You have a beautiful solar array on your property that you’re very happy with, but now you’re moving! What do you do? With more people installing solar panels at their homes and businesses, it’s a question that was bound to come up.
Before going any further, it’s important to note, if you’ve sold your home and did not inform the buyer that you were debating this question, then unfortunately it is too late to take action. As we discussed in another recent article, home values are higher for homes with solar panels, so the panels are considered part of the home electric system. Since there is an increased demand for houses with solar installed though, you will likely have gained a higher sale price. So it wasn’t a total loss.
But let’s assume you are asking the question because the house has not been sold and you are wondering if you should include the panels as part of the deal. Like any question of this nature, there are many opinions and there are many factors that could determine your particular case. Here are some things you should consider when weighing your specific situation.
- Where are you moving? If you are making a local move, it may not be as much of a hassle to move the panels. You can use the same company that initially installed them to take them down from one property and install on the new property. Often companies that did the initial installation will be more willing to cooperate in this complicated process than an initially uninvolved party.
- Does the new area have different rules? If you are moving further away, you should take into account any changes in law, like grants and tax incentives. Also, does the new area have a convenient way to hook-up to the grid where the local utility is willing to buy your excess power? This can be very important information to know. If an area is not as progressive on renewable energy, it could make a big difference monetarily.
- How is the sun at your new location? It seems like an obvious point, but it’s one that is often overlooked. Does your new home have a good place on the roof that would get consistent daytime sunlight? Also, is the region considered an area with a lot of sun? If you are moving from Arizona to Seattle, you can expect the energy output from your solar array to diminish significantly.
- Will moving the panels cause damage to the house or equipment? Removing panels from a roof can expose uneven fading in your shingles, or even leave behind some holes. The same can occur in walls where inverters or other solar equipment was removed. If the equipment itself is not carefully and professionally disassembled, packed, and shipped, there is risk of damage there as well.
Taking all these elements together, it’s usually a better idea to sell the array with the home and then buy new equipment for the new property. Because of the increased home price, you do not have to see this as a loss of money. With the constant innovation of solar technology anyway, you will likely be able to find the latest solar panels for a great price wherever you go. If you have any questions on what the best options are in your particular circumstance, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to offer guidance. Our home base is in Raleigh, NC but we have offices throughout the Southeast.