There are many benefits to going online for your utilities. In 2022 (PDF, 5.4MB), people with very high digital skills were able to save an average of £659 more a year. So how did they save this money by going online?

In this lesson, we’ll help you learn about the benefits of going online to manage your bills and utilities. You’ll learn to compare companies, check your spending and payments and find ways you can save money.


  • Know how to compare utility companies online
  • Manage how and when you pay your bills
  • Stay on budget by checking your spending quicker and easier
  • Know how to find ways to save on utilities and insurance

Read time:

10 mins

Chapter 1

Save money by searching for products online

Read time:

3 mins

Steps to saving money online

Find the best product for you, at the lowest cost

Know exactly what you are spending

Check and make payments when it suits you

1. Find the best product for you, at the lowest cost

Comparison sites are websites where you see a list of products from all different companies, in one place. You can use them to find options that might be cheaper or better than your current one.


Some popular comparison sites are:


Make the most of introductory offers

Lots of companies offer you deals that can save you money in your first month or year with them. For example, ‘12 months for the price of 10’, or ‘50% off for the first 6 months’. Deals like this can really help cut down your costs each year.

Check for the best value provider

If you just let your utility accounts renew each year, you could miss better offers. Review your options every time a contract is coming to an end. Use comparison sites to see if you can get a better deal than what your current service is offering.

Complete your switch on the comparison site

This means you don’t have to spend time going to different companies’ websites. Some will send you to the company’s site, but they often copy across your details to save you time. Just make sure everything is correct before you buy anything.

Check with your old provider

If you’re changing provider, always make sure you cancel your old policy. Usually this happens automatically, but sometimes you’ll need to contact the old company and cancel it yourself. Always check this, so you don’t end up paying for two contracts by mistake.

If you find a better deal, why not ask your current service to match the deal? Some will, others won't. It's always worth checking though!

2. Know exactly what you’re spending

Tools like smart meters and online accounts can help you see what you’re spending, and where you can save money. For example, if you saw you were spending more on electricity on certain days of the week, you could ask yourself:


  • What do I do on that day to cause the extra cost?
  • Is it avoidable?
  • If yes, how soon can I start reducing my use?


3. Check and make payments when it suits you

Going online means being able to check your utility accounts and make payments anytime, anywhere. Having this access can help with your money worries. For example, by checking your payments have gone through, and planning for any upcoming payments. This means you’re less likely to miss payments that could cause you issues or extra costs.


Review your current payments

On your bank account, you can check to see what you’re paying for each month. Ask yourself: are there any services or products I don’t need any more? Be realistic and honest about which payments could stop. You can save money by cutting out things you don't need or use any more.

People with very high digital skills pay on average £19 less per month on utilities than people with low digital skills. That’s £228 a year you could save by using online tools and services.

Source: Consumer Digital Index, 2021

Chapter 2

Managing your products online

Read time:

7 mins

The bills and services you can manage online

As you saw in the last section, there are lots of ways you can save time and money online. In this next chapter, we’ll go through some common bills/utilities and show you how to start managing them online. We’ll also discuss the benefits of managing them online too.


Council tax

You pay council tax to your local council. It pays for local services like social care and waste collection. Depending on your local council, you may be able to pay your bill online. This means you can check and change your payments whenever you want. Every council will offer different online services.


Doing this online means you can:

  • View past and future bills
  • Pay online using your bank card
  • Check if you can apply for a discount


Manage your landline and/or mobile phone bills

To manage your phone bill online, you need to create an account on the company’s website. Some companies also have an app you can download from your device’s app store.


Doing this online means you can:

  • Track your usage
  • Pay upcoming bills and view past bills
  • Manage your allowances
  • Upgrade or change your contact
  • See deals you can benefit from



You can create an account on your internet provider’s website. Some companies also have an app you can download from your device’s app store.


Doing this online means you can:

  • Track your usage - So you don’t go over your limit
  • Stay up to date with payments
  • Easily access and view your agreement

Time to renew your contract? See what the current company can offer you or look elsewhere for a better deal. 

Gas and Electricity

To manage your gas or electricity bill online, first you need to create an account on their website. Some services also have an app you can download from your device’s app store.


Doing this online means you can:

  • Input meter readings
  • View your energy usage
  • Get payment reminders to avoid missing payments
  • Instantly access past bills
  • Keep an eye on your rate - So you know when to renew your contract, or when to look for better deals elsewhere



How you manage your water bill online depends on where you live. In most parts of the UK, you’ll pay a water company directly.

When you move into a new home, find out who your water company is. You can go online and find your supplier here. Once you know your supplier, you can use a search engine to look for their website. Most companies will have some kind of online service.

In some areas of the UK (mainly Scotland), you pay for your water through the local council – sometimes as part of your council tax. Again, you should find this out when you move into your property.


Doing this online means you can:

  • Keep an eye on your bills
  • Change your payment date
  • Pay your bill



Most insurance companies have a website where you can apply for insurance and manage your account and policy. You might even be able to save money on your insurance by using a comparison site.


Popular sites include:


If you’d like to know more about using the internet to save money on insurance products, go to our lesson, ‘Save money on insurance products’.

Comparison sites help you compare products from lots of companies in one place.

Entertainment bills

With lots of subscription services available, costs can quickly add up. Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Apple Music … Even just two of these subscriptions can add up to £20 a month – that’s £240 a year!


Doing this online means you can:

  • Cancel, pause or check on your subscriptions
  • See how much you’re spending
  • Find places where you can cut back

Check your bank account regularly. You might be paying for something you subscribed to, but don't use anymore.


Your landlord or rental company might have a portal for you to manage your rent online. If they do, they’ll usually share it with you when you move in.


Doing this online means you can:

  • View your rental agreement
  • Pay your rent online
  • Change the date of when your rent is due
  • Get help with maintenance issues in your flat


Don’t have access to a rent portal?

Even if there isn’t a portal, you can still benefit from being online. Use your bank account online to check your rent payments have gone out and make sure you have enough in your account. This saves you time going to the bank and avoids late payments, which can affect your credit score.


Credit agreements

To make a large purchase, you might have a loan or credit agreement with a bank or retailer. They’ll usually have an app or website where you can create an account. You can use this to see how much money you’ve paid, and what’s left to pay.


Doing this online means you can:

  • Make monthly payments
  • Pay extra money towards your loan - If you can, to pay it off quicker and save money on interest
  • Manage and change your payment date
  • View how much your credit agreement costs

Test your knowledge

Answer this question by selecting one answer from the three options provided.

That's not quite right!

Hint: It can be really helpful to access your account from anywhere.

That's right!

Managing your bills and utilities online gives you easy access to important information so you can stay on top of your account.

Lesson complete!

Well done on completing this lesson. Hopefully, you now have a better idea about:

  • What bills you can manage online
  • The benefits of doing this
  • How to get started


Why not continue with our lesson, ‘Accessing Universal Credit online’? It will help you check if you’re eligible to apply and how to get started. You’ll also find valuable tools and resources there.

Want to learn more about how to save money on your bills and services? Why not look at our Save money on services and utilities lesson.


Up next for you:

Next lesson: Accessing Universal Credit online
Back to: Get started online


Bank of Scotland Academy is committed to providing information in a way that is accessible and useful for our users. This information, however, is not in any way intended to amount to authority or advice on which reliance should be placed. You should seek professional advice as appropriate and required. Any sites, products or services named in this module are just examples of what's available. Bank of Scotland does not endorse the services they provide. The information in this module was last updated on 8th November 2023.