Renewable Energy for Apartments: Solar Panels & More
Inspire Clean Energy
8 min read
category: Sustainable Living
The average American home generates 7.5 metric tons of carbon emissions every year, accounting for almost 20% of all US greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, this statistic is disheartening, but we do have the power to impact our current environmental situation going forward.
Many choices we make today will have a positive impact on the planet in the future, including switching to clean, renewable energy. More and more people are opting to use renewable energy in their homes due to an increased awareness of our world’s collective carbon footprint. The good news is that you don’t have to live in a house of your own to take advantage of renewable energy sources.
Read on to learn more about how you can use solar power in your apartment and adopt a more sustainable and environmentally responsible lifestyle.
How can I get renewable energy in my apartment?
If you live in an apartment, the easiest way to use renewable energy is to switch to a utility company that offers a green energy supply option. This option doesn’t require any expensive investments or arduous installations, you’re simply helping to drive up the demand for clean energy while enjoying the benefits of a reliable, cost-effective energy source. Thousands of people in inner-city apartments are making use of renewable energy every day just by changing their energy provider.
Can I get solar panels for my apartment?
Solar panels can be a great choice for homeowners, but getting solar panels installed for your apartment or condo may simply not be allowed by your building’s owner, even if you own your home. Solar panel installation can also be expensive (averaging $13,000 after tax credits) and it can take many years for you to recoup that money in savings.
The simplest and easiest way to access renewable energy in your own apartment is to switch to renewable energy. And we make it fast and easy for you to make the switch to 100% clean energy. Joining takes less than 5 minutes, and you’ll get a customized flat monthly price for your subscription — we’ll take care of the rest!
Can you be self-sufficient with solar panels?
Whether or not you can achieve self-sufficiency with solar panels depends on a number of factors. First, your daily energy use pays into the number of solar panels you’ll need. For example, a family of six in a five-bedroom house will have entirely different energy needs than a couple in a two-bedroom home.
The prospect of self-sufficiency also depends on the amount of sunlight hours where you live; if you reside in a state with few daylight hours, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to be self-sufficient with solar panels alone. Solar panels are advancing quickly, but currently they cannot generate energy on overcast days or from moonlight alone. But if you live in a place that sees sun for 80% of the year or more, such as Southern California or Florida, solar panels could help you become far more self-sufficient, but they will likely need support from a wind turbine, traditional generator, or the power grid.
But if solar panels feel a bit out of reach and you’re not trying to live off the grid, then simply switching to a renewable energy provider is the best and most cost-effective choice.
How can I make my own renewable energy?
Generating your own renewable energy can be tricky unless you own your home and are willing to invest in solar panels or a wind turbine, and that’s simply not an option for 99% of apartments.
However, while it may be expensive to install solar panels in an apartment, you can always switch to a utility company that supports clean energy. That way you’ll benefit from the sustainable element of using renewable energy and won’t have to worry about the logistics of installing your own.
Can I put solar panels on my apartment balcony?
Solar panels will work on balcony railings. In fact, they will work wherever there is sun exposure. Whether or not you can install them there is another thing entirely. Before you think about installing solar panels, consider the following:
- Can you afford to spend around $13,000 for one?
- Is there really enough space on your balcony? (Residential solar panels are around 5.4 x 3.25 feet, and need to be angled toward the sun.)
- Do you want to use your balcony for any other purpose?
- Will your neighbors be disadvantaged by your panels? (Will it ruin anyone’s view or lead to complaints?)
- Will the building allow it?
- Do you own your home? (If not, installing panels won’t be a good financial decision and you may not even be allowed to.)
- Is your balcony in the right position? Does it get full-sunlight?
Have you ever seen solar panels on an apartment balcony? It’s certainly not common, and that’s because most homeowners realize that it’s either not possible or just easier to switch to renewable energy.
Is solar power in an apartment right for me?
If you own your apartment, then solar panels may be plausible, but as mentioned above, the logistics of installing solar panels are often more trouble than they’re worth. In an apartment building you have neighbors to contend with, and although you may own your part of the apartment, the building as a whole is not yours to alter.
If you’re set on having solar panels in your apartment, then a smaller pair of portable solar panels may work. However, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to recoup your electricity bill each month, especially if your apartment isn’t in an ideal position.
If you want to take advantage of clean energy sources, such as solar and wind power, we’re here to help. Inspire can provide you with a 100% clean energy supply at often less than 1% of the cost of a solar panel installation per month. Unless you’ve got serious cash to burn, it’s a no-brainer for the environmentally conscious.
Here are our 4 best renewable energy tips for apartments:
#1: Switch to renewable energy: This is the easiest, cheapest, and most sensible option for anyone living in a shared building. Switching to a utility company that supplies renewable, clean energy is the best way to help diversify national energy supplies and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Utilities that work with green energy also provide more reliable schemes, offering long-term contracts at a fixed price. Switching to a renewable energy company doesn’t require much of a change on your part either – in fact, with us, it takes just 5 minutes to join and we do all the work for you!
#2: Install portable solar panels: These have become much more efficient and cost-effective recently, as they’re designed largely as a power source for frequent travelers with RVs. Portable solar panels are versatile as they can work anywhere as long as they have exposure to the sun. They can also work in an apartment as you can set them up on balcony railings, window sills, and banisters. These small, portable solar panel systems usually generate between 0.3 kWh and 1.5 kWh of electricity every day, which can easily charge your phone and laptop.
Portable solar panels come with attached battery storage, which you can connect your devices to. The addition of this battery pack means you can use your solar power at any time of the day.
#3: Find a joint solar power project in your community: This type of project is the perfect middle ground for those who are determined to use solar panels for energy but don’t want the pressure of relying on them as a single household. A joint solar power project allows people in a community or area to pool their funds and buy a solar system as a group. That way, you play a part in funding a utility-grade installation rather than installing a small number of solar panels on your own roof. A scheme like this reduces individual expenditure and shares the energy generated depending on how much each person has put into the project. The power the system generates will be exported to your local electric utility, and virtual net metering will reduce your utility bill.
#4: Opt-in for green power through your current utility company: Many energy companies now offer green power options in which customers are guaranteed that the majority of their energy usage comes from certified renewable energy sources. This can be a good option if you don’t live in a deregulated area and can’t switch.
Green power options usually cost a little more than standard electricity rates, but it can give you peace of mind that you have opted for a more environmentally responsible energy option.
If you’re looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint, but don’t want to invest in solar panels yourself, switching to renewable energy is the best way to do so. We can help you make that switch and drastically reduce your impact. Our sign-up process is fast, easy, and simple. You’ll get a customized, flat price meaning no surprises come bill time! Make a positive change on behalf of our planet and make the switch today!
Don't worry about climate change— do something about it.
Our clean energy plans are the easiest way to reduce your home's carbon footprint.Switch to clean energy
Inspire Clean Energy—
We're on a mission to transform the way people access clean energy and accelerate a net-zero carbon future.Learn more about Inspire →