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If your name is on the bill, you can switch supplier.


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Renter's rights

If you rent your house or flat, or your name is on the gas and/or electricity bill then you have every right to shop around to see if you can get a better deal – make the switch and start saving.

Even if your landlord pays the bill and passes on the cost to you, it could still be worth checking to see if there’s a cheaper deal out there – and then discussing the options with your landlord.

After all, when more than half of all customers could save over £350* a year on energy costs, and 10% over £650*, it has to be worth considering.

You can switch if…

  • Your name is on the bill

  • You or your housemates pay the energy bill

You can't switch if…

  • The landlord's name is on the bill

  • The landlord pays the energy bill

  • Your energy bill is included in the rent

Renters have rights!

The energy market is regulated by Ofgem. It lays down rules that apply to rented property – and these state that tenants who are directly responsible for paying their gas and/or electricity bills have the right to choose their energy supplier.

In other words, if your name is on the bill, you are able to switch, and your landlord or letting agent cannot unreasonably stop you from switching.

The landlord can only choose the energy supplier if they pay the bills themselves and reclaim the cost from their tenants – that is, if it’s the landlord’s name that is on the bills.

If the cost of gas and electricity is included as part of your rent, or you make a separate payment to your landlord to cover the cost of energy, then you cannot make a switch without the co-operation of the landlord.

And your landlord might be willing to consider switching if you can show that there are savings to be made.

If you run an energy quotation at MoneySuperMarket, we’ll show you the most competitive tariffs for your address and typical energy usage. This should give you an idea as to whether your current costs are reasonable.

Switching is quick and easy

When you switch energy supplier there is no interruption to supply, and there’s no need for any work inside or outside the property.

It’s the same gas and electricity coming through the same pipes and wires so you don’t have to worry about the physical impact of making a switch on the fabric of the building – because there won’t be any.

What if your landlord says there’s a ‘default’ supplier you have to use?

Some landlords and letting agents have arrangements with a ‘preferred’ energy provider. This firm might even be named in the tenancy agreement as the ‘default’ supplier.

But if your name is on the bills, you are still free to switch, even if the agreement stipulates a default energy provider.

If you switch, tell your landlord, as much as a courtesy as anything else. And remember that your tenancy agreement might require you to return the supply to the original provider when your tenancy comes to an end.

1. 16,428,480 is the number of renters in the UK. 640 out of 2,000 respondents said they were renters. 640 / 2000 * 51,339,000 (UK population) = 16,428,480.

2. 18% of renters, equivalent to 6% of the adult population, were told by their landlord they couldn’t switch, or have their bills included in their rent, or are not responsible for choosing their energy supplier. Multiplied by 51,339,000 (UK adult population), means there are 2,951,993 adults who have not switched. Multiplied by £359 (average savings figure) = £1,059,765,487

3. Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,006 UK adults aged 18+ from 23 to 26 of August 2016. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria

4. 51% of customers could save up to £359. 10% of customers could save up to £670. MoneySuperMarket data, May 2016

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