Recent reports indicate that our energy bills are set to rise over the coming months as utility providers look to pass on the rising cost of fuel to its customers.
If you’re renting a flat, it’s difficult to make any major changes to the property to help make it more energy efficient and even simple changes could be in violation of your letting agreement.
If your rental property isn’t energy efficient, you could be spending over the odds to keep it warm during the winter. However, there are some changes you can make that will help to reduce your bills.
Talk to your landlord
Talk to the property owner to find out if there are some upgrades they would be willing to make to improve the energy efficiency – not only will it help to keep your bills down, but it will make it a more attractive rental property in the future should you move on. Make sure you report anything that needs to be taken care of including leaks or faults with appliances that could be causing you to use more gas or electricity – malfunctioning appliances will bump up your energy bill.
Water and heating
If you can, try and turn down your water temperature setting as this can really reduce your costs. If you live in an apartment and can’t access the water heater on your own, ask your landlord or letting agent for help. If you leave for work every day, make sure you aren’t paying to heat an empty home. If you have any control over the type of thermostat, choosing a smart thermostat can allow you to program the temperature in advance so you don’t have to do it manually every day. Making small adjustments to your thermostat can really add up. Finally, cutting back on how long you shower can lower how much electricity your water heater uses. You can also save energy by investing in an energy efficient shower head.
Energy efficient lighting
Make sure you’re using LED light bulbs, especially for light fixtures and lamps that you use often. These use up to 90 percent less energy and last 15 times longer than standard bulbs. You can also cut down on energy costs by turning off lights in unused rooms.
Avoid energy guzzling devices
Some devices and appliances consume energy even when they aren’t in use – be careful of phone chargers left plugged in and televisions and gaming consoles on standby. Unplug them or use power strips so you can turn everything off at once. If your kitchen is unfurnished, ask your landlord if they would upgrade to energy-efficient appliances – for example a refrigerator with a high energy rating could make a noticeable change to your bills.
If you can, use a low temperature to wash your clothes as this can greatly reduce the electricity usage – in addition do larger loads less often and rather than using a tumble dryer try and line dry. Check wither you are on an Economy tariff as it could be cheaper to use appliances at night.
You won’t be able to replace windows but weather strips are effective in keeping the heat in.
Don’t cover your radiators with clothes that need drying or put furniture in front of them otherwise the heat will be absorbed the airflow restricted.
If you have hardwood, laminate or vinyl flooring use thick rugs to provide additional insulation.