Saving energy has become a crucial debate today. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, America currently produces 5,981 million metric tons of harmful carbon emissions. 13% of that total is released by the residential sector. These statistics may not be easy to visualize, but the increasing cost of energy is guaranteed to make an immediate impact on every household.
Incentives for Tenants to Conserve Energy
When you are a tenant, the incentive for conserving energy can often depend on your rental agreement terms. Research by Georgetown University revealed that 25% of tenants pay indirectly for their energy usage through their rent. These tenants are usually less likely to make the effort of saving energy as their true utility costs are concealed.
However, there is a catch— a tenant who is being wasteful with energy forces the landlord to pay higher energy bills. A property manager can quickly recoup this additional cost by raising the monthly rent. So, it’s in the best interests of every tenant to significantly reduce energy expenditure.
- Efficient Heating
Data from Statista has revealed that 43.9 million American homes are rented, accounting for approximately 34.6% of all households. Each home usually cites heating as the primary contributor to energy costs.
Check the thermostat on your heating system and turn it down by just one degree. It’s not enough to make you notice the drop in temperature, but it can save around 10% on your energy bills. Don’t block radiators with storage boxes or furniture, and remember to keep your curtains open when having a radiator on.
Turn off the heating in unused rooms to save wasting valuable warmth. If you are out all day, don’t schedule the heating to switch on until you are due home. Research conducted by the US Department of Energy has revealed that closing window coverings at night helps prevent 17% of energy loss.
- Saving Energy while Cooking
Your kitchen could be much more energy-efficient if you exchanged your gas or electric hob for an induction hob. The system uses electromagnetics to heat food with at least 10% of the energy usage of traditional methods. Some full-sized plug-in models don’t require a hard-wired installation. It means you can save money now, and when you move to another rented home, you can simply take your portable hob with you.
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An alternative is to invest in a slow cooker. You can prepare a meal in advance and leave it to save energy as it slowly cooks all day long. Simply keeping the lids on pans helps food to cook more quickly, saving energy in the process. Also, heat is lost if the pan size is much smaller than the burner.
- Refrigeration and Saving Energy
The Clean Energy Resource Teams have conducted tests to discover how the age of your fridge freezer influences energy use. New models use an average of 450 kW compared to 1,700 kW of a refrigerator that’s fifteen years old. You could save at least $150 per year with a new model.
Usually, your landlord is only legally required to provide cooking facilities. Your rental agreement should outline what the property’s facility management scheme should cover. If an aging refrigerator is provided as part of the apartment’s fittings, consult your landlord on the possibility of exchanging it for an updated, energy-efficient model.
Opening the refrigerator doors as little as possible prevents the thermostat from having to work overtime to restore an optimal temperature. A half-empty fridge also uses more electricity than one that’s well-stocked. Replenish foods frequently instead of waiting for a monthly trip to the grocery store. Defrost the interior regularly and use a vacuum to remove excess dust from the condenser at the rear of the unit.
- Improving Structural Energy-Efficiency
One area that is your landlord’s responsibility regarding repairs is the property’s structure. According to Washington DC’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, broken or ill-fitting window casements result in up to 30% heat loss.
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Structural repairs in your rental property might be taken care of much faster if maintenance is part of an organized facility management program. However, reporting faults to your landlord should help improve energy efficiency when issues such as broken window frames are repaired or replaced.
- Switch to LED Lighting
Moving into a rental property, check out the existing light bulbs. Data issued by Statista clearly shows that old-style incandescent bulbs use 75% more power than LED lighting. Yet the US Energy Information Administration discovered that only 27% of American households have switched to LED lighting.
Owner-occupiers are more likely to increase their usage of LED lighting. Tenants can benefit by saving money and energy by replacing incandescent bulbs. The reliability of LED lighting is far superior due to its lifespan being twenty-five times longer than incandescent bulbs.
There are additional measures you can make as a tenant to save energy and money. Always remember to turn the lights off in unoccupied rooms. Communal hallways usually remain illuminated, but they are your landlord’s responsibility. During the day, maximize natural daylight by opening window blinds and drapes.
- Saving Energy by Switching Off
According to Statista, 122 million American households have television sets. The average home has 2.5 TV appliances, while 31% own more than four. There appears to be no distinction between owner-occupiers and tenants.
However, an enormous amount of energy is wasted by leaving TV sets operating when everyone has left the room. Switching off the TV completely when it’s not needed helps save energy, as even leaving your TV set in standby mode contributes up to 5% of the total energy it uses.
PCs, laptops, and mobile devices can all help save energy if you switch them off as often as possible. For example, mobile phone charging is often carried out unnecessarily. The average time to recharge your mobile phone’s battery is around four hours. However, many Americans leave their phones charging for the whole night when they are asleep. Charging your devices when you can supervise the process and plug it out when needed saves some energy as well.
Saving energy when renting property is beneficial even if you don’t pay for utilities directly. It can help reduce carbon emissions and contribute to keeping your rent at a fixed level. Tenants who do pay directly for their energy are usually as eager as owner-occupiers to save wasting power. Once you discover how much money you can save, preventing energy waste becomes easier.