Monique O'Grady: You can be energy efficient at home even if you don't own your home. Making smart choices is important for home owners and renters alike. Even though renters don't usually make large purchasing decisions like full home heating and cooling or windows, you can still make low-cost changes that add up in savings on your electricity bills.
One easy step you can take, installing a programmable thermostat that can cost as little as $25 but have the potential to save over a $100 every year. Another low cost choice, light bulbs. Energy efficient light bulbs use up to 85% less energy than old-style incandescents.
And since consumer electronic play a larger role in home energy consumption and you bring items like TVs, DVD players and computers from place to place, it's smart to buy energy star rated electronics. And when you use electronics at home, plug them into power strips; then you can turn off more than one item at once to make sure you are not wasting energy.
And renters remember some basic water efficiency rules too. Washing your clothes using just cold water keeps your clothes bright and saves you energy since your washer isn't wasting power heating the water.
In the kitchen while you may not want to invest in new appliances, you can make sure to always fill your dishwasher to capacity every time you use it. And use pots and pans that fit the burner, because if you place a small pan on a large burner, you are just wasting energy.
So, even though you aren't paying a mortgage, you are often paying energy bills. So renters, be sure to use these smart and easy energy efficiency tips.