Utilities are an important consideration for any household. From a broad perspective, the three most common are gas, electric and landlines (telephone services). Consequently, there are a great many providers that supply these necessary amenities. However, all of these areas can be considered commodities. To view this from a different perspective, utilities are billed as per their usage (normally on a monthly or a bi-monthly basis). Thanks to the presence of multiple providers, the homeowner has the ability to compare and contrast different rates; finding appropriate pricing schemes and even package deals. Let us look at the most common utilities in more detail.
Gas is used for heating a home and cooking. This gas can either be delivered in standalone tanks that need to be changed periodically or via the use of a mains system. In the case of mains distribution, the gas (normally natural gas) is sent directly from the plant and pumped into the home. Billing occurs as a result of the quantity consumed.
In the majority of homes throughout the United Kingdom, the burning of fossil fuels creates electricity. This power is then sent across regional and national grids to various locations. The supply is then “stepped down” to allow for household consumption. Still, a growing number of homes are now employing renewable sources such as solar power for their electrical needs.
Telephone landlines are still present in most locations. As with all other utilities, their monthly cost is associated with a flat maintenance fee plus usage charges. In the past, copper cables were used to transmit a signal from one location to another. However, modern technology has now enabled the consumer to utilise the power of the Internet. The end results are a more reliable signal, reduced costs and “bundled” packages consisting of telephone, television and Internet service.