Can I Get a Smart Meter in a Rented Property?

Are You Allowed to Install a Smart Meter in a Rented Property?

smart meter in a rented property

Can I Get a Smart Meter if I Rent?

smart meter in a rented property

While many people have been rushing to submit their energy meter readings to avoid paying more for their gas or electricity than they should be, those with smart meters have been able to sit back and relax.

With energy prices rising exponentially, more and more people are considering getting smart meters to see if it will help them save on their monthly bills. But what about if you’re renting your home?

If you’re living in a rented property and pay the bills for gas or electricity, you can choose to have a smart meter installed.

Take a look at our renter’s guide to smart meters to find out more about installing a smart meter in a rented property. And whether having a smart meter in a rented property is even a good idea.

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What is a Smart Meter?

smart meter in a rented property

A smart meter allows you to wave goodbye to estimated billing. Smart meters give both you and your energy provider accurate and regular updates on how much electricity and/or gas you’re using.

The main difference between a traditional gas and electricity meter and a smart meter is that they automatically send this information over wireless networks to your supplier.

Can I Get a Smart Meter if I’m Renting a Property?

Yes, you can get a smart meter if you’re renting as long as you’re the energy account holder and you pay the energy bills.

Many homes can upgrade to a smart meter right now, but where you live, the type of home you live in, and the age and type of your existing electricity meter might mean your energy supplier will take longer to get yours to you.

Is Installing a Smart Meter in a Rented Property a Good Idea?

Yes, installing a smart meter in a rented property is a great idea as it makes it easier to manage your energy and credit. It means no more meter readings – instead, your smart meter will send your readings to your energy supplier automatically.

This means you’ll get accurate bills so you know you’re not paying any more than you need to. You can see what you’re spending in pounds and pence using real-time data. This makes it much easier to budget and potentially save to move out of rented and buy a house!

Another reason having a smart meter in a rented property is a good idea is that you don’t need to worry about submitting an end of tenancy meter reading on the day you move out. After you’ve informed your supplier of your move out date, your smart meter will take the final meter reading for you automatically.

Having a smart meter installed in a rental could also be beneficial for the environment. Smart meters should help you cut down on energy waste by forecasting demand more efficiently. In fact, the government predicts that the smart meter roll-out could eventually save £650 million of energy wasted within the system.

How is a Smart Meter Installed in a Rented Property?

smart meter in a rented property

Installing a smart meter in a rented property can be broken down into four simple steps:

  1. Preparation – the engineer will conduct final checks of the tools and equipment and ensure everyone in the house is on board.
  2. Inspection – the engineer will do a visual check of your boiler and other gas appliances to ensure they’re in working order. 
  3. Installation – the engineer will install your smart meter which should take around two hours. They’ll need to switch off your gas and electricity supply for approximately 30 minutes. 
  4. Final checks – once the engineer has completed the smart meter installation, they’ll check everything is working correctly.

And it’s as simple as that! Now you’re ready to start using your smart meter in your rented property.

How Much Will a Smart Meter Cost to Install?

Installing a smart meter in a rented property shouldn’t cost you anything extra as the cost has already been covered through your bills. You just need to ask your supplier to see if your home is suitable for a smart meter.

Do I Need the Landlord’s Permission to Get a Smart Meter?

It’s definitely worth telling your landlord before you get a smart meter in a rented house. There might be rules in your rental contract about how energy is supplied, including the type of meter that can be installed.

However, Ofgem, Britain’s independent energy regulator, says your landlord or letting agency shouldn’t unreasonably prevent you from installing a smart meter in a rented property. If you are the one paying for the gas or electricity in your rented home, you should be able to choose to have a smart meter installed.

My Landlord Pays the Energy Bills; Can I Still Get a Smart Meter in a Rented Property?

If your landlord pays the energy bills at your rented property, it’s ultimately up to them whether to get a smart meter or not. But, don’t let this put you off if you want a smart meter – it’s certainly worth asking to see if they’ll get one.

It could help to tell your landlord why you’d like to install a smart meter – including how installing a smart meter could help future tenants have better control over their energy bills.

Can I Have a Smart Meter in a Rented Flat?

smart meter in a rented property

Smart meters can be installed in most flats, but if you’re living in a rented flat that has gas and electric meters which are more than 10m apart or on different floors, you’ll need to get smart meters with signal boosters which aren’t available in all areas.

The further away your smart meter is from your block’s electricity meter, the harder it will be for the in-home display to connect to your new smart meter.

Can I Have a Smart Meter if My Meters are in a Communal Cupboard?

Yes, but the engineer will need access to your meters so you’ll need to ensure you have a key or can get access to the cupboard on the day of installation.

What Happens to My Smart Meter When I Move Out of My Rented Home?

When you eventually move out of your rented home, you will leave your smart meter there. If you’re moving to a property without a smart meter, you will have to go through the installation process all over again.

I Might Switch Supplier in Future. Can I Still Get a Smart Meter Installed?

You don’t have to get a new smart meter when you switch energy suppliers. If you have a SMETS2 smart meter installed, you’ll be able to switch energy suppliers without any interruption to your readings, bill payments or gas and electricity supply. 

I’m a Landlord, Should I Get a Smart Meter for My Rental Property?

Installing a smart meter in a rented property is becoming an increasingly popular choice amongst both tenants and landlords alike.

While a smart meter won’t change your energy efficiency rating, it presents a good way to help tenants take control of their energy bills. It will also let tenants know that you’ve considered the environmental impact of your property.

However, if you’d rather your tenants not install a smart meter in your rental property, you do have the option to manage the energy bill payment yourself and include it in monthly rental charges.

Can I Install a Smart Meter Without the Tenant’s Permission?

Ultimately, the bill payer at the property makes the decision on whether a smart meter can be installed in a rented property. As a landlord, if you’d like to install a smart meter but your tenants aren’t keen, you can choose to manage the energy bill payment yourself and include it in the monthly rental charges. This would allow you to install a smart meter.

However, it’s always a good idea to talk to your tenants about any changes you’d like to make to the property. If your tenants would prefer to submit their meter readings manually, smart meters can work in a traditional mode too.

All you have to do is ask your supplier to disable the smart functions of the meter. In this case, your meter would operate in the same way as a normal electricity meter and won’t transmit any data to your supplier. But this would result in the loss of your smart meter’s benefits, such as accurate bills through automated meter readings.

Whose Responsibility is it to Book the Smart Meter Installation in a Rented Property?

When it comes to booking in your smart meter installation in a rented property, there’s a whole lot of confusion around whose responsibility it is. In short, it is up to the person who pays the energy bills for the property to organise smart meter installation with their energy supplier.

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