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How to Increase Renewable Energy in Apartment Complexes

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Jane Marsh's picture

Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.

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  • Mar 30, 2021

21st-century renters are looking for ways to be more sustainable and eco-friendly, but urging landlords to embrace renewable energy can be challenging. Still, solar and wind power can benefit everyone.

Millions of apartment complexes still rely on the grid to keep the lights on for the tenants. However, as climate change continues to harm the planet, people’s carbon footprints aren’t getting any smaller, and reliance on nonrenewable fuels isn’t getting cheaper.

Many renters would love to see their energy bills or rent costs decrease, but most renewable energy goes to single-family homes and not apartment complexes. Here’s how you can change that.

Teach Landlords the Benefits of Renewable Energy

There are numerous benefits for landlords to switch to renewable energy. Here are a few that will appeal to them:

Lowers Energy Costs

Large apartment complexes have many energy needs, from lighting to heating and cooling systems to laundry services. Even if tenants pay for their own usage, landlords still have to fund common areas.

Solar panels or wind turbines lower those costs. They can generate enough electricity to power the entire complex.

Promotes Eco-Friendliness

Renters look for more sustainable apartment complexes. Some even go as far as deciding not to live in places that don’t strive for sustainability.

Explain to your landlord that they can be part of the solution toward a greener community by adding renewable energy to their building.

Attracts New Tenants

Installing solar panels or harnessing energy from the wind is a huge attraction to many renters. The landlord may find that more people want to rent from them than other complexes.

Plus, since more people want to live in their units, the property value will increase. This will give landlords a reason to increase rent, which boosts income.

Explore Financing Options With the Landlord

Landlords might be wary of installing renewable energy in their apartment complex, especially if they have relied on fossil fuels for years. Plus, the upfront installation costs aren’t always cost-effective, even though they’ll earn that money back over the years.

If the landlord wants long-term financial benefits, they should purchase a solar energy or wind turbine system. Those who implement renewable energy gain tax incentives to help reduce costs, and they have access to another stream of income.

However, if the landlord would rather test renewable energy for their tenants, they can lease a system. The upfront costs are lower, and there’s less risk involved.

Show Examples of Renewables Used in Apartment Complexes

In Utah and California, apartment complex owners have linked up with solar power as their primary energy source for tenants. They have energy available whenever they want without fear of a power outage.

A relatively new apartment complex in Salt Lake City, Utah, houses 600 units — all of which utilize solar energy. Each unit includes a battery directly built into the solar power system. The apartment generates more energy than needed, and the extra is stored in the batteries for use at night or on cloudy days.

The same concept applies to a few thousand apartments in California, as well. Connected solar panels and batteries come together as a virtual power plant. The energy is stored in batteries and can be tapped into when demands are higher or when power can’t be produced because of the time of day or weather.

Help Make Renewables a Reality for Apartment Complexes

Those working in renewable energy or building industries always want to think of ways to increase renewable energy usage. Apartment complexes are just one opportunity for you to integrate green practices for cleaner and more efficient communities. By speaking with landlords, you can help make renewable energy a desirable choice.


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