Social Landlords use void energy management to ensure energy supplies are restored on day one of the void period. A complete void energy management service will reduce, and sometimes completely eliminate energy spend during the void periods. A complete and correct void energy management service will ensure tenants move into their new property with either a lower priced energy supplier or the cheapest energy supplier. A tenant should never move into a property with a new energy supplier which is more expensive than the previous energy supplier. This is actually happening across the UK right now.
Back in 2006 when I created our service, we used the phrase ‘energy management for housing associations‘. Over the years this has condensed to ‘void energy management‘. Different void energy management providers would attach slightly different meanings to the phrase, but our definition above describes a more comprehensive void energy management service for Social Housing.
For anybody outside of social housing, if you mentioned void energy management it is likely that you’d be met with a blank look, but as more and more social landlords are targeted with shorter void periods (2% max) and 100% rent collection, void energy management in social housing has become incredibly significant. If energy can be reinstated on the same day, this can dramatically reduce void periods and whilst tenants are paying less for their energy, there is more disposable income for rent. For correlation between energy spend and rent arrears, see the recent Touching the Voids report by Sustainable Homes.
What are the benefits of void energy management?
Even if you already have a void energy management partner, it’s important to know if you’re receiving all of these benefits:
- Ensure the void energy management partner is impartial
- Identifying the existing energy supplier(s) for the property
- Notify energy supplier(s) on change of occupancy
- Have an optional water and council tax notification
- Restore energy supplies within the same day, regardless of who supplies the property
- Have more than one void energy provider to choose from
- Offer free energy during void periods
- Provide a smart meter roll out service
- Ensure that tenants are offered the lowest priced energy tariffs available
- Provide tangible energy cost savings reports for tenants and voids
- Support existing tenants throughout their tenancy to help find the cheapest energy suppliers
- Attend local events and provide additional, in person support to help your tenants find the cheapest energy suppliers
- Void Energy Management services are usually free of charge
So, as a social housing provider, the above should be your minimum checklist when looking for a void energy management partner if you want to have a true void energy management solution.
Who provides void energy management?
There are a number of service providers for void energy management. Most are energy suppliers but some are independent who can be impartial. We believe that we have the most comprehensive void energy management service and so we’ll happily list a number of other providers for you below:
- Energy Angels
- British Gas
- Robin Hood Energy
- Green Energy Switch (Formerly PECT)
- National Housing Federation (provided by Green Star Energy)
- Monarch Partnership
- Utility Renewals
If all void energy management options from all companies were presented to your voids team, lettings team, financial inclusion team and tenants with all benefits listed, which would they choose?
For more information on our service, please visit Void Energy Management for Social Housing