With green multifamily housing on the rise, an increasing number of newly built rental and condo complexes are helping residents lower their environmental footprints — and monthly utility bills — by incorporating renewable energy features like solar panels and/or wind turbines into a building’s design (San Francisco’s Belles Townhomes being one great, recent example of this).

But what about residents living in older buildings, particularly rental apartments, where renewable energy isn’t always a viable alternative? Sure, purchasing green power through a local utility is an option but there’s nothing quite like harvesting your own energy at home, no matter where you live. 

This is the idea behind Jonathan Globerson’s Greenerator design prototype. This nifty, wind chime-esque “Residental Green Generator” includes flexible solar photovoltaic panels and a pint-sized vertical axis wind turbine; it's designed so that it can easily be installed and hung off of an apartment balcony. Explains Globerson, who believes his invention can lower electric bills by 6 percent and eliminate 2,000 pounds of carbon emissions annually:

Current wind turbines and wind turbines require the usage of a common area of a building. A tenant that wishes to install such a system must convince his entire building that installing such is a system is worth while doing. Therefore the solution would be a way to produce energy without depending on external resources.
I love the idea but like dangling Plant Rooms, I’m not entirely sure if such a device would jive with uptight landlords and co-op/condo boards, although in a perfect world anyone in their right mind would give their full-consent. Sure, you can hang a miniature wind turbine from your 15th floor balcony! Go right ahead! 

If Greenerators were to become commercially available, would you invest in one to power your household appliances and electronics or would you be weary of hanging something like this from an apartment balcony? 


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