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How to Reduce Utility Costs in Your Short-Term Vacation Rental

Rising utility costs for homes in Southern California are a real concern for owners across the state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 26.0 cents per kWh that Los Angeles households paid for electricity in December 2022 was 57.6 percent more than the nationwide average of 16.5 cents per kWh. This is a huge jump! Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take in order to combat the increasing rates in California and keep your costs down. Below are some of the actionable steps that AMG encourages rental owners to take in order to cut back on monthly utility costs.

1. Swap out old lightbulbs with energy-efficient bulbs.

One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reduce utility costs is to switch out old lightbulbs for more efficient LED or CFL bulbs. Doing so can reduce lighting costs by up to 80 percent—a significant savings over time! Bonus: If it's in your budget, replacing old appliances with newer, ENERGY STAR appliances (such as dishwashers, washing machines etc.) also greatly reduces your home's carbon footprint and saves you even more money on your water and/or electric bill!

2. Install roller or honeycomb blinds.

If your vacation rental home is insufficiently or improperly insulated, chances are, you're blasting your AC during warm months of the year. One easy way to reduce the amount of time you need to run your home's AC each day is by installing roller or honeycomb blinds which trap the cool air inside and block as much heat from entering your home. They also work in the inverse way and can trap warm air inside during the cooler months, therefore reducing the amount of time you need to run your heater!

3. Install a smart thermostat.

With the rising temperatures during the hottest months and plummeting temperatures during the coldest months in SoCal, utility bills can quickly add up. Smart thermostats can act as an ally when it comes to helping you save money on your monthly utility bills. Smart thermostats are able to adjust their temperature settings automatically and learn temperature preferences, allowing homeowners to reduce energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable temperature in their homes. Additionally, smart thermostats can simply be programmed with daily temperature preferences. This allows homeowners to avoid energy wasting habits by setting specific temperatures at certain times of the day. Not only does this reduce energy waste and save you money on utility bills but it also reduces your carbon footprint.

4. Install pool equipment accessible from afar with added scheduling options.

Installing pool equipment that can be remotely accessed is incredibly beneficial when it comes to saving yourself cost and time. Not only can you save on the need to travel frequently to check on the equipment, but you can also install pool equipment that come with certain scheduling options as well. This way, you can set a schedule for the equipment to run only when necessary, conserving energy costs. Furthermore, scheduling options allow for maintenance adjustments to take place without being physically at the pool site. This eco-friendly option helps reduce energy costs by allowing for only necessary use of the equipment, such as starting or stopping at designated times each day. This can additionally help with keeping the water temperatures consistent by not allowing temperature ranges that are too low or too high. With access to the equipment from afar and the use of scheduling options, this can be an option that helps you save money in the long run. Additionally, AMG gives vacation rental owners the option to increase their pool/spa heating fees with their guests in order to recover energy costs.

5. Educate cleaning crews and management team on how to save energy while on-site.

AMG is dedicated to educating our cleaning crews and management teams on ways to reduce energy consumption and utility costs while on-site at properties we manage. Some of these energy-reduction tactics include leaving all lights off except those necessary to perform the task at hand, leaving thermostats off or on smart settings, keeping windows and doors close in order to preserve internal temperatures, and more.

6. Increase nightly rates while staying competitive in the market to maximize bookings and revenue for owners.

As a vacation rental owner or manager, it is important to ensure that you are maximizing bookings and homeowner revenue while still staying competitive in the market. One way to do this is to increase nightly rental rates. It's easy to fall into the trap of competing on price in the vacation rental market, but focusing on providing a higher quality experience for guests and ensuring that the price reflects the value of that experience can be a great way to increase bookings and revenue for owners. It's important to assess ownership goals for pricing and ensure that you are marketing your properties with the right pricing as well. Ultimately, reassessing your pricing strategy regularly and staying flexible with pricing can help maximize bookings and revenue for owners while keeping up with the trends in the vacation rental market. Learn how AMG helps increase homeowner revenue through dynamic pricing techniques!

As environmental concerns grow year by year, many owners and guests are becoming more and more interested in sustainable tourism and cutting back on utility costs. By going green with your vacation rental, you are promoting a change in the world AND saving yourself money!

To learn more about AMG Vacation Rentals, click here!


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