Alternative homes energy guidance

Rules, rights and support for domestic energy consumers who are on a non-domestic energy contract.

If you live in an alternative home, the rules that energy suppliers, site owners and landlords have to follow will depend on the type of energy contract you are on. For example, a non-domestic energy contact or a domestic energy contract.

You will likely get your energy supply through a non-domestic contract if you live:

  • on a traveller site
  • on a park home site
  • on a houseboat
  • in temporary work accommodation

If you live in one of these homes, you will probably not have your own contract with a domestic supplier. You will pay for the energy that you use to the site owner or landlord, and they will pay an energy supplier on your behalf.

If you live at a business premises like above a shop, pub, hotel or on a farm you may get your energy supply through the business energy meter. This means you will probably get your supply from a non-domestic contract.

Homes supplied by alternative energy

If your home is heated by liquid petroleum gas (LPG), this is regulated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Homes that are connected to a heat network will have new stricter rules and standards when we start regulating them. Read about how you can get involved and tell us your views about how we should regulate heat networks.

Rules site owners and landlords must follow

If site owners and landlords supply energy to domestic consumers, they cannot profit from the energy they resell to people who live there. This is called the maximum resale price direction.

Site owners and landlords can only sell you energy you use at the same price that they paid for it. They cannot charge you for any energy they use, for example running the site office.

You can be charged an extra fee for things like meter readings and invoicing on top of your energy costs. People living in park homes can only be charged this fee if it is included as an agreement, also known as an express term, in their written agreement.          

These rules do not apply if your energy costs are included in your rent or pitch fee.

Your rights

If you live in an alternative home and pay for the energy that you use to the site owner or landlord, you can:

  • ask the site owner or landlord what the unit rate is
  • ask to see the bills and contract between the site owner or landlord and energy supplier
  • ask how the energy bill charges are calculated

We cannot help with individual maximum resale price direction disputes. If a dispute cannot be resolved with the site owner or landlord, you can take it to be resolved by the civil courts.

When things go wrong

You can still get help and support if you do not have a domestic contract.

If you pay for your energy to a site owner or landlord and you are not happy with your energy supply, you should contact them. You can also get energy advice from Citizens Advice.

If you pay for your energy directly to a non-domestic supplier and are not happy you can complain to them. Micro Businesses can raise their complaint with the Energy Ombudsman if they are not happy with how their complaint has been resolved.

Energy supply issues

Contact your network operator if you need any extra help if you have a power cut. Find your network operator on the Energy networks association website. You do not need to have a contract with a supplier to contact your network operator.

Help with heating bills

You can get support to help with your heating bills from the UK government. Check if you are eligible for:

If you live in Scotland check if you can get Child Winter Heating Assistance.