If you are a renter, electric and natural gas bills can add considerable costs to your living expenses. If your living space is drafty or has inefficient heating/cooling equipment or appliances, paying higher utility costs could add strain to finances, especially for low-income residents. Increasing the energy efficiency of rented living spaces and turning them into high-performance homes can help lower utility bills.
One way to work with your landlord to help lower energy costs is through high performance leasing, also known as efficiency leasing or green leasing, in which energy saving and sustainability provisions are written into the lease. For example, one provision may be that in exchange for sharing your energy use data from your utility bills, the landlord agrees to install energy efficient equipment and appliances the next time those items need replacement. Both parties can then track performance of the new energy efficiency measures by monitoring energy consumption over time. With green leasing, renters receive more than just energy efficiency—they are also getting a healthier indoor environment, a more comfortable home, more reliable heating and cooling, and monthly savings through lower utility bills.
Before you sign a lease, ask the landlord the following questions:
- What is the average energy bill for a unit of that size?
- What energy efficiency and indoor air quality measures are in place?
- Are high-performance leasing provisions available to renters?
For more resources, visit High Performance Leasing Resources
For sample provisions to insert into existing leases, visit: Residential High-Performance Leasing Sample Language and Provisions