Guide to Preventing Solar Panel Theft

You can secure your solar panels by investing in motion-detecting lights, installing alarm systems, CCTV cameras, hiring a security guard, and many more. These can be integrated into your whole security system. Solar panels can reduce your bills and carbon footprint, making them the perfect target for thieves.

Solar panels are not cheap. With a booming need for solar panels and a current inflationary economy, thieves have turned to stealing and reselling solar panels. Today we’re going to look at how you can stop that from happening.

Do Solar Panels Need Protection?

Solar panels need protection, as they are prone to be stolen. The popularity of solar panels has significantly risen, as they reduce your electricity expenses, require little maintenance costs, and is a source of renewable energy. Hence, solar panels need protection, as they are prone to theft. 

Other reasons for the skyrocketing popularity of solar panels include:

  • Increases home value
  • Reduces carbon footprint
  • Unlimited source of solar energy
  • Qualifies for tax breaks and other incentives

No wonder everyone wants solar panels. However, purchasing and installing it may cost a hefty amount of cash, which is why some people resort to stealing instead of buying them.

Depending on the solar panel’s size, quality, and design, the average cost can range from $40,000 or more. The average price of a smaller than average solar panel can amount to $5,000.

For reference, solar panels are a form of renewable energy technology that converts the sun’s rays into electrical energy. It proves that the benefits of purchasing are reasonable for its price. 

You can use solar panels to power homes and businesses. They are also helpful in conjunction with wind turbines or hydroelectric dams in providing a more reliable and sustainable energy source.

Now, let’s get on to the following discussion.

Do Thieves Steal Solar Panels?

Solar panels can be a target for thieves because the panels are valuable and easy to resell. Solar panel theft is not an isolated case. In fact, this is an up-and-coming dilemma at par with the popularity of solar panels. 

California, the biggest market for solar power, has seen a significant rise in cases of stolen solar panels from homes. Police were said to recover at least $70,000 worth of solar panels from a private school in California.

Thieves are even using the internet to market their stolen items and do their transactions. Solar panels are just disappearing from homes and appearing in the virtual marketplace.

One particular case even reported that someone attempted to sell a solar panel worth at least $1,500 for only $100 on eBay. Thankfully, the culprit was caught by the police by placing bids on the panels. (source)

Why Do Thieves Steal Solar Panels?

Everybody wants clean energy, save money from lesser electricity bills, and reduce carbon footprint; that is why solar panels were created in the first place. As previously mentioned, solar panels are expensive, so thieves can generate a tremendous profit by selling them.

Solar panels can be sold online or at local pawn shops for a fraction of their original cost and then resold as new products. 

If you own solar panels at home, do you want to know how to make them theft-proof?

How Can I Make My Solar Panels Theft-Proof?

You can make your solar panels theft-proof by providing sufficient security and protection.

To prevent your solar panel(s) from being stolen, you need to install a remote monitoring systems or use sensors that detect movement and sound near the panels. You can also build a fence around your property, install security cameras, and hire security guards who patrol your property at night, keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity.

Install Motion-Detecting Lights

Install motion-sensor lights around your home’s perimeter where your solar panels are installed. It will trigger an alarm and alert you immediately when a thief comes near the property. 

Motion-sensor lights will be your assistant so that you can call the police or do something else to stop them before they can steal anything valuable from your home.

For reference, motion detecting lights are a type of security light that turns itself on whenever it detects motion. They are often used in homes and businesses to illuminate areas people frequently access.

Motion detecting lights help keep your property safe and secure without relying on expensive security systems or hiring a security guard. 

Install Security Cameras And Alarm Systems

Security cameras and alarm systems are two of the most popular ways to protect your home or business from theft and other crime. It’s also one of the best ways to protect your solar panel from being stolen.

Security cameras are devices that record what happens in a specific area and can be used to help establish guilt in the event of a crime. Alarm systems alert you when something has happened for you to respond appropriately. They can be triggered by motion sensors, smoke detectors, or contact sensors placed on windows and doors.

Place Solar Panels In An Inaccessible Area

To protect your solar panels from thieves:

  • If possible, put them where they’re hard to reach or see from the road.
  • If you can’t do that, try placing other objects to block them so that it makes them less noticeable from outside your property.

So, if you live near a busy street, consider installing your solar panels on trees or hiding them near the shrubs around your property so that passersby cannot see easily spot them. 

However, contradictory to the above statement, you can also place your solar panels in places where they’re visible, as it’ll be easier for other people to see when a thief is taking them down. It will also establish intimidation from the thief so they will not be compelled to steal the panels. 

Make It Difficult For Them To Steal

Make it difficult for thieves to steal your solar panels by writing your initials or full name on the solar panel.

In cases where the thief managed to steal your solar panel successfully, the writings on the panels will make it hard for the thief to sell it.

Another way to make it difficult for them to steal your solar panels or, at least, scare them is by getting a guard dog. Having a guard dog can intimidate potential thieves and may even force them to retreat.

Guard dogs can scare away thieves, burglars, and other intruders. They have been used for centuries to guard homes and businesses against intruders.

