Meet Britain’s ‘Bill Bosses’
- 39 per cent of 18-25 year old renters have a designated ‘bills boss’ in their household
- Nearly half (46 per cent) of young renters are arguing more with their housemates since the cost of living crisis began
- 41% of 18-25 year olds wish their housemates cared more about saving money
- 27% are worried that their housemates might use too much energy, leaving them unable to afford the resulting bill
- Requesting a smart meter can ease pressure on the bills boss, and help clear up energy disputes
31st August 2022: New research has revealed that over a third (39 per cent) of renters aged 18-25 have a designated bills boss in their household who manages all things energy for their housemates every month.
In addition, 33 per cent co-rent with a tidy one, 30 per cent with a messy one, and 27 per cent play the mum or dad role in the house.
With inflation pushing up household bills, and with over a quarter (27 per cent) admitting their main worry is their housemates using too much energy and being unable to afford the resulting bill, the bills boss should be celebrated for sorting the meter readings, keeping track of energy use, and saving money for the house as a whole.
41 per cent of young renters wish their housemates cared more about saving money. Fortunately, there is help available in the form of smart meters, which is good news for household harmony and bills bosses nationwide.
Smart meters, which are replacing analogue energy meters across Great Britain, have several benefits that could help take the heat out of household arguments. The main advantage is that all smart meters come with an in-home display which shows you how much energy you are using in pounds and pence, in near-real time. This is perfect for proving to your flatmates exactly how much energy they are using by leaving the lights on, one of the most common (27 per cent) annoyances that renters have with their housemates.
Smart meters also automatically submit meter readings, which means no more crawling around in cupboards for the unfortunate bills boss. With a smart meter, bills are accurate every month, so you’ll know what to expect and you’ll only pay for what you use.
DJs, comics (and renters of a famous bungalow) Dick and Dom said:
“Having spent years living together, and with Dick being our bills boss, we had our fair share of arguments over splitting bills and Dom’s love of leaving lights on as he left the room.
“The information that a smart meter in-home display provides on how much energy you are using in near-real time would have made life much simpler, leaving us with more time to enjoy the best parts of renting with friends.”
A spokesperson for Smart Energy GB said:
“Whether you’re the bills boss in your house, or simply want to help make life easier for you and your flatmates, a smart meter can be a really helpful tool. They provide automatic billing and greater visibility of energy use in near-real time, so tenants know in pounds and pence how much energy they are using each day.
“Smart meters can also reduce the need for landlords to support tenants through the moving-in process and reduce disputes with things like final meter readings at the end of a lease, leading to lower costs relating to disputes.
“It is the bill payer’s right to have a smart meter, and we hope that landlords responsible for the energy bill will consider having a smart meter installed or work with their tenants to get them installed by their supplier in their rental properties.”
Smart meters - making life easier
It is a bill payer’s right to have a smart meter installed if they pay for the gas or electricity in the rented property. If the landlord pays the bills, the decision lies with them.
Smart meters provide automatic billing and greater visibility of energy use through the in-home display. With a smart meter in prepay mode, it is possible to top up in a variety of ways from your own home and know when you are close to using your emergency credit.
A smart meter installation takes as little as two hours and can be scheduled at a time to suit you. Landlords do not need to be present for the installation, but it’s good to let them know a smart meter is being installed, just in case there is a clause in your tenancy agreement.
If your tenancy agreement says you need your landlord’s permission to alter metering at your property, Ofgem the Energy Regulator says that they should not unreasonably prevent it.
Contact your energy supplier to request a smart meter at no extra cost or visit smartenergygb.org/get-a-smart-meter
Help is available if you are struggling to afford your energy bills or top up your prepayment meter. Visit https://www.nea.org.uk/advice-support/information-leaflets/ or www.eas.org.uk if you are in Scotland.
You can find out more information about smart meters and download a template letter for your landlord requesting a smart meter installation, by going to: https://www.smartenergygb.org/about-smart-meters/smart-meters-renters-landlords