What Is a Service Transfer?

What Is a Service Transfer?

Updated December 29, 2021

Home buying is a stressful process. If you have a power purchase agreement, you may wonder how this impacts your home’s sale and what happens to the solar energy system afterward. 

A service transfer is a contractual process of transferring a solar energy system and agreement from one homeowner to another. So when you sell your home with rooftop solar panels, you can transfer your agreement to the new owner.

A service transfer is most successful when all parties involved are familiar with the benefits of solar energy systems and actively communicate with one another. This article will explain how to transfer your solar service.

Selling a Home with a Solar Energy System

To make the transition as smooth as possible, start by speaking with your solar energy system developer before listing your home. This allows your realtor and solar energy system developer to discuss the solar energy service and the terms of the power purchase agreement beforehand. 

Your developer can also review any stipulations that may be in your agreement regarding service transfers. Some of these stipulations may include advance notice and a minimum credit score of the new potential homeowner.


A contingency is fairly commonplace in the real estate market. It simply means that the home’s sale is dependent on other circumstances. In this case, you can ask that the solar power purchase agreement transfer be contingent upon the sale of a home. While there may be some initial hesitancy from the buyer, some studies indicate that buyers generally decide to take on the solar lease. 

Transferring the solar service passes the same benefits of solar energy to the new homeowner, including low fixed-rate electricity, professional monitoring, and free system maintenance. Additionally, a pre-existing solar energy system could increase the home’s value, and sometimes, it lends itself to a quicker sale. 

The actual service transfer is straightforward. Once the buyer agrees to the contingency, both the seller and buyer sign the service transfer paperwork.  The buyer may be required to submit a credit application. After the sale of the home is finalized, provide the developer with confirmation that the home’s title has changed. 

Buyer Uninterested in Service Transfer 

If for any reason your buyer does not want solar energy service, negotiations are the next recourse. As the signer of the power purchase agreement, you will likely be required to prepay for the remainder of your service. This incurred cost can be added to your home’s cost, resulting in a higher selling price. 

The solar panels will remain on the home’s roof until the end of the agreement. Once the contract reaches its term, the developer will remove the solar energy system. The homeowner will not be charged for the removal of the system.

Keeping Your Solar Panels

Another option is keeping your solar panels. Some homeowners choose to purchase their solar panels and move them to their new homes. If you pick this route, you will need to hire professionals to remove the system and install them at your new residence. 

Keeping your solar panels is a costly option. Consult with your developer to calculate the viability of your solar panel. Your developer can help determine the cost of re-installation. 

Solar panel removal alone could cost $400-$600. You will also need to prepare your new roof for installation. Above the removal and reinstallation action cost, you will also need to pay any associated transportation fees. In total, you could end up paying as much as $2,200 to move the solar panels from one home to another after you purchase them.

Selecting a Realtor and Appraiser

With more and more homes going solar, service transfers will become more common. If possible, work with realtors and appraisers actively familiar with solar-powered homes. 

An appraiser properly educated in evaluating a solar energy system can add a green energy addendum to your appraisal. Furthermore, the Solar Energy Industries Association can assist with the appraisal process. 

You can access the National Association of Realtors to find realtors who have Green Designation, who may have experience with solar energy systems.

A Smooth Service Transmission

A service transfer allows a homeowner to transfer the solar energy system agreement to a new homeowner upon sale of the home. Ideally, this is the best solution when your home has solar panels installed on the roof, but other options are also available. 

A successful service transfer allows homeowners to continue harnessing solar energy to power their homes, helping to save the climate while saving money simultaneously.