Solar for renters: How to take advantage of solar energy without owning a home

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solar options for renters

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Solar energy has grown into a popular and affordable source of clean energy in recent years. However, it’s still a challenge for renters to reap the benefits because they don’t own their homes.

Fortunately, you don’t need to own a home to use solar energy. As a renter, you can tap into the sun’s power and help reduce your carbon footprint in plenty of ways.

Today’s post explores exciting solar possibilities for renters and shows how you can still enjoy solar energy benefits without owning a home.

Benefits of Solar Energy for Renters 

benefits of solar energy for renters

As a renter, you may think you cannot take advantage of the benefits of solar energy. But that’s not true! Many benefits of solar energy apply specifically to renters. Here are some of the top advantages:

Lower electricity bills: Solar energy can significantly reduce your electricity bills, even if you are renting. Using portable panels or a community solar program, you can generate your own electricity and save money on your monthly electric bills. Furthermore, numerous companies now offer solar leasing and power purchase agreements (PPAs) specifically for renters.

Environmentally friendly: Solar energy is a clean and renewable source of energy that produces no greenhouse gas emissions, making it an environmentally friendly option for renters who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Choosing solar energy empowers you to contribute to a more sustainable future and support the global transition to clean energy.

Energy independence: Renters using solar enjoy energy independence and protection against price hikes. You are not subject to the whims of utility companies. You are also less vulnerable to power outages during extreme weather events. Solar energy allows you to control your energy use and reduce reliance on the grid.[irp posts=”20111″ ]

Flexibility: Solar energy is flexible. Indeed, you can adapt it to your specific needs as a renter. For example, you can install solar panels on a stand, use a community solar program, or opt for portable solar panels that allow you to benefit from renewable energy without a home. We’ll be delving into each of those options next.

Solar Options for Renters

1. Portable solar panels

portable panels - solar options for renters

Portable solar panels are an excellent option for renters who want to experience the benefits of solar energy without making a permanent installation.

They are typically smaller than traditional solar panels and have a built-in battery pack, making them ideal for outdoor activities such as camping or road trips.

Portable panels are great for apartments with balconies or small yards because you can easily set them up and take them down without damaging the property.

Given their versatility, you can use them to power devices such as smartphones, laptops, and even small appliances like mini-fridges. You can also use them as a backup power source during power outages, providing peace of mind in emergencies.

However, cost-effectiveness is where portable solar panels really shine.

Since they don’t require any installation, they are much cheaper than traditional solar panel systems. For example, a portable solar panel kit can cost anywhere between $100 to $500, whereas a full-size solar panel system can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

2. Solar-powered chargers

Solar-powered chargers are another fantastic option for renters who want to use solar energy. These chargers are small, portable, and can charge various devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

They are perfect for outdoor activities like camping and hiking, where traditional charging options are unavailable.

Solar-powered chargers convert sunlight into electricity and store it in a battery. The stored energy is then used to charge devices later on.[irp posts=”44207″ ]

Numerous options are available on the market today, ranging from small, handheld chargers to larger panels mounted on backpacks or tents.

Some of the best solar-powered chargers on the market include the BigBlue 3 USB-A 28W Solar Charger, the ALLPOWERS SP020 60W Foldable Solar Panel Charger, and the Nekteck 28W Solar Charger. These chargers have received high customer ratings due to their durability, efficiency, and ease of use.

With a solar-powered charger, renters can stay connected even when off the grid, all while reducing their carbon footprint.

3. Solar-powered appliances

Solar-powered appliances are a great way for renters to make the most of solar energy. These appliances operate by using solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity.

Thanks to technological advances, today’s market is awash with a wide range of solar-powered devices, including refrigerators, air conditioners, lighting, and more.

One popular option for renters is a solar-powered refrigerator, which helps reduce energy bills and decrease reliance on traditional power sources.

Another popular solar-powered appliance is the solar-powered water heater. These systems use solar collectors to capture heat from the sun, which is then used to heat water. A good example is the Sunbank Solar Water Heater, designed to work with existing water tanks. It can be installed easily on a roof or other outdoor location.

It uses advanced vacuum tube technology to maximize heat absorption and retention, providing plenty of hot water even on cloudy days.

By investing in solar-powered appliances, renters can take advantage of the many benefits of solar energy while maintaining the flexibility and convenience of renting.

4. Community solar programs

community solar as an option for renters

Community solar, also known as shared solar, is a solar energy program that allows multiple households or businesses to share the benefits of a single solar array.

Community solar programs are typically developed by third-party companies which own and maintain the solar array. Renters interested in using solar energy can join a community solar program and receive credits on their energy bills for the power generated by the solar array.

One of the primary benefits of community solar is its accessibility. Since renters do not own their homes, they cannot install solar panels on their roofs.

However, community solar allows them to benefit from solar energy without the need for installation. Community solar also provides an opportunity for renters who may not have the financial means to purchase or lease their own solar panels.

5. Renewable energy subscription service

Renewable energy subscription services are a fantastic option for renters who want to use solar energy without installing solar panels or investing in expensive equipment. 

With a renewable energy subscription service, renters can support clean energy projects and receive credits that offset their energy usage. 

These services work by partnering with renewable energy producers, such as solar farms or wind turbines, and purchasing energy from them on behalf of their subscribers. The energy produced is fed into the grid, and subscribers receive credits that offset their energy usage. 

This allows renters to reduce their carbon footprint and support the growth of renewable energy, all without investing in expensive equipment or making significant lifestyle changes.

6. Ask your landlord about installing solar.

If you’re a renter who wants to use solar energy, it’s always worth inquiring with your landlord about the possibility of installing solar panels on the property. Landlords may be willing to invest in solar panels to improve their property’s value and reduce their own energy costs. [irp posts=”46125″ ]

However, you need to approach the topic tactfully and be prepared to educate your landlord about the benefits of solar energy.

One approach is to offer to split the installation costs with your landlord, as this may help make it a more attractive option for them. 

You could also research ahead of time to find out any rebates or incentives available for solar panel installation in your area. This could further convince your landlord to take the plunge. 

Remember, the key is to be proactive, persistent, and positive when speaking to your landlord. It may take some time to convince them to invest in solar energy but worth it in the end.

Conclusion

Renters can take advantage of solar energy without owning a home by using community solar, portable solar panels, and solar-powered appliances. 

By exploring these options, you can reduce your carbon footprint, save money on energy bills, and contribute to a cleaner environment. 

  • Simon Elstad

    As assistant editor at Greener Ideal, Simon champions clean energy, mobility, tech and the environment. He’s passionate about uncovering innovative solutions that power a sustainable future. When he's not dissecting envirotech data, you can find him exploring nature, actively supporting wildlife & environmental conservation efforts.

    Contact: [email protected]

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