As a tenant whose name is on the utility bills, it’s your responsibility to pay energy companies for your usage. Likewise, it’s up to you to find a high-quality supplier that offers wallet-friendly rates.
To help you get the best utility deals, we gathered a few useful tenant’s tips to switching utility suppliers. Let’s dive right in.
Who Can Switch Utility Suppliers?
Here’s a quick rundown of who can and can’t switch suppliers.
Are you a paying tenant? Are the bills in your name? Then, you have complete freedom to switch suppliers.
Many people who rent their homes aren’t aware of their rights as paying tenants. One of these is that they’re entitled to switch to a more affordable, eco-friendly energy provider.
Paying Tenants With Tenancy Agreements
According to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), you have to tell your landlord before you change energy providers. You don’t legally need their approval; it’s more of a courtesy call.
Students and Airbnb guests mainly fall into this category. They sign an all-inclusive rental agreement, which makes the landlord responsible for paying the utility bills. Hence, tenants can’t change their providers.
What you can do is let the landlord in on some possible options on the market. They may be open to your suggestion and save some money in the process.
Tips for Switching Utility Suppliers
After reading a bit about the type of agreements where you can switch suppliers, it’s time to take a look at the how.
Before you make your pick, go through some of their customer service reviews. When you see what others are saying about them, you’ll get a broad idea of their level of skill.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re switching:
There’s an assortment of gas and electricity deals available. Take a look at each one and see which one is right for you.
Variable-rate tariffs are also referred to as ‘default’ tariffs. They’re the most expensive energy deals out of the bunch.
In addition, rates are subject to go up and down at a moment’s whim. Fortunately, suppliers are legally bound to stay within the price cap regulated by Ofgem, UK’s energy regulator.
Fixed-rate tariffs are the most affordable. Designed to last for a specific period, they come with the promise that the rates won’t change during this time. Some companies offer a 12-months or 24-months period.
This tariff is renewable. However, if you decide to end the deal before its time is up, you’ll have to pay an exit fee of about £25 or £30 for each fuel type. So, to end a deal with both gas and electricity, you may end up paying £60.
Economy 7 and 10
Economy 7 and 10 tariffs offer two different rates during a 24-hour period. During the day, the rate is the standard, usual rate.
Then, starting at midnight, night rates become lower because it’s during the off-peak times for energy usage. These tariff plans are designed to help reduce power overload and save you some money.
Almost all suppliers offer separate deals on each fuel type. By getting a dual fuel tariff, you make life simpler by combining two deals in one, and you’ll only be receiving one bill.
Bear in mind that there are dual fuel fixed and variable tariffs, so you have to do some research to find the best deal possible.
There are three main types of meters. Read on to learn more about each one.
Credit meters are the most common types of meters on the market. They allow each tenant to set a certain amount each month for their energy usage. Once that’s decided, you pay with a receipt of your energy bill or by direct debit.
One of their perks is they offer a wide array of suppliers and tariffs. They also come with discounts, online deals, and competitive prices.
Prepayment meters are great if you prefer paying for your energy. Plus, they’re ideal if you share the property with other tenants. This way, everyone is responsible for their share of the cost in advance.
The one downside of prepayment meters is that their tariffs are more costly. Also, if you run out of credit, your gas and electricity will immediately be suspended.
Smart meters feature a digital screen that tells you the exact amount of energy you’re using. This information is then sent to energy companies, which calculate your total consumption for that month.
Another benefit is that these meters track your energy consumption. It makes it easier to figure out which appliance is using up more energy than it should. Once you know that, you can replace it with something more eco-friendly. You’ll also start paying less on your energy bills.
How to Switch Utility Suppliers
You can make the switch online. It only takes a few minutes and a couple of clicks.
Another benefit is your energy won’t be cut off during the switch. There will also be no workers taking a look in or outside your home. The whole process is done behind the scenes on an administrative level.
Let’s get started.
- Locate the name of your energy supplier and the tariff you’re currently using on a recent utility bill. If you can’t find one, there are online tools that can help you figure all this out.
- Compare different tariffs and suppliers. Select the one that saves you more money, then click ‘Next.”
- The following step is filling in details about your meter readings and direct debit account. This provides the new supplier with the information they need to start issuing bills.
- That’s it! Now, just wait for three weeks for the switch to finalize. If you want to cancel, you can do so free of charge during the first two weeks.
Have you considered switching to a cheaper and more sustainable provider?
Use our guide to the top tenant’s tips to switching utility supplies to help you through the process. It’s free, no-hassle, and quick.
Then, when everything’s settled, you’ll be able to save money and help save the environment. That’s a deal no one can resist!