The Renters’ Guide to Saving Energy (and $$) | Alliance to Save Energy

The Renters’ Guide to Saving Energy (and $$)

Let's Save Energy

Alliance to Save Energy's Blog

04/12/21 / MJ Boyd

The Renters’ Guide to Saving Energy (and $$)

Renter energy efficiency.

Adopting an energy-efficient lifestyle can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Many of the commonly suggested upgrades are targeted to homeowners who can invest in their houses and the appliances inside. As someone who rents an apartment in an older building, tips to replace the gas stove or to use a dishwasher simply don’t apply to me. So I put together an official guide for all the renters out there who care about saving energy when and where they can, with the added bonus of reducing their utility bills.

1. Keep it cool at night and warm in the summer

During cool months, maintaining a lower temperature in your apartment at night uses energy more efficiently and can help you sleep better as cooler temperatures stimulate melatonin levels.  Adjust the thermostat to 65-68 degrees while you sleep and while you are out of the home. As it gets warmer, however, maintaining a low temperature differential (the difference between the temperature inside the home and outside) usually means dialing the thermostat up. This tip can save you up to 10% annually on your energy bill.

2. Switch to LED lighting

One of the easiest ways to save energy in the home is to buy LED light bulbs instead of fluorescent or incandescent options. The technology behind the process to light incandescent bulbs actually produces more heat than light, and about 90% of the output is heat, which wastes electrical energy. Another key tip when choosing light bulbs is to use the correct wattage. If the lamp doesn’t list the preferred wattage, it’s best practice to use 60 watts or below to minimize energy consumption and maximize safety.

3. Shorten your showers

Saving water goes hand in hand with saving energy. On average, consumers in the U.S. use about 25,000 gallons of water a year, or 69 gallons daily. Even though taking long, hot showers can be a relaxing activity,  reducing your shower time by a few minutes can save literally hundreds of gallons of water every year.

4. Hack your toilet tank

Yes, you read that correctly. Another way to save water and energy is to prevent your toilet from unnecessarily running extra water. Place an open, small plastic bottle filled with water in the tank of your toilet. This hack can save up to 10 gallons of water a day by limiting the amount of water being flushed and needed to refill the tank.

5. Microwave and save!

Limiting added heat in your living space relieves some pressure from your A/C to cool it down. Using the stove or oven can quickly cause the temperature to rise, so opting to use the microwave when you can is a great way to be more energy-efficient. Using a microwave to heat food can save up to 80% more energy than using an oven.

6. Don’t pass up ENERGY STAR

Energy-efficient appliances can have hefty price tags, even though they may save you hundreds of dollars on operational costs down the road. Many people associate ENERGY STAR, the go-to brand for energy efficiency, with big household appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators. However, they also offer products more applicable to renters like TVs, laptops, and printers. If you’re in the market for new home office supplies, check out ENERGY STAR’s vast selection of energy-saving products.

The Alliance is working to achieve more equitable access to energy efficiency to benefit the environment, the economy, and our communities. These tips are just a few of the small ways that we can all do our part to be a more energy-efficient society.




Help the Alliance advocate for policies to use energy more efficiently – supporting job creation, reduced emissions, and lower costs. Contact your member of Congress.


Energy efficiency is smart, nonpartisan, and practical. So are we. Our strength comes from an unparalleled group of Alliance Associates working collaboratively under the Alliance umbrella to pave the way for energy efficiency gains.


The power of efficiency is in your hands. Supporting the Alliance means supporting a vision for using energy more productively to achieve economic growth, a cleaner environment, and greater energy security, affordability, and reliability.