Average Australian home$7900 to $9500 a year / 33kWh a day / 8 ton C02 per year
Smart renter$4100 to $5000 a year / Under 16kWh a day / Under 4 ton C02 per year
Very smart renterUnder $2200 a year / Under 4kWh a day / Under 1 ton C02 per year

*Costs include a $0.90 a day supply charge for each utitlity, the purchase and replacement of appliances and the costs of mobile and broadband internet connections for certain devices.


If you use energy in the home like an average Australian, a little work and upfront cost can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the coming years and decades. All while living comfortably and helping to create a more liveable planet.

Keep these points in mind:

  • These ideas have been well tested in Australia and Germany, can work in almost any rental property and have a lot of side benefits.
  • A smart renter can easily use half as much energy as what an average Australian home uses while a very smart renter can get by with a quarter or less.
  • No matter what is promised in Canberra, electricity and gas are likely to get more expensive in the future [1][2][3].
  • Renewables are cost competitive with gas and coal but will take a number of years to impact positively on energy prices.
  • Becoming a smart or very smart renter means you still have enough energy to be comfortable. In fact, you’ll be more comfortable.

Here’s what it takes to become a smart renter energy wise:


ActionOnce off costMoney saved per year
Thermal comfortNoneUp to $1000
Hot water$40Up to $360
AppliancesNo costUp to $3000
Smart food storageNo cost$140
Simple energy monitoring$12Savings hard to estimate
Eliminate standby power$0-$40$170
Better energy provider$0-$60 Up to $200
Renewable energy for renters
$0-$400 a year
Savings hard to estimate

It would cost no more than $250 and some spare time in a week to make all of these changes, yet you could expect to save $4000 per year every year compared to the average Australian household [4].

If you want to go further and give yourself a buffer against grid failure, not to mention save even more…

Here’s what it takes to become a very smart renter energy wise:


ActionOnce off costMoney saved per year
Solar lighting$250$40
Solar hot water for renters$450 Up to $360
Cooking$150 Up to $120
Very smart food storage$45$125
Multi-purpose appliancesNo cost$1500
Going gas freeNo cost$330
Back up power$50 to $500 No savings

For a once off cost of $1000 to $1400 and some spare time in a month, you could expect to save up to $2000 per year every year on top of what a smart renter would save.

It’s possible to set yourself up as a smart renter (energy-wise) and just play with one or two very smart renter measures; nothing here is set in stone.

As you can see from the ideas above, a few actions together add up to make a big difference. This is just an overview so feel free to go through each topic to learn about how a little bit of your time can really cut your energy bills.

Slash your energy bills HomePage


Further reading:

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jul/01/australias-high-electricity-prices-the-new-normal-report-says

[2] https://theconversation.com/the-solution-to-australias-gas-crisis-is-not-more-gas-63443

[3] https://www.marketforces.org.au/politicaldonations2019/

[4] Our calculations are based on an electricity price of $0.28/kWh which is the average in Victoria and happily happens to be the Australian average as well.

If you live in New South Wales, Queensland or South Australia, the savings could be greater: