Switching energy supplier if you’re renting

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

You can usually still change energy supplier if you rent your home. The exception is if your landlord pays your supplier for the energy you use.

If you’re not sure whether you’re responsible for paying for your energy, check your tenancy agreement.


If your energy supplier goes bust

Don’t switch tariff or supplier until your account is moved to the new supplier. You might find it harder to get any money you’re owed if you switch before this happens.

Read our advice about what to do if your energy supplier goes bust.

If you pay your energy supplier

You have the right to switch supplier if you pay your energy supplier directly for your gas or electricity. This includes if you have a prepayment meter.

You should check your tenancy agreement to see if the landlord has a ‘preferred supplier’. This won’t stop you from switching supplier, but you should tell your landlord or letting agent.

You may have to return the account to the original supplier at the end of your tenancy.

If your landlord pays your energy supplier

You don’t have the right to switch supplier if your landlord pays the energy company directly and then charges you.

If you want to change supplier, you’ll need to ask your landlord to do it - but they don’t have to.

If you think that your landlord might be charging you too much for your energy, you should read our guidance for what they're allowed to charge you.

Having prepayment meters removed or installed

Your landlord can’t stop you replacing a prepayment meter with a normal meter that lets you pay after using energy rather than in advance. You don’t need your landlord’s permission to do this.

If you get behind on your gas or electricity bills, your energy supplier might want to install a prepayment meter. Your landlord can’t stop this, and you don’t need their permission.

Returning the original meters at the end of your tenancy

If you install or remove prepayment meters, you might have to put the original meters back at the end of your tenancy. This is because the change will count as an alteration to the property. You'll have to pay any fee your energy supplier charges for changing the meters back.

Most people's suppliers don’t charge a fee for installing or removing meters. If yours does, think about switching supplier. Or tell your current supplier you’ll switch to another one - they might remove the fee if you stay with them.

Further help

Find out how to switch energy suppliers.

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline if you need more help - a trained adviser can give you advice over the phone, online chat or by email.

If you’re struggling to pay your energy bills or top up your prepayment meter you might be able to get extra help. Check if you can get grants and benefits to help pay your energy bills.

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