Climate ChangeGreenovateRenew Boston


By October 19, 2019 No Comments

There are lots of ways for renters to save on energy bills, such as replacing lightbulbs, installing a programmable thermostat, and using water-saving devices.

But when it comes to making bigger changes such as getting recycling for your whole building or making more intensive energy upgrades, renters have to make asks to landlords or property managers. To help bridge the communication gap between renters and landlords, here are two sample messages to help tenants start those conversations. Feel free to edit and send in an email or mail with your rent check. Let your landlord know that you want to be a team in making these changes in your home.

To request recycling for your building:

Hi [Landlord’s Name / Property Manager],


I am a tenant of [Street Address]. I recently learned that our building does not have recycling. The City of Boston’s “Ordinance Regarding Access to City Recycling Programs for Large Residential Buildings” ( requires properties with 7 or more residential units, which receive City garbage pickup to maintain active recycling programs, and to provide adequate access and signage to residents. I’d love to work with you to figure out some way we can bring recycling bins into the building – the service itself is free, and I’m sure a lot of tenants would appreciate being able to recycle so they can do the right thing!

Is this something we can schedule together?

According to the City of Boston’s Department of Public Works website (, the landlord or property managers can call the Mayor’s Hotline 617-635-4500 to place a large building recycling program request. Then, the City’s Recycling Coordinator will work with the manager to get the bins and design a special program.

To request energy upgrades in a building with five units and more:

Hi [Landlord’s Name / Property Manager],


I am a tenant of [Street Address]. I saw on the City of Boston’s website that a free energy assessment is available to multi-family buildings. These assessments could help units save energy instantly, and give guidance on improvements for reducing energy use and making the building more comfortable. For buildings with five units or more, landlords and property owners just have to call the Multifamily Market Integrator intake line (800-594-7277) to schedule the assessments.

Is this something we can schedule together?

I feel that our building could use a number of energy upgrades, which could allow you and the tenants of the building to save a significant amount of money each month. Utilities will offer deeply discounted equipment to achieve these savings.

In the long-term, these kinds of improvements will improve the comfort and value of the property as well. With the new City ordinance, it seems like the energy costs may be made public, which could affect rents. I’m hoping we can do as much as we can to preserve the value of the home while doing the right thing.