Is There A Current Warranty
If the solar installation was recently completed, you wouldnt want to buy a home with solar panels without knowing what kind of warranty is in place. Unlike other warranties , a photovoltaic or solar panel warranty typically will not last forever.
Instead, it generally lasts for about 25 years. Youll want to determine what is covered under warranty and how long it is valid. If the warranty is about to expire and youre not sure if youre going to go ahead and buy the home, you may be able to negotiate to get a new warranty with the current homeowners or with the solar manufacturer or solar panel installer, as long as they are still in business.
Solar Panels In A Ppa
A solar power purchase agreement eliminates the upfront costs of putting solar panels on a home. A PPA is a financial agreement between you, the home buyer and the developer, in which the PPA finances and installs a solar energy system on a property. You pay one monthly rate on the electricity produced by the solar panels.
What To Consider When Buying Or Selling A House With Solar Panels
3 June, 2019
The popularity of solar panels has spread over the past few years, as householders have been tempted by the prospect of long-term free electricity and in some cases, an income generated from selling electricity to energy companies. However, the process of buying or selling a home with a solar rooftop array is more involved especially if the solar panels are leased.
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Solar Panels Have A Long Lifespan
Speaking of which, solar panels have a lifespan of around 30 years. That means you will get the majority of your money back in the form of free energy in the last 10 to 20 years of the panels life. While you will have to pay for any repairs after the warranty expires, solar panels are a very low-maintenance option and can save you money over the years.
Does The Installation Meet The Recommended Standards
The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Society Association have teamed up to put together some solar panel guidelines for installers, mortgage providers and customers. These guidelines set out the minimum criteria that solar panel installations should meet, as well as the terms required in each lease.
Providing the installation and the lease terms meet these guidelines, then most mortgage lenders will not have a problem with these. If the terms do not meet the guidelines then a lender will insist that the solar panel lease is varied. This will add time to the Conveyancing process.
Ultimately, the decision lies with the mortgage provider, and different lenders may have different policies. For this reason, it’s important to speak to your mortgage provider and familiarise yourself with their policy.
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Tips For Buying Solar Panels
There are many factors to take into account: solvency of the manufacturer, warranty conditions, performance references in other installations, quality in the manufacturing process, certification tests and a long etcetera. These are undoubtedly important factors but often difficult to find out. When we want to buy a photovoltaic solar panel we usually look at the price and technical characteristics. And it is here where we must pay special attention to the details to translate all this information and know what is relevant to make the decision of which panel to buy.
Grid-connected installations and self-consumption solar kits usually work with 60-cell panels that are not valid for stand-alone installations unless we connect them to a charge regulator with MPPT maximum power point tracker.
4.- Tolerance: Due to the manufacturing process and the different components that make up a solar panel, the output power may vary significantly from that indicated in the technical data sheet. This variation is called tolerance and it can be indicated in W or in %. Let us imagine that we have a 100W panel with a tolerance of +/- 5%. It means that the panel can deliver a power between 95W and 105W. If the panel has cost us 100, in the first case it will cost us 1.05/Wp and in the second case 0.95/Wp.
Youll Save And Make Money
Solar panels provide free energy all year round, saving the average household £8,466 over the course of their lifetime.
Usually, it takes an average of 14.2 years to break even on solar panels but if theyve already been installed before you move in, you wont have to pay the £4,800 upfront cost.
Instead, youll start making and saving money immediately.
Youll only need about half of the electricity youd otherwise use from the National Grid, and youll regularly receive money from the Smart Export Guarantee .
That means that at the end of every year, youll have an average of £339 extra in your bank account.
Your new home may have had its solar panels installed while the governments Feed-in Tariff was active, in which case youll work out whether youd be better off continuing to receive those payments, or switching to the SEG.
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Buying Solar Panels Walks Your Talk
Buying solar panels isnt just a great lifetime investment. Its also the best thing you can do for the environment. Studies have shown that your neighbors are more likely to get solar panels if you get them first.
Having solar panels on your house sets a good example to the neighborhood and starts a conversation about clean, green power.
You never know, you might end up on a block with five other solar paneled roofs.
