Author Topic: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit  (Read 720 times)

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Offline tony

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Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« on: April 02, 2019, 04:13:39 PM »
Hello,

My wife and I are purchasing a new home and there is an option to get solar while the home is being built. SunPower is quoting $17,593 for a 4kW X-series panel system. I'm still trying to gather some more retrofit quotes from SunPower and LG, but it seems that retrofitting might be cheaper. For comparison, Tesla quoted an early estimate (because the home is not built yet) of $14,600 for a 4kW system.

Does anyone have any experiences/opinions about getting a solar panel installed during construction vs retrofitting after the home is built?

Offline Dresden215

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Re: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 07:10:18 PM »
I chose to do my SunPower panels during construction. If I had done it after COE I would forfeit my warranty on my roof. Since I moved in during the rainy season, I didn’t want to risk it.

Verify if your builder voids the roof warranty if you chose to do the panels on your own.

Offline Cares

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Re: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 08:15:20 PM »
I chose to do my SunPower panels during construction. If I had done it after COE I would forfeit my warranty on my roof. Since I moved in during the rainy season, I didn’t want to risk it.

Verify if your builder voids the roof warranty if you chose to do the panels on your own.

Pretty much all solar companies (reputable ones) will offer 20-25 year roof warranty. It would supersede builder warranty.

The only benefit of adding solar during construction is that you can amortize the cost of it on a year 30 loan. The cost of solar adds to your property tax base though.

Personally I would do it after taking possession from the builder.

Offline tony

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Re: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 10:11:39 PM »
Thanks for the responses. I asked the builder and they confirmed it would void the roof warranty.

As for adding to the property tax base, you can fill out a BOE-64, "initial purchaser claim for solar energy system new construction exclusion" so that it wouldn't get added to the assessed value of the property. Even if this form didn't exist, I was under the impression that retrofitting solar panels would also add to the property tax base when the county reassesses the property? At least, that's what the assessor told me when I called their office.

Offline snoozeBuyer

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Re: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 08:42:18 PM »
I'm under the same dilemma, of either getting it during construction or retro fitted. I agree that getting it done at construction would help add it to the mortgage and amortize the cost, since no other financing option would do a 30 yr (obviously). Any other pros/cons of doing a retro fit?

Offline Kings

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Re: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« Reply #5 on: Today at 06:22:08 AM »
I'm under the same dilemma, of either getting it during construction or retro fitted. I agree that getting it done at construction would help add it to the mortgage and amortize the cost, since no other financing option would do a 30 yr (obviously). Any other pros/cons of doing a retro fit?

builder may not warranty the roof if you do it post closing and you'll have to see if the solar company will warranty the roof

Offline lnc

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Re: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« Reply #6 on: Today at 06:55:17 AM »
Can buyer cancel the solar lease after COE and just return the solar panel?

And if you are leasing the solar panel and selling the home in the future, does the new buyer require to sign up that solar lease?


Offline snoozeBuyer

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Re: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« Reply #7 on: Today at 06:57:41 AM »
I'm under the same dilemma, of either getting it during construction or retro fitted. I agree that getting it done at construction would help add it to the mortgage and amortize the cost, since no other financing option would do a 30 yr (obviously). Any other pros/cons of doing a retro fit?

builder may not warranty the roof if you do it post closing and you'll have to see if the solar company will warranty the roof

I am chatting with a couple solar companies today to understand the roof warranty. Irvine Pacific is partnered with Petersen Dean - anyone got solar panels by them?

Offline Kings

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Re: Solar Installation During Construction vs Retrofit
« Reply #8 on: Today at 07:05:39 AM »
Can buyer cancel the solar lease after COE and just return the solar panel?

And if you are leasing the solar panel and selling the home in the future, does the new buyer require to sign up that solar lease?

you can cancel the lease, but there will be a significant cost that negates any savings you would receive by going with another solar company post closing.

yes, the new buyer would need to assume the lease (or you will have to cancel it, typically a function of years remaining and a set termination fee schedule) - this makes leasing a potentially costly and limiting factor when selling your home.  many buyers do not want to assume a lease for an old solar system that has fixed increases in cost (sometimes 3%+ per year).

 

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