Most landlords don’t include utilities in the rent, and for good reason. Energy is expensive. Those who do charge top dollar rates and even raise rates regularly. So, here are some ways that you can keep bills, rents, and usage down if you’re a renter.
Know Your Rights
Renters have rights. But, tenants often feel that they don’t because they don’t own the place. The landlord does. If you’re responsible for paying gas and electricity, however, you can switch to whatever provider you want. Your landlord can’t keep you from doing that.
Some tenants feel afraid to above their landlord, however, so you can always ask your landlord first. But, even if he or she says “no,” remember that your landlord can’t keep you from switching.
Click here to learn more about your options.
Escaping Cash Tariffs
When you rent a new place, you’re basically taking over where the last tenant left off. You can do that, but don’t assume that this is the best option. If you don’t actively shop around for the best rates, you could end up overpaying. And, if you don’t get in touch with your energy provider to set up a direct debit from your bank account, it’s entirely possible (likely even) that your energy company will put you on a cash tariff.
That gets expensive, because energy companies generally charge more when they have to bill you this way. Instead, sign a contract, and save yourself some money. Since you typically sign a 6 month or 1 year lease with your landlord, try to make your tariff scheme line up with your rental one.
Look At Variable Tariff Schemes
Many tariffs are fixed for a period of time, say 6 or 12 months. If you don’t sign on right away, you could end up out of sync with your rental agreement. This is when a variable tariff comes in handy. A variable tariff means that you’re not signing on to pay for a set period of time – useful if you expect to move out after your lease is up and you think there will be some overlap between your old place and the new one.
Just realise that this might also end up being slightly more expensive, because energy companies tend to offer deals to individuals who sign on for a contract term. When you go variable, you’re skipping the contract and so your energy prices might fluctuate dramatically during the year.
This is probably one of the worst deals out there for renters. People often think that by prepaying on the meter that’s already there when they move in, that they’re saving money or that they can avoid paying additional money for their utilities. But, the meter is there because a previous tenant didn’t pay the bills.
Usually, that means you’re overpaying for service at this place. You can go on a switching site and change up your energy supplier. That’s one option. Or, you can contact your landlord about switching on his or her end.
Faith Johnston works in property development and is very interested in environmental issues and creating eco friendly homes. She particularly enjoys writing about ways people can save on energy and she has enjoyed being part of the transition toward cleaner fuels and earth friendly practices.