Saving on Utilities: Energy Efficiency Tips for Perth Tenants

Whether you’re about to move into a rental property, or already renting, you don’t want to pay more than you need for utilities!

From the most basic utilities — electricity, gas, and water — to telecommunications, internet and streaming services, utilities have become more expensive.

So, whether it’s your first-time renting, or you’re a long-term renter who’s never focused on minimising costs before, you might benefit from our expert tips on how to save on utility bills.

A woman holding her utility bill
A few simple changes can help lower your utility bills.

Getting the Best Deal on Your Utilities

If you’re moving into a new rental (or your utility bills are getting scary), comparing deals offered by different utility providers can be worthwhile.

There is effectively only one residential electricity provider in Perth, due to government ownership, but you can compare different gas providers, using comparison sites like Mozo and Compare the Market.

You’ll also find sites comparing internet and phone providers. For example, you can check out these two sites: Compare Broadband and WhistleOut.

Consumer organisations like ACCAN also offer helpful advice.

Before you start making changes to economise on your utility use, make sure you’re on the best utility plans available.

Don’t forget to also explore concessions. Your utility provider can often advise on what you may be eligible for. The Economic Regulation Authority, and the WA Government have useful websites.

Tips to Cut Usage and Costs

Once you’re sure you have the best plan and any concessions available, look at your bills, focusing on how you could save even more by changing your own usage habits.

Saving Strategies — Electricity

  • when replacing appliances, choose energy-efficient models
  • don’t ‘blast’ heating and cooling — adjusting the thermostat by 1°C can reduce energy used by 5-10%
  • use passive strategies so air-conditioning use can be minimised — for example:
    • close curtains/blinds during the hottest times of the day in summer so the house won’t heat up as much
    • open curtains/blinds on winter days to let sun in
    • insulate western windows in summer — e.g. using foil
    • draught proof your home in winter
  • use fans instead of (or with) air-conditioners — they are cheap to run, provide enough cooling for many summer evenings, and when used with air-conditioners, make them more efficient
  • replace old-style globes with energy efficient globes
  • turn appliances/devices off at the wall when not in use
  • don’t set fridges colder than needed/avoid using a second fridge
  • use cold water/short cycles for laundry
  • line-dry clothes
  • check what time of day power is cheapest and use energy hungry appliances then.

Saving Strategies — Gas

Many saving strategies for gas are the same as for electricity. For example:  efficient appliances, draught-proofing and dressing warmly to reduce heating bills, short showers, and cold-washing laundry.

Others include:

  • using lids on pots on the stove
  • ensuring oven doors seal well
  • don’t preheat the oven.

For more strategies, check out

Saving Strategies — Water

Strategies we recommend include:

  • reduce garden use e.g., water at night, reuse grey water/shower water
  • take shorter showers
  • use the toilet’s half-flush, or a cistern water displacer
  • choose water-efficient appliances
  • only run washing machines/dishwashers when full
  • fix leaking taps ASAP*
  • install aerators and water-efficient shower heads*.

Some strategies* require landlord co-operation or permission.

Saving Strategies — Mobile and Internet 

Everyone uses telecommunications differently — some of these strategies might suit you:

  • reduce the amount of data you pay for to just what you need
  • close background apps on your phone
  • set your phone to auto-connect to WiFi — only play games, stream, or download music using WiFi.

For more strategies, see ACCAN’s tips.

What Now?

Property managers understand strategies for managing utility costs.

The team at We Love Rentals is happy to give you the benefit of their extensive experience, and our post on moving into a new rental property might also give you ideas.

Don’t pull out your hair over utility bills — ask for help!

Email us or call (08) 6254 6300 for friendly, professional advice.

I am the licensee of We Love Rentals and provide support to the team whenever needed. I began my real estate career over two decades years ago. While I loved seeing people achieve their dream of a new home for their family, I kept thinking that there had to be a better way of doing real estate – one with respect for the long term benefit of the client and one that focuses on customer satisfaction.