Ways for Renters to Reduce Energy Bills
Owning a home means you can install solar panels, upgrade your thermostat, and any other changes that will save you money on energy bills. Unfortunately, people who rent their homes, don’t have that option. It is possible to convince a landlord to make energy-saving upgrades, but it’s unlikely. However, there are smaller money-saving measures that can reduce the cost of energy.
No matter how your landlord feels about solar energy and upgrade costs, steps can be taken to reduce the amount of energy you use and the size of the utility bills you pay. Here are some proven ways to save energy (and money) as a renter.
Upgrade your lighting.
It does not take much time or money to screw in a new light bulb. Upgrading lighting with LED bulbs is the simplest and easiest way to reduce energy usage.
Use the dishwasher if you have one.
It may be counterintuitive, but newer dishwashers use less water than hand washing. So if your dishwasher is relatively new, automatic washing could save you money (as long as you wait for the unit to be full).
Wash your clothes in cold water.
You may not need to use hot, or even warm, water to get your clothes clean. If your clothes aren’t deeply stained, you can probably get the job done on the cold setting instead.
Set your thermostat for maximum savings.
If you cannot convince your landlord to install a programmable thermostat, it’s still possible to make the most of the one you have. For example, setting the thermostat to a lower temperature in winter and a higher one in summer could save a ton on utility bills.
Seal your leaking windows.
Your landlord may not want to install new windows, but that doesn’t stop you from sealing the existing ones. This simple upgrade requires only the most basic tools and supplies, and it should cost under $100 to do an entire apartment. Weatherstripping, caulk, and spray foam can seal the small leaks.
Unplug devices and appliances when not in use.
Appliances and devices are using energy even when they are not in use. Unplugging them could save you a lot of money, and plugging them back in only takes a few seconds.
Install a low-flow showerhead.
Replacing an old showerhead with a more efficient model takes only a few minutes, and the energy and water savings could be significant. Just make sure you keep the old showerhead to swap it back on moving day.
Check for water leaks and other maintenance issues.
Even a tiny leak could send your water bills through the rented roof, so do a leak check and call the landlord.
Set the temperature on the water heater.
You may not own the water heater, but you can still adjust the temperature. Setting the water heater to a lower temperature could significantly reduce utility bills without impacting your comfort.
Talk to your landlord.
Your landlord may not be as reluctant as you think to embrace energy-saving upgrades. Those upgrades could increase the property’s value, and that will be a win for everyone.
You may think that you are helpless as a renter. The good news is that you have more control than you might think, and the tips listed above can help you save money.