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How to Help Tenants With Rising Energy Bills and Suppliers Going Bust

Picture of the top of a gas bill

You cannot have failed to notice the crisis in the energy market recently. As the price of natural gas rose, many of the smaller suppliers on the market found it more difficult to offer energy to consumers within the UK’s price cap, and have therefore gone bust. With many landlords leaving responsibility for energy bills to tenants, it could be a confusing and troubling time. That is why, as a letting agent, it is a good idea to offer support to renters as they try to navigate the current energy crisis.

Here is a guide to the help you can offer tenants coping with uncertainty over their supply and their energy bill’s rise.

Reassure Tenants on What Happens Next

If tenants at a property you manage have had their gas supplier go out of business, you should reassure them that this does not mean they will lose their energy supply. In fact, all they need to do is take a meter reading and wait for what is called the Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) to get in contact. The SoLR is the supplier given the task of taking on accounts held with bust companies. For example, British Gas took on customers of People’s Energy, PfP Energy and Robin Hood Energy amongst others.

You should let your tenants know that any credit they had with their previous supplier will also be honoured, but it might take a little time for it to register in their account. This is also one reason why the recommendation is that they should not seek to switch suppliers until the process of transfer to the SoLR is complete.

Encourage Tenants to Understand Their Energy Bills

Whether tenants have moved to another energy supplier or not, there could be a significant effect on their energy bills. The energy price cap rose on 1st October 2021 and affects anyone on standard, variable tariffs, whose bills could rise by 12%. If your tenants are about to finish their fixed rate deal, they will also rise as the cheaper fixed deals are no longer available to move onto. Those who have moved to a SoLR might also see a rise and customers with prepayment meters are expected to pay more for their energy following the rise.

This is why tenants should look into how much more they are likely to pay and budget accordingly. By looking at old bills, they could work out how they are likely to pay in the future so it should not come as a surprise.

Advise Tenants on Being More Energy Efficient

One of the ways to prevent rising energy bills affecting the bank accounts of tenants too badly is to advise them on how to be more energy-efficient. Simple things like turning lights off unless they are needed, drying washing on airers rather than in tumble driers and only using just enough water to cover your vegetables when cooking are all everyday ways of reducing energy use and, therefore, energy bills.

You can help by encouraging landlords to install smart meters in their properties so that tenants can monitor their energy use and adjust their practices accordingly.

Encourage Struggling Tenants to Seek Financial Support

As energy bills rise, it could send your tenants into fuel poverty, which is when their income is not sufficient to adequately heat their home. There are initiatives such as the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments for such occurrences and you should encourage anyone overwhelmed by the new costs to talk to their energy supplier before they get into financial trouble.

Other Ways to Help With Rising Energy Bills

One of the ways to help with rising energy bills is to work with landlords to make their properties more energy-efficient. By insulating lofts, replacing windows, replacing lightbulbs with LEDs and other measures, you can reduce the energy that a property wastes.

For help with property management and maintenance services, outsource them to us. Contact us today to find out more.


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