When I think about overarching topics in systems design for eco-tenants, there are four that immediately come to mind: food, water, “waste” (nutrient and materials cycling), and energy (electricity, fuel, etc.). While I can spout off a diverse range of renter-appropriate solutions for the first three, my repertoire for energy is usually limited to the conservation side of the equation (CFLs, shrink-wrapping windows during winter, etc.). These ideas for renter-generated power are pretty neat, and hopefully just the tip of the iceberg of more to come…
Via Apartment Therapy’s Re-Nest, here are two photovoltaic solutions for folks who rent:
SolMeter :: In this California program, you sponsor the installation of solar panels somewhere, and you receive a portion of the profits from the electricity that it generates, which you can apply to your own electricity bill, or whatever else you want.
Veranda Solar :: Again, from California (big surpise!). This startup makes beautiful little panels that you could mount outside of a window with (or without, I suppose) a landlords permission. According to the website, they’re orders currently exceed production, but you can sign up to be notified when more are available.
Coming Soon: Photovoltaic Curtains
One technology that I’m excited about, but that apparently doesn’t exist quite yet, are photovoltaic window curtains. They’re such a simple and wonderful idea: when it’s sunny, just close the drapes and generate electricity!
It looks like several companies have them in the works, but they’re not available at this time. Here’s a link to a CNN article about the concept. I’ll definitely be blogging about these whenever they hit the market!
Are you aware of other solutions for renters who want to generate there own electricty? Do tell!