Solar Panels in Sims 4: Types, Usage, Problems & Solution

This guide will be an introduction to the ins and outs of the solar panels found in Sims 4.

In order for you to use solar panels, you will need to buy the Eco Lifestyle DLC pack ( $40 ) that EA released in 2020.

This pack brought many new features, such as new environmental-friendly themed options, changes to how Sims view their environment and surroundings and Sims can choke on air that is dirty in unclean environments.

These environments could have also become unclean due to actions the player has taken.

There is also a new feature known as “Eco Footprint” which will determine how clean an area is, which can be noticed by the surrounding air.

Some neighborhoods may have smog or other pollution in their areas, while others will have clear and clean air.

Different Types of Solar Panels

Solar panels come in 2 distinct types, named “Solar Panel – Ground” and “Solar Panel – Roof“.

Both can be bought and placed in build mode. There are also built in solar panels in specific roof styles that you can choose.

Solar Panel – Ground

It must be placed on the ground, covers a 2×2 area and costs §675. Has an Eco Footprint Green rating of 5 and a Power Production rating of 2.

Solar Panel – Roof

It must be placed on the roof, covers a 2×2 area and costs §850. Has an Eco Footprint Green rating of 3 and a Power Production rating of 2.

Uses of the Solar Panels

The main uses for solar panels in Sims 4 are for sustainability and reduction of your ecological footprint.

Using solar panels, you are able to “go off the grid” in a way, but you will need to maintain the solar panels which do break quite often, especially the ground ones.

Other than the upkeep of the solar panels, you will not need to spend anything on electricity (if you have enough panels) as they will generate electricity during the day for your house.

The solar panels reduce your Sims ecological footprint by using less electricity from other sources.

There are 3 levels to your eco footprint in the game; Industrial (which is the worst), Neutral and Green (which is the best).

The level will increase  towards Industrial level if more environmentally harmful methods of sustainability are used, such as more electricity and more pollution released.

This will cause the air to become visibly dirty and will cause your Sims to choke and react in negative ways.

If more environmentally friendly ways of sustainability (solar panels) are used such as using less electricity and lowering the pollution rates, it will decrease your level to Green.

The air will be clean and the neighborhood can enjoy fresh air.

Common Problems with Solar Panels

Below are two common issues with solar panels and their solutions.

Solar panel can’t intersect with roof      

Trying to mount solar panel designed to go on a roof, but getting the error “can’t intersect with roof” which means that you can’t place any roof panels on your roof.

You cannot place solar panels on curved roofs, so try and place them on flat parts instead.

This may lead to players to rather use the ground solar panels instead, just so they can have their curved roofs. However, this may ruin the aesthetic of your build/house.

Power Generation Issues

If you have many solar panels, but your power output does not increase, try restarting your game and this should fix the problem for most people.

There could also be problems with mods that cause errors, so we suggest you try turning them off if something like this occurs and you are unsure of what is causing it.