£400 energy rebate for 4 studio units when tenants are on the edge?

£400 energy rebate for 4 studio units when tenants are on the edge?

8:39 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago 12

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How do my tenants get the £400 energy rebate when they pay their gas bills as part of their rent? I have a house in 4 studio units, the water and gas are included in the rent payment while electricity is paid for with a £1 coin meter in each unit which I collect and pay to the utility company.

I have approached my supplier to have token meters fitted so each tenant can have their own bill but they have declined saying they are not carrying out this work at the present time (Bulb Energy).

All 4 tenants are vulnerable on full LHA and other benefits. As such they cannot pay any more towards costs and I cannot afford to continue to cover the rocketing energy bills they are running up.

I am guessing I could get one payment of £400 as the person named utility bill but I require £1600 to cover all 4 tenants.

This would then be paid to Bulb via me if not directly by whoever is paying the £400…

If they don’t pay then I have no option but to raise their rent which they cannot pay and then to end their tenancies and re-let to those who can afford the bills.

I have known these guys for years and consider them friends, this is a complete nightmare not just financially but on a personal/human level as well.


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Reluctant Landlord

8:56 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

if you are the bill payer then you will get 1 x £400 payment which will go towards the one bill. You wont get 4 x £400 as you don't have 4 separate meters/accounts.

Bulb will not replace meters - just had the same with care leaver tenant of mine who wanted to switch to a Ec 7 meter - so all I could so was suggest switching supplier who will change the meter so she can use Ec 7.

Seems to me like your only option is to get individual prepayment meters installed in each flat and each tenant pay their own bills direct or you are going to get stung forever more on this.

Reluctant Landlord

9:00 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

I forgot to say that Bulb MAY change the meters to prepayment ones, but it would mean that the payments would need to be via DD set up. They are loathed to set up a DD for tenants where they are on benefits though so may refuse....
This is the reason why they would not change my tenants meter for a duel feed one. She is now looking for another supplier.

Jerry stone

9:21 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Otherwise give them the money when you receive it.

Jo Westlake

9:25 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

If you had 4 separate supplies each would be paying around £189 a year standing charge.
So your tenants wouldn't be £400 better off, only £211.

If you increase the rent there is a chance your tenants could get a Discretionary Housing payment. Do some research first into local comparable rent and remember you can only have one increase every 12 months whereas the utility price cap can increase every 3 months.

Judith Wordsworth

9:29 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

As the electricity bill payer you get the £400, which is being given per electric not gas supply, not your tenants. Tell your tenants you will give each of them £50 towards their electrical coin meters and £50 towards their gas included in their rent.
I doubt any suppliers will change the individual coin meters to accounts in the tenants names, too much liability

Paul Maguire

9:33 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

I had a letter from British Gas to say that my bill would be reduced by £66 to £67 each month until the £400 ran out so you'll not necessarily receive a lump sum.

Alan Bromley

9:50 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Just a comment about Economy 7 as it's been mentioned here. It's worth checking how much night-time vs daytime electricity is being used because while the night tariff is very low, the day tariff will be very high: currently with EDF it's 37.2p, 14.14p and 29.49p for day, night and standard, respectively. Furthermore, E7 times are vague and seem to depend on the supplier, particularly if you have a smart meter where they can control things.

We have E7, not because we have night-storage heaters but because I use electricity to heat greenhouses in the winter (mostly at night) and now also have an electric car which I charge from 00:00 to 08:00. Given the very high day tariff (that's before October's huge increase) it is currently only just about worth having E7.

Incidentally, most suppliers will allow you to revert to a standard tariff by taking the combined reading from an E7 meter, although the EDF call centre didn't really understand and kept saying I needed a new meter.

Mark Butler

10:25 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jerry Stone at 30/08/2022 - 09:21
Any monies received will be paid straight to Bulb which is probably the best option all things considered.

Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

12:14 PM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

You aren’t in a good position as Energy prices will continue to rise for next 5 years. Let’s hope that a price freeze for next two years is implemented. However you could Add submeter to each unit and issue new AST at renewal date to not include bills . You will still have the pay the Bulb bill but you can then recharge the energy used at the price you paid for it. It does mean you need to read the meters each month and submit your readings. I think I would pay for the Payg metering to be installed and switch supplier. It may be a hassle and a cost but future proofs your costs.


12:22 PM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

I guess every HMO owner is going through this, and their tenants will always be at the lower end of the rental market, on the lowest pay (if at all). I don't think the government will do anything to help HMO owners.

It will also affect holiday let owners, but at least they can increase their charges. However, 20 years ago, we let our property to an American couple for 3 months who had just come over for the husband's job. He was out all day, but the wife was in, and had the heating on full plus used the entire supply of logs for the burner (it was Winter, but not overly cold). The bill was huge, even then, and they refused to pay towards it.

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