Can You Move Tesla Solar Panels (We Find Out)


Can You Move Tesla Solar Panels

Installing solar panels can be a beneficial decision for your home—not only to save money on your electric bills but also to help the environment. Tesla solar panels have become a popular option, but what if you move to a new home? Do you lose the expense of the solar panels, which could be a hefty cost, or can you take the solar panels with you?

You can take your Tesla solar panels with you to your new home, but the process is difficult. Removing solar panels will leave holes in the roof that can cause issues for the next owner. The roof may also be discolored from lack of sun, and reinstallation can be expensive.

If your current home has Tesla solar panels installed and you are planning to move, there are many things to consider before removing the panels, relocating them, and reinstalling them on your new roof. Read on to see if the time, labor, and expense is worth taking your solar panels with you or simply leaving them for the new homeowner.

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Things to Consider When Moving Tesla Solar Panels

When Tesla entered the world of solar panels, it was immediately competitive in that it touted its simplicity in ordering, promised the guaranteed lowest prices, and gave a money-back guarantee if customers were not satisfied. Compared to other solar companies, Tesla is competitively priced. But do you keep those savings if you move?

  • If you remove your solar panels, you will more than likely have small holes in your roof since the installers need to drill holes to secure the racking that holds the solar panels.
  • These holes probably will not be visible from the ground. However, they could cause leaking issues for the next homeowner if they are not filled and sealed after removal.
  • Holes may also be present when you remove the Tesla Powerwall, which is the energy monitoring system the company uses that are usually mounted on either an exterior or interior wall. When you move, you will have to worry about removing and reinstalling the panels and this very large Powerwall system.  

These holes in the roof will definitely come into play when you attempt to sell your home. You will more than likely take a hit to your selling price, or you will have to pay a large fee to have the roof repaired or replaced.

Depending on how long you had solar panels on your roof, the sun may have discolored the areas that were exposed. This means when you remove the solar panels, the roof underneath could be darker than the surrounding area. Again, this may not bother you since you are moving but could deter individuals from purchasing your home.

Reinstalling Your Solar Panels Can be Expensive

The entire process of removing your solar panels and system, moving them to a new location, and then reinstalling the panels and monitoring system is a lot of time, work, and money. The removal, relocation, and reinstallation costs will more than likely be thousands upon thousands of dollars and should be weighed against the solar savings.

Although the first installation of your Tesla solar panels probably only took a day or two, the same cannot be said for removing and relocating them. A full relocation, which includes the removal, the transporting of the panels, and the reinstallation, could take months. This could make things complicated when selling and buying a home.

You will also need to do your research to make sure your Tesla solar panels are allowed in the area in which you are moving. What if your roof is actually bigger than the last one? You could probably add solar panels, but they may not be configured with the current solar plan. Other things to consider when weighing these options include:

  • Do you need to stay in your state and with the same utility company, or are there more options to reinstalling your Tesla solar panels and Powerwall system?
  • Will moving your solar panels to a new area affect your tax incentives, grants, or tariffs that you received when purchasing the solar panels?
  • Does the new county, city, or state have any permits, rules, or regulations necessary for the solar panel installation?
  • Is your new home compatible with your existing Powerwall monitoring system?
  • Does your new home have the proper sun to be effective, or are there trees and shade that could impede the solar panels from working properly?
  • Does your new home have a different type of roof, and will you need different components to mount the existing solar panels at an additional cost?
  • Is the roof on your new home large enough to fit all of the solar panels you already purchased?

The last point is imperative because you probably will not be able to use your existing system if your new roof cannot fit all of the solar panels. If your home currently uses 20 solar panels, but your new roof only can fit 14, the roof on the new home will not be able to support your current solar system. It will be costly to adapt.

Can You Rent Solar Panels?

Tesla does give you an option to rent solar panels versus buying them for as little as $50 a month, which could be advantageous if you end up moving and want to simply cancel the contract. This monthly fee includes:

  • The hardware and panels
  • Installation
  • Support
  • Any ongoing maintenance

There is also no long-term commitment.

Tesla announced its solar rental program in August 2019 and is offered in certain states across the country. If you live in one of those lucky states, you may consider renting over buying solar panels.

ArizonaCalifornia
ConnecticutMassachusetts
New JerseyNew Mexico

There are no upfront fees or long-term commitment costs, making this a pretty good balance to someone who may remain in one of these states. Keep in mind, however, that, while renting, you do not benefit from the federal tax breaks you would receive as an owner of solar panels.

Renting Costs vs. Buying Costs

The rental fee depends on how large of a system you purchase – small, medium, or large – and the monthly rates vary depending on where you live. Since there is no long-term contract, you can simply remove the solar panels from your existing home, move to your new home, and then start fresh with a new rental program. It seems easy, right?

Since purchasing Tesla solar panels are more advantageous for individuals who will live in their home for a longer period of time, renting could be a good option if you think you may move sooner rather than later. A small system equals 4.08 kilowatts in size and is a flat $50 a month rate for all six states. California costs more for the other sizes.

On the surface, renting solar panels versus buying them may sound advantageous if you are thinking of moving to a new home in the future. However, you still need to read the fine print if you plan on removing the solar panels. If you want your system removed either to relocate the panels or at a buyer’s request, there is a flat $2,500 cost.

Conclusion

Removing your Tesla solar panels and their corresponding Tesla Powerwall is doable, but is it cost-efficient? You may not realize any damage to the roof until you remove the panels, and it is expensive to relocate them and reinstall the entire system fresh. You also need to consider where you live and the electric company for the new home.

You should weigh the costs of removing the Tesla solar panels, having them transported to your new home, and then paying someone to reinstall them. If costs do not outweigh the savings, you may want to consider Tesla’s rental program for flexibility. Purchasing the panels is more advantageous when living in the home for a long time.

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Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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