Not all solar warranties are created equal. It’s important to understand the difference so you don’t get misled. Many shonky operators spruik about their “25-year warranty”, but what are they really talking about?
Solar Panel Performance Warranty (25 years – industry standard)
The solar panel performance warranty is nothing to write home about. Many people in the industry believe this warranty is nothing more than marketing. So what does it mean? Solar panels degrade over time. Therefore the manufacturer provides a percentage rate at which the module’s efficiency will drop over 25 years. Unfortunately, this warranty is often used by shonky installers to mislead consumers. This warranty doesn’t cover claims for faulty performance, workmanship, or defective materials.
Panel Product Warranty (from 10 years to 25 years)
A product or parts warranty is important. It protects you against defective materials and workmanship in panel manufacturing. If your system performance faults, you can make a claim on the product warranty. A quality solar installer may support you during this process and troubleshoot to ensure you make the right claim. A quality solar installer may also lodge and handle the claim, or RMA (Return Merchandise Authorisation) for you.
Inverter Product Warranty (from 5 to 10 years)
Often referred to as the heart to the solar system, your inverter works at high voltage day after day, year after year. Your inverter warranty is arguably one of the most important warranties! Good news for consumers – more and more inverter manufacturers now offer a 10-year product warranty. But buyer beware. Your ability to claim on this warranty will often come back to how it was installed. A quality installer will adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If they don’t, they may void your warranty.
A Comprehensive Parts and Labour Warranty (from 10 to 25 years)
If a warranty is important to you, then a comprehensive warranty may help you decide which products to install. A comprehensive solar panel or inverter warranty covers faulty parts, as well as the labour that may be required to replace the equipment. Be sure to check for the warranty terms and conditions. For example, REC offers a 25-year parts and labour warranty on its panels, but only when installed by a certified REC installer.
Installation/workmanship warranty (from 2 years)
This warranty sits with your solar installer/retailer. It’s important to check the terms and conditions of this warranty because it varies from company to company. For example, a company that advertises their 10-year workmanship warranty might not remove and return faulty goods. This means you have to foot the bill for any costs associated with this process. Read over your contract carefully. If you’re not sure what’s covered, seek legal advice.
Like all warranties, solar panel system warranties protect your investment and can give you peace of mind.
Solenergy offers a 12-year installation warranty and a minimum 5-year parts and labour warranty on all products installed. This is irrespective of manufacturer warranties and includes all goods – even those only covered by a 12-month warranty such as, DC isolators, clips, clamps, and safety switches etc.
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