Every home in the UK will be offered a smart energy meters by 2020. If you're a renter or a landlord, you are probably wondering how this effects you. We explain.
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Can I have a smart meter if I’m a renter?
Yes. As long as you are the account holder for the energy bills, you are entitled to ask for a smart meter from your supplier without your landlord's permission.
However, Ofgem recommends telling your landlord before getting one and, if your tenancy agreement says you need your landlord’s permission to structurally alter your property, "your landlord or letting agency should not unreasonably prevent it."
Read more from Ofgem on tenancy rights in regard to smart meters.
Please note that if your landlord is the account holder and pays the energy bills directly, the decision remains with him or her as the account holder.
Smart meters for landlords
As a landlord, if you pay the energy bills directly for your tenants (e.g., you are the account holder), then you will be the one to confirm the installation of a new smart meter to your property. You are also entitled to request a smart meter from your supplier.
If your tenant pays the bills directly (he or she is the account holder), then the tenant is entitled to accept and authorise a smart meter installation in your property. The tenant will be advised to give you a head’s up so that you’re aware of the works taking place.
Find out more about what happens during the smart meter installation.
Benefits of smart meters for renters and tenants
Tenants and landlords have much to gain from upgrading their energy meters through the smart meter roll out.
- No more estimated bills, without needing to submit meter readings Say "so long" to estimated bills, and only pay what you owe each month. Your smart meter automatically sends your consumption to your supplier so you don’t have to crawl into dark cupboards or tip toe on tall ladders to glimpse your meter anymore.
- Fewer arguments with flatmates No more nasty surprises from a sky-high energy bill. With a smart meter in-home display, you can see exactly what your spend is, and see your energy use is near-real time.
- Simpler and faster energy switching Switching energy supplier is much easier with a smart meter, due to your consumption figures being so accessible. The long-term goal is to allow switching in a little as 30 minutes.
Find out more about the benefits of smart meters.