If you opt for buying solar panels, consider these top solar panels to use.
Home Or Property Sale
If you are thinking about installing solar power, you must consider how renting or ownership will impact the sale of the property. In certain instances, buying solar panels is the best option because they increase the propertys value. A home fitted with a solar power system will sell faster and make more money than one without solar power.
Yet, a lease will make your life more challenging because finding potential buyers willing to assume the lease contract becomes an issue. Your property will have fewer buyers, and the pool of potential buyers will shrink even further if the energy rates by the renting company are high.
Moreover, the solar installation service might be afraid of entering into a new deal, especially if the potential buyer of the property has a low credit score. Therefore, even if it is easy to find a property buyer willing to assume the lease contract, it will be challenging and time-consuming to spot a buyer the leasing firm wants.
So, if you plan on selling the property in the future, its best to buy solar panels because everyone wants to buy a property that produces its electricity for free.
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Should I Buy A House With Leased Solar Panels
In order to effectively answer this question, we need to present a hypothetical scenario to you. The scenario is that you are a prospective home buyer and really like the look of a property. What is the only problem? It has solar panels attached to the roof and a few other areas.
You like the benefit of having solar panels so much, including the long-term cost savings, that you do not mind and are actually happy to buy them as part of the purchase. You tell the seller that you are willing to purchase the solar system as part of the house price and feel like you are doing them a favor because they do not have to take them down and move them.
This is when they drop an enormous bombshell. They do not actually own the solar panels. Instead, they are eleven years into a solar lease with a built-in escalation clause. The lease is going to go on for another fourteen years. As part of the house purchase, you need to be willing to take on the payments for the solar lease for the duration of its remaining lifetime.
Currently, the escalation clause has led to the monthly payments increasing to the point that the monthly payments on the system cost roughly the same as standard utility rates would in your area. As the years progress and starting from two years down the line, you are going to be paying more money per month for using the solar panels than you would for grid power.
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Is The Property Freehold Or Leasehold
Whether the property is freehold or leasehold is a very important point to note, because the owner of a leasehold property does not have the authority to install solar panels on the roof without the freeholder’s permission. If you’re considering buying a leasehold property with solar panels, the freeholder will need to be contacted to ensure that the necessary permission has been obtained. The terms of the lease will also need to be carefully reviewed to ensure that installation of solar panels is permitted under the lease.
For freehold properties, this is not an issue because the homeowner owns the roof space.
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Buying A House With Leased Solar Panels
During the heady days of the Feed-in Tariff, many companies would install solar panels for free.
In exchange, theyd lease that roof space from you, so they could receive the government payments themselves.
But buying a house like this can be trickier, as some mortgage lenders will reject your application if part of the property is owned by a company and you cant buy the house without the panels.
A relatively untroubled purchase is certainly still feasible, though.
You shouldnt have any problems if:
- The installation company is accredited by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme
- The installation itself was approved and is insured
- You can remove the panels without incurring penalties for missed Feed-in Tariff payments
Your solicitor will go through the lease details and contact the installation company to see whether theyve signed the panels over to an agent.
If they have, the agent may charge a fee when the property is sold. Who pays that fee is up to you to decide with the seller.
Your solicitor will also check whether the houses owner needs permission from the installation company to extend the property, or even to sell it.
Theres no reason why the installation company wouldnt agree to a request to sell the house but if the company has ceased to exist, it can be difficult to find the current owner.
In all cases, listen to your solicitors legal advice.
Fully Owned Solar Panels
If you buy a home with fully owned solar panels, you will own them and their benefits. Youll benefit from any grants available at the time of purchase and pay less to your energy provider since you generate your power. However, if these panels stop working or need replacing after the warranty expires, you will have to cover the replacement cost.
Additionally, the solar panels will stay with the house if you move to a different property. Unfortunately, that means you wont be able to take them with you, so youll have to re-purchase new panels for your next house.
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Because Solar Panels Are Rectangular
Installing solar panels on your home or business has an initial cost that varies depending on your energy needs, the purpose of the installation, the quality of the solar kit and many other factors.
First of all, you have to pay for the components, such as the panels, inverters, battery, wiring, generator, etc. On the other hand, you also have to pay for the installation costs, which will vary depending on the company that carries out the work.
