How To Calculate Bills? Fixed Bills Vs Variable Bills

1 min read • April 25 2024


Nobody likes dealing with bills – but we can make them sound less tolerable. If you can better understand how they’re calculated, your life will be made 10 times easier. In this blog, we’ll look closer into the different bills you might have to pay and how you can potentially save yourself some money.

Your bills will come under the categories of fixed or variable. Some of the main ones in a household include electricity, water, gas, TV licence and broadband. 

What are Variable Bills?

A supplier will have a default rate you have to pay that can change by going up or down. These can sometimes change monthly depending on different factors. Variable bills can often be flexible because you can usually get out of them when you want. 

How Are Electricity Bills Calculated?

The electricity used in your house is measured by a meter in kilowatt hours (kWh). Your bill will be calculated on how many units your household uses. Electricity payments can be a bit trickier, so we’ll make it easy for you. You’ll be on one of two tariffs –

Standard tariff – This means the prices for kilowatts can change over time. One month, a unit might cost 26p, and then the next one, it could go up to 28p. One of the main factors affecting this is how much money energy costs at the time. A positive to being on this tariff means you can benefit from cheaper prices. 

Fixed tariff – With this, you’ll pay a set amount for each kilowatt hour (kWh) used. For example, if your set tariff is 25p and you use two units, that would cost you 50p. It will stay like this until your contract ends and can make things easier because you know what to expect. Usually this is for a year, but you can sometimes ask for it to be longer. 

To make either of these cheaper, you can start with using less electricity. Switching lights off when you don’t need them on is a great way to begin.

Standing charges – These are costs included with each electricity bill, set by your supplier. Even if no electricity is used on a specific day, you will still be required to pay the standing charge.

How Are Water Bills Calculated?

This will depend on which tariff you’re on. There’re two of them which include standard and metered.

Standard – This means deciding how much water your property will use based on government data. This is usually a fixed bill, meaning the price will stay the same and is the more popular option. For full-time students, this is in most cases paid once a quarter year, but sometimes once a month.

Metered – A water meter on your property will note how much water is used and then works out the cost. It’s therefore a variable bill, some people try to save water in order to make it cheaper. For full-time students, this is charged every six months. 

How Are Gas Bills Calculated?

Gas meters measure the amount of gas used in cubic feet or cubic metres. The overall bill is then worked out by converting this to kilowatt hours (kWh). This is then calculated in the same way electricity bills are depending on your tariff – fixed or standard. 

Again, Gas Bills are subject to a standing charge. So, if no gas was used on a day, a sum would still required to be paid.

What are Fixed Bills?

For a period of time, your bill will be fixed at the same price. For the length of your contract, which is in many cases one year, you’ll know the amount you have to pay. After your contract ends, this may change. 

TV Licence 

A TV licence costs £169.50 paid every year. There’re a few ways to apply to get this for cheaper if you meet specific requirements. Some of those include: 

– If a person is blind, they can apply for 50% discount at £84.75

– If someone is aged 75 and over, they can apply for a free licence, and anyone living with them may be able to use this too

Internet and Broadband connection

The overall amount you pay will depend on different factors, like the service you choose and the download speed your WIFI uses. Broadband providers give different offers so you can work out what’s best for you and your housemates. You’ll ultimately pay the same each month, but price increases can happen at any time during your contract. You should be made aware before a change takes place. 

How The Student Energy Group Can Help

We can put all your bills into one monthly statement so you can then split them between everyone in your house. This includes all the bills spoken about throughout this blog. Avoid any problems, put them in our hands. Get a free quote from us today. If you sign up with us, we’ll plant a tre

Get a free no obligation quote

It takes less than 2 minutes!

Start your quote