Landlords need to switch on to energy deals

Private landlords could make their properties attractive to rent and save their tenants money by plugging in to free or cheap energy saving offers.

Research carried out by uSwitch has highlighted that 3% of landlords are not only failing to save their tenants money on electricity, but refusing them the right to change supplier.

While landlords point to tenancy agreements to back their decisions, it is illegal to refuse a tenant the opportunity to change supplier.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at the firm, said:  “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.”

Around 38% of private tenants have changed supplier and successfully reduced their bills; but almost a third are oblivious to the potential financial savings that are available.

It is estimated that four in 10 private tenants believe their accommodation does not measure up modern energy efficient measures.

uSwitch believes landlords need to switch on to what their tenants are saying to make their homes more attractive to renters.

“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,” said Robinson.

“As a result, there are now a huge number of offers for 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.”

Government-backed schemes are open to landlords and tenants.

  • Warm Front offers insulation and heating measures to the disabled including private rental accommodate
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) and Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) are aimed at everyone – although targeting low income areas. Installation of both loft and wall efficiency measures is currently available free

The research findings also suggest tenants in an average buy to let home could save up to £420 a year by selecting the best supplier and becoming energy efficient.