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If you are renting privately or a homeowner, you will have utility bills to pay such as gas, electric and water. There will also be council tax to pay, which is a local tax for things such as the fire service, police and council services. If you own a television then you will also have to purchase a television licence. You should check if you are exempt from council tax or the TV licence as this means you don't have to pay.
Gas and Electricity
Many households are now having 'smart meters' installed which can be used for gas or electricity. The advantage of the 'smart meter' is that you can easily monitor the cost of your gas or electricity consumption. You can pay by different methods such as via an app, online, over the phone or at the shops with a swipe card that you have been sent. You can use it at any shop displaying a PayPoint sign (pictured below) or at a post office.
If a 'smart meter' is not installed, then there are other methods of payment. The other options are direct debit (payment set up to directly take money out of your bank account) or a quarterly bill sent to you at your address. There is also the key meter system where payment can be made at a shop displaying a PayPoint sign (pictured below) or a post office.
The amount of water your household consumes may be monitored by a water meter that is outside the property. You would be charged for how much water your household consumes.
If no water meter is available, then a method of payment can be charged on the type and number of bedrooms in the property.
Council tax is a local taxation system on domestic property. It is charged for the financial year which runs from April to March. Council tax is usually paid by monthly instalments. However, if you prefer you can also pay the whole amount in one lump sum or pay half-yearly in two instalments.
Detailed information on council tax can be found on our Council Tax pages