If you’ve leased a solar system from Tesla and you’ve now decided to sell your home, you may wonder how to transfer it or if you can. The good news is you can transfer it, and the process is pretty simple but varies depending upon refinancing or selling a home.
Here are some key points I’ll cover in this article:
- How to transfer your Tesla solar lease
- How to get out of Tesla’s solar contract
- How the Tesla solar panel lease program works
- If leased solar panels are worth it
- Whether it’s better to lease or buy solar panels.
- Whether you can sell your house with leased solar panels
- Whether you can cancel your solar contract before installation.
How do I transfer my solar lease?
You may have to follow two different processes depending on if you’re selling your house or just refinancing it.
When selling your house:
Contact the Tesla solar team according to the agreement you have.
In the case of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or a lease, you should:
- Log into the Tesla website.
- Select “Transfer your system” from the “selling your home” section.
- Choose a transfer status.
- Enter the Buyer and Escrow details.
Please note only the owner of the system can start the selling process. Contact Tesla’s system owner if you are a buyer or escrow agent.
For MyPower Loans, Tesla Loans, or subscriptions, submit the real estate transaction request form.
When refinancing your house:
Please follow these steps based on the Tesla solar system contract type:
For people with power purchase agreements (PPAs) or leases:
- Log into the Tesla website.
- Select “Request documents” from the “Refinancing Your Home” section.
- Choose the necessary documents. Tesla charges a $150 document processing fee for temporary UCC-1 releases.
Only system owners can ask for the refinance documents with Tesla. Contact the system owner to request the refinance documents if you are the lender.
The system owner should request a real estate transaction if they have a MyPower Loan.
Other property transactions
If you need assistance with other property transactions, fill out the real estate transaction request form.
Are leased solar panels transferable?
Yes, you follow one of the processes outlined above to transfer them. Be aware, though, that if a buyer finds out a house has leased solar panels, they may not want to take on the lease, or they may have a hard time qualifying for the solar lease and the mortgage.
How do I transfer my solar panels to a new owner?
If you’ve sold your home and want to transfer your solar panels to a new owner, follow these steps:
Contact the appropriate team depending on the contract you have for your Tesla solar system. Contact their customer support team if your system was purchased with cash or financed with a third-party loan.
Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and leases:
- Log into your Tesla account.
- Click on “Transfer your system” under the “selling your home” section.
- Select the transfer status.
- Enter the Buyer and Escrow details.
Please note only system owners can start a home sale. If you are the buyer or escrow, contact the system owner to start a home sale with Tesla.
How do I get out of a Tesla solar contract?
You can get out of Tesla’s solar panel contract two different ways:
If you have a non-subscription contract, you can cancel your contract within three days of signing or as otherwise detailed in the agreement. If you have a subscription, you can cancel at any time, but you’re subject to your contract’s terms and conditions.
If you return your system after installation, be aware of the following:
- You must notify Tesla about your cancelation request in writing within seven calendar days after it has taken effect. You must sign the Return Declaration before Tesla removes the system or gives any refunds.
- After Tesla removes the system, they’ll seal any penetrations they made to your home, but they will not complete any cosmetic repairs.
- After removing the system, they will provide a one-year warranty for their roof penetrations.
- They won’t charge any fees for restocking the equipment.
- Any costs incurred to prepare the customer’s home for installation, such as a main panel upgrade, transformer upgrade, or roof work, are the homeowner’s responsibility and will not be refunded. If they paid for the upgrades to your home and you chose to return the system under their return policy, then you will receive an invoice for the costs.
Can I buy out my Tesla solar lease?
Lease customers can’t purchase their system unless their lease agreement explicitly says that it is an option. They should review the details of their contract through their Tesla Account to confirm if their lease gives them a buyout option.
How long does it take to transfer a solar lease?
Tesla takes about 15 days to transfer a solar lease from one buyer to another.
How much does it cost to remove leased solar panels?
When the program first started, Tesla charged a $1500 removal fee; however, in September 2019, they decided to waive the $1,500 removal fee for anyone who subscribed in the month of September, then changed the removal fee to $2500 in April, 2020. Now, they don’t charge anything to remove the solar panels.
What happens when a solar lease ends?
When a solar lease ends, you can choose to purchase a system if you want to or have it uninstalled completely.
How does the Tesla solar panel lease work?
Tesla’s solar panel lease program allowed customers to install solar with no upfront cost or long-term contract commitment. It gave customers in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Massachusets, New Jersey, and New Mexico three pre-set options for installing solar on their homes:
- A small 3.8-kilowatt installation for $50 a month
- A medium 7.6-kilowatt installation for $100 a month
- A large 11.4-kilowatt installation for $150 a month.
The program initially included a $1500 solar panel removal clause. However, Tesla updated the terms to remove that cancellation fee, so the rental program truly had no long-term commitment.
Are leased solar panels worth it?
No, leased solar panels are not worth it. There are better options, like getting a loan from the Federal Housing Authority or a traditional loan from your bank. Solar leasing might not be the right choice because:
- Homeowners don’t own the system; another company owns it and can repossess it if you don’t pay.
- Homeowners can’t claim the federal solar tax credit or any state and local energy incentives. Those belong to the leasing company.
- Homeowners will see lower returns than they would if they choose to borrow money for their system because Tesla can choose to increase payments every year. That means if you’re paying 12 cents per kilowatt hour the first year, if the price goes up 3 percent, you’ll pay 18.2 cents 15 years later.
Is it hard to sell a house with leased solar panels?
Leasing solar panels may hinder the sale of a home. When potential buyers learn that a house already has solar leases, they may be scared. They are required to meet challenging credit standards and pay for the remaining lease term, which can last from 10 to 20 years.
Panels with leased terms can often turn buyers away or force you to buy out the lease in order to sell your home. Buying solar panels outright, on the other hand, can increase the value of a home.
Can you sell your house if you have solar panels?
You can, but as mentioned above, it can be more complicated if you’re leasing the solar panels rather than if you own them outright.
Can I cancel my solar contract before installation?
Yes, you can usually get out of a solar contract before the panels are installed. There may be cancellation penalties if you do, but you can generally cancel your solar lease if the solar panels haven’t been installed yet or it’s been less than a month since you signed your contract.
Tesla solar panels transfer of ownership
If Tesla owns the system, it’s best to transfer the agreement to the new homeowner using the steps outlined above. After the transfer is completed, the new owner continues where the previous one left off.
People who want to explore other options outside of transferring can refer to their contract’s terms, which they can find in their Tesla Account.
If the homeowner owns the system, they do not need to transfer the contract. The warranties remain with it and automatically transfer. Once the home sells, contact the Property and Title team so Tesla can update their account.
Tesla solar lease agreement Tesla solar lease agreements are no longer available as an option. Current leaseholders have a fixed payment that may go up every year – they’ll have to check their contract to find out if it does. They can buy the system only when stipulated in the lease agreement.