For most people, going solar has meant installing panels on your roof. But what if you don’t own your home and you’re living in a rented space? Most renters assume they have no option to enjoy the benefits of solar energy but that’s not true! Apartment dwellers and renters can get in on solar power and support clean energy generation while saving a little money as well.
How can you use solar power in an apartment?
In the past decade, the growth of the renter population outpaced that of homeowners in most large U.S. cities. But, rental housing stock in cities are more likely to be older housing stock. This means more cracks, less insulation, inefficient appliances and older windows. These homes are some of the most important properties to connect into renewable energy projects, like solar, because they are less energy efficient. Using solar power can have a greater impact in terms of reducing CO2 emissions while saving renters money.
Opt into a community solar program
In recent years, community solar farms have become a viable option for renters because there are no panels to install at their homes. Community solar programs allows renters, homeowners, small businesses, non-profits and others to subscribe to a solar farm nearby or in their community, while still maintaining their relationship with their utility service provider. Subscribers receive energy credits on their utility bills for the power produced by their share of the solar farm, saving them money on their annual electricity costs, while supporting clean energy in their community.
Community Solar with Nexamp guarantees up to 12.5% savings for the bill credits you receive (note: savings vary by state). We simply analyze your monthly electricity bill and recommend a suitable allocation of our farm for you to subscribe to. This means that your utility bill will be reduced significantly every month by the credits, and you’ll be paying for those credits at a discounted rate, reducing your cost!
Power small gadgets by installing your own solar panels
According to the U.S Energy Information Administration, in 2018 the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S household customer was 10,972 kWh, that’s an average of 914 kWh per month.
Appliances around a household such as coffee makers, toaster ovens, microwaves, computers and more, all require electricity to operate. In fact, these everyday devices constitute for 5% – 10% of household electricity consumption. This can present an opportunity to divert some of its usage to solar sources of power. That’s where portable solar panels for renters comes into play. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, without modifying the physical grounds of a rented property. Companies like Group Hug make portable window solar panels with a built-in rechargeable battery, allowing you to power your personal devices, like cell phones, speakers and more, day or night!
Make the switch to a renewable energy utility company
Some utility companies across the country offer customers green power programs that allow individuals to purchase their power, sometimes at a higher cost, from their utility to support renewable energy projects, like wind and solar. These programs are often referred to as “green pricing” and are offered in regulated electricity markets. If you’re in a region where your utility doesn’t offer green energy options, there are other alternatives. In deregulated markets, customers can select a third-party provider, also known as an ESCO (Energy Service Company). ESCOs generate electricity or purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) on the open market equivalent to their customers energy usage. RECs are essentially proof that energy has been generated from renewable energy projects such as wind and solar.
Whether you’re looking to tap into clean energy or save money on utility bills, don’t let the status of owning a home hold you back from supporting a greener, more sustainable energy future. Visit our community solar page or give us a call at (800) 945-5124 to talk to one of our knowledgeable team members about how to subscribe to your share of a community solar farm!