Moving Solar Panels from One Property to Another. What are your Options?

Moving Solar Panels from One Property to Another - Rethink Electric

As we all know, having a solar system on your roof is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money on your monthly electric bills. For better or for worse, things change and solar people can find themselves moving their home or business. Maybe it wasn’t part of the plan when you got all of the solar panels installed but moving them is certainly part of the plan now.

You are now faced with a decision. Do you un-install all of those panels and take them with you? Or do you simply pass them along to the new buyers and have a new system installed on your new home or business?

Above all, before you put your home or property on the market you must decide what to do about your current solar setup. Surprisingly, moving solar panels isn’t as easy as you might think.

Without a doubt don’t make the mistake of selling your home, and then changing your mind. Your residential or commercial solar panel system will now be considered a fixture and remains with the home or business. So make sure you are taking all of this one step at a time.

We’ll break down the options you have below so you can make a more informed decision about what to do with solar when it’s time to move.

Option #1
Bring those solar panels with you

Your new location does not have solar and you are all about bringing your current solar panel system with you. You have certainly invested a lot in your system and you can’t imagine moving without reaping the benefits of those low energy rates. We get it! Makes a lot of sense. But first, before you dive right into this there are certainly some factors worth considering with this approach:


Before you move you’ll need to check with the local building code dept and find out what permit(s) will be necessary. Rules and regulations may be in effect that didn’t exist before. Solar panels work well with most properties, but some locations are simply better candidates than others. You may want to reconsider and simply leave the panels if you are moving from a sunny state to a cold state, or your new home is heavily shaded.

Moving Locally

If you are moving locally, having the original solar panel installation company handle the removal and re-installation will definitely be the way to go. Rethink Electric offers this service to our clients throughout Illinois. Having us handle all aspects of your solar move will ensure your system’s warranty is not voided.

What about permits, tax incentives, grants, excess power, etc? We will contact your local electric company and handle and consult all aspects.

Moving to Another State (or Country)

Taking your solar system with you might not be worth it. If you take matters into your own hands and remove the panels yourself (this is not recommended) you can and will void the warranty. Unless you have some sort of special circumstances at play, the chances of you personally moving your system states away just might not be feasible. In fact, some solar companies won’t even move or install a system they did not originally install out of fear of voiding a warranty.

What about Leaving Behind Roof Damage?

Roof Fading & Damage

In short, removing solar panels is a very involved process. One that can and will leave behind some damage to your roof. When equipment that was originally and properly anchored down is then removed, holes will be left throughout your roofing material.

Furthermore, fading of roofing material is almost guaranteed. Thanks to the sun your entire roof is slowly fading – except the part under your solar panels. That retains its original color leaving everything very uneven. As a result, these two issues will need to be addressed with any potential buyer because it will affect the selling price.

Possible Damage from moving solar panels

The chances of your solar equipment being damaged as it’s being removed, disassembled, or shipped obviously goes up when you are physically moving your panels as well.

Removing and re-installing solar panels is more involved than you think. Do your homework before proceeding with the sale of your home or property.

Option #2
Leave those solar panels behind

Without a doubt selling your home or property with the panels might make your life easier and make you some money. Having a property on the market with solar panels is obviously a great selling feature. Especially to those actively interested in living a greener lifestyle. After all, we are growing in numbers every day – just like the overall demand for solar!

From a financial stand-point it’s a smart move to sell your solar system along with the sale of your property. You may be able to raise the asking price and even sell your home or property faster.

In this case, unlike option #1 where you are taking the system, you don’t need to worry about damaging the roof and having to offer a credit or roof repairs of any kind.

Leasing Solar Panels is a Different Story

In short, when you lease, you don’t own the panels. You will need to contact your solar provider and talk to them about moving your panels to the new location and what that process entails. If you take the system with you – you will also need to deal with the roof and fade damage discussed above.

If you are leaving the system behind you will need to buy out the remaining money left on the lease. Another negative to leaving the system behind when you move is the new buyer will have to agree to take over the lease. They would have to apply and qualify (according to credit requirements) to take over the contract. As you would imagine, this could be a major problem for some potential buyers.

For instance, the buyer might like your home but is just not interested in dealing with leased panels. You may lose the potential sale if you don’t take this one step at a time and figure out your proper course of action.

In Conclusion

We have outlined the pros and cons of moving solar panels and taking them with you or leaving them to the new buyers when selling any kind of real estate. New solar system costs are going down while the number of financial incentives for new systems is increasing.

In summary, it typically makes the most sense to just leave the old solar panel system and buy a newer, more efficient system for your new home or business. Your solar system will make a great selling feature for your property so enjoy the increased interest!

At Rethink Electric we are the solar experts so you don’t have to be. We bring our professional experience to many solar energy services and projects throughout Illinois. Please contact us today if you plan on moving and need Rethink Electric involved!

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