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What your landlord can charge you for energy

This advice applies to Scotland

Your landlord can only charge you for gas or electricity if your tenancy agreement says they can.

Check your tenancy agreement to find out if you have to pay your landlord for energy, and on what terms. Ask your landlord for a copy of your tenancy agreement if you don’t have one.

Your landlord can’t charge you for gas or electricity if you pay your supplier directly.

How much your landlord can charge

Your landlord can only charge you for:

  • the units of energy you've used (for example, the kilowatt hours you've used for electricity)
  • your share of the standing charge (a flat fee charged on every energy contract)
  • the VAT owed (5% for energy)

This is called the ‘maximum resale price’ - your landlord can’t charge you more than this.

If your home doesn’t have an energy meter that records how much energy you’ve used, your landlord must estimate as accurately as possible how much you should pay. However, it’s rare that a home won’t have its own meter.

If there's 'Green Deal' finance on your property, your landlord might charge you extra. The Green Deal is a scheme where money borrowed for energy efficiency measures to a property (for example, wall insulation or double glazing) is paid back through energy bills. You should have been told before you moved in - ask your landlord if you're unsure.

If you’ve been overcharged

If you think your landlord has overcharged you, ask them for a copy of the bill and ask them to explain how they worked out the charges.

If they’ve charged you more than the maximum resale price, you can ask them to:

  • lower the charge to the correct amount
  • refund you the difference if you’ve already paid

If you can’t resolve the dispute, you can try to get the money by bringing a claim against your landlord in the small claims court for the amount you’ve been overcharged plus interest.

Further help

Contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline if you need help.

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