Installing solar panels is one of those financial decisions that homeowners avoid rushing. This is because it often costs a hefty sum, even though it eventually pays off in the long run.
And if you’ll be investing such a substantial amount in this technology, you would naturally worry about its security. And rightly so!
The theft rate of solar panels is rising because even the criminal-minded are aware of their value. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect your property. Stick around to learn how to secure solar panels from theft.
Can Solar Panels be Stolen?
Your concern that solar panels can be stolen is valid. Solar technology is a valuable piece of property that can cost thousands of dollars. It may happen only rarely, but it happens.
Recent surveys claim that thieves are now robbing people of their solar panels. And north of $400,000 worth of solar technology has been stolen within a few years. Fortunately, a significant percentage has already been recovered.
Solar panels are installed outside because they need access to enough sunshine to charge efficiently. So, they’re often affixed to the roof of the home or garage or mounted on the ground.
These positions leave the solar panels, your valuable investment, exposed. However, you can protect your investment through many hacks.
Your solar panels may be insured under the homeowners’ insurance policy; that can protect your investment and secure your mind from this pandemic.
Solar panels can be stolen, and the rampancy at which it occurs is alarming. However, the smart and prepared solar PV system owner can deter attempts from thieves.
13 Smart Ways to Protect Solar Panels From Theft
Everyone knows that solar panels are costly, which increases their risk of theft. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve the safety of your investment. Your options are:
1. Use a solar panel lock
When installing solar panels, theft is one of the main issues you should consider. Fortunately, solar panel locks are a reliable way to protect your solar panels.
These security devices consist of aluminum wire and a locker that anyone would have difficulty breaking.
When you buy the right type, you have the assurance that it will be more challenging for thieves to walk away with them. There are many options in the market, but a professional can help you determine the most suitable one.
2. Motion sensor lights
This is almost already an unspoken rule for solar panel owners. When installing this technology in your home, you must install motion sensor lights.
They come on at the slightest movement, creating a pretty uncomfortable environment for any unscrupulous individual. And since most criminals will attempt to steal solar panels in the dark, this is a great way to deter them.
3. Install the panels on the roof
Apart from the extreme inconvenience, anyone would go through when attempting to steal the panels from the roof, installing them up high also makes them inconspicuous.
This is safer than mounting them on the ground, even if there’s an anti-theft system. So, as much as possible, buy solar panels that can be installed on the roof.
But solar panel locks will do if you’re buying flexible solar panels or other products that cannot be mounted on the roof.
4. Take care of the panels
If your solar panels accumulate dirt, grime, and twigs, it won’t be just their efficiency that’s affected. This can also convey the wrong message that the owners are negligent of their property.
But when they’re clean, thieves would know there are watchful eyes.
5. Solicit your neighbors
Your neighbors can also help you watch over your solar panels. If they’ll be home more often than you, ask them to look for strange movements around your property.
6. Link the racks
Linking the panels makes it difficult for anyone to attempt stealing them. You can use nylon-coated wire to connect the solar panels and lock with a strong padlock afterward.
7. Connect the panels to an alarm system
While this may increase the price you’ll pay for your photovoltaic technology; it is much cheaper than trying to replace it. An alarm system will make some noise when unauthorized entities tamper with it, and they’ll leave the area before the police arrive.
But if you can’t afford an alarm system, you can just put up a sign that suggests you have one anyway. Perhaps a warning stating that an alarm protects the solar system, thieves beware. At the very least, this will cause them to have a rethink.
8. Use a fence for your compound
When your compound is fenced, it would be difficult for anyone to break through it. It would be one hell of a job to climb over your fence and roof, only to have to climb over both structures again to make away with the solar panels.
This may be expensive to protect your investment, but it works.
9. Make it difficult
Even when affixing your solar panels to your home’s roof, we don’t recommend leaving a suitable environment for unwanted visitors to climb. Make it difficult for thieves by engraving your initials on your solar panels.
You can also avoid leaving your ladder outside after use. The less-than-scrupulous in society is always lurking around to take advantage of the unsuspecting. And the one thing they do is plan. If you provide an ideal opportunity for them, they’ll take it.
