Solar for Landlords: The Easiest Way for Rental Owners to Save in 2018

Solar has taken off in America, with more homeowners and tenants benefiting from clean energy and utility bill savings than ever before. But landlords and property owners have taken a more tentative approach to the market, given the extra effort and investment required to put panels on the rooftop and the lack of readily apparent benefits.

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Now, community solar is changing the calculation for property owners—and more landowners are beginning to jump on the solar bandwagon.

RELATED: How Do I Know if I’m Eligible to Be a Community Solar Customer?

How Can Landlords Benefit from Solar?

If the tenant is paying the energy bill and seeing the savings, why would a property owner switch their properties to solar energy?

We get this question from a lot of property owners, and it’s a fair point. If you’re considering putting a $10,000 solar system on your roof, it’s understandable to want to see a return on your investment.

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But more and more landlords are realizing that solar can be about more than just living their values—it can make financial sense as well.

Some property owners we talk to, especially those of you who live on the property and rent some part of your home or property to tenants, will see the benefits show up on their electric bill. If you have multiple electric meters for different units, you can even have all of the energy bill credits go directly to a single electric bill. And, much like a home renovation, rooftop solar can also increase your property value if you’re considering selling the property at some point down the road.

RELATED: Understanding Your Solar Options

Community Solar Is a Simpler Option for Landlords

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Now, there’s an easier way to support solar and see financial benefits: community solar. Community solar allows you to enroll your home in a local solar farm, bringing savings to whomever is paying the electric bill, and allowing you to support local, clean energy.

Community solar is a great option for landlords who pay the utility bills for their properties (or who are willing to do so), because it’s easier than going through the process of installing panels on your rooftop, and because it requires no extra investment on your part.

This alternative can also give you a clear edge in advertising your rental property, since it gives tenants clear and tangible benefits on a monthly basis, both lowering their monthly costs and giving them a chance to participate in solar energy.

RELATED: Solar Problems? The Truth Behind 10 Common Concerns About Solar Energy

As a Landlord, What Are My Options for Going Solar & Saving?

Landlords have two clear options to go solar and save:

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  • Rooftop solar: Increases the value of the property and allows the bill-payer to save, but requires a substantial upfront investment (often more than $10,000). Not all properties make it easy to install solar: Many buildings, including multifamily homes and homes with shading and structural issues, are simply unable pursue this option.

  • Community solar: Easy sign-up, no installation or extra investment. The property’s electric bill still supports local, clean energy, and the bill payer still sees savings. Doesn’t increase property valuation or taxes.

RELATED: 7 Downsides of Solar Energy

Solar Is About Savings as Much as It Is Clean Energy

As costs come down and more options become available, solar is becoming a more attractive option for property owners. Community solar, in particular, can be a win-win for landlords, allowing them to brag about their connection to clean energy and utility bill savings, and without the extra costs associated with other forms of solar.