Work with Your Landlord

Renting is no longer just a stopgap between living with parents and owning a home. As the private rental sector has grown, long-term renting has become much more common. Currently, people on low incomes are more likely to be renters and increasingly high energy costs means that inefficient rental housing is compounding social disadvantage, through higher power bills and worse health. 

Rental properties have such low energy efficiency because of split incentives: landlords have little incentive to invest, as they would bear the cost without experiencing the benefits. So, instead of landlords paying for improvements, people in rental properties end up paying the cost of living in an inefficient dwelling.

As of July 2019, there is no disclosure policy in place for the state of Minnesota. Disclosure policies require commercial and/or residential building owners to disclose their building’s energy consumption to prospective buys, lessees, or lenders. Disclosure laws improve consumers’ awareness of the energy use of homes and buildings, which can have a significant impact on its economic value. Building owners must gather energy use data in order to comply with disclosure requirements, a critical step in identifying and prioritizing energy efficiency upgrades. 

Bridging the tenant-landlord divide is an important first step in having a more energy efficient rental unit. Good landlords desire to rent out properties to good tenants. By being straightforward with your landlord and asking questions pertaining to the efficiency of the unit, you make it clear that you care about the quality of the space you are living in. 

Talk to your landlord about scheduling a free home energy audit to find no-cost and low-cost ways to go green and reduce monthly utility bills.

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