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What Is a Solar Panel Warranty?

A solar panel warranty is a guarantee from a manufacturer or installer of solar panels for home installation or for commercial buildings. This kind of warranty typically has two parts.

  • The product warranty part of the warranty protects the owner from the cost of replacing or repairing solar panels or other equipment due to defects, functional failure, or environmental problems.
  • The performance warranty portion of the solar panel warranty insures that the solar energy system will maintain production of a minimum established amount of electricity throughout the duration of the warranty period.

Why Do I Need a Solar Panel Warranty?

Solar panels are built to withstand rough climate conditions. However, even though solar panels are reliable for long-term high durability, problems can happen. A warranty provides essential financial protection for solar equipment consumers. The solar panel warranty protects the customer by insuring against panel failure or unexpectedly low energy output.

A solar panel warranty should be included with every transaction for purchase of solar equipment and installation services. When comparing bids for solar energy systems, be sure to compare warranties, to identify the best value in this important coverage.

Do I Need a Warranty If Homeowners Insurance Covers Solar Panels?

The majority of homeowner insurance companies include a solar energy system as a permanent attachment that has become part of the house, similar to a sunroom addition, deck, or patio. Confirm with your homeowner’s insurance carrier that solar panels and other equipment in your solar energy system and installation are all covered.

When a homeowners insurance policy substantially includes the coverages provided under the solar panel warranty, a separate warranty may be unnecessary. Be sure to check the deductibles and limits on claims for your solar panel system in your homeowner’s policy. If there are significant omissions of coverages, such as installation cost, a solar warranty may still be needed for adequate protection.

What Does a Solar Energy System Warranty Cover?

There are two primary types of coverage that should be included in your solar panel warranty, the product and workmanship part of the warranty and the performance portion of the coverage:

Product Warranty

A solar product warranty, also called a workmanship warranty or a material warranty is covered in case of manufacturing defects or an equipment failure. Some warranties covering top-quality, highly durable solar panels are up to 30 years.

This coverage typically covers replacement or repair costs of replacing defective panels, perhaps other system components, and possibly wiring, and other parts and materials. It protects the owner financially, in the event of premature deterioration or corrosion, or other such effects. Check to be clear on whether your solar panel warranty includes labor costs.

Performance Warranty

The performance warranty covers the solar panel installation work. This portion of the coverage is to insure the solar energy production system against failure to continue delivering at least the baseline minimum of electricity output throughout the expected life of the solar panels.

Solar panel performance is expected to lose around 0.05% to 1% per year. The performance warranty normally guarantees 90% productivity through the first 10 years, and 80% for as long as 30 years. The solar panel warranty guarantees replacement or repair as needed to maintain these percentages if the panels’ production rate falls below these baseline expectations.

How Long Is the Warranty on Solar Panels?

The provisions of solar energy systems and installation warranties vary between manufacturers and installers. The length of a solar panel warranty also normally depends upon the kind of protection the warranty is designed to provide. Typically, solar energy systems performance warranties are between 10 and 30 years. Product warranties are usually shorter, often around 10 years.

Of the companies that offer 30-year warranties, some might include shipping and handling and installation of replacement solar panels, whereas others might cover only the cost of the panels, and not associated charges for shipping, handling, or installation.

Will a Solar Warranty Transfer to New Homeowners If I Sell?

Solar panel warranties are usually transferable from one owner of a home to the next. But a few solar panel companies will only provide warranty coverage to the original buyer of the panels and other solar equipment.

So, confirm before you agree to purchase your solar energy system that your solar panel warranty will transfer, especially if you think you might sell your house at some point in the future. Also, make sure you understand the process for seamless transfer of the warranty.

REMEMBER: Avoid Actions That Void Your Warranty!

Keep in mind that a solar panel warranty remains in effect only if the equipment has been continuously being taken care of in conformance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. For example, your solar panel installer must ensure that all components are sized appropriately for the system he/she has designed for your home. As another example, you must also not permit unlicensed individuals to perform repairs on the panels or other solar equipment.

Your Solar Panels and Warranty

Fortunately, the payback period for solar panels is only about 8 years, and even less for some current panel types. According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory research report, each year only a negligible 5 solar panels out of 10,000 required replacement, and many outlast their 30-year warranty periods.

So, with quality solar panels and a good warranty, you can expect to produce your own electricity free of charge and protect your ROI from equipment issues for many years beyond your solar panel payback date.

Contact Solarise Solar for Solar Panel Systems and Installation

Solarise Solar has helped homeowners and businesses throughout Colorado make the best investment in solar panel systems and installation. Our experts will design a solar panel system customized to fit your needs and budget. Ask about our zero down payment and low-interest financing for qualified customers. For more information about solar panel warranties, or to schedule your free Energy Analysis and estimate, call Solarise Solar at (719) 415-3737, or use our online contact form.