Help & Advice

Providing independent, confidential, and impartial advice to all University of Worcester students

In February 2022 Ofgem (the government regulator for electricity and gas markets in the UK) announced that there would be an energy price cap rise of 54% from 1st April 2022 due to an international rise in energy prices.

This means your energy bills will rise dramatically. Whilst there is no maximum you can pay for your energy (the more you use, the more you pay), the cap was applied to electricity and gas standing charges and kWh rates.

To show the scale of the rise, someone with average direct debit use currently pays £1,277 each year. From 1st April 2022, they'll pay £1,971 a year which is an increase of £693 per year. A further rise is anticipated for October 2022 and this page will be updated regularly.

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What does this mean for me?


I live in Halls of Residence

Generally, students living in Halls of Residence have the cost of utilities included as part of your rent and your landlord has a direct contract with their energy supplier.

  • You should check if your agreement has a fair usage clause as that could mean that the landlord could charge you when energy use goes above a set limit.
  • You should also check to see if your agreement has a clause which would allow your landlord to charge you if energy costs increase by a certain percentage.

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My tenancy agreement includes bills

It is worth checking and understanding the arrangements for the payment of bills if your tenancy agreement includes bills.

  • You should check if your agreement has a fair usage clause as that could mean that the landlord could charge you when energy use goes above a set limit.
  • You should also check to see if your agreement has a clause which would allow your landlord to charge you if energy costs increase by a certain percentage.
  • You should check whether you will be individually or jointly responsible for paying any bill excess. The University guidance on communal living suggests ways to navigate this with your house/flatmates.
  • A failure to understand the terms and conditions relating to bill payment will not exempt you from any charges you may have incurred.
  • Not all students with bills inclusive agreements will be affected by the April 2022 cap increase. If you are not sure what your situation is, make an appointment with one of our Advisors.

Take regular meter readings and report these to your energy provider. As a minimum this should include:

  • When you move into a property (to make sure you don’t pay for previous tenant’s energy use)
  • When you move out of a property (to make sure you’re not eligible for reclamation of unpaid bills following the end of your tenancy)
  • Prior to any further increases of the energy price cap, estimated to be October 2022 (to make sure you pay the appropriate tariff for your energy usage).

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My tenancy agreement does not include bills

If your tenancy does not include bills, you may be vulnerable to rising costs or unexpected bills. You and your house/flatmates can act to reduce your energy use and associated costs. Regular meeting readings and/or smart meters can help you keep track of your energy use and manage your payment schedule. Take regular meter readings and report these to your energy provider. As a minimum this should include:

  • When you move into a property (to make sure you don’t pay for previous tenant’s energy use)
  • When you move out of a property (to make sure you’re not eligible for reclamation of unpaid bills following the end of your tenancy)
  • Prior to any further increases of the energy price cap – estimated to be October 2022 (to make sure you pay the appropriate tariff for your energy usage).

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Looking ahead to 2022/3 Academic Year

The energy price cap will be reviewed in autumn 2022 and it is anticipated that energy prices will rise from October 2022. More information will be added as it becomes available but considering how you will manage this before you move into your accommodation for the 2022/3 academic year can help.

  • If you have already signed a tenancy agreement for 2022/3 accommodation, check for fair usage terms and conditions and any excess charges you could become liable for.
  • If you are yet to confirm accommodation for 2022/3, consider energy efficiency as you look for properties and ensure you understand liability for energy bills, fair usage and excess charges.
  • Consider putting money aside to help cover any excess charges if you can do so.
  • Consider ways in which you (and your housemates) can reduce energy usage. The University advice on communal living has very helpful strategies for communicating effectively with your flat/housemates: https://www2.worc.ac.uk/studentsupport/communal-living.html 

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Support available through the Students' Union

If you have concerns about the cost of living, accommodation or financial concerns, you can make an appointment with one of our Help & Advice Service Advisors by completing this brief form: https://www.worcsu.com/helpandadvice/adviceform/.

This service is impartial, independent and confidential.