Every year, we learn more about how climate change affects our planet. Now that 2021 is nearly over, you’ve decided it’s time to make a difference. You want to switch to solar power as an energy source. But is this possible in an apartment? Even if you’re sold on the benefits of solar power, your landlord might not be. How can you switch to renewable energy when you rent an apartment?
Here’s how you can take advantage of solar power, even in a rented space:
Portable Solar Systems
Did you know that you don’t need to use a rooftop to install solar panels? There are alternatives to roof-mounted panels, and they’re perfect for an apartment.
Portable solar kits are great for those with RVs, but you can also use these kits in your apartment. When setting up your portable solar system, you’ll want to choose a spot that receives the most sunlight. Naturally, an optimal place for your solar panels will be near a window. Or, if you have a balcony, you can place the panels there.
In an apartment, these small-scale systems typically produce between 0.3 and 1.5 kWh per day. It’s not enough to fuel your dishwasher or refrigerator, but it can keep your cell phone fully charged.
To install this system, you’ll need to purchase the following equipment:
- An inverter
- A battery
- Charge controller
- Solar panels
Since these systems are portable, you can pack yours up and take it with you on your next road trip (or to your next apartment).
Try to talk to your property management company about setting up a solar system. If you think your apartment complex can benefit from a solar array, it’s worth a shot. Your landlord might be open to the idea of solar panels; you’ll only find out by starting the conversation.
Renewable energy can benefit the property owner, their tenants, and the environment. Is your landlord on the fence about solar? You can tell them about the main benefits of solar, which include:
- Improve the value of your property. In all likelihood, your landlord will eventually sell their apartment complex. With solar panels, they can get a higher asking price once the building is listed. Solar systems make for a great selling point; what’s more enticing than the idea of low (or non-existent) electricity bills?
- Protect yourself from rising electricity rates. Each year, the cost of electricity seems to increase. But when you generate your own electricity, you can remain independent of these costs.
- It ends up saving you money. One of the hardest parts about persuading your landlord to go for solar is the expense of these systems. But installing a solar system will create savings in the long run.
- Tell them about energy initiatives. Depending on where you live, you can apply for grants that help cover the costs of a solar installation. It’s worthwhile to do some research about tax credits in your area.
This conversation could go a few different ways. The best-case scenario is that your landlord decides to go ahead and install a solar system themselves. Or, they might allow you to place your own panels on the roof (you’ll just have to cover the costs).
But what if they’re against the idea? There’s still one more thing you can do:
Windowsill Solar System
As a tenant, you may not be able to install solar panels on your roof. However, you can install them in your windows. Even a small solar system can offset your energy costs and make your apartment a greener place.
The owner of Globe Property Management writes, “A windowsill solar system is effective and discreet; most people won’t even notice that you have one.”
With small systems like these, you can generate just enough energy to charge your laptop, phone, or power your lights for a day. It won’t be enough to eliminate your electricity bill, but it’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
You can even purchase solar blinds, which absorb sunlight and prevent heat from entering your apartment. These will keep your place cooler on warm days. Better yet, they’ll block out the light from your windows, so you can sleep in on weekends.
If you live in an apartment, you may have assumed that solar was exclusive to homeowners. But once you do your research, you’ll find out that there are a few ways to use renewable energy in a rented space. We hope this post inspires you to generate clean energy in your apartment.