Can You Take Your Solar Panels with You if You Move?

Should you install solar panels if you’re thinking about moving in a few years?

And if you decide to move, are you supposed to leave your solar array behind, or can you remove the photovoltaic panels and reinstall them at your new home?

Solar Panels

Yes, you can relocate solar panels; but you may not want to.

Removing Solar Panels Can Leave a Mess

Photovoltaic panels are tightly secured to the roof. In fact, the mounting components are literally screwed into the surface.

Taking away the solar array leaves holes in the roof. And while you might not be able to see these holes from the ground, the penetrations can create problems for the next homeowner. This is particularly true if the holes aren’t filled and sealed against future leaks.

Also, if you remove the PV array, you may notice a difference in the color of the roofing underneath compared to the rest of the roof. The parts of roof that were exposed to the sun are likely to be more faded than the parts that were shaded by your PV panels.

You also must consider the inverter and monitor. As these components are typically mounted on the wall, removing them may leave a gaping hole in the wall.

Removal and Reinstallation Can Be Expensive

Aside from the mess, trying to take your solar panels with you when you move can be costly, even before you consider the labor and permitting costs.

If your new home has a different kind of roof than your previous address, you may need different components to mount your solar array. If so, you’ll have to buy new racks and mounting hardware.

In addition, your photovoltaic panels may not be adequate for the electricity your household needs at your new home. Although you can add new modules to a PV system, it may get expensive if you need a different inverter or if your solar panels are no longer available.

Won’t Leaving Solar Panels Behind Negate Your Savings?

Probably not.

Today’s home buyers are willing to pay more for solar-powered homes — an average of $15,000 more, as compared to similar utility-powered homes.

To put that into perspective, consider the average price for a home PV system in the U.S. According to EnergySage, an informational website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the gross cost for a typical 5 kW solar array is only about $16,800.

And that’s the total average cost before figuring in the federal solar tax credit or any state and local grants, rebates and credits. Most homeowners have overall costs of less than $14,000. So, you could actually end up ahead by leaving your solar array in place when you move!

The professional team at Intermountain Wind & Solar, serving Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Wyoming, is the premier provider of residential and commercial photovoltaic installations in the Intermountain West region. For answers to all of your questions about solar panels, contact us today.