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Save Energy, Reduce Utility Bills: 6 Tips for Southeast Michigan Renters

Unfortunately, when you rent a home in Southeast Michigan, you are limited to what you can do to save energy and reduce energy bills.  Installing geothermal heat pumps, extra insulation, and highly efficient appliances are all great, but usually not an option for renters.  The good news is that homeowners aren’t the only ones who can enjoy reduced energy costs!

As a renter, there are plenty of things you can do to save energy and lower your energy bills.  Here are some energy-saving strategies you can implement today:

  1. Use the mornings to enjoy the fresh outdoor air and cool your home down.  Raise the windows early in the morning, when temperatures are at their coolest.  This will help lower the temperature inside, meaning the air conditioner won’t have to work so hard to keep your home comfortable for the rest of the day.
  2. Adjust the thermostat.  Many people aren’t aware that adjusting the thermostat higher by just one degree in the summer months can save a substantial amount of money, without compromising comfort.  In fact, you can save 3-5% by doing this one simple thing!  If you do not have a programmable thermostat, set yours to 78 degrees while you’re away in summer, 58 degrees in winter months.
  3. Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs.  Since they were introduced, CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs have improved substantially.  While more expensive initially, you will enjoy reduced energy usage – and CFL bulbs have a far longer life.  Choose those with the Energy Star seal for durability and longer lifespan.
  4. Consider a low flow showerhead.  Heating water consumes a substantial amount of energy, which means using hot water zaps power.  By switching from a traditional showerhead to a low flow model, you can slash the cost of hot water usage by a whopping 40%!  Again, pay attention to EPA labeling.  Certain brands such as WaterSense use a maximum of two gallons of water per minute but still offer the water pressure you enjoy.  Many offer multiple settings as well.
  5. Unplug it.  Even when turned off, many appliances and electronics still consume energy.  Televisions, DVRs, and battery chargers are the worst offenders, however when an LED or light is displayed, or a device works via remote control, it continues to draw power.  Unplug those appliances and electronics you don’t use often.  For those devices, you frequently use, consider a power strip so that all can be turned off simultaneously.
  6. Control when and where air circulates inside the home.  Why cool or heat a room that’s empty?  Use ceiling fans in rooms only when they are occupied to circulate cool or warm air (most offer a switch that allows you to reverse the direction of the blades, depending on the season).  Also, be sure that vents are clear and not blocked by furniture, clothes, or other items.  Close cabinet and closet doors, and consider closing off those rooms you don’t use as well.

Even renters can save on energy costs by implementing a few of these tips!  Enjoy a comfortable home and energy savings this summer.

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