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How To Switch Energy As A Landlord Or Tenant

If you lease a commercial space like a store or office, it’s crucial to ensure compliance with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES). This mandates that your property must possess an Energy Performance Certificate with a rating of ‘E’ or higher. Failure to meet these standards or lacking an EPC could result in significant fines.

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Domestic Energy Usage

Do I need a business energy supplier or a domestic energy supplier?

For those who own a commercial property, it is essential to secure gas and electricity services through a business energy supplier. While some suppliers cater their energy tariff to both domestic and commercial clients, the type of meter installed at the property determines whether it falls under a domestic or commercial energy tariff.

Identification of the Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN) on the electricity meter is crucial in this distinction. If the MPAN begins with 01 or 02, it indicates a domestic meter. Alternatively, if it starts with any number from 03 to 08, it signifies a commercial energy meter. A 00 prefix on the MPAN designates a half-hourly meter, indicating a property with a high energy demand.

As the landlord, you have the responsibility to decide the arrangement for energy bill payments. Options include leaving it to the tenant, collecting payments directly each month, or incorporating it into their rent.

What types of meter options are there for landlords?

While the type of meter at the property dictates whether you are on a business energy tariff, there are still choices regarding the specific meter installed.

Prepayment meters

A prepayment meter provides a ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy system, where you replenish the meter by using money or adding funds to a ‘key’ or smart card. This allowance diminishes as energy is consumed. Prepayment meter tariffs are generally more costly compared to credit meter tariffs. However, they can be a viable choice for landlords seeking to ensure tenants actively manage their energy usage and payments.

Credit meters

Typically, properties are equipped with a credit meter, which records and displays your energy consumption. If your property utilizes a credit meter, it is advisable to explore business energy prices and enrol in a fixed-rate contract. This not only shields you from potential energy price, increases throughout the contract period but also ensures that the rates you pay are more economical than your supplier’s default out-of-contract rates.

Smart meters

Smart meters are digital energy meters that transmit gas and electricity readings to your supplier wirelessly. This eliminates the need for manual meter readings and guarantees precise billing, as your supplier no longer has to estimate your usage. Additionally, smart meters provide a detailed breakdown of how much energy you and when you use energy, presenting this information on a screen to enhance your understanding of your energy consumption.

Half-hourly meters

Half-hourly meters automatically transmit readings to your supplier every half hour, ensuring accurate billing for your business and energy customers. Any property with a peak electricity demand of 70KVA or higher should have a half-hourly meter installed. If the peak electricity demand of the property reaches 1000KVA or more, half-hour metering becomes a mandatory requirement.

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An HMO, or house in multiple occupations, applies when multiple businesses occupy your commercial property. Despite the shared occupancy, the property must still adhere to minimum energy efficiency standards, and you have the flexibility to determine how gas and electricity bills are managed and paid.

While negotiating individual agreements with tenants for their bills can be intricate, one approach is to personally cover the bills and incorporate a charge within the rental agreement. Another option is to distribute the costs equally among the tenants, but this may lead to tensions if there are disparities in energy usage among them.

Design Elements

Can I switch energy suppliers on behalf of my tenants?

Certainly, as the landlord, you have the authority to change energy suppliers for your tenants, and it is a prudent business decision. Providing your tenants with energy deals with lower overhead costs can enhance the appeal of your property compared to others in the vicinity. This is particularly beneficial as business owners sharing a space often prioritise cost-effectiveness.

How to switch energy supplier – information for tenants

If you are a tenant, the utility bill arrangements should be specified in your tenancy agreement. This document will clarify whether you are responsible for managing the building’s energy contract.

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Does my landlord choose my gas or electricity supplier?

Upon occupying new business premises, the property should already have a power supply from an energy supplier. The landlord may have selected this new supplier, or it could be the longstanding provider for that property.

Regardless of the circumstances, it is essential to establish a new energy contract upon assuming the tenancy, either through coordination with the landlord or by directly contacting an energy specialist such as Business Energy Comparison. Failing to do so will result in being placed on costly out-of-contract rates, leading to unnecessary overpayment for energy.

Design Elements

Who pays the energy bills if I rent?

As a tenant, you will typically be responsible for covering your energy expenses. Nevertheless, in certain situations, landlords may integrate utility bills into the overall rent.

If your energy costs are not encompassed within the rent, you will either directly settle the charges with the supplier for the gas and electricity consumed, or you may remit the payment to the landlord, who will subsequently transfer the funds to the respective utility provider.

Can I switch my energy supply if I rent?

If your landlord allows you to handle the bills directly, you have the liberty to secure a new energy deal once your current contract becomes eligible for switching. Nevertheless, it’s advisable to communicate with the landlord first as a courtesy.

If the landlord is responsible for the business energy bills, they are obligated to arrange a new contract upon the expiration of the current one. However, it could be beneficial to encourage them to consult comparing energy prices with the technology-enabled experts at Business Energy Comparison, especially if you believe your existing energy rates are excessively high.

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Do I need my landlord’s permission before switching to an energy supplier?

If you’re leasing a property and are directly responsible for settling the business energy bills, consumer protection laws grant you the right to choose your supplier.

While your landlord or letting agent cannot legally prevent you from switching, it’s advisable to consult with them before initiating any comparisons.

If you’re not directly in charge of the energy bills—whether they are included in the rent or paid by the landlord, who then recoups the costs from you as the tenant—you’ll need to request your landlord’s assistance in switching to renewable energy suppliers. In this scenario, the decision lies solely with the landlord.

Compare business energy prices with Business Energy Comparison

Switching energy suppliers offers a swift and simple method to reduce your business gas and electricity rates and save more, regardless of whether you own your commercial property, lease it, or work from a rented space or home.

To save money and explore potential savings, consider comparing the market with the assistance of technology-enabled experts at Business Energy Comparison.