£1.59 billion wasted on pricey energy providers


UK tenants are wasting an estimated £1.59 billion every year – and landlords could be to blame.

UK tenants are wasting an estimated £1.59 billion every year on pricey energy providers – and landlords could be to blame.

That’s what MoneySupermarket reckon, anyway. The price comparison website recently unveiled a new study on energy provision to the UK rental market… and it’s a study packed with alarming conclusions.

The study suggests tenants are wasting £1,059,765,487 a year – simply through failing to switch energy providers. Broken down, half of households are wasting £359 per year. The most frivolous waste a calculated £670.

But where exactly do landlords and letting agents come in?

49% of tenants need more information

It turns out some landlords could be responsible for their tenants’ failure to switch.

A reported 49% of tenants receive no information on energy providers when letting a new property. And with no information on their existing energy providers, 8.4 million people are left unable to switch.

The miscommunication leads to the typical rented household burning money, somewhat literally, through failure to shop around. And the term ‘miscommunication’ may be putting things lightly…

Confusion over landlord and tenant responsibilities

When it comes to energy provision, tenants apparently missed our memo on landlord responsibilities.

12% of renters believe arranging energy providers falls under the landlord’s remit. Amongst 18-24 year olds, the figure rises to 20%.

If you’re a landlord with ten tenants, it’s likely at least one of them believes you’re responsible for finding a good deal. If you’re letting to youngsters, one in five most likely expects you to step in.

Where Ofgem stand on the matter

Ofgem’s position on the matter is clear.

The energy regulator clearly states that so long as a tenant’s name appears on the energy bills, the tenant is able to shop around for energy providers. Even when the bill is not in a tenant’s name, proof of payment is often enough.

Sadly, though, Ofgem is struggling to get its message across. Indeed, 10% of tenants are unaware of who supplies their energy. And 6% claim they’d be unable to locate their meters altogether.

Landlords can benefit from saving tenants money

Regardless of where the fault lies, when it comes to energy provisions, tenants could evidently do with a hand. And it wouldn’t hurt for landlords and letting agents to offer clear instruction.

As we’ve said before, a good tenant/landlord relationship is a positive thing. A strong relationship can ensure buy-to-lets have high occupancy rates, are well looked-after and deliver a good return on investment.

Good tenant referencing will sift out bad tenants to start with. But by keeping tenants happy, the tenant/landlord relationship is sure to stay strong.

We’d therefore advise landlords to be crystal clear from the outset. By saving tenants money, landlords can cash in.

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