Renew.org.au has reported (01/03/16) on ways renters can take steps to use less energy and reduce household bills by contacting their landlords about insulation.
The average efficiency rating of a Melbourne house is only 2 stars. However there are steps the one in three Australians that are renting can take to live more sustainably and comfortably.
Home energy consultant, Tim Forcey, looked at a rental property in Thornbury to see what measures could be taken with regard to home insulation.
A FLIR thermal imaging camera was moved through the house to show temperature differences. The camera showed areas of the house that had no ceiling insulation.
The camera also revealed that the ceiling insulation had been cleared around the halogen down lights for safety. To ensure effective insulation the renters were encouraged to ask their landlord to replace the inefficient lights and fit downlight covers.
Insulation will be mandatory in all New Zealand rental properties from July 2016 but Australia has yet to catch up. In Australia, most insulation will cost less than $2000 to install and it will increase the property value. The landlord is also eligible for a capital cost deduction. Environment Victoria has resources on how to approach your landlord to ask for this. Look at the government's Your Energy Savings website to look at rebates and incentives for renters and landlords.
Many renters do not have a way to know energy usage of the house at rental inspections. Landlords need to realise that there are tenants who would happily pay more rent if energy use was low for a house.