Smart Meter Awareness Week:
31st Oct - 4th Nov 2022
This week is Smart Meter Awareness Week, where we’re sharing information for renters, so we’ve produced some useful guides and tips for saving energy for all those who rent. Whether it’s getting the right energy-efficient lightbulb or getting a smart meter installed, here are some ways you could get more control over your energy if you rent your home.
In light of cost-of-living concerns, we’ve commissioned research into how renters are finding ways to save this winter. The results showed that renters are prepared to go to big lengths in order to save energy and money. In fact, 22% of private renters say they would go to the gym each morning to shower in order to help cut down on their water and heating bills. During this time of high energy prices, it can feel frustrating as a renter. One of the more frustrating parts of renting is not knowing what energy-saving changes you can make to your rented home.
That’s why we’ve started Smart Meter Awareness Week, to help you understand what energy efficient actions you can take, including requesting a smart meter, to help you get more control over the energy you use in your rented home.
WHAT IS SMART METER AWARENESS WEEK?
Smart Meter Awareness Week is an annual campaign for the private rented sector in Great Britain. This campaign is designed to help renters, landlords and letting agents better understand the benefits of smart meters.
This week’s goal is to encourage people to request smart meter installations in private rented homes as part of the national rollout.
HOW CAN YOU SAVE THIS WINTER IF YOU RENT?
With the high cost of energy, it’s more important than ever to make your home as energy efficient as you can. There are things you can keep an eye out for whether you’ve just moved into a new place or whether you’ve been in your current home for a while.
If you rent your home there are small, low or no cost changes you can make that will help you to keep the cold out and valuable heat in. Just remember the word LIGHT – Lighting, Insulation, Glazing, Heating, and Tech!
Switching all the bulbs in your home to energy efficient LEDs can save up to £65 a year*
Install brushes or strips where there are draughts, including over letterboxes and keyholes or where there are gaps in the frame.
Thin film stuck to the window frame with tape can help keep heat inside. There are DIY kits with removable systems which can make even more of a difference.
Radiator reflector panels can be fitted behind radiators on external walls. These work by keeping more of the heat in the room.
Ask your energy supplier for a smart meter at no additional cost - this can help you know where you can make changes to save energy and money.
*Savings based on a typical gas-heated three bedroom semi-detached home with gas tariff of 10.3p/kWh and electricity tariff of 34p/kWh. Energy Saving Trust, correct as of October 2022.
Download the full energy saving checklist below to get a more detailed look at how to save energy in your rented property:
Watch leading property expert Kate Faulkner dive into the LIGHT checklist further:
Kate Faulkner: With the high cost of energy bills, it's more important than ever before to try and make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible. However, when you're renting, that can seem quite difficult. You might think the landlord won't cover any extra costs, or you can't make any permanent changes to your home. However, if you've been renting for a long time or you're looking for a new property to rent, there are things to keep an eye out for and steps that you can take that will make a real difference.
There are low or no cost changes that you can make, such as getting a smart meter which can help you track your energy usage. But there are other things you can do that help keep the cold out and that valuable heat in. The easy change is taking all the light bulbs out of your home and replacing them with LED light bulbs.
This can mean that you can save up to £65 a year. Draught excluders are a great way to keep the cold air out. What you can do is go round your doors, your window frames, and you're looking for any gaps that are letting a breeze in. If you hang thicker and heavier curtains on your windows, this can be a great way to trap the warmth into your home.
You can adjust your heating oil boiler controls. And even if you look at the thermostat and take it down by just one degree, you could save yourself up to £145 a year. If you pay your gas and electricity supplier directly in your rented home. You can choose to have a smart meter fitted. Now, these come with a fantastic in-home display which allows you to track your energy use in pounds and pence in near real time.
SMART METERS FOR TENANTS
What is a smart meter?
Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters. They are being installed in homes across Great Britain at no extra cost, to replace traditional meters (including prepay meters). Smart meters measure how much energy you're using in near real-time and show you what it's costing you ona handy in home display.
Who can request a smart meter?
There can be some confusion as to whose responsibility it is to install a smart meter. If you pay for the gas or electricity in your rented property, you can choose to have a smart meter. We do recommend you tell your landlord before you get one though.
That's because there may be rules in your tenancy agreement about how energy is supplied to the property, including the type of meter that can be installed.
Ofgem, the energy regulator, says that your landlord should not unreasonably prevent you from getting a smart meter. This is the case even if your tenancy agreement says you need your landlord's permission to change the meter at your propery.
Click on the links below to download our full smart meter factsheet for private tenants in English and Welsh.
SMART METERS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
If you own a small business and are renting your space, you may be eligible for a smart meter as well. Smart meters can help you have more control over your businesses’ energy spend.
Check out our guide to smart meters for small businesses in English and Welsh below. Or you can go to our small business hub for more information.
STILL CONCERNED ABOUT GETTING A SMART METER FOR YOUR RENTED PROPERTY?
Even with these benefits, you may still have concerns about getting a smart meter. Are you worried about what your landlord might say? Or are you worried about how much it might cost?
We’ve created a mythbusting leaflet below to answer these questions and to help you better understand other common concerns you might have around getting a smart meter for your flat or house.
You may also be interested in...
For more information on smart meters relating to landlords and/or tenants, visit:
Smart Meters and rented property - Everything you need to know about smart meters in a rented home.
- Advice for those worried about energy bills - Don't struggle in silence. If you're worried about paying your energy bills, come see if you qualify for any government grants or schemes.
5 ways to make your rented home your own - From furnishing to cutting bills and how smart meters play a role in making your rented home yours.