Solar Panels Asset or Liability Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Boulder City

Solar Panels: Asset or Liability?

NVAR-Logo.jpgYou found the perfect house for your clients. It even has solar panels! Great, right?

Maybe. Maybe not.

On the surface, it's a great deal: NV Energy purchases the homeowner's solar power at retail rate, and the credits from that purchase are used for the homeowner's power consumption when the sun isn't shining.

Here's the first hiccup: NV Energy had a cap for that rate passed by the Legislature in 2015. A new reimbursement rate under consideration by the Public Utility Commission (PUC) is currently being developed and will be in place by January 1, 2016. So starting next year, NV Energy will purchase solar power at a rate lower than retail - but if a homeowner needs to purchase power from NV Energy when the sun isn't shining, he will buy at the retail rate.

Then there's the question of who owns the panels... Your potential buyers need to find out whether those solar panels are leased or owned.

Leased Panels:

May be a concern for resale - the new owners must accept the lease terms, otherwise the leasing company will remove the panels. Leased panels are not an asset included in the purchase of the home.
No money down to get the solar panels could mean instant savings for the homeowner.
The leasing company, not the owners, gets the rebates and tax incentives.
Solar leasing option may disappear after January 1, 2016, due to the change in the rate of reimbursement from NV Energy.
Purchased Panels:

May be an asset for resale - the new owners get the asset as part of the purchase and have little or no power bill from the start.
Owners must have cash to purchase the panels initially (or finance them).
Owners get the rebates and tax incentives.
As always, buyer beware! Encourage your clients to educate themselves about the pros and cons of solar panels, and the ownership status of those panels.

This article was contributed by the National Association of Realtors

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