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    Solar panels require a considerable investment, but usually pay for themselves quickly. Only not if they are stolen. The rapidly growing demand for own energy generation with solar panels has not escaped the thieves' guild either. What is possible to prevent theft?

     

    They are appearing more and more on the roofs of Dutch homes: solar panels. Anyone comparing energy quickly comes to the conclusion that, in the long term, solar panels are a cheap alternative to buying energy from a supplier. In addition, it is, of course, a sustainable form of energy. However, solar panels also cost a bit and then 'just' lie on the roof. Even thieves know the value of solar panels and quietly climb up the roof to take them with them unsolicited.

     

    Theft still rare
    Fortunately, the theft of solar panels is not yet widespread, but it certainly occurs several times a year. The fact that theft of solar panels is not yet very popular among thieves probably has to do with the fact that it requires a certain specialism. The thief will have to know how to get the panels in one piece and they are not light either. In addition, there are of course dangers if the thief has to go on the roof. In addition, it is quite a striking activity when someone is busy on the roof. The thief also has few opportunities to escape on the roof.

    Thieves also move to solar parks. But even then they can't go unnoticed. Last year, for example, a Romanian was sentenced to three months' imprisonment after it was discovered that he and his mates had stolen no less than 180 panels from a solar park.

     

    Insurance
    If a property has solar panels, it is usually not necessary to insure them additionally. The solar panels permanently mounted on the roof are covered by the building insurance. When it concerns a rental property, it is often necessary to take out extra insurance for the panels. When purchasing solar panels, it is always wise to check with the insurance company whether or not the solar panels are covered by the insurance. It is good to be aware of the fact that in the event of theft of the house, an insurance only pays out if there is damage as a result of forced entry. Because solar panels are located outside the home, there is often no question of fallow damage. There is therefore a chance that the insurer will not pay out.

     

    Securing solar panels
    To be on the safe side, it is wise to secure the solar panels. The camerabewaking installer may be asked to use screws that can only be loosened with special tools. Special brackets can also help to make theft more difficult. Rain pipes can be fitted with brackets with long, sharp points. But if a thief really wants to, he will always get the panels. That is why detection is also important. A passive infrared outdoor detector or a camera with motion detection can provide an alarm even before the thieves start disassembling the solar panels. More expensive, but more reliable, are detection loops along the eaves. However, security always starts with organisational measures. So no containers or ladders along the facade, good lighting around the house and checking whether theft is insured.

     

     

    May 3, 2020
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