10. Invest in security cameras
We seriously doubt anyone would want to steal something when there are watchful eyes nearby. Security cameras are a great technology that can help you keep track of your investment.
There are many options in the market. Some even allow you to access HD videos from anywhere in the world. So even if criminals do make away with your solar panels, finding them won’t be a hassle.
11. Get insurance coverage
Insurance is your chance at peace of mind as a proud solar tech owner. You need solar panel insurance to indemnify you against theft and damage of these thousand-dollar investments.
The right coverage ensures that your insurance provider repays you for the damage or purchase of a new one.
12. Avoid talking about the price
Talking about the price of your solar panels will increase the chances of theft. It is no longer a secret that solar panels are a worthy investment, but you’ll undoubtedly attract unwanted attention if too many people know how much it costs.
13. Manual vigils
If there has been news about stolen solar panels in your area, you can add a manual watch to your arsenal. The easiest option is employing a group of night watchmen to take turns securing the premises.
What are Some Anti-theft Tools For Solar Panels?
The rampancy of stolen PV systems will undoubtedly put some fear in the hearts of solar panel owners. Fortunately, you can use many tools to frustrate the efforts of these robbers.
An old and gold way to prevent your solar panels from getting stolen is to put a flock of goats or noisy animals in the area. This works if you’re a livestock lover – it’s relatively easy and cheap to put up a pen or even chicken-wire home for these creatures.
Rest assured that anyone who wants to try something funny will meet a herd of loud animals.
Immobilizing the panels will also protect them from theft. This is a technology that connects the photovoltaic panels to the inverter.
You need to access the inverter to enjoy the sun’s energy digitally. What this means is that if the solar panels get stolen without the inverter, the perpetrators will be unable to use them.
Finally, you can glue or weld the solar panels to the surface of your roof. Good luck to anyone who tries to remove them, thinking they’re just affixed the usual way.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Solar Panels?
Absolutely. Homeowners’ insurance covers solar panels. The essence of instance covers is to protect the client from unexpected financial perturbances.
But what exactly is homeowners insurance? Well, it’s a system that protects you from damage and theft to your valuable property.
As long as your solar panels are not leased, they are under the protection of your homeowners’ insurance providers. However, the panels must be attached to the roof of the home to qualify for a valid claim.
Insurance providers won’t touch you if your flexible or floor-mounted solar panels are stolen.
Now, your solar panels are protected from damage, apart from what’s been indicated in the insurance provider’s contract. Some common occurrences you’re indemnified against are wind or other natural elements, falling trees, animal damage, fire damage, theft, and vandalism.
However, you can also play a role in protecting your solar panels from claims by cleaning them regularly, removing overhanging branches, and inspecting the PV system frequently.
Moreover, if you have a claim with your insurance company, you only need to file and submit a complaint online. And if you need to take immediate action regarding the damage that’s been done, you’ll be instructed to do so while your claims are being processed. Often, you’ll get your money back.
You should keep information about the date and time of the damage. You must also be able to talk about what happened. Finally, you must provide documents regarding your purchase agreement.
Consider homeowners’ insurance when buying your solar panels and make it a priority so that you won’t be stranded or in debt, if anything goes south.
Can Solar Panels be Hacked?
Can solar panels be hacked? If that question crosses your mind often, you’re not alone.
Considering the rate at which technology is growing daily, internet-connected devices promise to improve our lives.
However, people are looking to take advantage of it, especially solar panels. This begs whether solar panels can be hacked, to which we’ll answer yes.
Reliable sources show that hackers can take over the control of solar panels that are connected to the internet. This is often done by rerouting the flow of DC electricity, causing instability and power shortage. Fortunately, this challenge is not unmanageable. Typically, more than one inverter must be hacked before the damage can reflect on the public grid.
You can prevent your solar panels from this security breach by changing your default password upon installation. It is also best to disconnect your device from the internet immediately.
Solar panels are fascinating technology providing cheaper and more environmentally sustainable electricity. They are pretty expensive, so it is anyone’s favor to secure theirs.
In this blog post, we’ve explored numerous ways to protect your solar panels from theft. You’re also more conversant with homeowners’ insurance, which can protect you from unforeseen circumstances with your PV system.