Switching energy supplier or tariff if you’re renting
If you rent your home and you want to switch energy supplier or tariff, you’ll need to check how you pay for your gas or electricity. You’ll either:
pay your landlord and they’ll pay the energy supplier
pay your energy supplier directly
If you’re not sure whether you’re responsible for paying for your energy, check your tenancy agreement.
If your landlord pays your energy supplier
You can’t switch energy supplier or tariff yourself if your landlord pays the energy supplier for you. You’ll probably pay your gas or electricity as part of your rent.
If you want to switch supplier or tariff, you’ll need to ask your landlord to do it. Find the tariff you want and explain to your landlord why it’s a good deal. Your landlord might agree to switch, but they don’t have to.
If you think your landlord might be charging you too much for your energy, you should check what your landlord is allowed to charge you.
If you pay your energy supplier
You can switch energy supplier or tariff 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. It might say you have to return the account to the original supplier at the end of your tenancy.
Switching from prepayment to paying by credit
If you pay for your energy before you use it, you’ll either have a prepayment meter or a smart meter in prepayment mode.
If you don’t owe money to your energy supplier, you can move to paying by credit. This means you pay for your energy after you use it.
If your energy supplier wants to switch you to prepayment
Your energy supplier might want to install a smart meter in prepayment mode. If you already have a smart meter, they might want to switch it to prepayment mode.
If you don’t want to move to prepayment, you might be able to stop your energy supplier moving you to prepayment.
You might need to get your meter or smart meter mode changed back at the end of your tenancy.
Check your tenancy agreement - it should say if you need to change the mode of your smart meter back to paying by credit.
If you owe money to your energy supplier you won’t be able to change back to paying by credit until you’ve paid what you owe.
You should speak to your landlord and explain why the mode can’t be changed back.
Your landlord might try and keep some of your deposit at the end of your tenancy if you changed your meter and they didn’t want it to be changed.
There are things you can do to get this money back - what you can do depends on the type of deposit scheme your landlord used.
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.
Advice Direct Scotland energy advice
Freephone: 0808 196 8660