Solar Heating Trends in Small Apartment Buildings
On-site solar heating systems are a nascent phenomenon for the nation’s apartment inventory. Although the penetration of these systems in small properties is currently much lower than at large properties, it is growing at a relatively faster pace.
How Prevalent is Solar Heating in Small Properties?
While most green buildings aim at better utilization of utility resources, a smaller subset of such buildings also generate their own energy, primarily using solar thermal or photovoltaic technologies.
However, the adoption of on-site solar heating systems is extremely low across property types, and for apartment properties in particular.
As shown above, only about four out of every ten thousand small apartment units in the United States were actually served by co-located solar powered heating systems by 2014.
In comparison, solar heating was available in nearly twice as many units in large apartment properties, which was similar to levels across all property types in the United States.
Expansion of Solar Heating Systems
Notwithstanding the current levels, the adoption of solar heating has made meaningful gains since 2010.
In fact, as shown below, solar heating expanded at a slightly faster pace in small properties between 2010 and 2014 — registering a 14 percent average annual growth rate compared to 11 percent in large properties.
However, such systems grew at a even faster annual rate of 19 percent across all property types, including single-family attached and detached properties.