On average, a 3.5 kW installation with simple access costs a total of 5,000 euros. In the case of a 5 kW installation with complex access, the price increases to 7500 euros.
For example, if your goal is to maximize the return on investment, the best alternative is to buy, since, in addition to reducing your electricity bill in the long term, it also allows you to increase the value of your home.
When it comes to businesses, where energy consumption takes place during peak production hours, it is a very profitable option, since it drastically reduces dependence on regular electricity supply.
Net Metering And Time
Under net metering without TOU, you get full credit for any excess electricity you send into the grid no matter what time of day you generate power.
Without net metering or if you have a TOU plan, you need to pay attention to when you use and generate electricity. Read the articles above to learn more.
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Do Solar Panels Increase Home Value
Buying solar panels generally helps increase the value of a home. Alongside potential savings on energy bills, additional value comes from the convenience of purchasing a home with solar panels already installed.
Leased solar panels are a different story. Fannie Mae does not include leased solar panels in a home’s valuation and the Federal Housing Administration doesn’t offer much guidance on how to determine their value.
When it comes to fully paid off solar panels, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that each additional $1 in energy bill savings from solar panels adds $20 to a homeâs total value. For example, in a sunny state like California, a small system has the potential to increase the average value of a medium-sized home by over $18,000.
Buying A House With Owned Solar Panels: A Smart Decision
Buying a home with solar panels is a smart decision, just so long as the panels are owned rather than leased. In addition to saving you money on your energy bill, buying a home with solar panels will also boost your homes value and make it more attractive for resale down the road.
If youre curious to learn more about solar panels, or residential solar power on the home youd like to buy, contact Sandbar Solar today. As the largest residential and commercial solar installer in Santa Cruz County, Sandbar Solar & Electric takes real pride in being locally owned for 13 years. You can count on our professional commitment to quality work, ethical solutions, community sponsorship and environmental stewardship.
Were proud of our reputation for designing and installing the most efficient solar panels across the Central Coast. We invite you to review our online portfolio today. Our work areas include Santa Cruz and Monterey counties as well as San Jose and the Bay Area.
About the Author
Scott is the founder of Sandbar Solar & Electric. With a Bachelors Degree in Economics from UC San Diego, Scott has an NABCEP certification, and has lectured on and taught many high-tech construction practices and solar PV technical concepts to education institutions, including Stanford University and state-recognized electrician apprenticeship programs. Scott enjoys sharing his knowledge of the evolving renewable energy space and making a difference in his community.
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What Do I Need To Know About Solar Panels On A House I Want To Buy
Buying solar panels is a lot like buying regular houses. You will need to put in an electrical panel, either a ground-mounted or a rooftop one. You will also need to decide whether you want solar panels in the front of your house or back.
In addition, you will need to decide whether you want the or not. If you do not want the panels on your roof, you will need to decide if you want them on the ground or somewhere else.
When you are solar panel lease from the installation company and others opt to buy solar panels outright. If you decide to purchase solar panels, make sure you are locked into a long-term contract. Remember, you always have the option to opt-out of ownership down the line if needed. Purchased solar panels are an investment in the future of your home, so choose wisely.
If you decide to lease solar panels, make sure you understand what that means and how it will affect your monthly payments. If you lease the panels, your monthly payments will be lower. However, if you decide to sell your home before the contract is up, it could cost you thousands of dollars in penalties.
Is Net Metering Possibility
If you are considering using your panels for another residence or business, its important to ask whether or not net metering is available. This process allows you to send the excess electricity that the solar panels produce back into the grid which allows you to use it at a later time.
If you would like to know if we can install solar and put thousands of dollars in your pocket for doing it, use the form below to submit your electric bill for a no cost, no obligation evaluation.
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Selling Your House With A Solar Lease Or Ppa
- Buy out the remainder of the lease: By paying the rest of your lease, you can either have the panels removed from your roof, or keep them there and sell the system as part of the property.
- Transfer the lease to the new property owner: If the new owner is willing to take over the lease and meets the third-party owners criteria, you can transfer the agreement over to their name.