If you live in rented accommodation and pay energy bills, you should know you can switch suppliers just like homeowners can, regulator Ofgem says.

Only 23% of bill payers who live in rented accommodation have changed energy company, almost half the figure for homeowners, according to an Ofgem survey (Not switched? Our free Cheap Energy Club will find the best deal for you).

Ofgem is pushing the message that renters can switch, saying tenants who have never switched could save £190 each year, on average, by doing so.

It says it wants to bust myths and break down information barriers.

You can get a better deal

If you live in rented accommodation and are responsible for dealing with bills that aren't included in your rent, Ofgem says you have the right to switch energy supplier to get a better deal.

In some circumstances, a landlord or letting agent may include a default supplier within their tenancy agreement – in which case they should let you know.

But even then, Ofgem's guidance states if you are directly responsible for paying the energy bill, then you have the right to switch supplier at any time without incurring an exit fee.

Ofgem also gives tips for tenants, which include:

  • Making sure you look out for any clauses in your tenancy agreement relating to energy suppliers.
  • Making sure you inform your landlord or letting agent after you switch supplier.
  • Taking meter readings when you move into a property and also when you move out, to make sure you're paying the correct amount.

Ofgem's Philip Cullum says: "At a time when nine million British households are renting and budgets are tight, it is important that consumers are clear about where they stand when choosing and switching their energy supplier."