How You Can Use Solar Energy in Your Rental Apartment
Living in a rented apartment may provide greater mobility without having to worry about things like foundational upkeep and such, but it does have its downsides.
For one, you won’t be able to make a lot of modifications to your living space, especially if you’re looking to tap into a cleaner, renewable energy source. Fortunately, there are still some ways apartment renters can reap the benefits of residential solar electricity without getting into trouble with the property owner.
Here are some ways to make your living space eco-friendly:
Convince Your Landlord
You might not have access or influence over parts of the building that are not your unit, but this shouldn’t stop you from trying to get solar panels on the roof. Of course, we’re not suggesting you try to sneakily install some — because frankly, you don’t have to.
All you have to do is meet with your landlord and convince them to use solar energy everywhere in the building. This might be a long shot because this decision wouldn’t be up to the landlord but more so to the realty company. But, if you share what you know about solar power is cleaner and more affordable than fossil fuel (backed up with relevant data and prominent case studies of course), surely they will at least consider your proposition and at least discuss it with the “higher-ups.”
If you’re not sure you can persuade them to do that on your own, then why not start a petition or a signature campaign to get your neighbors on board? If you can convince your neighbors that going solar is a good idea, then it will only be a matter of time before you can collectively persuade the building owner to try it out.
Install Portable Solar Panels
On the off chance that you can’t convince your landlord to install solar panels on the roof, then just keep in mind that energy efficiency starts with interior design. There are some ways you can still use solar energy in your rental pad without having solar panels on the roof.
Check with a professional who can help you install portable solar panels on your window or patio, or get yourself one of those freestanding, off-grid solar systems that can harness power from the sun. These are likewise great alternatives if your landlord is willing to work with your solar power idea, but the building is just not suitable for a PV solar energy system.
Portable solar panels and off-grid solar systems provide a great start to leading a greener life. You can also elevate the environmental impact (or the lack thereof) of going portable solar by convincing your neighbors, especially the ones who were on board with your solar roof idea, to get one for their units.
They can definitely power some of your gadgets for daily use, but do not expect these plug-and-play solar kits to be able to power up the entire house, with all your gadgets and electric furniture in it.
Subscribe to Community Solar
If you want more solar coverage, then it might be time for you to check out a community solar manual. In a nutshell, subscribing to a shared solar farm allows you to tap into a shared solar farm, without having to do installation work.
In many cases, local governments encourage and even incentivize subscribing into a shared clean energy source, so you shouldn’t find it too difficult to explore your options, wherever your rental apartment may be. More often than not, enrolling in one takes no more than clicking a few buttons and waiting for an email or a phone call confirming that your subscription is already in effect.
Then, you can continue using electricity in your house as usual — only this time, you are bound to see some adjustments to your power bill. Green energy is, after all, cheaper than most ‘traditional’ power sources.
Now you know that there are ways you can ‘clean up’ your energy use even if you’re not a property owner. The only question is…how willing are you to take the first step into leading a cleaner, more sustainable life?
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