Utilities liability – no contract?

by Readers Question

14:57 PM, 16th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Utilities liability – no contract?

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Utilities liability – no contract?

Do I need to pay the standing charge for electricity on an empty BTL when the previous tenant changed it without my permission and they do not have a contract with me.

It has never happened before. I told them by phone I did not want their service.

My supplier was British Gas and now EDF.

Many thanks



Ken Johns

9:42 AM, 17th April 2018
About 3 years ago

I may be wrong on this, but it does not matter which supplier you use they will all want some form of standing charge, even if it is a prepay meter.

Simon M

10:02 AM, 17th April 2018
About 3 years ago

If the previous tenant was paying for the electricity, they have the right to switch supplier. See Ofgem advice: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/how-switch-energy-supplier-and-shop-better-deal/how-switch-energy-supplier-if-you-re-tenant. This must mean you are liable to EDF until you switch.
You'll need light or heat to show new tenants round, and the cost isn't significant so I would just pay it and move on. Switch if you want to go back to BG. Or you could transfer to Eon Landlord's scheme and you won't be charged for up to a month while you find a new tenant.

Rob Crawford

11:28 AM, 17th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Hi Ken, be careful. If you advised them that you do not want their service they may cut you off. You would then have to pay a service provider to reconnect at some extortionate cost!


17:57 PM, 17th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Some suppliers will supply electricity with a zero standing charge, albeit at a higher unit rate. The Which website lists about half a dozen, but 2 I have used myself for a holiday home are Ebico and Solarplicity.

Jerry Jones

21:45 PM, 17th April 2018
About 3 years ago

I currently have Utilita on a couple of mine.

Ken Johns

22:32 PM, 17th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Rob Crawford at 17/04/2018 - 11:28
Sorry, did not mean switch off, indeed the opposite. My point was that we have to pay electric companies standing charges during void periods

Colin Dartnell

9:51 AM, 18th April 2018
About 3 years ago

Hi Ken
Basically they have equipment in the property, meter and main fuse, so it is expected that they will want some kind of charge. All be it a small one.

brian clement

23:56 PM, 21st April 2018
About 3 years ago

are you planning on using any gas/elec while property is empty. if not - register contract in your name. contract starts when you start using energy (not when you register) so you wont pay any standing charge. if they try charging you contact them saying you are a landlord. property is empty and no elec/gas is being used at the address. its easy. don't worry about using a few lightbulbs to show people around. it wont show on the meter.

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