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TV star says pay-as-you-go energy tenants must be urged to fit smart meters

utilita shamplina

TV star Paul Shamplina has called on landlords to urge tenants using pay-as-you-go (PAYG) energy services to fit smart meters.

This follows research that shows many tenants incorrectly believe their landlord must give permissions for them to be installed.

Shamplina is fronting a national awareness campaign on behalf of Utilita - the UK’s leading Smart+ Pay As You Go (PAYG) supplier.

Called ‘Smart Landlords, Smart Tenants’, its research among landlords and tenants finds that private rental properties are 23% less likely to have a smart meter than owner-occupied ones and that 35% of tenants do not know they can accept a smart meter.

Nearly a quarter of tenants claim to be waiting for their supplier to install one, and 14 percent said they have not yet been offered one despite suppliers being mandated to do so.

The firm says smart meters are a key tool to reduce energy bills for tenants by some £200 a year and that it wants to ‘turbo-charge’ a wider national roll-out of the meters ahead of the winter months and likely rising energy costs.

Benefits to tenants using PAYG include life-saving connectivity and remote financial assistance, says Utilita, highlighting that three quarters of all PAYG users are renters.

Shamplina, who is founder of Landlord Action, says: “I must admit, I didn’t know much about smart meters - and I was unaware of the role smart meters have as a safety net for households, especially those struggling to make ends meet.

“I’ve worked with Utilita to create a video (see below) giving every landlord the facts they need to know about smart meters, and urging them to be proactive in notifying their tenants about their rights to accept a smart meter before the cold weather sets in.”

Utilita’s Founder and CEO, Bill Bullen (pictured), adds: “Last year, households without a smart meter missed out on £98 million in Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS) vouchers - that’s £400 each, which would have been the difference between having the heating on or off during winter.

“Since 2021, the smart meter connectivity between Utilita and our customers has enabled us to provide access to £10 million of energy that our households couldn’t afford at the time – without a smart meter, these households would have gone without.”

Five facts about smart meters

Supplier are mandated to provide them.

It’s the bill payer who has the right to accept or refuse them.

People with smart meters can switch supplier more easily.

A smart meter enables easier switching between PAYG and traditional credit-based bills.

Smart meters enables PAYG users to top-up via their energy supplier’s app.

Watch the video

Landlords and tenants can join the conversation on Utilita’s online community.


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