When selecting to rent an apartment or home, we often overlook the cost of utilities when making our decision. Knowing from the start what these costs can assist you in preparing a budget and in making a wise choice as a renter.
When considering a particular location, ask the rental company or property owner to provide information regarding the average usage and billing for the apartment or home you are considering.
Remember to consider both summer and winter bills. Remember to ask for water, electric and gas usage and billing.
When viewing a home or apartment:
- Check around windows and doors for drafts or leaking air. Hold a tissue to see if it moves.
- Ask how often the heating and cooling system are “tuned-up” or tested by a qualified contractor.
- Look for a programmable thermostat. This will allow you to adjust the temperature to your schedule.
- Look for opportunities to change out incandescent bulbs for more efficient lighting.
- Check for low-flow shower heads and sink aerators. These assist in reducing water usage and heating costs.
- Ask the owner if any energy efficiency measures have been added to the house or apartment.