The cost of energy at the pump and in the home has been rising considerably. Homeowners have the option to reduce their energy bills by installing solar panels, upgrading their boiler and thermostat, and a host of other changes. Unfortunately renters don’t have that option. It is possible to convince a landlord to make energy-saving upgrades, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. 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. Weather stripping, 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 be hesitant to spend a lot on energy-efficient upgrades, but if these are likely to add value to the property – and are eligible for government rebates. They might be more likely to embrace these.
Consider Home Ownership
Both renting and ownership have their pros and cons. But if you do want to escape the annual rent spiral and take more control over your energy expenses, now might be a good time to make a move before inflation and rising house prices push this option out of reach. Your Credit Union is a great place to start – and to learn. We actually own our own home-loan company, which means you’ll get candid advice that works for just one person (you). And if you do decide to buy, then ask us for rates and terms. We’re highly competitive and will provide you with a dedicated team, plus hand-holding service at every step. Learn more here.