Whether you have a property that is currently unoccupied, or you have just inherited a property, you may want to keep the operational costs as low as possible.
The main cost for an unoccupied home may be energy usage. Despite being empty, it is good practice to ensure the heating occasionally comes on to keep your boiler and heating system in good working order.
This leads to the task of finding the best energy tariff for an empty house.
In this article, we’re going to explore home energy for empty homes. We’ll start with why it matters to be on the right tariff even though the house is empty and go on to explore the best energy tariffs for low usage.
Why do energy tariffs matter in unoccupied properties?
You may think you do not need to worry about a property that isn’t in use. However, if you’re on the wrong energy tariff, it can cost you more than you think.
Whether you are looking to sell the property or live in it in the future, upkeeping home energy ensures that the property remains in good condition. Heating systems left completely off during the winter months can cause issues such as frozen pipes. An expensive problem if pipes crack or burst.
One of the ways energy suppliers can earn money from your empty property is not necessarily through gas and electricity usage. It is through a standing charge.
You might be wondering “do I have to pay a standing charge on an empty property?” Luckily, no…
What is a standing charge?
A standing charge is a fee you pay on top of what you pay for your gas and electricity to be delivered to your home. This is charged at a flat rate no matter how much gas and electricity you use.
This covers the costs of keeping your home connected to the energy network, meter readings, and services, it’s a fixed amount that is usually listed on your bills as a “daily unit rate.”
This cost can add up in empty home energy bills. However, Ofgem legislation in 2016 removed the need for energy tariffs to have a standing charge. In many cases, you’ll now just pay as you go for the energy you use to keep the property ticking over.
What are the best energy tariffs for an unoccupied property?
To find the best energy tariffs for unoccupied properties you can use our comparison service. You will have a range of energy deals to choose from, but you should look for a deal with little to no standing charge.
As you may want to keep your heating system operational to ensure it stays in good condition, you may want to switch to an Economy 7 tariff. This tariff charges you two different rates for your home energy.
For 7 hours during the evening, you will be charges a much lower rate. A great opportunity to set a heating timer at a low cost for a couple of hours. However, the rate during the day will be much higher than the average fixed-rate tariff. So, it’s important to keep that in mind.
It’s also worth remembering when you look at the quote options that many providers will increase their energy rates to compensate for the lack of a standing charge. This means that, while you’ll save on average 15p-£1.40 per day from not paying the standing charge, you need to carefully compare options for the best energy tariffs for low usage side by side.