While solar has long been available for detached dwellings, it’s becoming more available for apartments, too.
This is great news for the many Merri-bek residents who live in apartments and want to invest in the benefits of clean, renewable energy, too.
Solar for apartments can be trickier to set up than a single dwelling but it’s a great way to get to know your neighbours and share the process and benefits. The key is to get other residents and your body corporate involved early so that you can gauge the appetite for solar and work together to find out the best solution for your needs.
There are several options available for apartments to access solar, from shared or single systems to solar gardens.
Allume’s SolShare technology is the only provider (at time of writing) in Australia that enables apartments to share a single rooftop solar installation, upfront costs and the benefits of installation.
With SolShare technology, the solar system can supply electricity to common areas, apartments and can also include any businesses on site. Not everyone has to participate.
The technology also allows “fair-share” so that everyone benefits equally. According to Allume, their systems achieve an average 40% reduction in grid energy usage for apartments which can be increased with batteries. Read more.
Another option for solar for apartments is to install single systems.
A single system could be installed to service the common areas of the building, and pools or gyms, and the costs and benefits shared through one electricity metre and account.
You could also include single systems per apartment but you’d need to negotiate the available roof space. Single systems can be more straightforward to administer but you don’t make the most of bulk-buy savings or enjoy the full benefits of sharing the experience with your neighbours.
There are other ways to invest in solar in an apartment without installing solar on your roof.
The easiest option – and something you could even do today – is to switch your individual apartment to GreenPower, so that the energy you buy is 100% renewable. (Though even if you get solar, you can still go with GreenPower.) Contact your energy provider or read Greenpeace’s Green Electricity Guide to see which Australian energy providers are investing in clean energy (and who is holding us back!).
Yarra City Council recently held an information session on installing solar for apartments including a case study in Richmond. You can watch it here.