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What happens to solar panels if I move?

Updated: Jun 30

When going solar, knowing that your panels will last for 25 years or more can be a bit daunting when considering the long-term commitment to your property’s electricity.

If you anticipate a move in the next few decades, knowing how your solar panels will impact your transition is very important, especially when things could get complicated without the right preparation and precautions.

So, whether you are researching before you buy or have already installed panels, this article will walk you through what happens to your solar energy system when you move and how its cost-saving performance can impact your real estate sale.

Solar Ownership vs Leasing

By and large, differentiation between a solar ownership model and a solar lease is the most critical factor in how your panels will affect your move. If you own your equipment (i.e. financing or purchasing panels outright), then the process will be much easier.

Under a solar ownership agreement, your panels essentially become an asset to your property, just like a washer/dryer upgrade or a new front door. Whether or not you have completely paid off your system, owned solar panels will add value to your property that can help you recoup your investment costs after a sale.

In 2022, the Wall Street Journal reported that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory research indicates “solar-energy systems owned by the homeowner are likely to increase the value of the home by about the amount the system cost, but systems that are leased have no statistically significant impact on home prices.”

So on the other hand, if you lease your solar panels, the rented equipment will not increase your property value. Although you may be able to pay a fee for early decommissioning, most leased systems require a contract transfer so that the new homebuyer can continue monthly payments to the owner of the solar equipment.

moving with your solar panels
Solar panels when moving

Solar Home Sale Tips

When selling your home with solar panels, there are many things that you can do to ensure that the value of your energy system is included in the sale. As plenty of homebuyers have never had solar before, showcasing the benefits of your panels and clearly answering questions about how they work can help accelerate potential sales.

To sell your home with solar panels, here are our top three tips.

  1. Work with a realtor that understands solar: Above all, working with someone who knows solar will automatically put you many steps further than partnering with an inexperienced realtor. If your realtor cannot confidently talk about the system, how it works, and how much it can save on energy costs, buyers will have no reason to trust that the information is correct and valuable.

  2. Highlight your solar savings: Out on the open market, the utility bill savings of your solar energy should be heavily advertised in online listings, print ads, and open houses alike. To really drive the message home, you can even choose to display your actual electric bills from the summer that show $0 in utility energy purchases amid tons of solar production.

  3. Have the paperwork ready: In competitive markets, buyers may be eager to sign for a home before someone else can. In addition to the deed and other paperwork, it is vital to explain what sort of documentation will be required to transfer your solar energy system to the new homeowner. While this is typically more involved in a solar lease, most purchased systems include a warranty transfer to guarantee future performance.

In Denver, Apollo Energy is here to help.

With no warranty transfer fees, Apollo Energy is here to help you install and own your ideal solar energy system in Colorado or Wyoming.

Whether you anticipate a move or life brings unexpected changes, our team can assist in the transfer of your solar energy savings to the next residents of your property - at maximum value for everyone involved.

When it's time to dig up the paperwork and show your new homeowners the details of your emission-free energy system, both you and your buyer will be happy that you worked with a local solar company.


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