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Renting a house with solar

Easteral 42 29 April 23, 2016 at 10:17 PM
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Anyone have any experience with renting a house with solar? I have a 1300 sq ft house with 33 solar panels I want to rent. I currently live in the house and for our needs the energy created surpasses what we use (got a 53$ credit from the pg&e in Oct. at .04 a kilowatt) . Do you charge the tenant based on what they use? Would I simply up the monthly rent and give the tenant free electricity? What if the tenant was to surpass the amount of energy created? How does that work with the PG&E - I mean who's name does the bill come to? If it is in the tenants name, would the tenant then receive the .04$ a kilowatt generated by my panels? I doubt I could have the pge simply charge a tenant their normal rate and deduct the difference from the bill at my new house. Any advise is appreciated. Thanks.

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#2
If you're going to supply pg&e, then over charge and return nothing. No reason to cut it close.

I would be worried about if anything would be in a new "contract" with them putting utilities in their name. If you were to return living there, would you lose anything?

I know utilities aren't all that happy giving refunds/credits for solar (power generation/distribution fees)
They want people with solar to pay the same fees they do.
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#3
to me, it seems the simplest way would be to increase the amount you'll rent it for. I'd base it on my yearly average without solar and add 10-20% since you won't know how much they average for a while. I think it would be a pain in the ass to try to figure it out monthly. If the renter's usage is equal to yours, then you'll have a few extra $ in your pocket. But, if they like to leave all the lights and tv's on 24/7 and keep the AC set to max cold for comfort of their pet penguins they get right after they move in, you might be screwed!
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#4
Quote from Easteral View Post :
Anyone have any experience with renting a house with solar? I have a 1300 sq ft house with 33 solar panels I want to rent. I currently live in the house and for our needs the energy created surpasses what we use (got a 53$ credit from the pg&e in Oct. at .04 a kilowatt) . Do you charge the tenant based on what they use? Would I simply up the monthly rent and give the tenant free electricity? What if the tenant was to surpass the amount of energy created? How does that work with the PG&E - I mean who's name does the bill come to? If it is in the tenants name, would the tenant then receive the .04$ a kilowatt generated by my panels? I doubt I could have the pge simply charge a tenant their normal rate and deduct the difference from the bill at my new house. Any advise is appreciated. Thanks.
Treat it like any other rental. Either utilities are included in rent or they're not. If they are, increase rent by whatever you feel is reasonable to cover the potential cost of their electric usage. If they aren't, the renter pays whatever they owe - and gets the credit if they don't use too much. The tenant would get the bill in that case, just like they would if you didn't have solar. I'm sure you can call PG&E to let them know its a rental property and to switch the billing address / name when the tenant calls to set up utilities. When the tenant calls to switch back upon moving out, the billing name / address would revert to you at your permanent address. Nothing new there.

I would think that if you did not include utilities with rent, but indicated that there was solar at the house (with the possibility of a credit for low usage), demand (and therefore rent) would be higher. When I rented, I always hated rentals that included utilities in the rent, since I was likely getting charged more for my usage than I would otherwise (and with little incentive to conserve). With me paying the utilities, I was in complete control of that portion of my monthly expenses.
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#5
You should get any electrical credit and the renters should pay for all the electricity they use. You installed the panels at a cost and you should get the benefit of the panels. There is no reason at all to give the tenants the electricity for free. Does PG&E give you free electricity? Furthermore, you should be charging whatever the rate from PG&E is and not the credit amount that you get.
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#6
the fairest way is to just explain about the panels and that you don't want to change the name on the account they will be responsible for any charges and have 10 days after you notify them of the bill. My daughter is in an apartment where water and another utility is shared they say they take the bill and divide it by the number of people in the unit and the sq footage you have 10 days to pay that bill.

you can charge more for rent and say XX average KW free/month
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Last edited by komondor April 25, 2016 at 11:22 AM
#7
Quote from komondor View Post :
the fairest way is to just explain about the panels and that you don't want to change the name on the account they will be responsible for any charges and have 10 days after you notify them of the bill. My daughter is in an apartment where water and another utility is shared they say they take the bill and divide it by the number of people in the unit and the sq footage you have 10 days to pay that bill.

you can charge more for rent and say XX average KW free/month
My town has an ordinance where the owner has to pay the water. Few people I know do it the way your daughter does the water.

I wouldn't do it this way.
For one, lets say they don't pay and you decide to evict them. You can't turn the electric off (or water) without it turning into retaliation.
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#8
Well your town could well be the minority but hard to go by 3 experiences, my Daughter has lived in Boulder and Denver in apartments both charged a split for water and garbage.

If they have their own electric account how could you turn that off and if you don't supply electricity that could be considered constructive eviction?

If they don't pay the rent you follow the law to the letter and evict them as soon as you can nothing more or less.
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#9
Quote from stufine View Post :
My town has an ordinance where the owner has to pay the water. Few people I know do it the way your daughter does the water.

I wouldn't do it this way.
For one, lets say they don't pay and you decide to evict them. You can't turn the electric off (or water) without it turning into retaliation.
The owner has to pay, or the owner is responsible for? In most places, the homeowner is responsible for any water bills since water companies are typically run by the government.
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#10
You should definitely take into account the cost you have into the system. That should be placed in the rent and the renters should help payoff the system.

It won't really matter if the utilities are in your name or theirs if you just accommodate for the cost in the rent. I've seen it both ways -- sometimes utilities included is not appealing and other times it is.

Me personally, I'd probably take into account the systems depreciation and upkeep expenses and average out a decent amount of utilization and have it all-inclusive. But everyone might handle this differently. Basically the whole point is that you should be covering your costs of the system with your rent, however you want to do it. Getting a few bucks back from the electric company here shouldn't be the issue at hand.
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#11
I've never been a landlord but will say as a renter, when utilities were included, my place was 80 in the winter and 65 in the summer.
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