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man holding lit lightbulb- Easy energy-saving tips for rental properties

Easy Energy-Saving Tips for Rental Properties

Landlords are always on the lookout for easy energy-saving tips for rental properties. Here are tips to improve a building’s overall energy efficiency while saving you and your tenant’s money.

Energy audits

Professional Energy Audits

A professional home energy audit establishes your property’s energy consumption in relation to your utility bills and evaluates steps to take to make your property more energy efficient. An energy assessment can help you use a whole-house systems approach for energy-saving improvements or remodeling. A do-it-yourself audit can take about an hour. A professional audit, approximately four hours.  

Before staring any type of short or long-range projects, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Where are the biggest energy losses in your rental property?
  • What projects give the biggest bang for your buck?
  • How long will it take for an investment in energy efficiency to pay for itself in energy cost savings?
  • How may years do you plan to own your current property?
  • What would help make your property most comfortable/attractive for tenants now?
  • Which projects should you prepare for a later date?
  • What can you do yourself?
  • What should you outsource?
  • What is your budget?

For more information, check Energy Star Canada.

Energy Habits 

Energy-saving doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as changing a few habits. Consider these questions:

  • Do your tenants remember to turn off lights and other electronics?
  • What could be unplugged when not in use?
  • Are you/your tenants using window coverings for maximum heating, cooling, and lighting benefit?
  • Could your tenants take advantage of time-of-day electricity rates and complete activities that use large amounts of energy—such as laundry and dishwashing—at night?
  • How can the heating and cooling save energy?

Identify leaks

Cut your energy consumption 10-20% by sealing air leaks with weather stripping and caulking around your property’s windows and doors. Sealing leaks retain warmth in the winter and keep temperatures cooler in the summer. Check fireplace dampers to ensure they close properly or consider installing an inflatable chimney balloon to seal the fireplace flue when not in use.


Adding insulation between the outdoors and indoors, including the walls, roof, and foundation, reduces that energy demand, makes the property more comfortable, and saves you money.

Air Ducts

Air ducts carry the air from your home’s furnace and central air conditioner to each room. Poorly sized, poorly sealed, or poorly insulated ducts contribute to higher energy bills.

Heating Tips

Taking these 5 simple energy-saving steps can reduce heating costs.

  • To keep the furnace running efficiently, replace furnace filters on furnaces once a month, or as recommended by the manufacturer
  • Clean warm-air registers, radiators, and baseboard heaters; and remind tenants to not block them with furniture, carpeting, or drapes
  • Vent trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season
  • Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators
  • Keep drapes and shades on south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter. Close shades at night to reduce the chill

Keep Inventory Reports

Be sure to have a detailed move-in/move-out inspection report and document everything. In Alberta, damages beyond wear and tear can be deducted from the security deposit, but only if you complete a move-in/move-out inspection report.

Conduct Maintenance Inspection Reports

Ensuring that your rental property is in top form will help you cut costs, create energy-savings, and help the property hold its value. Be sure to conduct routine maintenance inspections reports so that you are always aware of any issues with the property that need to be fixed. This will reduce the chance of problems escalating and costing even more in the long run.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Isn’t it nice to know you can save the planet and improve your budget with energy-efficient appliances?

ENERGY STAR dishwashers use 12% less energy, washing machines 25% less energy, and 40% less water! 

In Alberta, hot water tanks typically last 10 years; beyond a decade there is a risk of leaks and bursting, which can cost thousands of dollars. Consider having your hot water tank serviced once a year to increase efficiency and lifespan and remember to replace 10-year-old water tanks.

Energy-efficient furnaces can help you realize savings anywhere from$300-700 yearly. Don’t be put off by the initial costs; many businesses offer deferred payment plans of up to 10 years. ENERGY STAR appliances create big energy-savings in the long run.

Smart Homes

Smart Home appliances and utility programs can automate, monitor, and control a rental property’s energy use and many tools can be installed on your own.

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats can be programmed to learn your tenant’s routines while minimizing output  and can save up to 23% on heating and cooling costs.

Water Smart

Here are five energy-saving investments that reduce water consumption and utility bills;

  • low-flow toilet
  • low-flow showerhead  
  • tap aerator
  • on-demand water systems
  • greywater recycling


A variety of computer and office products from desktop computers to laptops and tablets to copiers, printers, scanners, all-in-one devices, fax machines, and mailing machines earn ENERGY STAR certification. Let your tenants know how they can realize energy savings.

ENERGY STAR Lightbulbs

Did you know ENERGY STAR-certified bulbs use 90% energy and last 15 times longer than regular bulbs? That translates into $55 in electricity savings over their lifespan.

Cool Roofs

ENERGY STAR-certified cool roofs could lower the temperature of your roof by up to 50°F and will create energy-saving by using less air conditioning. Cool roofs use a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles.


Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying energy-efficient windows, which reduce heat gain and loss and can help save energy and reduce energy bills.

Curtains, shades, sun-control or reflective films, and awnings can also protect against cold drafts and warm sunlight during the day.


Farmers were the first to understand that well-designed landscaping can deliver effective shade, act as a windbreak, and reduce heating and cooling bills. Trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants can shade the ground and pavement around the property, cooling the air before it reaches the walls and windows. Shrubs and vines can also shade walls and windows.

Maximize Your Rental Property Tax Deductions

Lastly, make sure you know what expenses you can claim for your rental property, record all receipts, and talk to an accountant to help you know the tax breaks you qualify for.

To take advantage of these landlord tips and get access to even more tips, tools, and educational resources for DIY landlords, sign up for a membership for Landlord Fundamentals 101. To save even more time and money, combine Landlord Fundamentals 101 with one-on-one coaching to qualify for the Canada Alberta Job Grant.

How are you educating yourself/your employees about the business of landlording? I’d love to hear how [email protected].

Do you have employees who would benefit from taking Landlord Fundamentals 101 with one-on-one coaching? Talk to me about group discounts [email protected]

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