Excellent question, since as much as 40% of people in the United States rent an apartment.
A lot of people would like to go solar, but if you don’t own a home yet you might not have many options. To answer as simply as possible: it’s up the apartment’s landlord. A few innovative scenarios have been dreamed up though, including:
While certain parts of the country may be very progressive on this type of thing (see San Francisco), most places you’re not going to have much of an option besides talking to your landlord and seeing what they say about it.
It’s likely that a landlord interested in putting solar panels on your apartment would have already thought about it, but if this isn’t the case you’ll have to provide some solid background information for them. This means that you need to do your homework first.
The best option may be to get a free solar evaluation for the home (this can be done online, immediately) which will give you documentation on the financials, as well as the various options for paying for the system. Take these to your land-lord and have a real discussion about it.
If you’ve had experiences with installing solar panels on apartment complexes, please let us know about your experiences.