Solar + New roof in House Hack

3 Replies

Hi all,

My wife and I are buying a duplex in San Diego and house hacking. The place needs a new roof and electrical upgrades, and we're thinking of bundling that all into a solar upgrade at the same time. This will be a house hack where we rent out the other unit, but then eventually will move on and rent out both units.

So, I have a few questions for the expert investors and landlords out there:

  1. Since we need to replace the roof anyways, we're thinking of doing solar shingles instead of doing the roof and putting panels on top. Does anyone have experience doing solar shingles when replacing the roof? Does it make financial sense over a traditional roof + panels? Any special considerations with the solar shingles?
  2. We will have the solar tied into the panel for our unit. However, when we move out, I want to make sure the financial payback is still valuable. What do you think the best way to get pay back on the solar investment is when renting out that unit? Increase rent and advertise the solar as a benefit to reduce tenant's expenses? Or say utilities are included, with a monthly cap (say $50 or less) above which the tenant would pay the difference? Any other creative ideas?

We are passionate about getting solar, but also want it to be a good financial choice. I figure we're not the only ones who have thought of doing this, so any wisdom from you all is greatly appreciated!

- Dave

@David Lyons

Not an expert but I do have solar with the same utility provider. I guess my questions are what electrical upgrades do you need on the duplex? Have you had quotes for the electrical upgrade, roof, and the solar tiles? Have you compared the cost to see how much the difference is?

I also would study both meter consumption history and see how many panels you need to supply your needs for both units. You might have spare kwh to use for ev charging if youre interested in an ev car.

The only downside I see when including electric in the rent is the TOU. kWh are usually pricey during on peak hours, and if they decide to use the ac and do laundry during those times then you might surprised by your electric bill.

Originally posted by @Wesley I. :

The only downside I see when including electric in the rent is the TOU. 

I would never include any utilities in the rent, especially electric. Had a friend with an all-electric rental house...when she finally told this horrible tweaker tenant that he had to go, he started leaving on everything in the house 24/7. Nothing she could do about it, and it took her 9 months to get him removed. She lost thousands and thousands on the electric alone....