8 Ways To Decrease Your Utility Bills as a Renter

Woman paying her utility bills online and looking worried while staying at home during the pandemic - home finances concepts.
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As a renter, you may often find yourself seeking ways to reduce expenses and save money. Of course, rent payments most likely constitute the largest part of your monthly budget, but utility bills are another cost that can quickly add up.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can employ to decrease your utility bills without compromising on comfort or convenience. These tips will help you make a positive impact on both your financial situation and the environment.

Energy-Efficient Lighting

According to Sheena Marundan of Archic Furniture, one great way to decrease your utility bills as a renter is by replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives like LED bulbs. LED bulbs not only consume less energy but also have longer lifespans, making them a cost-effective choice.

Additionally, remember to develop the habit of turning off lights when they’re not in use and take advantage of natural light whenever possible. For specific areas that require focused lighting, consider using task lighting instead of illuminating the entire room, as it can help conserve energy and minimize unnecessary expenses.

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Temperature Regulation

Marundan advises renters to make adjustments to their thermostats in order to achieve energy savings. Lowering the temperature during winter and raising it in summer can notably decrease heating and cooling expenses.

Additionally, she suggests taking advantage of natural climate control by opening windows for ventilation during mild weather, rather than relying solely on air conditioning or heating systems. To further optimize energy usage, using window coverings like curtains or blinds can help block direct sunlight during summer months and retain warmth during winter. These small changes really add up.

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Seal Air Leaks

Drafts around windows, doors and other openings can lead to heat loss or infiltration of hot air, causing your heating and cooling systems to work harder. Use weatherstripping, caulking or draft stoppers to seal air leaks and enhance energy efficiency. This simple step can result in substantial savings on your utility bills.

Efficient Appliance Use

Unplug electronics and small appliances when not in use, as they still consume energy in standby mode. This is all to say: Be mindful of how you use appliances. 

Opt for energy-efficient appliances with high Energy Star ratings when making purchasing decisions. “They consume less energy and can save you money in the long run,” Marundan said.

You also can use appliances like washing machines, dishwashers and dryers during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower.

Water Conservation

Marundan emphasizes the importance of adopting water-saving habits as a renter. This includes taking shorter showers, promptly fixing any leaks and utilizing water-efficient showerheads and faucet aerators.

By implementing these practices, you can effectively reduce water usage and contribute to lower utility bills. When using appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine, make sure to run full loads to maximize water and energy efficiency. Additionally, consider installing a water-saving device in the toilet tank, which can reduce water consumption with each flush, further promoting conservation and cost savings.

Smart Power Strips

Marundan suggests making an investment in smart power strips, which have the ability to detect when devices are in standby mode and automatically cut off power. This proactive approach helps reduce vampire energy consumption caused by devices that continue to draw power even when not in use.

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For energy-intensive devices such as computers, gaming consoles or entertainment systems, Marundan recommends plugging them into these smart power strips. By doing so, you can prevent unnecessary energy usage and contribute to greater energy efficiency in your rental space.

Talk to Your Landlord

This one might sound intimidating, but according to Marundan, it works. Ask your landlord about energy-saving initiatives. For example, can they install programmable thermostats or energy-efficient appliances? That’s not only a win for you, but cost saving for them in the long run. 

Community Efforts

Encourage active participation among your fellow renters or neighbors to foster energy-saving practices collectively. Initiate discussions or organize initiatives that raise awareness and promote sustainable habits within the community. By sharing your experience and information, you can inspire others to adopt energy-efficient behaviors and create a positive impact on everyone’s utility bills, as well as the environment.

Take advantage of community resources and explore local government programs that provide incentives, rebates or grants for energy-efficient upgrades. These programs may offer support for initiatives such as weatherstripping or insulation, which can significantly enhance energy efficiency in your rented space. By utilizing these resources, you not only reduce your utility bills but also contribute to a more sustainable future for your community.

However, Marundan issued one caveat: “Remember, as a renter, it’s essential to respect your lease agreement and seek permission from your landlord before making any significant modifications or installations.” 

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