Saving money on energy bills is a challenge for many renting property in the UK; particularly with the cost of living crisis of the past year. Unlike homeowners, tenants often can’t make major upgrades like installing insulation or solar panels. However, there are still plenty of innovative ways to cut energy costs without making permanent changes to a rental property.
Energy prices may have been reviewed recently and are due to fall, but costs are still a concern for so many. Small tweaks can significantly help reduce gas and electricity bills. These tips will offer inspiring options for cutting energy spending, and make a rental feel cosier and more efficient.
Adding window film is an easy upgrade rental tenants can make to improve insulation. Solar window film is applied directly to the glass and keeps heat in during winter and blocks heat from entering in the summer. There are affordable frosted and tinted films that can provide an extra layer of insulation as well as privacy. More advanced insulating films have a metallic coating that reflects heat back into the room.
Installing window film not only helps reduce energy loss through windows, but can also block UV rays to protect furniture and carpets from sun damage. Do just check with the landlord before applying any semi-permanent window films, but with their approval this is a simple way for renters to reduce their heating and cooling costs.
Smart power strips are an easy way for tenants to reduce wasted energy from appliances and electronics that are plugged in but not in use. Also known as remote-controlled or energy-saving power strips, these devices allow you to completely cut power to various appliances like TVs, game consoles and computer peripherals while they’re in standby mode. This eliminates the wasted “phantom load” that comes from devices that are switched off but still draining electricity when left plugged in and inactive.
With a smart power strip, you can conveniently turn off multiple devices from the comfort of your sofa or bed. Look for a model with individually controlled sockets, a remote control or smartphone app, and timers. With a few smart power strips around your rental, you can pare down your wasted phantom load and see noticeable savings on bills.
Smart plugs are another way to gain more control over energy use. These small adapters fit between an electrical outlet and an appliance, allowing you to turn devices on and off remotely via a smartphone app. Smart plugs are perfect for controlling lamps, fans, heaters and other gadgets you want to schedule or toggle on and off while away from home. The app connectivity allows you to set timers, schedules and modes for the connected device.
Smart plugs also monitor energy usage, so you can identify the biggest energy hogs. Opt for smart plugs that don’t require a hub and easily connect to your phone via Bluetooth or WiFi. With smart plugs scattered around your rental, you can save power when devices are not in use.
Draughty windows and doors can lead to significant heat loss and higher bills. Luckily, there are affordable draught blocking solutions you can install without any permanent modifications. Self-adhesive window and door seals can help insulate around leaky frames when fitted properly. For the bottom of doors, rolled door sausages or draught excluders are an easy solution. These fabric tubes filled with rice, beads or pellets block gaps underneath doors and restrict airflow.
Door excluders slip right on and cause no damage. Snake, fin and automatic door bottoms can also be attached to the bottom of doors to block draughts. Sealing gaps around the letterbox is also advised. With such excluders installed around doors and windows, renters can prevent heat escaping and cut down on energy costs. Just be sure to obtain landlord approval first.
Solar energy can help reduce your reliance on grid electricity. Compact solar panels that attach to windows and balconies can power small devices like phone and laptop chargers. This allows you to charge your devices without draining power from the outlets. Solar-powered outdoor spotlights, lanterns and other garden gadgets are also handy for those who want to install outdoor lighting without wiring.
Portable solar chargers and power banks allow you to harness the sun’s energy when you’re out and about. With the right solar-powered gadgets, renters can make the most of this renewable energy source and reduce energy consumption.
Space heaters can provide an affordable way for tenants to heat a small area without cranking up the central heating. However, space heaters use a significant amount of electricity if used improperly. To maximise efficiency, opt for a newer model with settings to adjust temperature and timers for automatic shut off. Only run the space heater when you are in the room and turn it off when you leave.
Position the heater close to where you are sitting to target the heat – there’s no need to heat the entire room. Setting the space heater to the lowest comfortable temperature will save energy. Take advantage of timer settings too, to warm up a room before you enter and automatically switch off. With some smart usage tips, space heaters can be an effective way to lower heating bills.
Cutting energy costs in a rental property may seem daunting, but hopefully this article has demonstrated that tenants have more options than they realise. With a little creativity, small upgrades like draught-proofing, smart gadgets and window films can lead to impressive savings without altering the property.
Simple behavioural changes like turning things off and using heaters wisely also add up over time. While major renovations may not be possible, tenants can take control of their energy bills with these innovative hacks. By implementing a few of these tips, you can gain some cost savings, making your rental more comfortable whilst also reducing your carbon footprint.
Written By Annie Button
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