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Switching energy supplier if you’re a tenant

This advice applies to Scotland

You can usually still change energy supplier if you rent your home. The exception is if your landlord pays your supplier for the energy you use.

If you’re not sure whether you’re responsible for paying for your energy, check your tenancy agreement.

If you pay your energy supplier

You have the right to switch supplier if you pay your energy supplier directly for your gas or electricity. This includes if you have a prepayment meter.

You should check your tenancy agreement to see if the landlord has a ‘preferred supplier’. This won’t stop you from switching supplier, but you should tell your landlord or letting agent.

You may have to return the account to the original supplier at the end of your tenancy.

If your landlord pays your energy supplier

You don’t have the right to switch supplier if your landlord pays the energy company directly and then charges you.

If you want to change supplier, you’ll need to ask your landlord to do it - but they don’t have to.

If you think that your landlord might be charging you too much for your energy, you should read our guidance for what they're allowed to charge you.

Having prepayment meters removed or installed

Your landlord can’t stop you replacing a prepayment meter with a normal meter that lets you pay after using energy rather than in advance. You don’t need your landlord’s permission to do this.

If you get behind on your gas or electricity bills, your energy supplier might want to install a prepayment meter. Your landlord can’t stop this, and you don’t need their permission.

Returning the original meters at the end of your tenancy

If you install or remove prepayment meters, you might have to put the original meters back at the end of your tenancy. This is because the change will count as an alteration to the property. You'll have to pay any fee your energy supplier charges for changing the meters back.

Most people's suppliers don’t charge a fee for installing or removing meters. If yours does, think about switching supplier. Or tell your current supplier you’ll switch to another one - they might remove the fee if you stay with them.

Further help

Find out how to switch energy suppliers.

If you’re having problems switching, contact your local Citizens Advice bureau or the Citizens Advice consumer service.

Citizens Advice consumer service (Scotland)
Tel: 0808 223 1133 (Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm)

The Citizens Advice consumer service will provide energy and postal service advice to Scottish consumers. You can find out more about the service, including how to get in touch online, on Contact the consumer helpline

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