How to switch energy supplier as a tenant

If you’re renting, you could still switch your gas and electricity supplier. Here’s what you need to know about switching energy supplier and reducing your bills.

Changing your gas & electricity supplier

If you’re responsible for paying the energy bills in your rented accommodation, then you’re free to switch supplier and it’s simple to do.

It’s also worth checking your rental agreement to see if you’re required to tell your landlord, so you’re not in breach of your contract.

Switch and save up to €522 on your energy bills

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving

What if your landlord manages your energy bill?

If you pay your landlord directly for the gas and electricity you use, or it’s part of your monthly rent, you won’t be able to switch supplier.

This is because the energy account needs to be in your name, not your landlords in order to switch.

However, if you have a have a good relationship with your landlord, you could always carry out an energy comparison to find a better deal and see if they’ll switch on your behalf.

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How landlords calculate your energy use

Often, landlords simply send tenants a copy of the bill and ask for funds to be transferred to cover the bill amount.

However, sometimes landlords include all your bills into your rent. You won’t really know if you’re being charged accurately for your energy usage this way, but it can make it easier to budget by paying the same amount each month.

Check the details of the rental agreement before you sign and do some comparisons based on average energy usage to see how much bills should cost, so you’re not overpaying.

Our guide about the average gas and electricity bill in Ireland may be used as a reference.

How to handle unfair practices

If you’re renting in a house or apartment and suspect that your landlord is overcharging you, the first step is to ask how they calculate your energy usage or ask to see the bills.

If they refuse and you can’t resolve the issues, visit Citizens Information for further details on your rights.

What charges are you responsible for?

You should only be charged for the energy you use within your apartment or home. Keeping your usage down should result in lower bills, our top energy saving tips can help.

Any communal lighting or heating for example in the hallways of an apartment block, will usually be covered by the management fee, which should be covered by your rent.

Repairs and regulations

When you’re renting, any repairs to your central heating or electrics are not your responsibility, they are the landlord’s.

Your landlord is also responsible for making sure that any appliances they provide you with meet all health and safety regulations.

How to find a cheaper energy supplier

Once you’ve let your landlord know that you intend to switch, finding a cheaper energy supplier is really easy.

All you need to do is:

  • Complete an energy comparison
  • Choose the supplier you want to go with
  • Fill in a few details e.g. your address, gas and electricity meter numbers (GPRN) and (MPRN)
  • Take a meter reading.

We’ll then handle the switch for you with your new supplier and you can start saving on those bills. For more information on how to switch, check out our dedicated guide on how to switch your gas and electricity.

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When is switching more difficult as a tenant?

The main thing that makes switching more difficult is when the landlord has had a prepayment meter installed.

This can protect the landlord against unpaid energy bills or arrears linked to the property but result in tenants paying a higher unit rate for their gas and electricity.

Unlike other methods of paying for energy, where payment is usually done bi-monthly or monthly, prepay electricity or prepay gas meters require topping up before energy is used.

If you really don’t want to use prepay energy, speak to your landlord to see if they would be happy for you to have the prepay meter removed by the supplier and a regular meter installed.

Be aware that there may be a charge for this though.

What to do when you move out of a rental property

If you’re moving out of your rented accommodation and you currently pay your bills yourself, you’ll need to close off the account before you leave.

To do this you’ll need to:

  • Take a final meter reading on the day you move out
  • Call the supplier to let them know you’re moving out and give them this meter reading
  • Ask for a final bill to be sent out based off this meter reading
  • Inform your landlord you’ve taken these steps and arrange payment of the final bill with them

Our moving house checklist has lots of useful tips to help make your move go smoother.

Are your belongings covered?

When you rent a property, your landlord is responsible for insuring the building itself with buildings insurance, and any contents if the property is furnished.

However, your own belongings and valuables are your responsibility and you’ll need to buy contents insurance to protect you against theft and damage.

Switch and save up to €522 on your energy bills

It only takes a few minutes to find a cheaper deal and start saving