Private tenants who share are being urged to use smart meters in a bid to save on their energy costs.
A campaign by Smart Energy GB says smart meters are ideal for those who rent, as they show how much energy you are using in pounds and pence, in near-real time.
In a survey, the not-for-profit organisation carried out amongst private tenants, 27% said their main worry was housemates using too much energy and being unable to afford the resulting bill.
It also found 46% of the 1003 respondents were arguing more with their housemates since the cost of living crisis began and 25% of arguments were about energy waste and 33% were about bills in general.
Smart meters, which are replacing analogue energy meters across the country, have several benefits that could help take the heat out of household arguments.
The main advantage is they all come with an in-home display showing how much energy is being used, in near-real time. It is perfect for proving to flatmates exactly how much energy they are using by leaving the lights on, one of the most common (27%) annoyances renters have with those they share with.
It also reduces the need for landlords to support tenants through the moving in process and reduce disputes with things like final meter readings at the end of a lease, leading to lower costs relating to disputes.
Smart meters also automatically submit meter readings, which means no more crawling around in cupboards for the unfortunate bills boss. With a smart meter, bills are accurate every month, so you’ll know what to expect and you’ll only pay for what you use.
Nearly 30 million smart meters have been installed across the country, but the number is growing.
Sheldon Bosley Knight’s lettings manager Josh Jones said: “Smart meters are a great idea for anyone who is concerned about keeping track of the amount of energy used in the home.
“They can be particularly useful for those in a shared tenancy as they can show exactly how much energy is being used, when and by whom.”
Visit www. smartenergygb.org for more information or contact your energy supplier to request a smart meter at no extra cost.
Help is available if you are struggling to afford your energy bills or top up your prepayment meter. Visit https://www.nea.org.uk/advice-support/information-leaflets/ or www.eas.org.uk if you are in Scotland.