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1 in 10 tenants barred from switching energy suppliers

uSwitch research has revealed that 3% of those who rent privately have been unable to switch because of restrictions on their rental contract, whilst 7%  were expressly told by their landlord that they were not allowed.

Just 38% have switched to a cheaper supplier. Shockingly, less than a third are even aware that they can switch energy supplier and over a third of private tenants see no point in switching as they won’t be living there long-term – despite the potential annual savings of up to £420.

Most are concerned about their landlord’s reaction – just 16% think that they would be ‘welcomed’ to switch supplier, while 22% say that landlords don’t want to be bothered by tenants.

Wasting energy

The research found that over a quarter of tenants pay little or no interest in the energy efficiency of their home, potentially costing them hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills.

This attitude seems to stretch to energy efficiency too – 26% wouldn’t talk to their landlord about energy efficiency because they don’t think their landlord would be interested, and one in ten private tenants wouldn’t even feel comfortable raising it with their landlord.

Over four in ten private tenants say that the home they are currently living in has little or no energy efficiency measures installed.

What we say

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, said changes to the system were ‘vital’:

“With more and more people renting, it’s vital that people don’t feel that being a tenant means relinquishing the right to control their household bills. The fact is that if your name is on the bill you have the right to shop around for a better energy deal.

“If your rental contract says otherwise, then talk to your landlord or letting agent – at the end of the day it is in both parties’ interests for rented homes to be on a cost effective tariff and as energy efficient as possible.

“Now is also a good time for private landlords to look at energy efficiency. Energy suppliers have a pot of money to spend on making their customers’ homes energy efficient and only have until the end of this year to spend it in order to hit government targets.

“As a result, there are now a huge number of offers for home insulation, ranging from the free to the heavily subsidised. Taking advantage of these now would benefit both landlords and tenants, as a minimum outlay will see lower energy bills and a more attractive, rentable home.”

Learn more

Who is my supplier? – Just moved in and not sure who your supplier is?

How to switch gas and electricity supplier


  • DBT

    I like to inform you and your readers of another SICK ANOMILY as practised by local councils and the Water monopolies like the one ‘Thames water’ which took me 3x years to get an ‘Assessed Household Charge’ levied on my single occupancy council flat! Whilst my next door neighbour private owner of her flat got within 2x months a Water Meter installed.. I on the other hand was REFUSED such a deal – their excuse was it would cost too much! That same far after a local paper had an article about water meters for single people would work out cheaper in their bills by up to £90-100 pa. 42 people applied for water meters through the local council TMO (Tenants Management Organisation- an Arms Length Mang. Org) on our Estate alone within weeks of that newspaper article !

    Apparently i was the only person who hung out for the 3x years to actually get the second prize, i.e. the assessed household charge instead! I found out later from one of the Council technical dept staff who dealt with my application that there are ONLY 3x council tenants in the WHOLE of Kensington & Chelsea borough with an Assessed Household Charge Levy on their property and water rates!!!!!
    Hows that for a con on the poor public in the UK, just multiple that figure by the whole of the UK and you’ll have to
    guess what a LARGE CON/ FRAUD is being perpetrated by these large PRIVATELY owned MONOPOLY WATER co’s !

    Please help to public and lift the lid on this ridiculous state of affairs..
    TA !

  • Lorraine

    My landlord fitted 14 solar panels on our home and we have no noticed any difference at all in our bills. Last month, for the 1st time in a year, the solar panel meter was read. We have an input of 6 and an output of 2. I am no genius but surely there would be some change!! The company that sent the meter reader was from a company i’ve not heard of and I think the landlord gets to know the outcome. My energy supplier has not read that meter ever. Does anyone know where I stand with this at all?? I don’t know my rights.