Environmentalism has become a hot topic in recent years. Not just because of the urgent need to stop global warming and aid the preservation of the environment, but because embracing eco-friendly habits and solutions can significantly elevate our quality of life. Modern landlords are increasingly using energy-efficient techniques to make their rental properties more appealing and financially-sustainable, while the renters are looking for ways to leverage eco-friendliness to increase financial savings and cash flow.
While your landlord can make all kinds of eco-friendly and sustainable changes to your rental home, there aren’t many solutions that can compare to the efficiency that solar energy brings. If you’re thinking of going solar as a renter, you should follow a few key steps that will help you make the best possible decision. Here’s what you should do.
1. Start by Talking it Over with Your Landlord
If your landlord hasn’t invested in solar energy before you moved in, chances are that they aren’t too keen to make this transition now so you’ve got some convincing to do. There are many ways you can approach this and structure your “pitch”, but the key point is that you have to make it work for them as much as it works for you. After all, why should they invest in such an involved project if there is no tangible return for them? This is why you should convince them that the long-term returns are well-worth the investment.
You could try to convince them to go solar by showing them how clean energy can make the property more sustainable while lowering overheads over the long term. What’s more, when you move out one day, the solar system will be in place to elevate the value of the rental. On the other hand, you could invest in solar panels and supporting tech all on your own. If you do, you have to decide on the best solar system for your long-term needs.
2. Choose the Best Solar Panels for you
When it comes to choosing the right solar system, it all depends on your needs, plans, and aspirations. It will also depend on the type of deal you managed to work out with your landlord. If your landlord is willing to invest in solar transformation, then you can get a standard mono-crystalline solar system that will cover the roof of your home and generate substantial amounts of clean energy throughout the year.
On the other hand, if your landlord doesn’t quite realize that this is one of the essential upgrades they should make, then you should opt for a portable solar system. This will allow you to retain full ownership of the panels and supporting components so that you can take them with you when you move out.
3. Maximize Clean Energy Efficiency with an Inverter
Generating and living off of clean energy is not just about the solar panels, it’s also about the type of solar inverter you use to turn that energy into usable AC current that you can use in your home or distribute into the municipal power grid. Solar inverters are highly-important for the overall efficiency of the system, which is something that landlords and tenants living in high-cost regions know all too well.
In Hong Kong, for example, renters and landlords will invest in a powerful solar inverter to turn DC current into AC usable energy quickly and without wasting energy and other resources. This allows them to minimize their bills and power their homes throughout the year without inflating their overall expenses. Combining a portable solar system with a reliable solar inverter is a great way to maximize the energy efficiency in your rental, and lower your energy bill over the long term.
4. Don’t Forget to Store the Energy Properly
Another important element of an efficient solar system is the battery, or the capacity to store that energy for later use. If you plan to power the entire household with your solar panels, then you need a capacious battery to help store all that energy for emergencies and long-term use. If you plan to power only parts of your home with clean energy, then you can get away with a less expensive model.
5. Adhere to Proper Maintenance
Finally, if you want your solar system to generate tangible returns for your solar home over the long term, then you have to maintain your solar panels and supporting tech on a regular basis. Some maintenance tasks are easy enough for you to do on your own, but major repairs and annual maintenance are best handled by the manufacturer. Keep your solar system running smoothly, and you will generate financial savings efficiently and effectively.
Going solar as a renter is not an easy task, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on your eco-friendly dreams. Be sure to follow these steps to start powering your home with clean energy and lower your energy bill in the years to come.
Lilly Miller is a freelance writer, who focuses on interior design, well-being and sustainable living. She loves to experiment on daring new home decor trends and write about it as a regular contributor on Smooth Decorator. Settled in Sydney for the time being, Lilly shares home with two loving dogs and a gecko named Rodney. You can find her hanging out on Twitter.
*Contributions are solely guest opinions and don’t reflect the opinions of or are endorsed by WYL, our staff, clients or other interested parties.