Are American renters bigger energy hogs than their homeowner counterparts? Yes, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), which found that renters use nearly a third more energy per square foot than homeowners. But the question remains: Why? Taking the EIA data, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies looked into what may account for the difference. Among the reasons recently offered via the center's Housing Perspectives blog, are the thought that because rental units are typically smaller than homes, they are therefore more energy intensive. But, the center also points out that a renter's energy use intensity also varies depending on whether the apartment's utilities are fixed and lumped into the unit's rent or whether they are paid for by the renter. It turns out that those renters who are unaware of their individual energy use because it is bundled into the rent consume much more than those renters who pay for their utilities separately.
Read more in the entire blog post here.