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12 Essential Questions to Ask When Considering a Home with Solar Panels

Last week I wrote an article about solar panels from the homeowners perspective and asked the question, “Do solar panels really increase the value of my home?” I received a lot of feedback on that article, but many people had questions about the buyers perspective and specifically, what questions they should be asking if considering purchasing a Kansas City home with solar energy panels already in place. Here are 12 important questions to consider when looking at homes with solar panels:

  1. Ownership of Solar Panels: Are the solar panels owned outright by the current homeowner, or are they leased from a third party? Understanding ownership will impact your financial responsibilities and potential savings.
  2. Lease Details: If the solar panels are leased, inquire about the lease duration and monthly payments. Make sure you fully comprehend the terms to avoid surprises down the road.
  3. Transferring Solar Responsibility: Ask about the process for transferring solar panel ownership to your name. This ensures a smooth transition and continued benefits.
  4. Maintenance and Upkeep: Understand the maintenance requirements and associated costs. Inquire about any components that might need frequent replacement and how these costs are handled.
  5. Installation and Roof Warranty: Learn about the company that installed the solar panels. Additionally, find out if there’s any warranty coverage for the roof concerning the installation process.
  6. Recent Servicing: Inquire about when the solar panels were last serviced or cleaned. Regular maintenance can significantly impact their efficiency and longevity.
  7. Output vs. Usage: Understand the solar system’s energy output compared to the typical energy usage of the home. This information helps you gauge potential savings.
  8. Electric Bill Breakdown: Request a breakdown of the typical electric bill before solar. This allows you to evaluate the impact of the solar panels on your energy expenses.
  9. Power Banking: Check with the power company to determine if they allow you to bank excess generated power. This feature can be crucial for maximizing your savings.
  10. Solar Regulations: Research the local, state, and city regulations regarding solar panels. Additionally, inquire if the property benefits from any grandfathered solar-related incentives or regulations.
  11. Panel Warranty: Ask if there’s a warranty on the solar panels themselves. Understanding warranty coverage ensures you’re protected in case of unexpected issues.
  12. Solar Panel Lifespan: Lastly, find out the expected lifespan of the solar panels. This information gives you a sense of the long-term durability and helps with financial planning.

Investing in a home with solar panels is a forward-thinking decision that can offer substantial benefits over time. By asking these 12 questions, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to make an informed choice that aligns with your energy goals and financial considerations. Remember, a home with well-maintained and properly-functioning solar panels can lead to a brighter and more sustainable future for you and the planet.

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