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    Woman replacing lamp with LED bulbs
    You don’t have to be a homeowner to save energy and money where you live. There are plenty of improvements you can make to your rented property to increase your energy efficiency that won’t affect your security deposit.
    Try these tips to keep your apartment or rental house energy efficient.
    1. Take advantage of the sunlight
    Keep curtains, shades and blinds open on sunny winter days. Closed curtains also double as insulators to help keep cool air in during hot summer days.
    2. Assess your current energy usage
    Compare your energy use to similar homes in your area and see what you can do to save more energy and lower your monthly bill. Complete a free HomeCheck® Online assessment to get a personalized breakdown of your energy consumption. Plus, Iowa and Illinois customers will receive a free kit with energy efficiency products to use!
    3. Set your thermostat to save
    Keep your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower in the winter and 78 degrees or higher in the summer to save energy. Space heaters or air fans in the room you’re in can keep you comfortable while using less energy than your central heating or air conditioning. You also can save with a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts the temperature when you’re asleep or away. See how much you can save.
    4. Get the right lightbulbs
    Install ENERGY STAR® lighting in your home. ENERGY STAR light bulbs use 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. If you are an Iowa or Illinois electric customer, you can get ENERGY STAR light bulbs in a free energy efficiency kit when you complete our HomeCheck Online assessment.
    5. Use your kitchen correctly 
    Did you know? The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that nearly 15% of home energy usage occurs in the kitchen. But, you can save by taking easy steps like resisting the urge to open the oven, using the right size pan on your stovetop, and using your microwave instead of the oven. See more tips to improving your energy efficiency in the kitchen.
    Woman adjusts the drying time
    6. Wash your laundry in cold water 
    Cold water saves energy that would have gone toward heating your water. To save water, try to wash only full loads. Together, these measures can save more than 3,400 gallons of hot water each year. 
    7. Don’t overdry your clothes
    If your dryer has a moisture sensor that turns the machine off when clothes are dry, use it. Remember to clean the lint trap before every load. Dry full loads, or reduce drying time for partial loads.
    8. Seal up any drafts
    Use weather stripping and caulk to seal air leaks and block drafts, even in the basement and attic, around doors, windows, chimneys, electrical outlets and other potential areas for air leakage. Put clear plastic sheets over the inside or outside of your windows to reduce heat loss and increase comfort. Window wrap kits, available at your hardware or home store, are an ideal choice for the job.

    9. Take quick, effective showers
    A 10-minute shower uses less water than a full bath, saving energy that would have gone toward heating up the extra water. If you’re able to modify your showerhead under your rental agreement, an energy-efficient showerhead can save even more water.
    10. Call us before you sign your next lease
    Utility bills are an important consideration when deciding to rent an apartment or house. Call us at 888-427-5632 to learn the average energy cost per month for the last two years at your potential new rental home. We can help you make an informed decision about which home to rent.

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