How To Support Your Tenants In Managing Their Energy Bills

If your tenants manage their own bills, it’s useful to be well-informed about the challenges they are facing and the resources that are available to them.

There are likely to be occasions where having the right information to hand could help you to solve problems and maintain your relationships with your tenants. Especially if you rent to elderly or vulnerable tenants, or if you rent to students, who might be renting their own for their first time.

This guide offers practical strategies and insights to help you support your tenants, particularly those who might be vulnerable or financially strained.

Understanding the Challenges

Your tenants could be facing a variety of challenges when it comes to managing their bills – from fluctuating energy costs to the complexities of budgeting on irregular incomes. As a landlord, understanding these challenges is the first step in being able to offer meaningful support.

Providing Resources and Guidance

One of the simplest ways to help tenants reduce their utility bills is to provide resources that could help them improve energy efficiency. This can include:

  • Providing information on how to use heating systems efficiently.
  • Tips on conserving water and reducing waste.
  • Installing energy-efficient bulbs and appliances in the property.

It’s also worth investigating if your local council offers any grants, schemes or subsidies for improving energy efficiency of your property. These are more likely to be available for older buildings, or in certain areas.

In some cases, you might be able to make changes that improve the energy efficiency of your property at a lower cost. This is worth considering, given not only the benefits to your tenants, but also the potential value increase for your property. 

Streamlining Bill Payments

Encouraging tenants to set up direct debits can ensure that payments are made on time and are less likely to be forgotten. Some utility companies offer discounts for using direct debit for payments, which can be an additional incentive for tenants to opt for this method.

Installing Smart Meters

One way you can help tenants with managing their energy consumption is through the installation of smart meters, which come with an in-home display to help them track their energy use. Smart meters also send automatic meter readings, which can be helpful for tenants if the meters are in an awkward location. 

If your property has prepayment meters, you can still get a smart meter installed. So, what is a smart prepay meter? It’s a smart meter in prepayment mode – smart meters can be switched between credit and prepayment mode without a new meter needing to be installed. This can also be helpful if you want your tenants to have more choice in how they pay for their energy.   

If your tenants are responsible for paying for their energy bills, then it is their choice whether to get a smart meter. If your tenants manage their own energy bills, but you want to have a smart meter installed in your property, you should still let your tenants know that you’d like them to have one installed and see if they agree to it. Otherwise, you can have the smart meter installed while the property is vacant and you are responsible for the bills. 

It’s important for landlords to be aware of the legal rights and support mechanisms available to tenants, especially those who are vulnerable. Make sure to:

  • Stay informed about government schemes and grants that can assist tenants with their utility costs.
  • Provide information on how to access these supports and possibly assist them in the application process.
  • If you think your tenants might be in vulnerable circumstances, let them know they can join the Priority Services Register, which provides extra support with managing utilities, for example, additional communication in the event of a power cut.

Empowering Tenants with Knowledge

Apart from direct assistance, empowering your tenants with the knowledge they need to manage their bills can make a significant difference. This includes understanding their rights, the details of their utility contracts, and how to seek help if they face financial difficulties.

A Fresh Outlook on Bill Management

Supporting your tenants in managing their bills is about more than just financial transactions; it’s about building trust and helping to provide stability in their lives. By implementing these strategies, you can help alleviate some of the stresses associated with bill management and foster a positive landlord-tenant relationship. With the right tools and knowledge, tenants can feel more secure in their financial dealings and empowered to take control of their energy usage.


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