10 Tips to Save Energy and Money if You Rent


If you rent an apartment, duplex, or single-family house, you probably pay directly for the electricity and heat you use. Even if utilities are included in your monthly rent, you are paying for them indirectly in your rent check. Below are 10 ways to keep your energy bills down.


  1. Before you sign a lease, ask the landlord about energy efficient features such as double-paned windows, a programmable thermostat, and attic/floor insulation.
  2. Check out the age and condition of the heating/air conditioning system, including the ductwork. Look for signs of neglect and/or damage. Ask for it to be serviced before you move in.
  3. How new is the water heater? If it is located in an unheated area, it should be wrapped with an insulating blanket.
  4. How old is the refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer? If any of these are more than 10 years old, that may lead to higher electric bills.


  1. If your exterior doors don’t seal tightly, ask the landlord to install weather-stripping.
  2. Check your faucets for leaks and, where appropriate, install low-flow devices to cut down on excess water usage. If you’re leaking hot water, that will cost you money!
  3. Set your water heater to 120 degrees.
  4. If your home does not have a programmable thermostat, ask your landlord to install one. When used properly, it will save on heating/cooling bills.
  5. Group electronic devices on a single power strip. That way, you can turn off several at once by switching off the strip.
  6. If you’re planning on remaining in your rental for some time, consider a lighting upgrade. CFLs are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and LEDs perform better than most CFLs.

NOTE: While many energy efficiency improvements can be done by a tenant, always consult your landlord before making any changes to the structure.

Want More Help? Call our Salem office toll-free at 1-800-221-8035 and ask for an energy efficiency specialist, or send an email to: askenergy@oregon.gov.