Energy Savings for Renters: What You Can Do
Many renters feel like energy saving strategies are only for homeowners, but there are a number of energy-saving opportunities that renters can implement. Efficiency Maine offers guidance for renters on adopting energy-smart habits, from installing high-efficiency bulbs and high-efficiency appliances to working with your landlord on energy upgrades.
You may be able to reduce your utility costs by implementing some of Efficiency Maine’s tips for saving energy. These no- to low-cost options can yield savings on heating costs and electric bills.
Switching out traditional incandescent bulbs with LEDs can significantly reduce lighting costs. In fact, replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED can save, on average, over $5.00 a year per bulb. Calculate how much you could save with Efficiency Maine’s Lighting Savings Calculator. Efficiency Maine also discounts LEDs at major retailers and hardware stores and maintains a list of the best deals for LEDs across the state.
Another way to trim electricity consumption is to find out which of your appliances and electronics draw the most energy. Borrow an electricity monitor from your local library to gauge the monthly or annual cost of each appliance or device—from a toaster oven to your gaming console. The monitor can help identify which appliances draw power even when switched off (a phenomenon that is known as phantom load). This information may help you choose which appliances to upgrade or turn off. Many people reduce phantom load by plugging things first into an advanced power strip.
When it comes time to replace an appliance, consider buying an Energy Star model that consumes less electricity. If your landlord is planning an appliance upgrade—request that the new model is one certified by Energy Star.
Renters can also be advocates, encouraging landlords to install energy upgrades—like added insulation or more efficient (and often quieter!) heating systems. Do some research on the Efficiency Maine website to help make the case to your building owner.
Efficiency Maine has helped thousands of owners of multi-family units throughout the state take measures to improve their building’s efficiency. Here are a few case studies that you could share with your landlord:
As a renter, you may not have as much control over your energy use as a homeowner, but there are still plenty of ways that you can save money and benefit the environment. See Efficiency Maine’s Resources for Renters for more ideas.