Renters can help save energy

One in three. That’s how many U.S. households are occupied by renters. It is a population of 94.5 million people living in 38.8 million homes in cities, suburbs, and small towns across the country.

This growing population is taking advantage of benefits like easier mobility, minimal maintenance responsibilities, and the financial flexibility offered by renting. But if renters want to save energy – and save money in the process – there aren’t many places to turn for advice and ideas tailored to their needs.

Think about it … virtually every consumer-focused energy efficiency campaign targets homeowners. People are urged to purchase energy-efficient appliances, install insulation, and replace old and drafty windows and doors. All of these are great suggestions, and they have likely resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in reduced energy costs, as well as big cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. But for nearly 100 million Americans, new ideas and approaches are needed that empower renters to take action and capitalize on energy-saving advantages and get involved in reducing emissions.

That’s why the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), through the Make an Impact program, is launching a web-based effort to reach out to renters with customized information. In addition to featuring articles and other content specific to renters, the Make an Impact website will use a “renter-friendly” icon to flag relevant energy-saving tips. The program will also target real estate companies, landlord associations, housing groups, and similar organizations that interact with renters.

Renters have a wide range of options to lower utility bills and reduce environmental impacts, and C2ES wants to make those options known. The following are just a few tips:

  • Set the refrigerator and hot water heater to energy-saving temperatures.
  • Program computers and other electronics to power-saving modes.
  • Use smart power strips to avoid the use of standby energy by common electronics and appliances.
  • Compost kitchen waste.
  • Use less water in the shower and notifying the landlord about leaky faucets and toilets.

These tips and others offered on the Make an Impact site can help renters save hundreds of dollars every year on utility bills. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who rents your home, check out what you can do to start saving energy and money right away. By taking action, you can also become a part of the solution to energy and climate challenges – a role that we all share.