Landlords may be about to be on the receiving end of a hard sell on installing smart meters, especially if they have tenants considered to be poor.
Letting agent accreditation service says this week - Smart Meter Awareness Week - is the ideal opportunity for letting agents to emphasise to their landlords clients the benefits for tenants of installing smart meters.
Citing research from Smart Energy GB, Safeagent says tenants in the private rental sector are more likely to want smart meters when compared to other groups, but they are less likely to get them installed.
Safeagent says this could be due to confusion around who’s responsible for installation - it is usually the right of the bill payer but some tenancy agreements have clauses preventing smart meter installation without the landlord’s consent.
Safeagent claims that if tenants on lower incomes have a prepay meter, installing a smart meter could ultimately save them money by not having to step up to a more expensive tariff.
Traditionally, if a tenant fell into debt with a traditional analogue meter, their energy supplier could charge to install a new analogue prepayment meter in their home. However, with smart meters, customers can be switched from credit to prepayment mode without the cost of a new meter being added to their existing debt.
Smart meters also enable tenants to have more choice and ease of how they top up – online, with an app, on the phone, or via text message, without having to go to a shop.
Safeagent chief executive Isobel Thomson says: “Letting agents can play their part by explaining the many benefits of smart meters and supporting tenants by showing them how simple it is to have a smart meter installed.”
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