Scare Thieves With Signs

Now, if you’re looking for a way to keep thieves away from your solar panels with barely having to spend a massive amount of money, then this one’s for you.

To help prevent this theft and make your home or business safer, you should place signs around your property that warn would-be burglars against taking your solar panels.

You can make signs from any material, including wood or metal, and people should easily see them. You can put it on walls or fences near entrances.

Build A Gate Or Fence Around Your House

The best way to protect your solar panels is by building a fence around them or your property. You can use wood or metal fencing materials, but the material must be sturdy enough so that it doesn’t easily bend or break when someone tries to climb over it.

The fence should be at least four feet high and have barbed wire at the top.

Avoid Having Ladders And Boxes Outside

If you have ladders or boxes outside your home, a thief could use them to climb up and steal your solar panels without anyone noticing.

Some thieves steal entire solar panels by taking them off the roof and carrying them away in a truck. It is why it’s so imperative that you keep all of your tools and supplies locked up when you are not using them.

Ask Your Neighbors Keep An Eye Out

Another inexpensive way to keep thieves away from your solar panels is by asking your nearby friends or neighbors to keep an eye out, especially if you are going away.

Most neighbors are willing to help each other out despite not being close. 

You can always tell them that you’re willing to return the favor.

Hiring A Security Guard

Another effective way to protect your solar panels is to hire a security guard to monitor them, especially if you don’t have an alarm system or cameras installed.

Guards can patrol the area around the panels with a camera and ensure that no one is tampering with them. They can also alert you if someone does tamper with them so that you can take steps to fix any damage as soon as possible.

Get Insurance 

While signing up for insurance isn’t a quick fix to protect your solar panel from thieves, getting solar panel insurance can protect you financially should your solar panels be damaged or stolen.

Solar panel insurance can protect homeowners who have invested in solar panels. This type of insurance is mostly a part of building insurance. There is home insurance with policies regarding solar panels and other parts of your home’s electrical system, including wiring and the inverter.

Most solar panel insurance cover damages caused by any of the following:

  • Fire
  • Storm
  • Impact
  • Theft

How To Keep Portable Solar Panels From Being Stolen?

To keep your portable solar panels from being stolen, don’t brag about it, and ensure they’re locked.

You can place portable solar panels on:

  • The roof of your house
  • Walls of your house
  • Your garage
  • Your front yard

But then again, placing your portable solar panel in easily accessible areas like your front yard can result in a higher chance of being robbed.

Portable solar panels are smaller versions of regular solar panels. You can easily carry and transport portable solar panels, making them ideal for people who need solar power but don’t want to spend money on bulky equipment and allot too much space in their vehicle or home.

Portable solar panels are a great way to generate power wherever you go. You can use them in various situations, including camping, road trips, and even home. 

Don’t Brag About Your Portable Solar Panels

Generally, having a portable solar panel or solar panel is a dream for many homeowners. However, not everyone can afford it because of how expensive it is. That said, owning one doesn’t automatically grant bragging rights. 

One of the reasons why you shouldn’t brag about your portable solar panels is to avoid getting robbed. People are attracted to anything with high value and money, so spreading the word about having an expensive portable solar panel is advertising to thieves.

Store It In A Secure Storage 

Since portable solar panels are smaller than regular ones, they’re easier to carry around and store. You may even consider keeping your portable solar panel in the back of your car or your luggage, especially when traveling. Don’t make that mistake. 

Ensure that you store your portable solar panel in a place or storage with a lock. Thieves can easily carry portable solar panels, making them an immediate target.

When traveling, ensure that you never let your portable solar panel out of sight if you need to leave it in your car or an unsecured place. Bring something you can lock your portable solar panel with as much as possible.

Lock Your Portable Solar Panels

Locking your portable solar panel is a simple and affordable way to protect your investment and ensure that no one can tamper with it. It will make it nearly impossible for someone to steal or damage the panel without you knowing about it.

But how do you even lock a solar panel? Let’s find out.

How Do You Lock Solar Panels?

You can lock your solar panels by locking them with a screw.

There are several ways to lock solar panels, but the most common is using a screw.

Measure the width of your solar panel, then purchase a screw that fits well into the grooves of your solar panel.

Find your screwdriver and start turning screws around your solar panels. These screws will be attached to either wooden or metal framing pieces that support each panel. 

Make sure you use the correct screws for your solar panel and mount. If you’re unsure, check the label on the back of your solar panel and look for the recommended screw size.

However, apart from screws, you can use the following to lock your solar panels:

  • Chains 
  • Cable Ties
  • Gauge Wire
  • Padlock

To wrap this up, here are the notable points and information stated in this article.


The average solar panel can amount to as much as $40,000 or even more, making it the perfect target for thieves who need cash or a solar panel. It goes the same with portable ones. 

You can secure your solar panels by installing motion-detecting devices and cameras, building fences around your house, hiring people to guard them, and placing them in inaccessible places. 

Be vigilant and intelligent on where to put the panels, and build intimidation whenever possible. Establishing that will make thieves hesitate on whether to steal your solar panels or not. 

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