - Check Offers Page
ISIC UK Offers
Valid until your course ends
WebsiteTotumUNiDAYSRailCardISIC Card

18+ Student Oyster Card


Other Places to Find Student Discounts

As well as discount cards listed in the comparison table, there are other places offering student deals and discounts which are worth checking out:

  • Student Discount Book – Offers a wide variety of student discounts, deals and student offers
  • Student Beans – Also offers a wide variety of student discounts, deals student offers with free information and advice around many relevant students topics
  • Save the Student – Provides free information and advice on ways to save money and make your money go further
  • Prime Student – Service from Amazon prime which provides student benefits  such as discount amazon prime as well as discounts on books and  some other Amazon goods and services

Student Discount Directory

Student Discount Directory – Save the student have a great student discount directory which lists out many currently available discounts. It can be a great way to save time when looking for a discount if you know what type of products or service your looking for for a discount on.

Student Broadband

Some Broadband providers offer savings for students. Check out our post on the Best Student Broadband Deals for further and guidance on choosing the right broadband package.

Free Student Advertising

If your a student and looking for someone to take over your room or tenancy then you can also save money by posting your advert with us for free. You can get your free ad posted up in five simple steps.

If your a student looking for accommodation, check out the listing in your area and contact landlords all for FREE.


Before purchasing any student discount card, take some time to consider if it’s worth your time and if your really going to benefit from it. Remember, always shop around before ever making a purchase to ensure your getting a good deal and try to avoid buying items or products on a whim which you may later regret buying.





Sponsored Links