In recent times, there’s been a noticeable uptick in the interest around used solar panels, and a lot of this buzz is motivated by financial concerns. Let’s face it, while the vision of a solar-powered future is compelling and ecologically sound, the upfront costs can make some of us gulp. Just to give you an idea, a shiny new ten kilowatt (kW) solar panel system might set you back about $20,350 post-taxes. And then, there’s this term you’ll often hear: the solar payback period.
It’s the duration for which you wait before the savings on your energy bills match what you initially shelled out, which can be a stretch of nine to twelve years. The idea of waiting that long, combined with the steep startup cost, can make some prospective buyers hesitate.
This might lead you to wonder, is there a way to go solar without denting your wallet? Well, just as with many things in life, there’s always the option of going the pre-owned route. Investing in used solar panels can be a savvy way to harness the sun’s power without burning a hole in your pocket. However, and this is crucial, it’s not about just grabbing any old panel. It’s about being informed.
Just because a panel is used doesn’t mean it’s past its prime, but it’s vital to know its past performance, current condition, and efficiency. If you’re someone looking to make the switch to solar, but your purse strings are a tad tight, the used panel market might be worth exploring. Yet, the mantra remains: do your homework and make sure you’re truly getting bang for your buck.
Refurbished Solar Panels
Refurbished solar panels are your best option as they have been reconditioned to working conditions. They might cost a little more than used solar panels, but they are worth it and come with a warranty. You can gauge the performance of used solar panels as their output deteriorates by 0.5% every year.
Used Solar Panels
Any solar panel used previously by a business, utility company, or a person comes under this category. Even those solar panels that were brought but never installed are considered used. The only difference between used solar panels is their time of use and condition. You can easily find the right seller and a used solar panel in good condition.
Used or Refurbished Solar Panels?
You can either go for used or refurbished solar panels. To help you decide, we have compiled their pros and cons.
Refurbished solar panels cost more than used ones but 50%-70% less than new solar panels.
This is because they have been restored to an acceptable working state. On the other hand, used solar panels are a mix of heavily used and “like new” panels. Ultimately, it is your choice to understand all the workings of both types of panels and decide which one will work according to your budget.
Refurbished panels can perform like new ones but cannot outlast new panels in a lifetime. Used panels might have deteriorated performance in comparison to refurbished ones. You can take care of them to make them last longer.
Refurbished solar panels come with a refurbished warranty sometimes. The warranty might be shorter than a new solar panel’s warranty. Warranties can range from three months to nine years. Used solar panels have warranties that are transferable from the old owner to the new one. Used solar panels sold online or in a marketplace usually have no warranties.
Choose a reliable solar installer capable of handling such projects. Working on solar panels is tricky, so many installers do not want to install used solar panels. DIY installations are another hurdle if you want to do the installation yourself.
You must assess the risks and get a permit to install a panel. After this, a local inspector will visit and check if everything is working correctly. However, you need the correct knowledge for installing your solar panel.
Understand what you’re buying and research the best market rates. Don’t just go for offers because they look cheap and attractive. Go for quality solar panels that will last. Buy the ones that won’t make you regret your purchase later on.
If you are undecided on refurbished or used solar panels, go for refurbished ones because they might cost a little more, but they will help you in the long run. Investing in new solar panels is advisable if you’re going for a long-term solar commitment. They may not be cheap, but some upfront costs can be waived.