Shop around: How renters can save on their energy bills

Last month Ofgem launched their ‘Be An Energy Shopper’ campaign to encourage tenants to switch energy suppliers when they can make savings and to overcome the hurdles that many may see perceive in the switching process.

Research undertaken by Ipsos Mori for Ofgem this year showed that three quarters of renters have never switched electricity or gas suppliers, despite the potential savings on offer. Much of this is down to a feeling familiar to renters – that it’s not their home and they can’t control how they live. Indeed, 20% of renters did not even though they were able to switch suppliers.

The Be An Energy Shopper campaign has updated its website that seeks to empower tenants, allowing them to make better choices over suppliers and giving them key facts about energy in rented homes.

The campaign suggests some top tips for renters:

  • Take meter readings when moving in and out of rented accommodation
  • Ask your landlord to highlight any supplier tie-ins upfront, including any exit fees which you would have to pay if you wanted to switch suppliers
  • Let your landlord know if you are intending to switch supplier
  • If you are responsible for paying the gas and electricity bill, you are entitled to switch at any time, and your landlord cannot unreasonably prevent you from doing so

Tenants could save up to £200 by switching suppliers and while rents remain high, letting agent fees extortionate and moving costs unpredictable, this is one way to hold on to a few more pounds while negotiating the world of renting.

Energy switching is a way for renters to start asserting the consumer rights they do have, while fighting for a housing market that is fairer towards them in other aspects.

Check out www.goenergyshopping.co.uk/en-gb/tenants for more information on how to compare tariffs and get a better deal on your energy bill.

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  • commented 2014-08-09 11:58:12 +0100
    My current tenancy agreement has a clause that prohibits changing energy suppliers. It hasn’t stopped me doing it though as I would quite happily argue that it is an unfair, and therefore, unenforceable clause.