Household Utilities

When you move into your new home whether you have purchased or moved into rented accommodation you should advise all of the utility companies and transfer the accounts into your name.

Gas and Electric

The supply of domestic power has been privatised over recent years and is now a very competitive market with a number of companies promising savings and incentives.

Expect to receive quarterly bills from your gas and electricity service providers dating back to the meter readings taken at the inventory check-in. Your bills will include a fixed standing charge, the cost of fuel consumed and VAT. You can make savings by paying monthly by direct debit. Your utility supplier will organise this and advise the amount to be paid each month.

Where mains gas is not available, the heating and hot water system could be powered by oil or calor gas. A tank will be situated on the grounds and you will need to make arrangements for it to be filled regularly by a private supplier. Do not allow tanks to empty as this can cause maintenance problems.

Water and Sewage

There are two systems for billing water and sewage – a fixed annual rate on older properties and a variable rate based on a fixed standing charge plus consumption on more modern properties. Both are subject to VAT.

Non-Mains Supply

Not all areas are connected to mains gas or sewage pipes.

In rare cases where mains sewage is not available, a septic tank or soakaway will substitute. You will need to make arrangements for the septic tank to be emptied and for the soakaway to be de-sludged on a regular basis.

Council Tax

The council tax is a local property tax levied by councils to pay for community services like education, police, roads, waste disposal and libraries. Councils set their own rates annually, based on the finances they need to deliver their services.

The tax year runs from April to March and you can opt to pay your bill in one lump sum or in 10 monthly instalments between April and January. If you move into or out of a property mid-year then the tax will be apportioned accordingly. If you live alone then you will be eligible for a 25% discount and must advise the council of your sole occupancy status to qualify.

Refuse & Recycling Collection

The UK typically has a culture of recycling or refuse, standard refuse collection is usually weekly and these differ from area to area and street to street in any town, village or city. Refuse should be left in black bin liners, or a wheelie bin if provided, in the designated area (usually outside the property) on the day of collection.

It is now common practice for most local councils to provide plastic crates for recycling glass, plastic and papers. This is normally collected bi-weekly. Alternatively, you can visit public utility sites and bottle banks to dispose of your own refuse. Information on the location of these and your collection days will be available from your local council or by asking your neighbour.

During UK public holidays your collection dates may change. Households are sent a leaflet with details of holiday changes. Collections may also be at different times of the day during the holiday period.