Providing an offer for the entire building

Hey Bulb,

I got this idea while thinking of my apartment’s broadband back in Finland where it’s not uncommon for an ISP to make an (attractive) offer for a broadband for the entire building which usually saves money for all its residents (sure, you still may have households that don’t want broadband but it’s quite rare). Of course, broadband a fixed monthly charge regardless how much you use it so meter reading are not an issue and its consumption does not vary according to seasons. Still, I think Bulb should investigate the feasibility of making offers for electricity and/or gas for entire blocks of flats and residential complexes as it may yield attractive results for rapid expansion in the energy retail market.

One of the main challenges in the UK is decision making. In Finland, most blocks of flats are limited liabilities meaning they have shareholder meetings which can easily make these sort of decisions, assuming the majority backs them up. In the UK, this sort of body doesn’t exist with most buildings so Bulb would either have to contact managing agents, housing associations or focus purely on those residential entities which are capable of making this sort of decision with least possible hassle. Indeed, it may turn out to be too much hassle for most of the cases but then again, you never know until you try.

I at least supported the switch for my Broadband in Finland…it costs €8 a month :slight_smile:

I think this is a really interesting idea. You say that it might be too much hassle to contact a housing association, but it might be worthwhile for Bulb to do it if we can bring over a whole building worth of people, and if we can save people money then it’s a win win.

This is an interesting idea. And a great one at that. But I think for flats you’ll need the landlord to play ball. So if you can do that then there’s a high change this’ll work

Yes it sounds a very sensible idea, I know theres blocks of student accommodations that are privately let that possibly already do something like this as the bills are included in the weekly charges.
maybe look at contacting big construction companies who are presently building apartments and flats might be good to get in at the start.
does this sort of thing exist in any way shape or form in the uk now, as we live in a bungalow I really don’t know myself.

@pinkcalculator
The base idea exists. But it’s never to benefit the end user. Just the landlord and the company itself as the end user doesn’t have much say in the matter.
I saw it on Watchdog

This could actually really work, but there’s something needing thinking about.

I’ve lived (in my younger days) in accommodation run by housing associations. The whole block is owned by the association but the power was the tenants responsibility to hook up and pay. In this instance the necessity of choice is I think law. Insomuch as you can’t tell the tenant they have to use a certain company.

But as mentioned, student accommodation where the bills are included in the rent would be perfect for this approach. The power needs to be on the cheapest possible deal available as it’s a fixed amount per month that’s being paid to the landlord. In Brighton where I live it’s full of hmo’s who’d be your ideal target using this approach. I know for a fact lots of landlords include power with the rent, as left to their own devices lots of students default on those quarterly bills :anguished:

Worth investigating @Will at the very least!

Great ideas @dethomas.

@gindygoo @wolfieboy, if a tennant is paying for the energy then the landlord has no right to impose an energy supplier on them, so we’d go about this as transparently as possible. I think a lot of tennants would be happy for the association to work together to get a good deal if it meant savings with less hassle.

Hi Will…yes, I have yet to have heard from a tenancy agreement which enforeces an energy supplier upon them…well, at least if we refer to a regular tenancy agreements such as the ones I have had during my time in London.

Also, my suggestion was not to dispose with any meter reading duties but to simply aggregate all of the potential individual offers into one go by communicating with someone who is authorized to represent everyone in this matter. I could imagine that some new built apartment complexes might have a body to speak on behalf of all its residents…maybe.

@dethomas Good to see you on here and thanks for the input!

I’m currently looking into these ideas with the Residents’ association in the block of flats that I live in. Rather than a discount, we’re discussing a contribution that goes to the building upkeep (e.g in the communal garden) or local community for each sign up.

I’ve also offered to read everyone’s meters!

@Amit theres always going to be one who won’t comply.