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How to encourage your tenants to be energy efficient

Being a landlord, it can be very frustrating to see your tenants acting irresponsibly towards the environment, especially in your property. They can leave lights on all day, wash their pots with running hot water from the tap and put half loads in the washing machine. As much as it isn’t your responsibility how other people behave, there are definitely steps you can take as a landlord to encourage your tenants to be environmentally friendly. Take a look at the ideas below to help you get started on promoting energy saving in all your homes.

One thing you need to understand as a landlord is that it is only through education that your tenants can learn your expectations and change their behaviour according to your environmental goals. Follow some of the simple guidelines below to communicate your goals.

Be transparent and open

Your tenants cannot read your mind so it is important that you are open and honest with them from the start about your energy efficiency goals. When your tenants know your expectations they may be more inclined to try and help you with your energy saving ideas. Share data with your tenants on energy use in their building and offer information on how they can save energy. If they are paying their own energy bills it may be worth calculating some sums for them to show how energy efficiency will help them save money on an annual basis. Those shoes they want will surely flash in front of their eyes.

Raise awareness and educate

One way to help your tenants act more responsibly with their energy use is to educate them and raise awareness in the home. This may be about certain appliances that are more fuel guzzlers than others, or general tips about everyday habits and usage. You could put laminated posters in the kitchen with top tips on saving energy in the kitchen with specific actions and steps. Make sure you tailor these messages appropriately to your audience, giving a good balance of funny and serious.

Assess current usage and identify opportunities

Taking the data from bills over a period of three or six months and assessing the data may be a useful way to look at the current usage in the house and seek opportunities to save. Obviously there is going to be a change between the winter months and the summer months but look at peak times of the day/week. Give your tenants some suggested improvements for their usage and offer a checklist or action plan to help them take steps towards improvement.

Partner and Empower

The last thing you want to do is be too much of a demanding landlord and the best way to avoid doing this is to empower your tenants. This way they think they have as much as a passion for energy saving as you and a sense of pride that you included them in the decision-making processes. Depending on how many tenants you have, will depend on how you go about empowering them. It may just be a simple meeting with the one house, or an appointment of a specific tenant in an apartment complex. Either way, making things happen without too much involvement from you is an ideal world here.

Offer incentives

People always respond well to incentives and you could offer a prize at the end of every month for the most energy saving person in the house/building. They could win anything from dinner vouchers to a local restaurant, or their bills paid for one month, or something as simple as cinema tickets.


You could take the above incentive idea and create a competition out of the energy saving goals in your building. The apartment that spends the least on bills in a month could be one idea, or the apartment that helps to raise awareness the most in the building could be number two. Get creative and offer a cool prize that will get your tenants going.

Communicate regularly

Most important is keeping up a consistent communication thread with your tenants. This cannot be a one-month fetish that dies down as quickly as it starts. Maybe consider a monthly e-newsletter where you highlight some important tips and tricks in energy savings. Or a weekly bulletin on a noticeboard in the entrance hall. Whatever your style, make sure you constantly remind your tenants of their responsibility towards the building and the environment.

Are you a tenant or a landlord who has experienced some of the energy savings communications mentioned above? How did it go? Do you feel like it worked and do you have any good examples of success?

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