What Happens to My Solar System if I Move?

Going solar is great. It saves people money, it’s good for the environment, and it’s the perfect conversation starter for neighborhood block parties.

So, why wouldn’t someone go solar?

For some homeowners, the biggest hang-up is uncertainty around a simple question: What happens if I sell my home?

It’s a good question.

Increased Home Value

One of the lesser-known benefits of going solar is that it can increase a home’s value. Solar homes, after all, have dramatically lower utility bills than comparable houses. That’s worth a lot. So, if someone decides to move, they can simply add the value of the system into the asking price of their home.

There’s lots of evidence to support that solar increases property value.

From 2018-2019, homes with solar energy systems sold for 4.1% more on average than comparable homes without solar power. For the median-valued home, that translates to an additional $9,274.

The sale premium varies substantially by market. In Riverside, CA, for example, homes with solar energy systems sold for 2.7% more than comparable homes without solar power—a markup of $9,926 for the median-valued home in the metro. In Greater New York City, solar-powered homes have a premium that is double that of Riverside. At 5.4%, that’s an extra $23,989 in value for the typical home in New York. (Source: https://www.zillow.com/research/solar-panels-house-sell-more-23798/)

Most homeowners know that solar panels reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. Those long-term savings help boost your home’s property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), your home value increases by $20 for every $1 you save on energy bills. For example, if your solar energy system saves you $700 per year, the value of your home increases by $14,000.

Real estate agents and home appraisers have found that this also increases your market value when selling your home. A 2021 Zillow housing trends report found that 67% of homebuyers considered energy efficiency to be a “very to extremely important” inclusion for a potential home. Homebuyers are willing to pay $15,000 or more for a solar-powered home, according to a large-scale solar home study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). (Source: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/reviews/solar/do-solar-panels-increase-home-value)

It’s important to understand that these studies mainly look at cases where the homeowner is also the owner of the solar panel system. In other words, a financed solar system, or one paid for with cash, almost certainly adds value to a home. It’s unclear if a third-party owned system (lease or power purchase agreement) will do the same.


At Sungage, we want to help as many homeowners go solar as we can. Providing flexibility when a homeowner needs to move is just another way we’re doing that.

First, you can simply use the proceeds of your home sale to payoff your solar loan. Alternatively, your buyer could pay off the remainder of your solar loan or roll it into their new mortgage. With either of these options, you can obtain a payoff quote by emailing solarloanservice@nbtbank.com. You’ll need to authorize the action you’ve chosen. The bank will send you a quote via email with terms regarding the release of the equipment lien after the payoff. Later, you’ll need to contact the servicing bank at solarloanservice@nbtbank.com to inform them of your decision.

Another option is to have your buyer apply for a transfer of the solar equipment ownership, which is subject to a $250 processing fee and an increased interest rate.* This will involve a new credit application with a soft credit pull so there will be no impact to the applicant’s credit report. If this is the path that’s best for you, both you and your buyer should email customerservice@sungagefinancial.com to get the process started.

*All loans and transfers are subject to credit approval and not all will qualify. The transfer may be effectuated if the buyer qualifies for a loan with NBT Bank; the proceeds of which would pay off your original loan. The new loan would be subject to a fee and a rate increase of 5% or more, not to exceed 9.99% APR or the current rate, whichever is higher. The fee is payable by the seller/current borrower. This material has been prepared for general informational purposes, and we encourage you to review the terms of your particular loan documents to be familiar with loan transfer options that may be available when selling your home.

Additional Questions?

For more information on transferability of a solar loan, please feel free to call us anytime at 844-SUNGAGE (786-4243) or use our live chat.