The seven household bills going up this April — and the only one going down

Council tax, road tax, broadband costs and even stamps will all jump in price from April 1

Josie Clarke,Barney Davis
Sunday 07 April 2024 12:20 BST
Ofgem sets the energy price cap every three months (Danny Lawson/PA)
Ofgem sets the energy price cap every three months (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

Families in England are about to be hit by a raft of price increases on bills for household essentials as firms roll out their annual 1 April price increases.

Council tax, road tax, broadband, mobile, water and even stamps are all about to sharply jump in price, with people urged to check for savings by comparing companies and investigating if they are entitled to any discounts.

Here are all the changes expected on or around 1 April:

Council Tax up £106 on average

The average annual council tax bill will rise by £106 this year as local authorities seek to maximise revenue to pay for struggling frontline services.

The bill for an average Band D property will increase by 5 per cent to £2,171, according to statistics released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Council taxes are rising by various amounts in Wales, from around 5 per cent in Torfaen to more than 11 per cent in Pembrokeshire, but the SNP has promised to freeze council tax across Scotland until 2025.

Water bills up £27 a year

The average household water and sewerage bill in England and Wales will rise by 6 per cent to £473 a year from 1 April.

Wessex Water and Anglian Water are at the top end of the scale, with average bills set to increase to £548 and £529 respectively, while Northumbrian customers will see the lowest average bills of £422.


Water UK said the funds raised by increased water bills were guaranteed only to fund improvements in water and sewerage systems, and bills would automatically be reduced by the regulator if they were not delivered.

Water UK chief executive David Henderson said: “Next year will see record levels of investment from water companies to secure the security of our water supply in the future and significantly reduce the amount of sewage in rivers and seas.”

He said anyone with worries should contact their water company and assured customers that firms would never cut anyone off or “make them use a prepayment meter”.

Broadband bills up 7.9 per cent

Most broadband deals and mobile phone contracts will rise by what consumer group Which? has described as a “completely unacceptable” 7.9 per cent on 1 April.

Many of the biggest broadband firms – such as BT, EE, Plusnet, Shell Energy, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone – raise prices every April in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or the Retail Price Index (RPI) – announced in February as 4 per cent and 4.9 per cent respectively – plus an additional 3 per cent, 3.7 per cent or 3.9 per cent.

Uswitch calculated that the increase would cost the individual consumer around £27.19 more a year for broadband and £24.23 for mobile bills on average.

A new round of inflation-linked broadband price rises is expected in April
A new round of inflation-linked broadband price rises is expected in April (PA)

Richard Neudegg, director of regulation at, said: “There is hope on the horizon, with Ofcom currently weighing up a new ban on inflation-linked and percentage-based price hikes.

“All mobile and broadband customers should check to see if they are in or out of contract, and consider switching to a cheaper deal as soon as they are able, to prevent overpaying.

“This is especially true for anyone who hasn’t moved in the past 18 or 24 months as you’re very likely to be at or nearing the end of your contract and significantly cheaper options will be out there.

Similar to its broadband and mobile contracts, EE is increasing the cost of its subscription television service by 7.9 per cent. EE TV, previously known as BT TV, allows customers to access free-to-air channels as well as premium channels such as TNT Sports, previously BT Sport.

Our research shows that switching providers if you're out of contract can slash broadband, pay TV and mobile bills by up to £187

Natalie Hitchens, Which?

Virgin Media’s 8.8 per cent increase is also extended to its subscription television service and Sky will increase prices by an average of 6.7 per cent for television customers from 1 April.

TV licence to increase by £10.50

Separately, the annual cost of a TV licence will rise to £169.50 from 1 April, up from £159, which viewers need to pay to watch or record live TV shows on any channel, regardless of the device used. This includes watching anything via BBC iPlayer.

Road tax to increase by at least £10 a year

The government confirmed in the autumn statement that vehicle excise duty, or road tax, will rise in line with the RPI from 1 April.

For cars registered after 1 April 2017, it means the tax is likely to rise from its current level of £180 per year to approximately £190 per year. However, older vehicles or vehicles which emit higher levels of carbon dioxide will pay more.

Even stamps will rise by 10p

A first-class stamp rises 10p to £1.35
A first-class stamp rises 10p to £1.35 (PA)

The price of stamps will increase on 2 April, first-class stamps by 10p to £1.35 and second-class stamps by 10p to 85p.

NHS Dental charges to increase by 4 per cent

English patients will be hit by an increase of 4 per cent, which means a standard check-up will cost £1 more, at £26.80.

NHS Dental services are free for all children under 19 and can be free for pregnant people or if you are on certain benefits.

But at least energy bills fall as Ofgem lowers price cap

On a more positive note, the average household energy bill is to fall to its lowest point in two years from 1 April after Ofgem lowered its price cap in response to wholesale prices.

The regulator is dropping its price cap by 12.3 per cent from the current £1,928 for a typical dual fuel household in England, Scotland and Wales to £1,690, a decrease of £238 over the course of a year, or around £20 a month.

Natalie Hitchins, Which?’s head of home products and services, said: “From 1 April, millions of people will face price hikes, including on broadband, mobile, water and council tax bills – and these come just a few weeks after train ticket prices increased for many.

“However, there are ways to cut costs in the face of these price rises and keep your household bills as low as possible.

“Our research shows that switching providers if you’re out of contract can slash broadband, pay TV and mobile bills by up to £187. It’s also worth checking if you’re eligible for any council tax reductions or exemptions, and you could save money by installing a water meter.”

A Treasury spokesperson said: “Our decisive action has meant that inflation has more than halved to 3.4 per cent and is forecast to fall back to the two per cent target within the next three months – a full year ahead of expectations. That is protecting households around the country from higher costs.

“Thanks to changes at the autumn statement and a second national insurance tax cut in April, we’re putting £900 a year back into the average worker’s pocket. This is on top of one of the largest cost of living support packages anywhere in Europe over recent years, worth an average of £3,800 per UK household between 2022 and 2025”.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in