Ways to Save Energy As a Renter

1. Know before you Sign 

Complete a Renter's Checklist from the US Environmental Protection Agency to make energy efficiency a priority in your rental search process. 

2. Switch Out Your Lightbulbs

Switching your incandescent lights to CFL or LED can save energy and save money! The bulbs are just as bright as incandescents while generating less heat, using less energy, and lasting up to 8 to 10 times longer. If you save the old bulbs, you can reinstall them and bring your LED bulbs with you when you move out. 

3. Maximize the Efficiency of Your Electronics

Using a laptop computer or a tablet rather than a desktop computer can save a substantial amount of energy. Look for products that have the Energy Star label. Many devices continue to draw small amounts of energy of long periods of time that begin to add up. Use power strips to prevent this "vampiring" of electricity by shutting off the circuit when you turn the strip off. Finally, use rechargeable batteries.

4. Sign Up for Chattanooga's Recycling Pick-Up 

Register for Chattanooga's bi-weekly curbside pickup for free through the city's website or call 3-1-1 and get your own recycling bin delivered to your home. If you live in an apartment or multi-family style housing, check out this link on how to get a recycling program started in your complex. 

For a list of all types of recycling locations in Chattanooga and neighboring counties click here

5. Use Smart Transportation 

Look for rental units that are nearby where you work and your daily needs. If you can walk or ride your bike you'll not only reduce expenses for gas and maintenance for your car, you'll be healthier too! If you have to live further away from where you work, look into carpooling, public transit or electric bikes to drastically cut down your fuel cost and harm to the environment. If you have to drive, consider buying a highly fuel-efficient or electric vehicle to cut fuel costs. The rapid expansion of charging stations is making electric cars an option for even long distance driving. 

Check out Green Trips, Chattanooga Bike Share, and CARTA.

If you don't already pay for your own utilities, ask your landlord if you can. Sub-metering is one of the best ways to be responsible for your own energy usage and to be aware of how much you're spending as an individual. 

For more tips check out Energy Star's Top 10 Tips for Renters or Energy.gov's tips for Renters on how you can better conserve energy and help Chattanooga in becoming more green!