There’s a knock at your door. Great, you think. Another salesperson.
But instead of asking you for money, the person promises to pay you instead. All you have to do is allow them to use your roof — but for a good cause. You can get paid by renting your roof to a solar energy company and helping create clean energy.
Should you do it?
That’s what a listener of the Clark Howard Podcast recently asked.
Should I Rent My Roof To a Solar Company?
Should I rent my roof to a solar panel company that’s willing to pay me?
That’s what a Clark listener wanted to know on the April 10 podcast episode.
Asked John in California: “I live in Los Angeles. The L.A. department of water and power offers a program where they will pay me up to $240 per year to rent my roof for solar panels.
“I don’t feel buying solar is right for me since I am less than 10 years from retirement and will move out of L.A. at that time. To be a part of this program, there is no cost to me and the only thing is I have to agree to stay in it for one year and then I can have the panels removed from my house if I want to.
“While I don’t get direct benefit from these panels, the extra $240 per year would help offset my higher power bills in the summer. Plus I would help in creating green power for the city. Is there any downside to this program I am not thinking of?”
Yes, there is, Clark says. Getting $240 a year is a small amount of money when you’re risking damage to your roof. Damage that you may not be able to prove they caused or get compensated for.
“I know it’s appealing for the $240 to come into your wallet each year,” Clark says. “[But] when you lease your roof for $20 a month, if the roof is damaged in any way, how do you prove it? And how do you get a municipal entity to pay for the damage done to your roof?”
If the city gives you a great answer on what happens if they damage your roof, Clark says, you can consider it. Otherwise, let this opportunity pass you by.
Clark Likes Solar Panels in General
John is the third person that Clark remembers asking him about renting or leasing their roof to a company that wants to install solar panels.
Despite his skepticism about the deal that Los Angeles is offering John, he’s a big fan of solar energy in general.
“Solar is absolutely awesome and it is a way underutilized thing for residential situations,” Clark says.
“But fortunately, we are installing solar at a very high rate in the country and every panel that we install, particularly the utility-scale solar, reduces the amount of energy of traditional kinds we have to use to keep the grid up and running.”
Getting solar panels installed that you own is a different decision. Here’s what to know if you’re wondering whether solar panels are worth your money.
Cities and companies may offer to lease your roof for money. They want to install solar panels and create energy.
However, you are putting yourself at financial risk for a relatively small amount of money. It’s not cheap to repair or replace a roof. And if you’re not careful, you risk one of these entities damaging your roof and leaving you on the hook for the damage.