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The 411 For Renters – Q & A

For renters, what are some ways to cut costs on utilities?

Some quick and inexpensive quick ways renters can cut cost:

Make use of blinds or drapes to block out the sun in the hot months, or opened in the winter months to let the sun in to subsidize the heat.

Light controls are great! Automatic dimmers on lights can increase the life of a light bulb and keep the energy bill low.

Renters obviously wont be investing in new windows. But you can always use some inexpensive weather stripping and caulk to seal the drafts.

What does utilities includedreally mean for renters and is it more cost effective?

Utilities included usually means that the landlord is responsible for the gas, electric and water bill. Normally you are still responsible for your phone and cable bill. Many renters love this because its less bills they have to remember to pay each month. In some cases it works out to be cheaper. But there are also cases where its more expensive for the tenant. If the apartment is not metered for each unit separately, you could wind up paying some of the cost for your neighbors usage.

 

When looking at appliances in rental properties, what should I keep in mind to be sure they are eco-friendly and economically-friendly?

I’ll tell you the same thing I tell homebuyers, look for the ENERGY STAR logo on appliances. ENERGY STAR is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency. It was established to help consumers identify products that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy.

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