Investing in solar panels for your home is not only an environmentally conscious choice but also a smart financial decision. Solar panels can significantly reduce your electricity bills and increase the value of your property. However, like any major purchase, it’s crucial to understand the warranties that come with your solar panels to protect your investment and ensure the best performance.
In this blog, we will delve into the various aspects of solar panel warranties, helping you make informed decisions about your solar energy system.
Importance of Warranty
Solar panel warranties are essential because they offer protection and peace of mind. Here are a few other reasons why a robust warranty is crucial for protecting your investment:
- Quality Assurance: Manufacturers who offer extended warranties often use high-quality materials and precise manufacturing processes. This indirectly assures homeowners of the panel’s quality.
- Maintenance Costs: A warranty can significantly reduce the maintenance costs associated with solar panels, especially if they need repairs or replacements.
- Home Value: Solar panels with strong warranties can increase your home’s value, making it a more attractive option for potential buyers, should you come to want to sell.
- Peace of Mind: Knowing that your solar panels are covered by a comprehensive warranty provides peace of mind, as you won’t have to worry about unexpected expenses.
Types of Solar Panel Warranty
There are two main types of warranty that apply to solar systems, performance warranty and product warranty:
- Performance Warranty: This warranty guarantees the efficiency and electricity production of your solar panels over a specified period. It assures homeowners that their solar panels will generate a certain percentage of their rated power output. These warranties often last 25 to 30 years.
- Product Warranty: The product warranty covers any defects or malfunctions in the physical components of the solar panels. This type of warranty usually ranges from 10 to 25 years, depending on the manufacturer.
What to Look for in Solar Warranties
In many cases, when your solar system is installed the solar electrician will provide you with their or the manufacturer’s warranty. There are a few things to look for in the warranty when choosing your system, including:
- Performance Guarantee: When assessing solar panel warranties, focus on the performance guarantee. A high-quality panel should retain at least 80% of its original efficiency after 25 years. Beware of companies offering lower performance guarantees as they might indicate lower-quality panels.
- Product Warranty Duration: Longer product warranties are generally better because they provide coverage in case of defects or malfunctions. Many leading manufacturers offer warranties lasting 20 to 25 years.
- Manufacturer Reputation: Choose a manufacturer with a strong reputation and financial stability. Reliable manufacturers are more likely to honour their warranties and provide support when needed.
- Labour Warranty: Some manufacturers offer a separate labour warranty that covers the cost of labour required to repair or replace a faulty solar panel. This can be an added benefit, but be sure to understand the terms and duration of the labour warranty.
- Warranty Transferability: Check if the warranty is transferable to future homeowners. A transferable warranty can be an attractive selling point when/if you decide to sell your home.
- Exclusions and Fine Print: Read the warranty documentation carefully to understand what is covered and what is not. Pay attention to exclusions, such as damage from natural disasters, unauthorised repairs, or improper installation.
What Happens When You Need to Claim a Warranty?
One of the most important things to know about solar panel warranty is how to claim it in the case of issues. The process of claiming a warranty typically involves the following steps:
- Contact the Manufacturer or Installer: Reach out to your solar panel manufacturer or installer to report the issue and provide necessary documentation, such as proof of purchase and maintenance records.
- Warranty Evaluation: The manufacturer or installer will assess the issue to determine if it is covered by the warranty. If the problem is due to a defect in materials or workmanship, it should be covered.
- Repairs or Replacement: If the warranty claim is approved, the manufacturer will either repair or replace the defective solar panels.
- Labour and Shipping Costs: Homeowners should inquire about labour and shipping costs associated with warranty claims. Some warranties may cover these expenses, while others may require homeowners to cover them.
Protect Your Solar Investment by Understanding Your Warranty
Understanding solar panel warranties is essential as these warranties protect your investment and ensure your solar panels can continue to perform efficiently for years to come. By choosing reputable manufacturers and installers and carefully reviewing warranty terms, you can enjoy the full benefits of your solar panels with confidence and peace of mind.
It’s also important to understand and remember the terms of your warranty to ensure you don’t void it, and choose solar electricians who have a deep understanding of your system.