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Confusion reigns among tenants over smart meters at rented homes

smart meters

Nearly a quarter (23%) of people without a smart meter say it’s because they live in a rental property that doesn’t have one installed.

Most don’t realise the bill payer can give permission for a new meter, according to a survey by Go.Compare Energy, which says landlords and agents aren’t allowed to stop tenants from making the switch without a good reason.

However, it explains that although tenants can switch if they pay energy bills directly, it’s always worth letting the landlord or letting agent know and checking the tenancy agreement in case there are any rules about changing the meter.

While the decision is up to a landlord if they manage their tenants’ energy bills, research from Smart Energy GB shows that 72% of landlords would agree to getting a smart meter installed and a quarter have had smart meters installed without being asked by tenants.

Landlord discussions

Gareth Kloet, energy expert at Go.Compare, says: “As long as you’re paying the bills at your property, you can also request to have a smart meter installed, whether you are a homeowner or not. Renters, be sure to discuss it with your landlord first, but they shouldn’t refuse your request to install one.”

The survey also found that a quarter (26%) of users who have a smart meter dislike it because of concerns over how the device is using their data, while more than one in ten (16%) are worried that having a smart meter would cause them to be charged more money.

Over half (57%) of all domestic meters are smart meters, but many households have yet to make the switch. The UK government hopes to have them installed in all homes by mid-2025.

Paul Shamplina

Bill Bullen (pictured), Founder and CEO of Utilita Energy – the UK’s leading smart PAYG energy supplier, says: “This important research chimes with what we are hearing from tenants and landlords.

"Next week we are launching a month-long ‘SmartLandlords, Smart Tenants’ campaign with industry expert Paul Shamplina and Landlord Zone to encourage and enable landlords to be proactive in speaking totheir tenant about their rights to a smart meter.

 “In anticipation of a hard winter ahead, no-one should beleft to suffer in silence without one – smart meters provide vitalcommunication between the customer and the energy supplier.”

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