This blog will answer the question “Does council tax count as a utility bill?” It will cover the definition, examples, payment and other basics of a utility bill. Continuing that it will also discuss council tax as a bill and related details.

Does council tax count as a utility bill?

No, council tax does not count as a utility bill. Neither is student council tax, nor is the normal council tax a utility bill.

The payment of your council tax is not made in the same way as a utility bill. A council tax bill is a mandatory payment to be made by everyone. As a result, it cannot be used in the form of identification, as an identity proof, nor does it apply as a utility bill.

Utility bills aren’t the most glamorous expenses, but they can be significant, adding up to hundreds of dollars per month. 

Council tax 

Council tax is a charge on your property, or your place of residence, depending upon your earning status, band of your property, number of dependents living with you and your living circumstances. Council tax depends and changes according to the number of people in the property, as well as any changes in the local area.

Utility bill

Utility means any basic service needed by your business in order to keep running such as electricity, natural gas, water and waste. TV, internet, phones and online streaming services can also be considered as utilities, depending upon your definition of what is a utility. Types of utilities required depend upon the nature and size of your business. 

A utility bill on the other hand is a bill paid for those utilities. It is the monthly statement of the total amount owed by a business or household for services or utilities availed by it.

It consists of basic information of the utility and the person liable such as the customer’s name, address, his account number, invoice number, service address, service period, and any other necessary details. The service address is different from a billing address. It is the address of the building or facility being managed.

Along with this, a utility bill might contain the usage, unit, rates and amount due for each of the meters, and the methods by which the payment can be made. The bottom side of the bill usually mentions any adjustments if made to the bill, along with the new charges accordingly, and total payment amount due.

Utility bills detail the amount of each particular utility consumed by you periodically, based on a fixed rate. Therefore, utility bills are a two tiered information source – one for your expenditure and the other for your usage of a particular utility.

Utility bills structure of consumers as well as businesses are almost similar. The sole difference being that businesses have more accounts and charges to monitor than consumers..

Council tax is not a utility bill. It is a household bill.

Informations available on a utility bill

The following can be found on a utility bill:

Account details

Any utility bill will surely have the name, address and other identifying details of the account holder

Account number

Every user is assigned an account number by their supplier to recognise them. Any complaint you need to lodge, or request made, or query to be satisfied, you need this account number as reference.

Energy tariff

The next important thing on a utility bill is the name of your current tariff or plan. This mentions the name and important information of your supplier, the existing plan you have- whether it is fixed or variable, and the end date of contract if any exists

Energy cost

This column will exist in any utility bill if you have been with the supplier for at least 12 months. It showcases the cost of energy consum[tion for the last year, to provide a comparison amount generally, and also in case you are looking to switch the tariff or the supplier.

Energy consumption

This contains the amount of energy used by you throughout the month. The unit depends upon the type of energy the bill is for. In case of a combined utility bill the bill will contain two separate sets of figures for each type of utility.

Billing period

Thany bill mentions the billing period for which the bill is received. Whether you are a charger monthly, or quarterly or half-yearly or any such period. The billing period is usually mentioned near the amount of energy.

Balance

This is the actual cost of your bill – the price you need to pay. It displays where you stand with respect to our account – if you are in credit, or any amount of cost is overdue upon you.

Chances are, if you’ve already been paying a bill for a long period of time, you know most of the details in the bill such as your tariff, account details, billing period etc. It is the balance on your account that you wait for, therefore it is the first part that you skip to in any utility bill.

Discounts

Suppliers award certain discounts, premiums or incentives to all the customers, or based upon the satisfaction of certain conditions applicable on your tariff. These discounts are mentioned on your utility bill.

MPAN Number

Your utility bill contains a Meter Point Administration Number which is used to identify your meter, for any kind of utility that uses one. This number might come in handy in case you want to switch suppliers or change homes.

Terms and conditions

This portion mentions the contract details of your utility bill with your supplier. This might contain details such as summary of your contract, cancellation fees if you exit, notice period, etc.

Emergency contacts

Emergency contact or customer care details are mentioned on every bill for any issue you might face with the utility, or in case you need to report an emergency.

What can be considered as a utility bill

The following can be considered as utility bills:

Electricity bill

Electricity bills are one of the most common utility bills. Ofgem is the electricity regulatory authority in the UK. The electricity bill contains the number of kWh or electricity you use per month, and the amount you owe to your supplier, based on the pre-fixed rate.

Water bill

Water is another one of the most important utilities. The bill is received at regular intervals. Water bill depends on metered and unmetered residents. It may be a fixed charge, or one calculated as per a fixed rate.

On average , water in the UK costs £396.60 per year. This amount may vary a bit depending upon the region you live in. The cost of water is more in the North West of England than in parts of the west country.

