As a renter, it can be daunting to read about all the ways you can improve your home - if you own it.
Fortunately, there are lots of convenient and affordable ways to improve your energy efficiency in a rental property.
Much of what this website covers will be of use to renters. For example:
- Upgrading your appliances to energy efficient models
- Alternative modes of transport besides single-passenger car
- Understanding your energy bill
Of course, there will be other resources which will be useful specifically for people who don’t own the property they are living in.
We’ve compiled some of these for you here.
Draught proofing and insulation
Does your home become an oven in summer and ice cold in winter? While solutions like draught proofing and insulation can seem like they are out of your hands, there are some effective and inexpensive options available - and you can take them with you when you move!
The humble door snake is an excellent solution to prevent cold air from creeping into your home during the winter months. These are available for very low prices from your local hardware store.
A surprisingly effective method of temporary insulation is to put bubble wrap on the inside of your windows. This will help keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter. The way to do this is simple: simply spray the window and the bubbly side of the wrap with water and the wrap will stick to the glass until you peel it off. This trick has the added benefit of allowing more privacy to your home.
Heating and cooling
While you may not be able to directly change the heating and cooling options installed in your home, you can decide which appliances to use, and when. Maximising natural resources - breeze in summer, sun in winter - will allow you to use your heating and cooling less, thus reducing your carbon output and your electricity bill.
If you have, for example, a gas ducted heating system installed throughout the house, you might consider purchasing a few small, energy efficient heaters to utilise in your most-used rooms. This way you are not only reducing your gas use, you are also saving money by only heating the rooms you are using, rather than the whole house at once.
Often it can feel like the benefit of renewable energy is reserved solely for those who own a home. Fortunately, here in Victoria that has been recognised as a problem and there are programs available for renters and landlords to work together to install solar panels on rental properties. The Solar Rebates for Rental Properties program provides incentives for landlords to install solar in a way that benefits both parties.
EcoMaster has an excellent MasterClass which details how renters can better understand their energy output and implement changes in the home. If you head to Better Renting, you will find an organisation passionate about improving renters’ quality of life, and a lively community. Environment Victoria and Renew have provided detailed tips and steps for renters to make their home more comfortable.