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Energy Saving Tips for Tenants in Rental Property

Save Energy = Save Money

Here's a few tips:

  • Ask your landlord for more insulation;

In addition to a landlords legal obligations to insulate their rental property, (read more here) it is in any landlords interest to provide a healthy and dry home. Cold and damp homes do not only damage the occupants health, but also damage their assets. Remind your landlord that there may be some financial assistance available to them. 

  • Energy efficient heaters;

The links may not be NZ based, but here is a review guide for what to look - Energy Efficient Space Heater
Also make sure the area in front of your heaters is clear to allow the heat to radiate.

  • Adjust the dial on the Thermostat and set the timer;

A significant amount of energy is used and wasted through inefficient settings on heating systems. Lower the thermostat and set the timer for the most efficient use. Unfortunately this is not applicable to so many homes that either don't have heating systems, or struggle to get to an acceptable temperature.

  • Open your windows;

Hear me out... This sounds counter intuitive, but often there's a vicious circle going on. People keep their windows and doors shut to keep the heat in, but by keeping the heat in, they also keep the moisture in. Huge amounts of internal moisture is created from humans, cooking, showering, clothes drying etc - Moist and damp air is much more difficult to heat than dry, fresh air.

Make sure you thoroughly ventilate the home and heating it will become quicker and more efficient to heat.

  • Install energy efficient and long lasting light bulbs;

Simple but effective. Energy saving bulbs typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents and can last 3-25 time longer. These are now the norm and are not an expensive option.

  • Draft Proofing;

Ask the landlords permission to add draft strips to windows and doors. Preventing drafts (and managing ventilation) can be effective at retaining heating and cutting bills. Remember to add sausage snakes to doors.

  • Insulated Curtains;

It pains me to say it, because it seems so backwards, but thermal curtains can have a huge effect on heat retention. Not perfect for tenants as the property may already have curtains, and hard to take them with you if you leave (and fit other windows). Also not the ideal solution as you actually have to open and close them to be effective.

  • Install 3m Window film insulation;

Simple, cheap and easy window insulation. Windows are the single biggest area of a room for heat loss, so anything to impove can have good effect.
We've featured this before... Watch our you tube video for a how to guide - How to install 3m window film insulation

  • Flow restrictors on showers;

Flow restrictors reduce the water flow from a shower, often without spoiling the effect of the shower. This will save tenants money on water and energy bills.

  • Don't use your Tumble dryer;

Often one of the most significant energy using appliances. If the winds blowing and suns shining - put the washing on the line.

  • Switch of Unused Appliances;

We have so many electrical goods that are constantly left on or on standby, by switching them off, hundreds of dollars can potentially be saved.

  • Stand by Power eliminators;

Stand by power eliminators detect when appliances are dormant and can reduce or eliminate standby power. We know the culprits - TV, DVD, Blu Ray, Sky, Freeview, Stereo, gaming consoles, computers, phone chargers, home theatre etc. Estimates suggest that 5% of your bill just relates to this combined energy use.

  • Toilet Flushing;

Old style toilets use a huge amount of water from a single flush. Put something in the cistern to displace the amount of water used per flush or adjust the valve. If you have the luxury, use the single flush when appropriate.

  • Energy Efficient white goods;

Look for the 'Energy Rating Label' on the white goods that you buy. Simple, rating system. The more stars, the less energy you use. As a generalisation, the more efficient, often the bigger the price tag. However, you can invest in white goods and take them with you if you move.

Also turn down the dial on the fridge and freezer. Fridges should be between 3-5 degrees and the freezer between -16 and -18.


If your ill, have a disability or are on a low income the government may be able to offer some financial help. Click the 'help in your home' link for details on what assistance you may be able to get.

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