Gas bill

Your gas bill contains information regarding if you are in debit or credit to British gas. The bill might contain the fixed rate- that the supplier cannot change before your existing plan ends; or the variable rate – wherein your energy corset goes up if the supplier announces any price rise. A gas bill also contains the amount of energy used mentioned in kWh (kilowatt-hours).

Phone bill

Phone bills for landlines are considered to be utility bills. The invoices sent out to customers by telephone companies for their landline connections are considered as utility bills.

These telephone companies, like energy suppliers, provide services to the public at large, and the payment of the bill is made monthly in full at a fixed rate.

Broadband 

Broadband has now-a-days become a vital part of our lives, typically for businesses. Therefore, it can be treated as a new example of a utility bill. The Internet is something that is needed by us daily. It is mostly impossible to run a business without it. Everyday operations such as communication, research, running an office, ordering supplies, conducting online transactions and many other tasks are not possible without the internet. 

Also, broadband is also something that needs to be paid for monthly, or at regular intervals, and it costs almost the same each month, or is calculated for a pre-agreed speed at the fixed price. Therefore, it is not incorrect to label broadband as a utility bill.

What cannot be considered as a utility bill

The following bills cannot be considered as utility bills:

Council tax

Council tax is a yearly charge that households have to pay in lieu of services offered by their local councils such as  bin collections, roads, parks, schools etc. for businesses, they have business rates. But, a council bill, while it counts as a household bill, is not a utility bill.

It is an important bill that you need to factor this into your outgoings as it is a necessary cost, but it is not a utility bill.

Bank statement 

A bank statement is not a utility bill. It is simply a clear and concise breakdown of the contents of your bank account showcasing what your bank is currently doing with regards to its interest rates, loans etc., but it is not a utility bill.

Mobile phone bill

A mobile phone bill is not a utility bill. It is something that you personally pay for as a personal device. Also, there are multiple types of phone contracts in existence.

No mobile phone bill is a utility bill except a landline home phone, even one used just to set up internet or WiFi.

TV License 

Every live TV, such as one in your office space is covered by a licence. But this TV licence is not counted as a utility bill. A TV license does need to be paid annually if you wish to use its services. But, it is not a utility bill.

Values of average utility bills

The exact value of every utility bill might vary for every household, every month. It depends upon the amount of your usage per month. However, on average, there is an approximate cost of your bill, if you don’t have extremely high or low spending.

The following are the average utility bills in the UK:

  • £58 per month electricity bill
  • £30.30 per month broadband bill
  • £56 per month gas bill
  • £34.58 per month sewage bill
  • £45.60 per month phone bill
  • £12.88 per month TV bill

What does a utility bill depend upon?

The cost of your business utilities can vary, depending on your location, local climate, how much energy you use and how big your premises are. As a general rule, the amount you pay for your utilities is relative to the amount of energy you use, which increases depending upon the size of the building you own/pay for.

Paying utility bills

Most utility suppliers give you the option of how to pay bills.

  • Typically, you are sent a bill every quarter which you can pay within a few weeks of receiving.
  • You can choose to pay your bills monthly using direct debit.
  • For metered utilities the company sends a representative once every few months to take a reading.
  • In case you don’t have a meter-reading done, your bills are based on estimated usage until the meter can be read. Any overpayment or under-payment is managed in the next payments.
  • If you don’t want to make the payment by direct debit, you have the option to pay by cash or cheque at a local post office or by credit/debit card over the phone.

Conclusion 

This blog answered the question “Does council tax count as a utility bill?” It covered the definition, examples, payment and other basics of a utility bill. Continuing that it also discussed council tax as a bill and related details.

FAQs

What bills count as utility bills?

Expenses that are common such as electricity, gas, water, and now, broadband, streaming platforms etc., are counted as utility bills.

What can I use as a utility bill?

You can use necessary and regular expenses, which have a fixed rate, as a utility bill. These include electricity, gas, water, sewage and garbage disposal. Nowadays services such as internet, broadband, cable TV and landlines are also considered as additional utilities.

Is your phone bill considered a utility bill?

Your landline phone’s bill is considered a utility bill. A landline phone used as a WiFi connection can also be considered as a utility bill.

What utility bills can I use as proof of address?

You can use utility bills such as water, electricity, gas, telephone, or internet bills, and credit card bills etc., as proof of address.

Can you use a bank statement as a utility bill?

No, you cannot use a bank statement as a utility bill. It is merely a detailed breakdown of activities and information regarding your bank and bank account. A bank statement is, thus, not a utility bill.

Citation 

https://urjanet.com/blog/whats-bill-consumption-data/#:~:text=A%20utility%20bill%20is%20a,charges%20to%20 monitor%20than%20 consumers.

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