Measuring solar panels for apartments.


Key takeaways

  • The four solar panel use cases for apartments are common area usage, individual units, upgrading to a solar thermal system, or implementing a community solar project.
  • Palmetto Solar, SunPower, and Momentum Solar are the top solar panel companies.
  • Solar panels for apartments reduce energy costs, boost sustainability, and are easy to retrofit into most multifamily buildings.
  • Solar panels are relatively simple to install, so you can opt to hire a professional team or install them in-house.


More renters than ever are taking a keen interest in clean energy. As a result, installing solar panels for apartments has emerged as the preferred way to implement renewable energy. In fact, solar property technology not only slashes energy costs but it’s also a unique way to attract renters.

Read on to learn how you can install solar panels on your property. Next, explore why implementing solar power is worth it for multifamily buildings. Finally, discover the four best solar project models for apartments.

In this post, we cover:


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4 solar panel use cases for apartments

Are you wondering how to use solar power in an apartment building?

Here are four solar panel use cases to consider:

  • Common area usage. The best solar panels for apartments offset the utility costs for common areas through lighting and heating and cooling (HVAC) systems. This may be achieved by having the entire building master-metered or separately metered.
  • Solar for individual units. Identifying the right proptech model for your building can help streamline solar power implementation at your property. In this project model, individual renters opt to buy into a separately-metered solar system. In this case, they’ll be the only ones to benefit from the reduced energy costs over time.
  • Solar thermal system. If your multifamily building has central heating, installing a solar heating system can significantly offset the costs of traditional heating systems. This model is ideal for cold climates that still receive plenty of sunlight.
  • Community solar project. Community solar allows residents to receive credit on their bills for power produced from their section of the solar panels installed at your property. As a result, utility bills almost always decrease. However, your state must have community solar legislation in place to implement a community solar project.


Top solar panel companies for apartments

Here are the best solar panel companies for apartments:

  1. Palmetto Solar
  2. SunPower
  3. Momentum Solar


1. Palmetto Solar

Google rating: 4.1 stars

Palmetto Solar is based in North Carolina and boasts a clean-energy company platform. Its mission includes an integrated partners program that allows other organizations to enter the clean energy market.

What to expect from Palmetto Solar:

  1. Financing options for multifamily and commercial solar
  2. Post-installation support and monitoring
  3. Quality equipment and sales
  4. Offers 10 and five-year warranties


2. SunPower

Google rating: 4.5

SunPower has been headquartered in Silicon Valley since 1985 and holds over 1,000 patents in solar energy. Moreover, the company installs EV chargers as well as solar panels.

What to expect from SunPower:

  • Panels reach up to 25% efficiency ratings
  • Manufactures a variety of solar and battery panels
  • Product warranty up to 25 years
  • Certified installers in many different states


3. Momentum Solar

Google rating: 3.5

With fifteen years in solar installation, Momentum Solar has a solid position in the top well-known companies list. As such, it has a reputation for good customer support and services.

What to expect from Momentum Solar:

  • Warranty up to 25 years
  • No subcontractors for installation labor
  • Mobile app to track energy
  • App for solar panel support
  • Operations in several states


Solar energy for an apartment complex.


How to install solar panels in an apartment

Installing solar panels at a multifamily building is as simple as hiring a team of certified installers to mount them on the roof. So, achieving a solar-powered apartment complex is not as difficult as it initially seems.


Can I install solar panels myself?

Yes, you can install solar panels yourself if you’re familiar with assembling parts and driving bolts. If you carry out the installation process in-house, expect to spend a day or two on your roof.


Discover what a sustainable building is and how to implement one:


Are solar panels worth it for apartments?

If your goal is to become a more sustainable building and reduce your carbon footprint, then installing solar panels in your apartment is worth it. However, there are several pros and cons to weigh before making a decision.



  • Cost-effective. Solar systems for apartments offer a great ROI (return on investment). Not only are solar panels cheaper than traditional power alternatives, but there are also valuable tax incentives. For example, when you install solar panels, you can take advantage of federal solar tax credits and net metering credits for surplus energy.
  • Reduce energy bills. Solar power for apartments dramatically reduces energy bills, which is a great selling point for residents.
  • Sell surplus energy. If you live in a sunny area, your solar panels may generate more energy than your residents can use. In this case, you can sell the excess energy to your local power company.
  • Attract new residents. Young renters are interested in sustainable properties. In fact, it’s one of the top amenities that appeal to millennials and Gen Z prospects. So, utilizing clean energy will incentivize more prospects to apply for vacant units at your building.
  • Solar panels are low-maintenance. They only need to be cleared of debris and cleaned once a year, which usually costs between $150 and $330.



  • Must be in an ideal location. Installing solar panels may not be worth it if your property is in a shady area that doesn’t get much sun exposure.
  • No tax benefits. Some states don’t offer tax incentives for implementing solar power.
  • Costly to install. Solar panels for apartments cost between $20,000 to $50,000. This depends on the size of the system, panel type, wattage, and location.
  • Residents may still have to pay for energy. If your building isn’t producing enough solar energy to power the building, residents might still have to pay an energy bill. Residents may consider this a con if they also have to pay for a rent increase to help cover the cost of installing a complete solar power system.


FAQs about solar panels for apartments


Can you have solar panels in an apartment?

Yes, you can have solar panels in an apartment.

Solar power is great for apartments because it is sustainable and lowers monthly utility costs over time. However, shifting your entire property to solar power may seem like a huge undertaking. However, solar power proptech is relatively easy to integrate into most multifamily buildings.


How long do solar panels last?

Solar systems for apartments typically last for over 25 years. However, they degrade at a rate of about 0.5% per year.

Nonetheless, this rate is so low that your solar panels should yield 90% of their original output after 20 years — making them a great long-term investment. So, you can rest assured that your proptech investment will pay off.


Can solar panels provide all my electricity?

Solar panels can provide all the electricity you need to power your building. Keep in mind that multifamily buildings usually need at least 30 solar panels. Of course, the number you’ll need depends on your property’s square footage.


Does solar add rent value?

Solar panels add rent value by reducing energy costs and making your property more desirable to prospective renters. Conduct a local rental market analysis to estimate the additional value your building will incur after installing a solar power system.

With this in mind, consider if your state offers tax incentives for installing solar and if your building is located in a bright, sunny location for the best energy yield.


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Tiara Sutton

I’m an Atlanta-based writer who enjoys exploring the ways that tech benefits residents & tenants of multifamily & commercial properties.

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