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Energy Savings For Renters

You don't need to own your home to lower your energy use.

Using Less Energy In Your Apartment

Lots of energy-saving solutions like adding insulation, upgrading your heater, installing efficient appliances or using smart thermostats are best made by working with your landlord, rather than paying out of your own pocket.

However, there are steps you can take for little or no out-of-pocket costs that can help lower energy use. We have tips that can help you keep your energy use down and your home comfortable.

You can also talk to your landlord. There’s no harm in asking the building’s owner to make some upgrades that could save you money and increase the value of the property.


  • Use the locks on windows and sliding doors to ensure they are shut and sealed to keep warm air in.
  • Keep your curtains and blinds closed on sunny days so your heating system won't have to work as hard to keep you warm. 


  • Make sure you're shutting lights off in rooms that are not in use.
  • For lamps you own and will move with, make sure you're using ENERGY STAR® certified LED lighting.
  • For celling fixtures or lights you don't own, consider using LEDs and taking them with you when you move.


  • Check to see if your thermostat has programable settings. A smart thermostat can help you save you up to 10% on your heating and cooling bill by monitoring the weather and adjusting automatically.
  • If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider other ways to remind yourself to turn the air conditioning up or off when no-one's home. Maybe a reminder in your phone, a note by the door, or incorporating it into your nightly routine.  
  • Wash clothes in cold or warm water. About 90% of the energy used by your clothes washer goes towards heating. Using cold water to wash some of your clothes eliminates this energy use. 

Before You Sign Your Next Lease

  • Confirm that your unit has a separate utility meter that is not connected to common areas that are not included in the lease.
  • Discuss energy efficiency opportunities at the time of lease negotiations — this is the best opportunity to get upgrades in writing.
  • Ask for the building’s power bill summary in advance, to better understand how much energy the building is using, to help make your case. 
  • Ask your landlord if they have had the home weatherized.
  • Ask the landlord when they last replaced appliances and heating and cooling systems.
  • Check for signs of inefficiencies. Frost on windows, excessive icicles outside, water stains on the ceiling and hot water that runs out quickly are all indicators of room for energy efficiency improvements. If you're not touring the building in the winter, ask the current tenant.

Working With Your Landlord

Energy efficiency upgrades can add value to a building, increase comfort for tenants, reduce energy use in communal areas and increase building safety.