Strategic Planning and Placement: Installing Solar Panels in Your Apartment

Solar energy is booming across the US, with the number of solar panels increasing by an average of around 32% a year. In 2021, around one in every 600 homes was installing these panels every quarter, and this tendency has continued to grow in 2022. If you own an apartment, and you are interested in relying purely on the sun’s energy to power up your home, you may wonder if it will be harder for you than for owners of detached homes. Although apartment structures may pose challenges to solar installation, most obstacles can easily be overcome through strategic planning and placement.

Community Solar Solutions

Many solar panel installation companies have solutions for apartment dwellers. The easiest way to go about it is for all neighbors to agree to make the switch. The solar panel installation company will then install rooftop solar panels that produce more than sufficient energy for all dwellers’ needs. One of the bonuses of this solution is that it offers flexibility. Only those who are connected to the shared system behind their meters will access green energy. Community solar solutions can be installed into new constructions, but they can also be retrofitted into existing buildings and private apartment blocks. Usually, there will need to be a minimum of homeowners who are interested in this solution, so check with local companies to see if you fit their requirements.

Calculating the Costs of Solar Solutions

In the US, the installation of rooftop solar panels costs approximately $12,000 after federal tax incentives. However, if you are planning to host a homeowners’ or community meeting, it is a good idea to know the precise cost of installation beforehand, since prices vary somewhat from state to state. For instance, the price of solar installation in Florida for a small (5kW) system is around $12,640 (or $9,361 after the federal tax credit). In New York, on the other hand, you can to pay more— around $17,750 after rebates. Of course, the large the size of your solar panel system, the more you will have to pay. A 10kW system will cost approximately double the price of a 5kW system.

Can Individual Apartments Go Solar without Rooftop Installations?

If you wish to have all your home’s energy needs supplied by a solar system, then rooftop installation is definitely the way to go. However, there are additional, smaller systems that can help you reduce the amount of energy you are currently using. For instance, the company, Grouphug, has a solar charger you can place on a window. It absorbs the sun’s energy and produces enough energy to charge small appliances such as your smartphone, smartwatch, or Bluetooth speakers. Other companies make smart solar blinds that absorb solar energy and keep your home cool, thereby reducing the need for air conditioning.

What if You Are a Renter?

If you are renting an apartment, and you wonder if you can go solar, the answer is a definitive ‘Yes!’ You can simply subscribe to a community solar project. The latter is a sizeable, centralized power plant that supplies energy to more than one property. One such project can power hundreds (sometimes thousands) of properties, so even if your landlord isn’t interested in installing panels, you can do your share for the environment by signing up for this type of project.

Installing solar panels in your apartment can reduce your spending by up to 70%. If you own an apartment, consider getting other neighbors on board, so you can share expenses and avail of the benefits of green energy. Renters can also sign up for solar by either convincing their landlords to do so or by obtaining their energy from a community solar project.

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