A new study carried out by energy regulator Ofgem, has found that the UK’s 9 million renters, are losing out on collective savings worth £200m by not shopping around for better gas and electricity deals.
Remember: Renting does not relinquish your right to choose who supplies your energy.
The data gathered from Ofgem’s 2014 Consumer Engagement survey showed that three-quarters of tenants say they have never switched supplier and one in five is unaware that they are able to switch to a cheaper deal.
Dermot Nolan, Ofgem’s CEO, said: “The number of British households renting stands at 9 million and counting, yet research has shown that this group is not shopping around for their energy, and missing out on savings of up to £200. “
Many tenants believe that they are stuck with the energy supplier which provides their utilities on the day they move in. In the majority situations this is simply not the case. The basic rule is that if you pay your energy bills directly, then you are entitled to switch supplier.
In fact, even if you do not pay directly, for example if your landlord handles the bills, it is well worth asking if he or she would consider switching to a cheaper deal.
Ofgem’s survey is part of the “Be an Energy Shopper” campaign, which seeks to help consumers better understand the market and take control of their energy bills.
Important for renters to know their rights
Commenting on the research Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said: “These findings are worrying, particularly given the dramatic rise in the number of people having to rent as they can’t afford to get onto the property ladder.
“Renters need all the help they can get to keep costs down and switching energy provider is an extremely easy way to reduce their monthly bills.
“Ofgem’s campaign to clear up tenants’ misconceptions about their rights is a step in the right direction, but more should be done. We call on landlords and letting agents to provide all new tenants with information on their current energy provider and remind them of their right to switch. This will empower renters to make an informed choice about who provides their energy.”