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What do I do if my landlord supplies my business energy?


Switching business energy is straightforward when you own your premises, but if you’re a tenant in a leased property, it can be more difficult to change suppliers. However, it is not impossible!

If your business operates in rented premises, your energy contract will be handled in one of two ways:

  • You pay your energy bills directly to your supplier
  • You pay your landlord and they pass the cost on to you

It can be frustrating trying to switch when your landlord has a preferred supplier or handles your costs for you, there are ways to tackle this problem!

You pay your energy bills directly to your supplier

As a tenant you have the right to switch your business energy supplier, and the landlord for your premises cannot stop you from switching. Although when moving business premises, make sure to check the tenancy agreement for a ‘preferred’ or ‘default’ supplier.

A default supplier is the supplier your landlord would prefer you use for your business gas and electricity. If your landlord has a preferred supplier, this should be clearly stated in your tenancy contract. If you have not yet signed a contract for your business, you can negotiate with your landlord about this clause.

However, even if a default supplier has been mentioned in your tenancy contract, they cannot stop you if you would like to switch energy suppliers as long as you are paying the suppliers directly. So if you want to switch your gas and electricity supplier, make sure you read the small print of your contract to see if you need to tell your landlord about the switch.

Your landlord pays your energy bills and invoices you for them – or includes the cost in your rent

When your landlord pays your energy bills, it is common for tenants to be unaware of who supplies their business energy, but this can leave businesses very vulnerable to paying over the odds for their gas and electricity!

If you’re currently uncertain about who supplies your business with power, you can request to access this information from your landlord and under the Electricity and Gas (Internal Markets) Regulations 2011, you have the right to compare and switch energy supplier if you’re unhappy with your current tariff. Even if your business is in a multi-tenanted building, you can still request a different supplier. Your premises’ landlord must acknowledge your request within 10 days and respond either accepting your wish to switch supplier or to explain why they may object.

If your business is one of many on a large property complex, your landlord may buy energy in bulk which can allow them to fix prices. In this situation, your request to switch may be rejected by your landlord due to the financial burden it could place on them. Landlords can also reject energy switching requests if the cabling to your building doesn’t have enough capacity for alterations to supply.

If you feel that your landlord is being unreasonable and obstructing you from switching energy tariffs, you should contact them to resolve the situation. If negotiations are not successful, you can contact the Ombudsman to help you handle the situation.
For businesses whose landlord has allowed them to switch your gas and electricity supply, our online comparison service is quick and easy to use. We compare gas and electricity quotes from a range of suppliers to help you find the best deal for your business! Switch with us today!

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"Cheryl was a great help, talked me through it all and made the process really simple."

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