This can be a difficult question to answer, but it can also be an extremely important one if you are planning to move soon.
So the short answer to your question is Yes, solar panels can be moved.
However, it’s not worth the hassle unless you have a really huge solar system.
Why it’s not recommended to relocate my solar panels?
Well, that’s what we will answer in this blog post.
So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.
Can Solar Panels Be Moved?
Yes, solar panels can be relocated to your new property as long as they stay intact.
However, there are a few things that can potentially get in your way.
And in this section, we will go through each one of them, so you can know exactly what you are dealing with.
Where you are moving to plays a vital role in whether you can or can’t take the solar panels with you.
In this section, we will go through 3 possible scenarios for moving solar panels:
Scenario 1: You Are Moving Locally
If you are moving locally, then no problem, all you need to do is to contact your solar company and they will take care of the process from removing your solar panels to reinstalling your system on your new property.
Some might even help with the transportation!
Additionally, they may even help you with all the permits required for the relocation of your solar system or at least tell you what permits you need.
Scenario 2: You Are Moving Far From The Service Range
On the other hand, if you are moving outside of your solar installer service range, then you are on your own.
They will do help you uninstalling your solar panels. However, you have to figure out a way to ship and reinstall your system and your warranty will be voided.
It’s important to mention that some solar installers might help you with the reinstalling. However, they will probably charge you a lot!
Scenario 3: You Are Moving Out Of State
Each state has its own solar regulations and policies. Some have more strict policies than others.
However, almost certainly you need to get permits to reinstall your solar system.
2. Damage To Your Property
According to a survey from SolarReviews, 62% of solar panel owners can’t move their panels with them when they transfer because it’s really hard to disassemble the panels without damaging them or the roof.
As you know, your solar panels are tightly secured with braces and plates that are bolted and welded to your roof which can be quite difficult to separate.
And if you decided to remove your solar array you would end up with multiple holes in your roof.
Although you might not be able to see the holes from the ground, this can create problems for the next residents (especially if you didn’t properly seal them) and might even void your roof warranty!
Additionally, because your solar panels were protecting your roof from the sun’s UV light, you might see discoloration of the roofing underneath the panels compared to the rest of the roof, which won’t look so good in the eyes of the new buyer.
Finally, if you decided to remove your solar panels, then you are definitely removing the inverter, monitor, and solar battery that won’t only leave a huge hole in your walls but also require professional electricians, which can make a quite big hole in your wallet.
Related article: Do Solar Panels Damage Roof?
3. Damage To Your Solar Panels
Solar panels are literally made of glass!
This means that they are extremely fragile, making them quite impossible to move without any damage (we all know how movers deal with fragile items).
And because of this fragility, moving can create a lot of broken panels, which won’t be covered by your warranty!
This would be a nightmare for you and your investment.
Related article: How Durable Are Solar Panels?
4. Problems With Your New Roof
When you first decided to install a solar system, a professional solar installer came to your house and took some dimensions to see if it can fit on your roof and figure out the best solar panel type, mounting equipment, in addition to the installation angle and azimuth to make sure you are getting the most out of your solar system.
However, when you decide to move your system, then all of these measurements might be off by a bit and the panels won’t properly align with your new roofing system!
This can create problems in the next stages where you need to connect everything together.
Although this can be fixed, solar systems are really sensitive and can be affected by the smallest details.
So, most likely, moving your solar panels to a new home will chip away from their efficiency.
Further, your new home might have too many obstacles like trees, fences, other buildings, etc that can block sunlight from reaching your panels, which really decreases your system’s efficiency.
Moving your solar panels from one house to another can be costly.
You don’t only need to pay for disassembling, transporting, and reinstalling your system, you also need to pay for other things like permits, patching up your roof holes, fixing the inverter and monitor holes, and many other things.
Further, you might even pay for a new racking system to match your new home’s roof, which can cost quite a lot as you know.
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.
How Much Does It Cost To Move My Solar Panels?
When you move, bringing your solar panels with you will cost a pretty sum – removal, and reinstallation costs are significantly high, and transportation is not cheap.
Furthermore, the expense of repairing the roof of your old house where the panels were originally installed must be paid for as well as any required permits.
Generally, the cost to move solar panels can be anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000, depending on the size of the system and the distance to the new home.
For the roof and walls patchwork, it can cost around $500-$1,000, depending on the damage.
In terms of permits, the fees can be anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on the city.
Finally, if your new home has a different roof, then most likely you will need to buy new mounting hardware.
So overall, moving your solar system might cost you as much as buying a new one!
“What about my investment?” You might ask.
Well, don’t worry, your investment will pay off.
Recent studies showed that installing a solar system on your property can increase its value by up to 4.1%. That’s an $8200 increase for a $200 thousand dollar property, pretty good HA!
Further, according to the NREL, homes with solar tend to sell 20% faster!
So selling a home with a solar system installed won’t only save you the hassle but might make your profit after all!
It is theoretically possible to move your solar panels, but it probably wouldn’t be worth your while.
The costs will be huge and might exceed the cost of buying a new system; unless you have an enormous one.
Further, your solar PV system probably won’t work as efficiently even when it is moved.
So, our advice is to consider the PV as part of the house and say goodbye to it when you decide to sell. New house, new PV, new adventure!
This way you will save yourself the hassle and sometimes, you might even make some profit!
Do you have any questions about moving your solar panels?
If so, please share them in the comments below.
In the end, we really hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did.
Thank you for reading!