The Energy Hour program aims to improve energy efficiency in rental housing through resident-led meetings promoting energy-saving practices. Rental housing constitutes 55.2% of the city’s housing, providing housing for more than 50,000 residents. Ann Arbor renters spend approximately $29.5 million annually on energy - that’s an average of more than $1,000 per year for a 1,000 square foot apartment!
A focus on energy in rental housing supports the Climate Action Plan’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025 and promotes valuable cost-saving measures for rental population.
How does an Energy Hour work?
The Energy Hour program focuses on the highly effective and achievable methods renters can employ to reduce energy use. This program provides renters with access to boxes that contain instructions and materials for hosting an hour-long meeting during which fellow tenants participate in activities designed to promote residential energy efficiency.
Meeting activities will incorporate the following objectives:
- Understanding the energy use of specific household appliances and actions
- Learning tips to reduce electricity, natural gas, and water use
- Making commitments to take action and adjust behavior
These activities enable participants to engage in meaningful discussion about personal resource consumption and set realistic goals for increasing energy efficiency.
How can I host a Meeting?
Thank you for your interest in hosting a meeting! You can check out a meeting in a box from the following locations:
All materials are also available for download, including instructions on how to host a meeting.
- City of Ann Arbor Customer Service
- Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch
Can’t host a meeting, but still interested in doing the meeting activities? No problem. All of the meeting activities are available below. Feel free to download the worksheets or trivia questions to complete on your own.
- Click here to download the Meeting Host Instructions.
Interested in hosting a meeting? Download the instructions to learn more about meeting materials and activities.
- Click here to download the Infographic/Meeting Overview.
Meeting attendees will read this infographic and overview, as well as answer discussion questions, to begin thinking about energy efficiency at the start of the meeting.
- Click here to download the Appliance Inventory worksheet.
This worksheet will help you better understand your energy use by breaking down your electricity use by appliance and type of appliances. After filling out the inventory, take a few minutes to review the discussion questions and think about where you might best be able to cut down energy use. Use the reference sheet to help fill in the worksheet.
Energy Rush Trivia
- Click here to download the Trivia Game Cards.
The Energy Hour Trivia Game is designed for a group as small as four people and as many as six teams of three people each. The game can be adapted and played many different ways. Energy Rush is intended to provide individuals with a fun and interactive way to learn more about energy, the way we use it and the way we waste it, and to give individuals tips to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their utility bills.
Commit to Action
This card provides meeting attendees with an opportunity to commit to three goals after finishing the appliance inventory and trivia.
Participant Feedback Survey
- Click here to download the Participant Feedback Survey.
Contact your landlord!
- Click here to download the letter to your landlord.
The Energy Hour materials also includes a template letter for you to adapt and send to your landlord or management company. This template is intended to act as a first step in fostering a positive dialogue with your landlord regarding energy efficiency updates.
You can download the PDF version of the Letter to the Landlord to fill out and send as is, or to tailor to better suit your particular tenant/landlord relationship.
Ann Arbor is partnering with Rent Rocket to crowdsource energy data in order to provide renters with information regarding the efficiency of energy consumption in rental housing.
We need Ann Arbor renters to share utility data from their rental properties. Once you share your data, encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.
The Rent Rocket project will eventually become an interactive website and mobile application that shares the information crowdsourced from renters. The website will enable participating cities to share rental information and create markets for more engaged and environmentally-minded citizens.