Greening your rental – Energy Saving tips for tenants

Tips for home renters – how to make your rental home more energy efficient and more green

When you rent a house, it’s probable that your impact on the environment is not high up on your list of priorities. After all, it’s not actually yours, so the last thing you want to do is spend money to make the house/flat greener. Unless you subscribe to the idea that it’s great to leave things a little better than you found them…this often has the side effect of leaving you with a good feeling too.

In any case, there are plenty of things you can do which won’t cost the earth (in both ways!) – So here are our top tips for saving both energy and water.

  1. Get an inexpensive portable grey water system and use it to water your garden with the water from your washing machine
  2. Find the green fingered person inside you and grow your own veggies and herbs. You don’t even need a garden as they can be grown in pots on the balcony, windowsill or courtyard.
  3. Change all your light bulbs for energy savers – many rentals mysteriously still have incandescent lamps.
  4. Use both curtains and blinds at the windows. They contain warmth in the winter and keep the house cool in the summer.
  5. Replace any faulty tap washers. Stopping any drips is a great way to save water. Also consider using flow controllers to slow down the water flow from the spout, particularly in the kitchen. These can often be screwed/clamped on and removed later.
  6. Door snakes prevent draughts and keep warmth inside in winter and prevent the cool escaping in the summer.
  7. Get a portable composter and use it for your veggie waste. You can even get odorless ones which fit neatly under the sink, or Bokashi bins.
  8. In the summer, set up cloth or sheets to shade any large expanses of glass. This will help prevent you experiencing your own private ‘greenhouse effect’. Alternatively, you can consider a retrofitted double glazing solution like Magnetite.
  9. Replace showerheads with water saver ones. They can save a huge amount of water per year and water providers sometimes give them away for free. These are unfortunately not compatible with instantaneous gas or ‘arc’ electric systems.
  10. Get a portable water tank (known as a drum or barrel) for your garden or pot plants. Collect water from the guttering (fresh water), washing machine or bucket it out from your bath or shower (grey water). This so called ‘grey water’ has a finite storage period so make sure you check out your local rules and regulations.
  11. Use a bucket or bowl in the sink and use the waste water from washing vegies for you plants and veggies.
  12. Wrap your hot water system and pipes in an insulating blanket or heat tolerant foam, such as Armaflex.


Greenforce Energy 2010 Ver 1.1