What Happens to My Solar Panels if I Move?

selling home with solar

According to the US Census Bureau, the average person moves 11.7 times in their lifetime, so it is a good chance that you will not be in your home as long as a Solar System will last. So what are your options?

There are different scenarios depending on how you made the initial purchase. The good news is that your Solar System is an upgrade to your property and it should be marketed that way as you are selling your home. Be sure your agent and lender is well versed in the benefits of Solar, or give them the information they may need in the process.

Cash Purchase

If you paid cash for your entire system, then it is simply sold with your home.  Having solar on your roof also can increase the value of your home.

According to research conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, every $1 in solar power generation (or utility bill savings) adds approximately $20 in your homes total value.

On average, the increase in property resale value is approximately $6,000 for each 1 kilowatt of solar installed. And since the cost of traditional power increase over time, so does the value of your solar system.

Leased

In this scenario, you do not own the panel but only leasing from the solar company, so the lease remains in their ownership.  This does not mean that the company will remove the panels when you sell your home. They can stay in place and the new owner may be able to resume the lease.  Be sure to get instructions from the Solar Provider to make sure you are following the terms of your lease.

Financed

If you used a secured financing, the balance of your loan gets paid at closing through escrow.  If unsecured, you may need to pay off the balance due. Be sure to discuss this with your mortgage lender or bank.

Keep Good Records

The new home buyer and their mortgage company will want to see documentation about your Solar System so be sure to keep good records and have them accessible during the sales process. Ideally, when you made your Solar purchase, a folder was provided by your Solar provider with the following information::

  • Date of installation
  • Make and model
  • Wattage
  • Inverter type
  • Warranties
  • Past electric bills

Why past electric bills?  So you can show the savings you now enjoy by having solar on the roof.

As you move to your next home, be sure to talk to the local Solar provider and choose the best option moving forward. And in the process, speak to your mortgage lender to see if the installation of Solar can be included in your purchase.