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.