• 49% are given no information on their energy supplier at the start of their tenancy
  • 18% of renters miss out on huge savings available by switching
  • 12% think landlords are responsible for shopping around for a better deal, even when the tenant pays the bill
  • MoneySuperMarket urges renters to take control wherever possible and switch for savings of up to £359 per household

UK renters1 are missing out on savings worth over £1 billion2 collectively on their energy bills, because they didn’t know they could switch suppliers, had bills included in their rent, failed to discuss the matter with their landlord, or simply weren’t allowed to, according to new analysis from MoneySuperMarket3.

The analysis looked at energy switching habits among renters, and shows almost half (49 per cent) of the nation’s renters were not given any information about their energy provider at the start of their tenancy. 12 per cent think their landlord is solely responsible for switching providers – this is higher among younger renters with one in five (20 per cent) of those aged 18-34 thinking this is the case. Additionally a tenth (10 per cent) of renters don’t know who their supplier is and six per cent couldn’t locate their meter if they needed to.

Under rules set out by Ofgem, the energy market regulator, if a tenant’s name is on the bill, they have the right to switch supplier. Even where the landlord’s name is on the bill, and the amount owing is paid by the tenant with the rent, it is worth discussing a switch with the landlord if there are savings to be made.

In total, a fifth (18 per cent) could be missing out on potential savings of £1 billion by languishing on an expensive tariff, simply because they have never switched.

Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “When it comes to energy switching in rented property, there is some confusion over who takes responsibility. In an ideal world, you would be provided with information on who the supplier is, and the average bill size at the start of the agreement. Renters would then be encouraged to shop around for a cheaper tariff and make the switch. However, it seems this isn’t happening in far too many instances.

“Ofgem has stated categorically that tenants are entitled to change supplier at any time if they are responsible for paying the energy bill, and should not be unreasonably prevented from doing this. There are savings of up to £3594 per household to be made by switching suppliers, so it pays to take control and shop around. But it’s always important to keep your landlord up to speed with any change you plan to make.”

1 16,428,480 is the number of renters in the UK. 640 out of 2,000 respondents said they were renters. 640 / 2000 * 51,339,000 (UK population) = 16,428,480.

2 18% of renters, equivalent to 6% of the adult population, were told by their landlord they couldn’t switch, or have their bills included in their rent, or are not responsible for choosing their energy supplier. Multiplied by 51,339,000 (UK adult population), means there are 2,951,993 adults who have not switched. Multiplied by £359 (average savings figure) = £1,059,765,487

3 Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 2,006 UK adults aged 18+ from 23 to 26 of August 2016. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria www.opinium.co.uk

4 51% of customers could save up to £359. MoneySuperMarket data, May 2016