Energy Savers for Renters: Part 1

— Written By

As a renter, you usually have fewer options for long-term energy savings than consumers who own their homes. Typically, renters occupy a unit for a limited period of time and have little input on the types of appliances and materials used in the space. Therefore, whether you are renting a house or an apartment, your primary goal should be to reduce energy costs immediately and inexpensively.

Before you make any changes to your rental unit, it is important to know what your responsibilities are as a renter. According to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission the renter is responsible the following:

  • Keep the rental unit clean (including toilets, sinks, and baths) and safe;
  • Dispose of trash and garbage in a clean and safe manner;
  • Pay the rent as promised and comply with the lease;
  • Do not damage the property;
  • Comply with any housing codes;
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors as needed, and tell the landlord if a detector needs to be repaired
  • Leave the unit clean and in good condition at the end of the lease. [Note: It is important at the beginning of your lease to note the condition of your apartment on a checklist and ask the landlord to initial it. That way, you will not be held responsible for damage that existed when you moved in.]

It’s also important to know a landlord has responsibilities as well. According to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission the landlord is responsibe to do the following:

  • Comply with local housing and building codes;
  • Do whatever is necessary to put and keep the unit in fit and habitable condition;
  • Maintain all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air conditioning and other facilities and appliances which have been provided in good, safe working order; and promptly make repair when notified in writing that repair is needed;
  • Keep all common areas in safe condition; and
  • Provide and install smoke detectors and replace batteries at the beginning of tenancy.

As a renter, there are many things you can do that will help you reduce consumption and save energy. Next week learn how to save energy in each room.

Next week: More Energy Saving Tips for Renters

Adapted from Georgia Cooperative Extension

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University

commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity

regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or

disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without

regard to sexual orientation, North Carolina State University, North

Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local

governments cooperating.