ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Buy Renewable Energy for people living in Rented Accomodation

Updated on January 5, 2010

Renewable Energy in Rented Accommodation

I love the idea of having my own renewable energy, from cases when the electricity goes out (say during a storm) to the hight cost of electricity bills having some way to get electricity independent from the company providers is important to me. So what's the problem? Well I live in rented accommodation. This means I have to get permission from the land lord to do any installing of solar panels or wind turbines etc. My land lord is not the sort who wants the hassle of complaining neighbors or anything above collecting the monthly check.

This is not an ideal situation but I have found a few ways to supplement my energy needs. I am an avid outdoors person and some of the solutions I have found have actually come from things I got for camping. The solar rope lights to the right are one item I bought for the tent but use in the flat as well. The light is not enough to say read a book but its a great way to have a night light. Walking into a dark room is much easier with this lovely light (its a bit like star light) and the solar charger is fixed to a window so never adds to my electricity bills.

Another favorite of mine is this wild grass solar garden light. It is designed for the outdoors but I use it close to potted plants next to the window. They make for a great conversation piece when people come to visit, especially if we all come back to my place and its after dark. These little lights are pretty useful and a lot of fun to have. It may not be the ideal, having a wind turbine for example but it does make a difference if I don't have to turn on a main light when passing through a room. It has always seemed silly to me to turn a light on for a few seconds and I usually just walk through the dark but these give me just enough so that I don't trip.

Free portable power for your batteries

From TV remotes to my cell phones I have quite a few batteries to keep charged. In my searches for a solution to recharging batteries like my cell phone and for the various remotes I have come across two very interesting bits of tech.

The first is the free loader. This advanced bit of kit charges any hand held device anywhere, anytime. The way it works is to charge its internal battery using the solar panels (it can also charge via a USB charging cable). It will then recharge your favorite devices such as your MP3 player from its internal battery.

The appeal for me is that I can strap it to the outside of a back pack and be able to charge my batteries as I am out and about. I do not need to find a power source or go home because my cell phone has died. You may not need it but the USB charging capability is a real bonus because it means you are not limited to charging from sun light alone and gives you real options.

Hand Crank Self Power

I really love this one, something about being able to manually generate electricity myself feels liberating. I actually have several different sorts of hand crank lights, my husband and I both have small ones that we use as simple flashlights around the house and out camping. We have a larger unit with a lot of LED lights that are bright enough to act like a spot light, it also has AM/FM radio built in. We are currently waiting to receive one with both solar charging option and cell phone charging option.

Winding up one of these may seem like a bit of work at first but its not really that big a deal. I sometimes wind up the larger one while watching TV in the evening and the smaller ones I charge for a minute of less when I need to actually use them. When we went camping last summer these wind up flashlights came in really handy and the job of winding them up when to the kids! If you have kids I would highly suggest that they get the job of winding your flash lights as our kids were fascinated with the fact that they could create light. They did tend to want to keep the light on while winding the lights but after dark this was not a problem at all. 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      Your in a pretty difficult situation Home Girl. All the available solutions are really like an investment in your future bills, a spend money to save money situation. The most basic step is to make sure that all appliances are as energy efficient as possible but this in and of itself is expensive to do in the first instance. Equipment like portable solar panels might help reduce the electricity you use from the power companies but again the initial cost is going to be hard. It's particularly hard if your potential landlord has not invested in the building as far as good insulation and power efficient stuff (like the heating system or if the place comes with a fridge freezer etc.) There are ways to do limit power consumption like using low energy light bulbs and having timers on things like your TV that will cut the power when its not needed (these things do use power on stand by). The biggest thing I could suggest is to find out if there are government run programs to help make residential buildings more efficient. If you were here in the UK I would suggest looking into grants that will improve insulation in the walls and roof. I imagine other countries are offering similar schemes because of carbon reduction targets they have agreed to aim for. I do pay for gas, water and electricity separately from the rent too, it has motivated me to buy better, more energy efficient stuff whenever I can. If you do move into this rental with separate electricity bills please feel free to email me with specific info (like is it a house or an apartment or a converted apartment in a house) and I would be happy to share what I do to keep my bills as low as possible because I take it to extremes! I even leave hot water in the bath to help heat the house and then use that water to flush the toilet.

    • profile image

      Home Girl 

      8 years ago

      I am contemplating to move into a rental with hydro you are supposed to pay separately. I do not know what to do as I am scared I will not be able to pay for it. Any ideas? Is it possible to use something differently. Heating, stove, everything seems electrical!

    • hypnodude profile image


      8 years ago from Italy

      Definitely right. I don't know in the USA but here in Italy almost everything green costs a lot of money and, especially in these hard times, not everyone can afford them. I'm not so sure it's only because they have a greater cost of production, otherwise why almost everyone is jumping on the green train? Even those companies which are the main responsible for pollution? So I begun to look around and found that as you rightly said camping tools can be the right answer. I'm planning to buy soon a solar generator, which even if not extremely powerful, at least will give me the freedom to use my own energy.

      Great hub Kirsten.

    • mpurcell10 profile image


      8 years ago from Arkansas

      We were talking about getting a hand cranked radio for bad weather. I am looking into lighting for when the power goes out. You would think in the south were there is little snow we wouldn't lose powere so much.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Great products. Thanks

    • Susana S profile image

      Susana Serer 

      8 years ago from UK

      Interesting hub and interesting products - I didn't know most of them existed! We have a wind up torch and solar panels on our motor home but I've never seen a solar powered indoor lamp. Great stuff!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)