Renters finding smarter ways to save money this winter

Britain’s renters are aiming to save money during the cost of living crisis this winter – by having a morning shower in the gym, charging their tech in the office, and keeping warm in cafes.

A poll of 2,000 private tenants found 47 per cent of those intending to leave home for other venues are confused about the energy efficiency changes they can reasonably make without breaching their tenancy agreements.

As a result, more than a fifth (22 per cent) will be heading to the gym each morning for a shower to cut down on water and heating bills. And 26 per cent plan to bring their devices into the office to charge them up during the day.

Another 20 per cent have their sights set on cafes to make use of their heating and Wi-Fi during workdays. While 26 per cent reckon it’ll be more cost-effective to buy a few hot drinks, rather than heating their home.

More than a third (36 per cent) think this will help manage their outgoings this winter, but 14 per cent have no idea how much their next energy bill will be.

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of rental tenants will be spending more time in their local library this winter so they don’t have to heat their homes.

And 23 per cent will take the opportunity to visit friends and family members at their houses, while their own heating stays off.

Guide to help keep bills down

Smart Energy GB, which commissioned the OnePoll research, has produced an energy efficiency guide for renters to help them identify areas where they can take action.

Says spokesperson Victoria Bacon:

“With energy bills increasing, many people are making plans to beat the rising cost of living.

“But for renters, not knowing what energy efficiency changes they’re allowed to make can be an extra worry.

“Our guide covers low or no cost changes, like getting a smart meter, that are simple to do and effective at helping to keep your bills down.

“If you pay for the gas or electricity in your rented property, you can choose to have a smart meter. We recommend you tell your landlord before you get one.”

Fewer than three in 10 respondents (29 per cent) believe their current rental property is as energy efficient as it could be.

One in five would like double-glazed windows installed, while 28 per cent want better external wall insulation. A quarter also think their property would benefit from an entirely new boiler being installed, and 29 per cent want solar panels put in.

One less thing on the to-do list

Just under six in 10 (59 per cent) find it frustrating that most of the information available about making homes energy efficient seems to be geared towards homeowners.

Adds Property expert Kate Faulkner:

“Whether you’re looking to rent a new flat, or you’re looking to make improvements in your existing home, there are several simple steps you can take to help keep your energy bills down this winter.

“An easy way to cut your bills is to switch your bulbs to LEDs. If your property is difficult to keep warm, talk to your landlord about loft or cavity wall insulation and turn your thermostat down by 1 degree.”

Chris Price