Sioux Falls, SD, January 23, 2013 Citing recent academic studies that renters pay considerably more in utility costs than homeowners, Renter Nation (www.renternation.com), the country’s only nationwide group “by, for, and about America’s more than 100 million residential renters,” has called for government financial incentives for landlords to encourage the installation of energy efficient appliances in rental units as well as greater use of solar generation technology and other energy conservation measures.
According to a recent analysis by Lucas Davis and David Levine, economists at the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, owner occupied housing units are considerably more likely to have Energy Star appliances than rental units. For example, Messrs. Davis and Levine point out that in owner-occupied units, 45 percent of appliances are Energy Star rated compared to only 17 percent in rental units. The reason – the renter generally pays the utility bills and not the landlord. Because of this, landlords have no financial incentive to invest in energy efficient appliances or other energy saving improvements.
In response to this disparity, Bill Deegan, the CEO of Renter Nation, has called on Congress and the White House to advance the concept of providing financial incentives to landlords in the form of tax credits or accelerated depreciation methods to encourage landlords to upgrade appliances and increase community-wide energy efficiency.
“This issue represents a perfect example of how renters and landlords can work together for our common good. Successful implementation of our recommendations will allow renters to experience lower utility bills at the same time enhance property values for landlords. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Mr. Deegan noted.
He went on to say that tax credits and advantageous depreciation methods should also be used for certain energy efficient capital improvements such as double paned windows, wall insulation and solar energy generation. “Homeowners are eligible to receive tax credits and utility rebates for these improvements. Renters and landlords should share in that opportunity as well,” he said.
“We have asked President Obama and key members of Congress to consider our recommendations. They are important not only to the pocket books of renters but will help save energy and lessen our reliance on imported oil.”
Mr. Deegan added that “the mission of Renter Nation is to not only fight on behalf of residential renters but to create positive social acceptance of renting and the renting lifestyle. We advocate for more and better rental housing. We welcome the participation of the multi-family industry to help advance our energy savings initiative.
Renter Nation, in addition to being a renting lifestyle advocate, also offers a complete menu of services for renters on its website. It offers more than six million apartment and rental home listings through its affiliation with My New Place, convenient on-line shopping through Amazon, localized Groupon discounts, career opportunities through Monster, Expedia travel services and much more.
Renter Nation is a unit of Sioux Falls, South Dakota based Media Demographics, Inc.
University of California Study Link: