Easy Ways for Renters to Save Money on Energy Costs

CFL Bulb

Saving energy is an important topic for many people for two main reasons. The first is that saving energy also saves money. With the state of the economy, that’s always a concern. The second reason so many want to save energy is to ease the burden on the environment.

Businesses, arbitration attorneys, and even corporations are looking to go green these days, why shouldn’t you get in on the action and save some money in the process?

There are many things that a homeowner can do to make their homes more energy efficient that are not options for renters, but there are still plenty of easy, small ways that renters can save on home energy.

Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling costs make up the bulk of most energy costs so it makes sense that even small changes here can make a big difference on your utility bills.

One of the simplest ways to save in this area is to adjust the thermostat a bit. In the winter, lower the thermostat one degree lower than you normally do; in the summer, raise the thermostat one degree.

Each week, do this again until you notice a difference. When you do notice, go back one degree and leave it there. Energy savings could be as much as 5 percent for each degree of change.

Another very easy way to help with heating and cooling savings is to take advantage of solar power in the most basic way – through windows. In the winter, make sure you open the drapes or curtains to allow the sun in to warm the air during the day, and close them when the sun goes down. In the summer, do the opposite as you’ll want to keep the sun out so the house doesn’t get too warm.

Hot Water

For most families, hot water is the next largest expense when it comes to energy costs. Often, renters don’t have access to the actual water heater but there are still things you can do to reduce the cost of hot water.

One easy switch is to take short showers, instead of long showers or baths. A ten-minute shower uses far less hot water than a bath or a longer shower. If you’re used to taking a very hot shower, try going a little cooler. Not only does this save on costs, but it’s actually better for your skin health-wise.

If you have a washing machine in your unit, switch to using cold water to wash with, as much as possible. Up to 90 percent of the cost of doing a load of laundry is due to using hot water. Today, there are many detergents that are formulated to clean well in cold water, so hot water isn’t necessary for most laundry needs.

Lights

Lighting is one of the easiest areas to save energy and costs. One way to do this is to make the switch to energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). These bulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer. Even if you just change the most often used lights to CFLs, you can save a lot of money over the life of the bulbs.

Another very easy, and often overlooked, tip is to clean your light fixtures regularly, including dusting the light bulbs. Dust buildup reduces the amount of light a fixture emits and can make you use more lights than you truly need.

These are just a few of the easiest ways that renters can save on their energy costs. By making some simple changes, you’ll save both money and stress on the environment.

Photo: Cea