Who Owns Your Solar Panels?

What a funny question! You do, of course. Or do you?

It may not be so clear and confusion in the solar panel world these days is actually understandable. So let’s see if we can’t help shed some light on this and see who actually does own your solar panels.

If you own your panels, you should have a paid receipt. It should have been given to you when you handed over the last of any money due to the installer. In Arizona, you should also have been given a Statement of Warranty, Statement of Certification and Verification of Performance. If you do not have these things, call your installer right away and get them. There is a sneaky thing called a mechanics lien that pops up from time to time if your installer hasn’t paid their suppliers. If you doubt whether your panels are yours and you don’t trust your installer any more, it might be a good idea to get something called a “release of lien” from the installers suppliers. Your installer’s paid receipts for your panels and inverter probably will be okay. A letter from the supplier also could work for this.

This advice might be construed as being legal consultation and since SkyPower is not a law firm, you should contact one just to make sure that this is correct and pertains to you.

You’ll need these papers to file your taxes properly and also when you sell your house so put them in that place with your special stuff like passports and car titles.

If you are using a loan to pay for your panels, you still own them and should have all the ownership papers someplace. The bank or loan holder might be keeping the receipt of some sort of title document, but you should still be the owner.

Now, it is absolutely possible that you don’t own the panels. You might be leasing them (Solar City owns them?) in which case, you should have a lease that shows what you pay and what you get. It would also show what it might cost to own the panels and when you have to pay this. Good idea to have this ready with your other stuff if you want to sell your house.

Another variation is a PPA or Power Purchase Agreement where you will never own the panels. Someone else owns them and sells the power to you for something less (presumably, otherwise why do it?) than the going rate at the power company. Here, you’ll need to understand what you must pay and how to sell your house with someone else’s panels on it.

The common theme here is this … the owner of the panels gets the tax credits. The user gets the electric power. The homeowner needs to know what to do when the house is sold and everyone needs to be sure that title is passed from the installer and their suppliers.

… and you thought owning solar panels was simple?


If you have any questions, please call Jay Leopold at 480-290-2040 or email Jay at jay@skypoweraz.com.

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