Hosting your home as an Airbnb is a great way to make a side profit on top of whatever else you have going on. But sometimes you’ll come across tenants who’ll unfortunately overuse your utilities – causing your profit to shrink.
A natural response to alleviate this pain might be to increase your prices, but that would be a mistake. In a supply and demand economy, out-pricing yourself to simply recoup energy costs is not ideal. You want to stay competitive in your market, which means you’ll have to find alternative ways to offset extra electricity usage.
That’s where we come in. We’re going to show you different ways to lower your Airbnb electric bill, so that you can see the profit you had anticipated.
Step 1: Improve your insulation – this means sealing up any cracks.
Having good insulation will go a long way towards improving your savings and lowering your electric bill. If your Airbnb happens to be a house with an attic, insulation should be of even more importance to you. According to Popular Mechanics, “Uninsulated attics can increase energy bills by 67% versus a space that is fully insulated to local standards.”
Power your home with clean energy, and save.Check availability
Whether you’re hosting an apartment or a house, there will be windows – which if not sealed correctly, can cause a problem. It’s important to observe the exterior and interior of your window frames. Most cracks can be taken care of with a caulking gun, and some good quality weatherstripping. The right weatherstripping can reduce drafts and block energy loss, which is a common problem around windows.
Let’s say for example you have some Canadian tourists staying at your Airbnb apartment in Arizona. They probably won’t find the suffocating heat of Arizona to be comforting. This means they’ll probably keep your AC cranking for the entirety of their duration.
With faulty insulation around your windows, much of that cool air will seep out, causing your HVAC system to work double time. This will lead to a higher electricity bill, which could’ve been avoided by simply improving your insulation. The next time you have a weekend off, head to your nearest hardware store and buy yourself quality caulking and weatherstripping. The small investment you’ll be making then, will pay off mightily in the long run.
Step 2: Install a smart thermostat.
Whether we’re at home or on vacation, we like to stay comfortable within our setting. The same applies for the tenants renting out your Airbnb. It’s highly doubtful your Airbnb tenants will spend their vacation time worrying about your AC usage.
This is where smart thermostats come in. Installing a smart thermostat – which is very affordable – is a great way to monitor and adjust daily AC usage remotely. Smart thermostats give you the ability to change your thermostat settings from your cell phone. You’ll even have the ability to setup a reasonable range of temperatures protected by your passcode. This will prevent tenants from overriding your settings, in the event they try to lower or raise the temperature.
If you’re going to implement a range, it’s a good idea to make it a reasonable one that is still accommodating to your tenants.
Step 3: Replace your old lights with new efficient LEDs.
If we as homeowners leave the lights on all the time, what makes you think your Airbnb tenants won’t do the same? It’s inevitable, people always leave the lights on. One quick way to fix this issue, or at least try to, is to leave a note, or several notes letting your tenants know to turn off the lights when they’re no longer in use.
Most times people will either ignore or simply disregard your note, and end up leaving the lights on for extended periods of time. Knowing that this is a realistic possibility – it is important for you to replace any old incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps with LEDs.
LED bulbs are much more efficient than incandescent bulbs. While incandescent bulbs emit heat in all directions and directly contribute to climate change, LEDs limit heat exposure, and are completely eco friendly. With the way technology has advanced, LEDs have become very affordable. No longer do you have the excuse of LEDs being expensive. So stop procrastinating and make those changes.
Step 4: Upgrade to ENERGY STAR appliances.
This one might take you a while to completely accomplish, but your ultimate goal should be to have your Airbnb home as close to ENERGY STAR certified as possible. “ENERGY STAR certified homes are at least 10% more energy efficient than homes built to code and achieve 20% improvement on average, while providing homeowners with better quality, performance, and comfort,” per ENERGY STAR.
Everything from refrigerators and heaters, to TV’s and laptops can be ENERGY STAR certified. If you have tenants who are planning on staying a couple weeks, chances are they’re going to do some laundry. If so, you’d want for them to use an efficient ENERGY STAR model as opposed to the old standard model that was there when you first bought the place. An ENERGY STAR clothes washer can cut energy consumption by 25 percent and water consumption by 33 percent.
If you’re planning on renting out your home year round, these investments will help lower your electric bill. In some cases you’ll be unable to upgrade your appliances. If you happen to be in one of these situations, there are still other options you can utilize.
Depending on the type of access you give them, your tenants will likely use your entertainment system at some point during their stay. This means having an efficient TV, sound system, and computer is a must. Different retail stores such as Best Buy, Sears and others have partnered with ENERGY STAR to offer energy efficient products. This means you can go to any of these participating partners and find entertainment systems that are the cream of the crop, yet still energy conscious.
You no longer need to have an energy guzzling 60 inch flat screen. Instead you can have a 60 inch LED Samsung that is top notch, and environmentally friendly.
Hosting your Airbnb comes with enough tasks and worries as is. Adding a high electric bill on top of it only makes your experience worse. Following the steps we’ve just outlined will help you ease the burden of a high electric bill, while giving your tenants the type of comfort they expect when staying over at your humble abode.