A tenant’s guide to switching utilities supplier

The last couple of years saw a lot of uncertainty in terms of utility suppliers and in particular energy suppliers, with prices soaring and some providers going out of business.

And in 2022, the disruption is likely to continue, with international political conflicts set to further impact supplies.

For renters already paying for rent, food and other rising costs of living, finding the right utility company is a priority.

Follow these tips to switch your utility supplier and find the best deal to suit your needs.

Who pays the bills?

Any renter that is responsible for paying their own bills is entitled to change their gas and electricity provider.

If you’re unsure about whose responsibility utility payments are, check your tenancy agreement to confirm.

Check your latest postal bill to see who your current supplier is and then start to see how much you could save.

The easiest way is online via a comparison site, which will show you in user friendly format whether or not there are deals to suit you.

Talk to your landlord

Unfortunately, the above guidance doesn’t apply if it’s your landlord who pays for the energy you use at home.

Your tenancy agreement may say that your bills are included in your rent but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do.

Ask whether or not your landlord has a ‘preferred’ supplier or whether they’d consider switching or at least investigating other options.

Most landlords are reasonable and want their tenants to be happy, so it’s worth asking the question at least.

Pre-paid meters

If your energy is supplied by a pre-paid meter and you’d like it to be replaced with a normal system, usually you won’t need to seek permission for this.

Similarly, if you’ve experienced problems paying bills and your provider recommends a pre-paid meter, this is something you can arrange yourself.

Be sure to double check your tenancy agreement first before making any changes and inform your landlord of your intentions either way.

If you do make changes, you may be required to remove or replace the meter at the end of your tenancy to leave the property as you found it.

Usually any ‘permanent’ alterations to a property aren’t permitted and you may also incur a fee from the energy supplier for the work.

Useful information

In addition to the name of your current supplier, you’ll find the following details useful when looking for a new utilities provider:

  • Any specific tariff names
  • Your postcode
  • Annual usage

All of this information should be shown on your most recent bill or via your online account.

Ready to switch utility suppliers?

If the guidance above has helped but you or your landlord still have questions, it may help to speak to an experienced professional.

To talk to a member of our helpful team about your rights or what you should do next, why not get in touch.


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