Top Ways Landlords Can Help Tenants Reduce Energy Costs in a Rental

by Madison McCracken  5/26/2022


Since we’ve been experiencing such large amounts of inflation, we’ve seen the costs of everyday goods and services start to rise. As such, landlords and tenants look to reduce energy costs in a rental whenever possible. Luckily, there are several things landlords and tenants can do to lower costs and save energy. Keep reading as we go over some of the top ways to reduce energy costs in a rental property. 

Can Landlords Help Tenants Reduce Energy Costs in a Rental?

Landlords don’t take up energy at a rental home; tenants do. But is there anything landlords or Northern Virginia property management companies can do to help tenants cut back on energy costs? After all, no tenant wants to pay high utility bills every month.

Yes! There are several things landlords can do before, during, and after housing tenants that help reduce energy costs. Whether it’s something small like adding water-saving shower heads or something significant like installing a tankless water heater, there are several changes landlords can make to save money in the long run. 

If you’re a landlord and wonder how you can help tenants reduce energy costs in a rental property, keep reading as we go over some of the best ways to make your rental property more energy efficient

7 Ways to Make Your Rental Property More Energy Efficient

Tenants control how much energy they use, but landlords can reduce energy costs in a rental by seeking out energy-efficient solutions. Here are five of the best ways landlords can quickly help tenants reduce energy costs in a rental property. 


  1. Install a Smart Thermostat
  2. Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
  3. Use Water-Saving Features
  4. Change Lightbulbs Throughout the Unit
  5. Install a Tankless Water Heater
  6. Update or Insulate Windows
  7. Use Landscaping for Shade

Install a Smart Thermostat

Heating and cooling account for around 40% of a home’s utility bill, so it’s essential to consider that. That said, installing a smart thermostat can reduce energy costs with just the touch of a button. Tenants can program a smart thermostat to set the temperature according to their schedule and comfort. For example, tenants can make sure the air conditioning doesn’t run when they’re not going to be home. 


Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances

The appliances in your rental properties also take up a significant amount of energy, so choosing them wisely is essential. When you’re looking for appliances to put in your rental units, look for energy efficiency. Look around for devices with high energy savings and those you can set to modes for maximum efficiency. ENERGY STAR is one brand that excels in making energy-efficient appliances. 

Use Water-Saving Features

Another simple way landlords can reduce water is by installing water-saving solutions. For example, water-saving showerheads, low-flow toilets, and faucet attachments can significantly reduce the amount of water you use in a rental. Additionally, these upgrades are relatively inexpensive and can help tenants save high costs in utilities each month. 

Change Lightbulbs Throughout the Unit


Lighting is one of the most important parts of a rental unit. After all, it can affect your mood and overall well-being. If you install old, dim lighting throughout your rental property, you can affect both your tenant’s moods and their utility bills. In addition, older lightbulbs consume much more energy than newer lightbulbs. One of the best lighting options available today is LED lighting. Although the costs are originally higher, LED bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than traditional lightbulbs. 

Install a Tankless Water Heater

If one of your main goals as a landlord is to reduce energy costs in your rental properties, you may want to make a few larger investments. For example, a tankless water heater helps save energy by only heating water based on demand. Additionally, tankless water heaters last longer than most traditional tank heaters. Although this upgrade can cost anywhere between $1,700 and $4,000, it’s worth the money for energy-saving rental investors. 

Update or Insulate Windows

Openings such as windows and doors are an opportunity for inefficiency in your rental. As such, it’s important to check windows and doors for damages and upgrade them as soon as necessary. Additionally, during the winter, landlords should re-seal cracks or insulate drafty areas to keep as much heat as possible. One cheap and quick option is to use plastic liners on your windows to keep heat inside. 

Use Landscaping for Shade

Your first thought probably isn’t landscaping when it comes to energy efficiency. However, surprisingly, landscaping around your rental property can also help reduce energy costs. For instance, if you plant trees and shrubbery in places that will shade your property, you can help insulate your rental from wind, cold, and heat. Additionally, the added curb appeal of landscaping can help bring in more quality tenants! First, however, it’s essential to research what landscaping features will benefit your property the most. 

Quick Ways Tenants Can Reduce Energy Costs in a Rental

While landlords can do their part to help tenants save on energy costs, renters can also do their best to keep costs down. Luckily, you can do several small things each day to reduce energy costs in a rental. Here are a few simple behaviors that can save renters money. 


  • Unplug Unused Electronics- Keeping your electronics plugged in when you’re not using them can consume small amounts of energy. However, if you keep several devices plugged in, the small amounts can add up. So, make sure to unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Additionally, using a power strip with one power button can make it easier to save costs when electronics aren’t in use. 
  • Wash Full Loads of Laundry- It’s crucial to wash fuller loads of laundry whenever you can. Small, frequent loads of laundry can consume a ton of water, driving your bills up each month. However, if piling up laundry isn’t feasible, make sure you adjust the washer to accommodate the load size. 
  • Take Shorter Showers- One of the easiest ways to save water and money is by taking shorter showers. It can also help to take showers at a moderate temperature instead of taking baths. Letting the water run for long periods is not practical or efficient in a rental home. 
  • Maintain Airflow- If your rental property doesn’t have excellent circulation throughout, the HVAC will likely have to work a little harder. Make sure there is no furniture or large items blocking air vents in your rental property. Additionally, don’t forget to change or clean HVAC filters regularly. 

Maximize Your Rental Investment Today


Creating an energy-efficient rental property is every landlord’s goal. Luckily, there are small changes you can make today to help tenants reduce costs in a rental property. Whether you implement these changes yourself or reach out to professional property management, energy-saving solutions can save you and your tenant money in the long run. 

If you need help creating a successful rental business, maximize your investment with property management. Professional Property Management in Northern Virginia has a team of specialists to help relieve the stress of being a landlord. So sit back while we work to maximize your property’s ROI, lower expenses, and attract great tenants. If you need property management in Northern Virginia, contact PPM today!

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