Smart meters are more popular than ever, especially in rental properties where the tenant is responsible for paying their own utility bills. Installing a smart meter is a quick and easy task and it could save you significant amounts of time and money.
In this blog, we will tell you everything you need to know about installing a smart meter in a rented property.
What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is the next generation of an electricity and gas meter. With a smart meter, you have more control over your energy usage as you can view your digital meter reading in real-time. The system uses a secure smart data network and automatically sends the readings to your energy supplier at least once a month, so you receive accurate bills rather than estimates.
What are the benefits of a smart meter?
Here are some of the top reasons to install a smart meter in your rental property:
- Your smart meter will send your meter readings to your energy supplier automatically – so you don’t need to take manual readings anymore.
- You will only be charged for the energy you use.
- You can see how much energy you’re using in real-time. This will make it easier to budget for your energy and stay on top of your bills.
- If you’re on a Pay as You Go plan, you can top up remotely – meaning you won’t have to rush out to the shops to purchase energy when you run out.
- Smart meters are more eco-friendly as they help you maintain the ideal temperature and avoid wasted energy. This is better for the environment and your bank account! You can book an energy survey of your property if you want to find out more ways to save energy at home.
Can I install a smart meter in a rented property?
If you pay the utility bills in your rented home, you can choose to have a smart meter installed. Most homes can upgrade to a smart meter and energy companies have been asked to take “all reasonable steps” to install smart meters in every property.
Do I need my landlord’s permission?
If you are responsible for paying the bills at your rental property, then you can arrange to have a smart meter installed without your landlord’s permission. According to energy regulator Ofgem: “Your landlord or letting agency shouldn’t unreasonably prevent you from getting a smart meter.”
However, it is always a good idea to make your landlord aware that you want to install a smart meter, just in case there’s anything in your contract that would affect the decision.
What if my landlord pays the bills at my rental property?
If your landlord pays for gas and electricity at the rented property, then it’s their decision whether or not to install a smart meter.
It is always a good idea to ask your landlord whether they will install a smart meter at the property. Research by Smart Energy GB found that “72% of landlords would agree to get a smart meter installed, and a quarter had installed one themselves in a rental property.”
How is a smart meter installed?
There are four steps involved when installing a smart meter in a rented property.
Step 1: Preparation
The engineer will prepare his tools and equipment and make sure that the installation can go ahead.
Step 2: Inspection
The engineer will inspect your boiler and other gas appliances to make sure they are functioning correctly.
Step 3: Installation
Assuming the installation can go ahead, the engineer will install your smart meter which will take a couple of hours. They will need to switch off your gas and electricity for around 30 minutes during the installation.
Step 4: Final checks
Once the smart meter has been installed, the engineer will do final checks to make sure that the system is working correctly.
You can choose to have a smart meter installed if you are renting a property and pay for the gas or electricity bills. Switching to a smart meter can help you save energy and reduce the associated costs. You don’t necessarily need your landlord’s permission to install a smart meter, but it’s always best to speak to them before requesting a smart meter.