How Much Does It Cost To Remove Solar Panels?

Removing Solar Panels From Roof

While solar panels can last upwards of 25 years, most roofs last around 12-15 years. This means you’ll likely need to briefly remove your solar panels to repair or replace your roof, or you may want to install new panels. How much can you expect to pay to remove your solar panels?

In general, removing solar panels costs between $1,800 and $2,200. If the solar panels are re-installed, costs may be higher. C​osts vary widely depending on location and size of solar array.

T​he Price Of Removing Solar Panels

T​he costs involved with removing solar panels depends on how complicated the procedure is. Here are some reasons you might be removing your panels and what you can expect to pay for each service.

R​emoving And Reinstalling For Roof Repairs

I​n some cases, a roofing contractor may be able to work around the solar panels on your roof. If you have a small section of your roof leaking on a section separate from your panels, for example, the contractor may be able to leave the solar panels alone.

H​owever, if repairs are needed near the site of the solar panels, some or all of them will likely need to be removed so the contractor can safely do their job. The same is true if you are replacing your roof.

A​ccording to Home Advisor, you can expect to pay around $1,500 to have your solar panels removed and replaced after your roof repairs are complete. This lower price is because it’s a simple project…the panels don’t need to be repaired or transported anywhere, just moved temporarily.

R​emoving And Replacing With New Solar Panels

I​f you’ve had your solar panels for many years, there will come a time when they need to be replaced. This is by far the most costly removal, as you must cover the cost of a new set of solar panels.

T​o remove the old solar panels, you’ll need to pay about $1,800 to $2,000. After the panels are removed, they need to be transported and recycled or destroyed.

Then, of course, you’ll need to pay for new solar panels. Including the cost of installing these new panels, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. While this price seems steep, you’ll save on energy costs for the next 20 to 30 years.

R​emoving Without Replacing

I​f you’ve decided to remove your solar panels and not replace them (such as if you’re moving or have decided not to use solar power any longer), you’ll pay anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500. Because the panels won’t be reinstalled, the roof will need to be repaired…hence the extra cost.

O​ther Factors That Affect The Price Of Removing Solar Panels

N​o matter the reason for removing solar panels from your roof, there are other factors that will dictate the cost of taking the solar panels down:

  • Type of Roof – Both the material and slope of your roof will factor into the cost of removing your solar panels. The more steep and slippery your roof, the more safety equipment will be needed.
  • Number of Solar Panels – If you only have one or two solar panels, you’ll pay significantly less to have them removed than if you had five panels. Each additional panel requires extra time and resources to remove.
  • Age of your System and Panels – Solar installation has changed over time. Older systems require more manual labor to uninstall, while newer systems can often be easily removed.
  • Size of your Panels – Larger panels may require extra help and safety equipment to remove.
  • P​ossible Repairs – If the solar panel mounting has damaged your roof, it’ll need to be repaired, even if the solar panels will be reinstalled. The hardware on your solar panels may also be old and damaged, so it’s wise to replace them as the panels are reinstalled.

O​f course, the best way to find out how much it will cost to remove your solar panels is to talk to a solar professional in your area. A licensed professional will be able to take a look at your solar panels, consider all the many factors that go into removing them, and give you an accurate quote.

W​ho Is Qualified To Remove Solar Panels?

T​o reduce costs, you may wonder if homeowners are qualified to remove solar panels. However, solar panels are too complex to be uninstalled by someone who isn’t a professional.

S​olar panels are large and cumbersome. There are also electrical connections that need to be properly handled. Because of this, it’s best to hire a professional to remove your solar panels.

N​ot all roofing companies are willing to remove solar panels. If you find a licensed roofer who will, though, they should be able to get the job done. Many newer solar panels have an easy-to-understand mounting system that roofers can handle.

I​f you’re removing and replacing your solar panels, though, you’ll need to hire a solar contractor to do the work. The new solar panels will need a licensed solar contractor to set them up properly and make sure they are operating safely and efficiently.

W​hether you decide to use a general contractor, roofing company, or solar company to remove your solar panels, you’ll need to be sure they have the proper licenses. Many municipalities require a special permit to handle solar panels. In order to receive the permit, the contractor must have a Solar, Electrical, or General Contractors License. 

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