Using a Tesla Powerwall for Apartments

Using a Tesla Powerwall for Apartments

Tesla Powerwalls are a popular option for homeowners looking to install solar, but a huge portion of the world’s population lives in apartment buildings. Often, solar is impossible to install as a tenant; either you put a panel on your balcony or try and convince the landlord to install solar panels on your building’s roof.

To install a Tesla Powerwall in an apartment as a renter, you do not need to own solar panels, nor do you need a lot of space, but you will need permission from the building’s owner.

For renewable energy to reach as many people as possible, apartment dwellers and building owners must get on board. Luckily, it should not take too much convincing. Tesla Powerwalls offer many perks for apartment dwellers and landlords alike.

» MORE: Can a Tesla Powerwall Power My Whole Home?

Installing a Tesla Powerwall in an Apartment

There are two main options for installing a Tesla Powerwall in an apartment building: either the landlord installs one for the building, or the individual renter has one installed to power their unit. The only point of which would be backup electricity in the event of a power outage.

Note that you can install a Tesla Powerwall with or without solar panels whether you are renting or the building owner. While either option should be relatively straightforward, there are a few key considerations to ensure that a Tesla Powerwall is the right option for you.

Installing Tesla Powerwall in an Apartment Unit

Tesla Powerwalls are becoming more affordable for the average consumer. Even though apartment renters typically use less energy than the average household, in an attempt to lessen their environmental impact or to soften the blow during an outage, they may look into installing a Tesla Powerwall.

Before installing a Tesla Powerwall in your apartment unit, you will want to make sure that the price, which can reach upwards of $11,000, is worth the long-term perks. If you do not have solar panels, you will not see any return on your investment, though you will feel more secure in the event of a power outage.

The biggest all-around installation perks of the Tesla Powerwall, and especially for apartment dwellers, is that they are:

  • Compact in size
  • Aesthetically pleasing

You may even be able to take the Tesla Powerwall with you once you move apartments, but this will need to be clarified when you speak to your landlord. You may have to pay for the wall repairs after the Tesla Powerwall is removed, as it needs to be mounted and hooked up to the electrical wiring behind the apartment walls.

Installing Tesla Powerwall in an Apartment Building

As stated above, installing a Tesla Powerwall system on an apartment building should not be all that different from installing one in a home. Landlords can install Tesla Powerwalls to power the entire building or provide power to the common areas in the event of an outage.

The best option for landlords when installing a Tesla Powerwall is also to install solar panels. This will provide a return on their investment in the long run while also providing the perk of backup generators.

The most important considerations when powering an entire apartment building will be:

  • Roof space for solar panels
  • Building’s average power usage
  • Storage space for Tesla Powerwalls

One Tesla Powerwall will not power an entire apartment building when the power goes out, so the landlord will need to consider the cost of the initial investment. If opting for solar, more Tesla Powerwalls also means more solar panels to keep them fully charged, though a hybrid model of on-grid and off-grid power is another feasible option.

Important Notes for Tesla Powerwall Installation

Whether you are the renter or the landlord, make sure that whoever is in charge of installing your Tesla Powerwall is a certified electrical company that has been approved by Tesla to install their Powerwall units. Tesla Powerwalls need high-quality installation since any malfunction could cause a serious fire.

As the building’s owner, it would also be wise to ensure that you will own the building for a long time in order to make Tesla Powerwalls a worthy investment.

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Reasons for Installing a Tesla Powerwall in Apartments

Powering an apartment building demands a lot of electricity, and this comes out of both the tenant’s and the landlord’s pockets. While renters will experience some perks when installing a personal Powerwall, the most significant overall benefit will come from the landlord opting for solar panels alongside a Tesla Powerwall system.

Whether you are a renter looking for a more sustainable way to power your space or a landlord looking for an environmentally friendly and worthwhile investment, consider the following points.


As a renter, your best option for increasing the sustainability of your energy usage lies in convincing your landlord to make the switch to solar. While you could technically hook up one or two solar panels to a Tesla Powerwall on your balcony, you will not be able to capture nearly enough sunlight to charge the battery unit or even run your home.

Some of the potential perks that you might think to mention to your landlord:

  • Backup generator
  • Long-term return on investment
  • Appeals to potential renters
  • Raise rent

If you still want your own Tesla Powerwall in the event of a power outage, you will need to ask for permission first from your landlord. Although the Tesla Powerwall is compact and elegant, you will be tapping into the building’s electrical system and borrowing from the grid.

Also, note that in the event of a hurricane or other event in which the power is out for longer than six hours, one Tesla Powerwall will not be enough. The battery is around 3,000 watts and will only be able to power essential items such as your fridge, microwave, lights, and some outlets.


It may seem that installing solar and the backup Powerwall would only save tenants money, but while the landlord may not have to pay for individual electric usage, he or she will need to pay for general electricity such as:

  • Hallways lights
  • Outdoor lights
  • Gym (if applicable)

Overall, landlords will experience the greatest perks by purchasing a Tesla Powerwall, especially if their building does not already have a backup generator. Tesla Powerwalls make excellent backup generators, and with the added bonus of Tesla solar panels, owners will see an eventual return on their investment.

Apartment building owners may even raise the rent as sustainable energy is a big draw for potential buyers. The money not being used to cover the cost of electricity could also go towards rent, leading to more building upgrades or simply more money to cover the cost of the solar installation.

» MORE: Tesla Solar Warranty Explained [In Plain English]


Tesla Powerwalls make for environmentally friendly and reliable backup generators, either for an entire apartment building or for the renter’s personal space. It is recommended that one also have space to install solar panels before opting to install a Tesla Powerwall to see the greatest return on investment.

While Tesla Powerwalls do not take up much space, solar panels will. The entire package comes with a hefty price, and as a renter who is not planning to stay long, the Tesla Powerwall does not yet seem worth the hassle or a wise investment.

Given the massive portion of the population that lives in apartment buildings, perhaps Tesla will soon come up with an affordable and simple solution that will entice both apartment renters and owners.

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The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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