Landlords & tenants

Energy efficiency for renters

Landlords and tenants can both benefit from a no-cost energy assessment.

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Landlords and condo associations

The biggest bang for your buck

Massachusetts Landlords and condo associations may be eligible for as much as 90% off the cost of insulation (up to $3,000 per unit when all eligible units are insulated at the same time), plus additional rebates and 0% loans to upgrade heating systems, windows, and appliances through the Mass Save Program. You must start with a no-cost building energy assessment.

Mass Save offers some great subsidies to help landlords and condo associations with fewer than 4 units to improve their property with energy efficiency upgrades. (Larger buildings are served by Mass Save’s Multi-family Program.) A no-cost whole building energy assessment yields immediate benefits in terms of water and electricity savings and will help you plan your next investments in the property.

Call our office (800-287-3950) if you are unsure about which local agency is the one that can best serve you and we will point you to the right office.

 

Rhode Island Landlords and condo associations may be eligible for a no-cost energy assessment to identify opportunities for maximizing energy savings and may be qualified for incentives and any rebates on upgrades through the Energy Wise program.

Energy Wise also offers some great subsidies to help landlords and condo associations improve their property with energy efficiency upgrades. Energy Wise's program energy efficiency services cover multifamily dwellings such as apartment buildings, condominiums, and housing complexes.

To get more information call (1-888-633-7947) and learn about your options.

How to get started

  1. Make a list of electricity and gas account holders and account numbers associated with the building(s) you want to improve.
  2. Get permission from all the residents for Mass Save’s or Energy Wise's Energy Specialist to walk through their units.
  3. Call Mass Save at 866-527-7283 to request a Whole Building Assessment if the property has 2-4 units, or a Home Energy Assessment if it has just one. Call Energy Wise at 1-888-633-7947 to request a Whole Building Assessment for 1-4 unit residential properties.
  4. Schedule the assessment and plan to spend 3 hours with the Specialist, learning about your building and all the subsidies that might help you make it more efficient.
  5. Your Specialist will help you take upgrade action steps.
  6. In Massachusetts, you can also start the process for a specific upgrade by contacting a Mass Save-approved contractor listed here. Rhode Islanders, have the option to select a participating contractor or be assigned one through the program.

Massachusetts Residents Note: If your property is located in a municipal utility area, call your town or the Muni HELPS program (888-333-7525) for more information.

Why make energy efficiency improvements?

Even if tenants pay for their own utilities, there are multiple benefits to landlords if they weatherize the building and increase the efficiency of its equipment, lighting, and appliances:

  • Weatherized buildings have lower rates of tenant turnover.
  • Weatherized buildings have less need for space heaters that can cause a fire risk.
  • Efficient homes are more comfortable for tenants.
  • More efficient apartments offer better protection against energy prices spikes and extreme weather conditions — making it easier for tenants to make rent.
  • A properly weatherized building is more weather resistant and is in better repair.
  • Insulation can lessen the chance of frozen pipes.
  • Low-income tenants can qualify the landlord for the Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program.

Tenants

Efficient homes are more comfortable and affordable.

Get a free home energy assesment

You can get a no-cost home energy assessment without your landlord’s permission! Efficient light bulbs, programmable thermostats, and low-flow shower heads are free with a no-cost Home Energy Assessment.

  1. Start by calling your state's energy efficiency program.
  2. Pick a time when you can spend an hour or two with the Energy Specialist. They’ll look through your apartment and install the water-saving and electricity-saving devices appropriate to your home.
  3. Your Specialist will help you follow up on any larger upgrades with your landlord.

 

You’ll save even more if you are able to engage your landlord as well. If your landlord is interested, let the state's energy efficiency program know that the landlord would like to receive a report on insulation and heating system recommendations too.

Behavior changes

Behavior changes are the cheapest—like turning off lights and electronics (or using smart power strips for your entertainment and computer stations), using cold water for laundry, and hanging laundry to dry.

Get some tips

How to work with your landlord to do more

Bigger changes don’t have to be expensive and can have desirable effects on the property, whether or not your landlord pays the utility bills. Below are the smartest investments for a landlord, and here are excellent reasons that a landlord should make efficiency upgrades.

Insulation

Insulation qualifies for a 75% instant rebate up to $2000 after an home energy assessment. A landlord can wind up paying very little for it.

Heating systems

If your heater or water heater needs to be replaced, there are significant rebates (sometimes thousands of dollars) through your state's energy efficiency program.

Low-income tenants

Weatherization Assistance is free to single-family and two- or three-family homes if more than half the units have low-income qualifying tenants.  Typically, this program covers air sealing, insulation, appliance management, and heating system repairs.  Call our office (800-287-3950) if you are unsure about which local agency is the one that can best serve you and we will point you to the right office.