Renters are only half as likely to switch energy supplier as homeowners, while one in five don't even know it's possible to switch, according to a new report by Ofgem.

After polling 1,383 electricity users and 1,227 gas customers in March this year, the energy regulator found that £200 could be saved on bills by the 9 million renters in Britain, if they switched supplier (see our Renting and switching guide).

It's Consumer Engagement Survey revealed that 74% of renters had never switched their gas, compared to 53% of homeowners who hadn't, while 77% of renters had never switched their electricity compared to 55% of homeowners who hadn't.

Ofgem says there's a lack of awareness among tenants about their rights to ditch and switch energy providers to get the best deal, while its a common myth among renters that they have to accept the energy suppliers already in place when they move in, despite this very rarely being the case.

Dermot Nolan, Ofgem's CEO, says: "The number of British households renting stands at 9 million and counting, yet research has shown that this group is not shopping around for their energy, and missing out on savings of up to £200."

Top tips for renters

Top tips for renters include:

  • Make sure you take meter readings when moving in and out of rented accommodation.
  • Ask your landlord if the current supplier charges any exit fees if you want to switch and whether there are any tie-in conditions on the current tariff.
  • Your landlord can't be unreasonable in preventing you from switching if you are the bill payer.
  • Keep your landlord informed if you do decide to change supplier.

For more tips see Ofgem's Be An Energy Shopper website.'s Renting and switching guide also has key info on renter's rights, while you can join our free Cheap Energy Club to see if you can save by switching.

We also have a printable factsheet you can give your landlord explaining the rights you have as a tenant to switch supplier.