Those who rent their home know that some of the biggest monthly expenses besides rent is utilities. Most renters know the value of renters insurance for protecting their assets, but few know how they can limit their other expenses. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, more Americans are doing their best to cut back on energy use. However, not only can reducing energy use help the environment, it can save hundreds off the bill each year. Here are a few of the top ways renters can save on energy:
One of the most cost-effective methods to improve energy efficiency is to change some of the lighting in a home. Energy efficient light bulbs use up to 75 percent less energy than regular bulbs. According to Energy Star, replacing the five most used light bulbs with energy-saving lights can save $65 per year. In addition to saving money and energy, these light bulbs will also last 6 - 10 times longer, meaning you don't have to replace them as frequently. Besides replacing lights, you can save money on energy by turning off lights when you leave a room.
If you're able to control the temperature of your rented home, be sure to adjust it during seasonal changes, but be aware that the difference of a few degrees can be more expensive. During the winter at night, turning down the heat by just two degrees can greatly reduce your monthly bill. During the summer, keeping the house slightly warmer can have the same impact.
As smartphones and other gadgets continue to become more widely used, energy is being used to charge and power them. If you have several electronics in your home, be sure to unplug them once they are charged. Leaving cords in even when they are not in use can still use electricity. Unplug all cords and energy adapters when not in use, including chargers. If you use a power strip, switch it to off to cut the power supply.
If you live in an older building or home, it might be worth it to discuss larger energy-efficient upgrades with your landlord. Added insulation can greatly reduce heating and cooling costs for everyone in the building. New equipment that is more efficient can use less energy to heat and cool homes. However, these changes can be expensive, and will depend on your landlord's financial situation and willingness to upgrade.