Mozo guides

Top 8 energy saving tips for renters in 2023

A lightbulb which also functions as a piggy bank has coins falling into its slot

When you rent, you’re often at the mercy of the property’s existing appliances, gas and electricity fixtures, and how well your place retains or keeps out the heat. 

Buying an energy-efficient oven, putting in double-glazed windows, or installing solar panels probably isn’t an option for most renters, so cutting down on your energy usage might require a little creativity and effort on your part. 

Lucky for you, we’re all about helping you save money. So, we’ve compiled a list of useful ways to cut down on your energy usage, without having to fork out for major upgrades, or potentially sacrifice your bond.

1. Compare and switch energy providers

If your last utility bill left you too scared to even turn on the lights or use the microwave, then it may be time to have a look at cheaper alternatives to your current electricity and gas providers. 

When you compare energy providers with Mozo, you’ll find a range of options for electricity and gas supply available in your postcode. 

You’ll also find monthly and yearly cost estimates that you can make more accurate by uploading your latest energy bill amounts. 

So, before you implement the following power-saving tips, make sure you’re on an energy plan that works for you and your budget by comparing energy providers today.

2. Ask your landlord if they’re willing to improve your rental’s energy efficiency

If you’ve got a good relationship with your landlord, they might be willing to discuss improving the overall energy efficiency of your place. 

Not only could this lessen the cost of your utility bills, but it could also make the property more attractive to future tenants who also appreciate energy savings. It’s a win for everybody! 

You could even offer to chip in for some of the cost if it’s financially viable for you in the long term. 

Talk to your landlord about:

  • Insulating the property
  • Putting in double-glazed windows 
  • Installing solar panels 
  • Replacing old hot water systems 
  • Installing more energy-efficient appliances.

There are even government grants that incentivise homeowners with rebates to transition to more energy-efficient options, such as Solar Victoria’s solar rebates for rental properties.

3. Check if your energy provider or state government offers concessions or rebates

If you're a student, senior, Health Care Card holder, or otherwise qualify for a concession, check in with your energy provider or state government website to see if you can score yourself a discount. 

Some energy retailers offer concessions that could shave off some of your utility bills. It’s worth asking about!

Check your state government websites too, as there may be energy rebates you can take advantage of. Some examples of energy rebates and concessions available in each state are as follows:









4. Turn off unnecessary appliances at the wall

Australian electric power wall outlet and power cord

While the standby power usage of many appliances made in the last few years is quite low, having dozens of appliances plugged in constantly does add up over time. 

In your kitchen, invest in a powerboard that you plug your kitchen appliances, like kettles, rice cookers, and microwaves, into so that you can switch them all off at the same time.

You can do the same for appliances in your living room and bedrooms.

5. Change your lightbulbs to LEDs (and don’t forget to switch them off)

Lighting makes up about 10% of the average household’s electricity bill, so reducing the amount of power it draws can save you significant money at the end of the quarter. 

If your rental still has incandescent or halogen lightbulbs, then changing them over to more efficient LEDs is a simple way to reduce the amount of power you use in the home. 

While there is an up-front cost to replace your lightbulbs, LEDs can not only last 5 to 10 times longer than halogen bulbs, but they also use around 75% less electricity.

While in some cases it is simple to replace the lightbulbs in your rental, you may need to contact your landlord for approval if changing the bulbs requires any tools or a tradesperson. You don’t want to do something that jeopardises your bond.  

Another important energy-saving habit is turning off the lights every time you leave a room. It takes some getting used to, but once you get into the routine, it becomes second nature.

6. Change your laundry habits

The average washing machine uses around 75L of water per wash. Luckily, as a renter, you probably won’t need to pay for the water bill. But if you’re heating up all that water each time you do a load of laundry, then you will be paying for the electricity used to heat it up. 

By washing your clothes in cold water, your washing machine won’t need to draw electricity to heat it, hence saving you money when your energy bill comes in. 

Similarly, using a clothes dryer will eat up electricity. Instead of sticking your clothes in the dryer, dry them on a clothesline on sunny or windy days.

7. Wear more layers in winter

Young man working on a laptop, while lying under blankets on a couch in a living room

Are you guilty of running the heater all day, every day during the colder months? Just wear more layers! 

No, seriously. Pop on some thermals (or long-johns) underneath your regular clothes, invest in a good quality hoodie and put on your favourite fluffy socks instead of running the heater 24/7. 

Combine the extra layers with some extra moving around and you should be able to get your body temperature up to fight off the cold. 

Obviously, depending on how cold it gets, using a heater might still be necessary. Just make sure you don’t leave it running all day, as that’s a surefire way to run up your bill.

8. Match your curtains to the seasons

On the topic of temperature, the kinds of curtains you have can actually prove a big help in managing how hot or cold your house is. 

In summer, when you’re trying to keep your place cooler, use heavy blockout curtains that minimise the amount of light (and heat) that comes into your place during the day. When night comes, open up your windows and doors to let the cooler temperatures in. 

In winter, when you’re trying to warm up your place, use curtains that will let a little more light in during the day, whilst still maintaining your privacy from nosy neighbours. If you can, pull back the curtains and let the daylight in through your windows, when the sun is in the right spot. 

By finding ways to regulate the inside temperature of your home using curtains and windows, you may be able to save on your energy costs by using your heaters, fans, and air conditioners less. 

Looking for a new energy provider, but don’t know where to start? In 2022, the Mozo Experts Choice Energy Awards were announced. These awards sought Australia’s best energy plans in 2022, based on value. Otherwise, compare energy providers with Mozo’s handy comparison tool.

Jack Dona
Jack Dona
Money writer

Jack is RG146 Generic Knowledge certified, with a Bachelor of Communications in Creative Writing from UTS, and uses his creative flair to cut through the financial jargon and make home loans, insurance and banking interesting. His reader-first approach to creating content and his passion for financial literacy means he always looks for innovative ways to explain personal finance. Jack's research and explanations have been featured in government publications, and his work is regularly featured alongside major publications in Google's Top Stories for Insurance.