Choosing the size, type or efficiency of your hot water system usually isn't an option as a renter. What you can control, however, is how you and your frugal family use hot water in your rental home.
Check that thermostat
One of the quickest and easiest ways to save money on your hot water heating bill is to lower the thermostat. It's best to call on the professionals to adjust the temperature in your hot water system; speak to your landlord and request this service to save yourself the cost of a call-out fee! While a lower temperature may save your family considerably in the long run, make sure you set your hot water thermostat above 60 degrees Celsius. Harmful Legionella bacteria can grow in lower temperatures.
Use less, save lots
With water heating responsible for a quarter of the average electricity bill, using less hot water is the most immediate and long-lasting decision that your family can make in the name of frugality. Shorter showers are a great start since encouraging hot water conservation in all areas of your home will help you to keep costs down. Consider installing a low-flow shower head, only using the dishwasher when it's full to the brim, and washing your clothes and hands in cold water. Small changes now will help your family save considerably in the long run, while instilling the principles of frugal water use in your children.
Keep the oldies wrapped up
If your rental home has a really old hot water heater, you may want to consider bumping up it's insulation capacity. Using a water heater insulating blanket and fibreglass pipe-wrap, you can insulate your hot water cylinder and pipes quickly, easily and cost effectively. Chat to your landlord before you make any changes, as they may offer to pay for materials or assist further in the cost-reduction of your hot water service.
Lobby for solar
Solar hot water systems can drastically reduce the cost to the home occupant as well as the long-term environmental impacts. If you are serious about minimising your energy costs, chat to your landlord about the benefits of solar hot water and request an upgrade to a solar hot water system. Encourage your landlord to check if they are eligible for a rebate, as this may help seal the deal on your upgrade to a solar hot water system!
For more information on how your frugal family and your landlord can save on hot water costs, contact your local solar hot water installation expert for details.