Guest Blog: Ben Dhesi – for once, power to the tenants!

Landlords and tenants are never the easiest of bedfellows. Rent isn’t the only grievance which crops up time and again – who could forget energy bills? Take the case of […]

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By ELN reporter

Landlords and tenants are never the easiest of bedfellows. Rent isn’t the only grievance which crops up time and again – who could forget energy bills?

Take the case of a tenant I recently worked for, who wanted me to review their energy supply costs which they received via their landlord. They were in the age old scenario of landlord controlling the energy procurement supply chain.

It was a sticky situation: the tenant’s lack of control resulted in a supply chain that was not working for them but against them.

Know your rights

However I came across a piece of legislation called the Electricity and Gas (Internal Markets) Regulations 2011.

The legislation came into force in 2011 and gives “power” to the tenant who wants to control their supplies and feel they can get a better price and service directly or through their own appointed energy broker.

Now a tenant who gives notice to a landlord under these regulations can ask for the landlord to make provisions for them to secure their own supply. That’s even if it means making adjustments to their electricity or gas infrastructure within the landlord’s building. So in a multi-let and multi-occupied building every tenant has the freedom to choose.

The tenant may have to pay for these changes but the right exists nonetheless. Control over supply gives obvious freedom of choice to the tenant as more than likely the landlord or landlord’s broker may have preferred suppliers.

Pick your own greens – green contracts, that is

Not only that, but the type of contract such as a fixed or flexible supply contract also comes into the tenant’s remit. For CSR purposes the tenant can source Green or Climate Change Levy (CCL) Exempt electricity contracts.

These don’t just give you green/CSR credentials – contracts like these are currently cheaper in many cases than brown contracts. The landlord can source green contracts for the tenant but the landlord takes all the “green credit”.

Ben Dhesi is a qualified solicitor and Head of Energy Management at Pulse Business Energy. Pulse were finalists for I&C Most Trusted, Most Innovative and Rising Star at The Energy Live Consultancy Awards in 2013.

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