Renters urged to get grip on energy bills

The very fact that they are renting makes many automatically rule out the option of taking control of their energy bills. A third (33%) admit that renting makes them less likely to switch while 28% think that renting will make it more difficult to switch.

One of the biggest concerns for those renting privately seems to be how their landlord will react to being asked about switching. Just 15% think that they would welcome a tenant trying to secure a lower cost energy deal while almost two in ten (19%) say that landlords don’t want to be bothered by tenants about things like switching.

This attitude seems to stretch to energy efficiency too – over a quarter (26%) wouldn’t talk to their landlord about energy efficiency because they don’t think their landlord would be interested. Worryingly, over one in ten private tenants (13%) wouldn’t even feel comfortable raising it with their landlord. Unfortunately, as energy costs spiral upwards, this lack of dialogue will be costing tenants dear.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, 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. 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."

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