While residential solar panel systems offer homeowners countless benefits including an excellent ROI, they also require quite a generous initial investment. Knowing this, solar owners want multiple assurances and guarantees to ensure that their system will live up to the claims and promises made by the company. Solar manufacturers and installers gladly provide these assurances in the form of solar panel warranties.
The majority of solar panel warranty terms and conditions, however, contain complex technical and legal jargon that might be difficult for the average individual to grasp. Understanding the distinction between the warranties offered by the manufacturers and those offered by the solar installation firm is crucial when making a solar investment. This post gives you a detailed overview of what a solar panel warranty is, what it covers, its duration, and the advantages you get to enjoy. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
What Do San Jose Solar Panel Warranties Entail?
A solar panel warranty is essentially an assurance provided to the solar buyer by the solar panel manufacturer or installer which offers protection for energy output, reliability, and other features associated with their solar panel. Consumers benefit from warranties because they may use them to safeguard their solar panel systems against faults, performance issues, and other problems.
Therefore, some sort of solar warranty is often included with every purchase of solar gear and installation services. When researching systems and manufacturers before making a purchase, the specifics of that warranty can, and should, play a significant role in your decision because this indicates how confident the manufacturer and installer are about their services and products.
What Does an Average Solar Panel Warranty Include?
Generally speaking, almost all San Jose solar manufacturers cover their products with a standard solar warranty which, however, tends to vary from manufacturer to manufacturer in terms of the scope and duration of the protection.
Knowing the details and features of a solar panel’s warranty can help you make a good purchase by choosing the ideal manufacturer and installer for your needs and preferences. Outlined below are some common features included in Dan Jose solar panel warranties that you should know about and carefully review before committing to an installer or manufacturer:
- Solar panel product warranty. Offered by the manufacturer and usually covers the panel for 5 to 10 years
- A solar panel performance warranty is also offered by the manufacturer and offers a coverage of 25 years in most cases
- Installation warranty, offered by the installer and usually covers your system for 1 or 2 years
- Inverter warranty covers the inverter for usually 5 years
It bears repeating that the warranties mentioned above may vary depending on which San Jose solar installation company you hire and the manufacturer you source your solar panels from.
Can You Transfer Your Solar Panel Warranty?
A lot of times, homeowners outfit their homes with rooftop solar panel systems since it helps the value of their property appreciate, which they then sell at a higher than market value price. This allows them to earn a high enough profit on their property to offset the cost of their solar system while still having a bit of profit left. That is why many homeowners who are selling or buying a home with solar often question whether or not the new owner of the property will be able to assume the warranty on the system.
You’ll be glad to learn that solar panel warranties, in most cases, are transferrable to the new homeowner, provided that the previous owner had purchased the entire system and did not lease it. However, the solar warranty provider should be duly informed by the seller of their intention to sell the home to ensure that the warranty can be smoothly transferred to the new homeowner.
Doing so also informs if there are any additional steps you need to take in order to execute the warranty transfer such as filing an application or filling in some forms.
However, in the case the solar system was leased, the home buyer will also have to take over the lease on the system before the warranty can be transferred to them. The situation may be trickier, though, if you buy out the remaining lease period before selling your house. For more information on the details and requirements of such an arrangement, we advise you to get in touch with your solar lease warranty provider.
Things Not Covered by Your Solar Panel Warranty
While San Jose solar panel warranties do cover your solar energy system in case of undue performance loss, manufacturing defects, and many other problems, there are also certain situations and conditions when the warranty will not protect your solar panels. Following are some big-ticket expenses a solar warranty will usually not cover:
- The labor costs incurred in diagnosing your solar panel system or the cost of shipping replacement parts to your location.
- Any damages caused by natural elements such as floods, lightning strikes, hail, and blizzards will be not covered.
- Damages caused by home fires won’t be covered.
- Damages caused by a failure or surge of power in the grid will not be covered.
- Accidental damages such as dropping the panels or damages caused by vandalism, explosions, or any other event outside the control of the manufacturer will not be compensated for.
It is also worth knowing that while a solar panel warranty does cover the performance of the system, it does not guarantee a certain power output from your system. Instead, it only ensures that your system does not degrade, i.e., lose its performance, at an abnormal rate.
Additionally, some warranties cover labor expenses while others charge extra for labor. This means that you may have to pay the solar installer to climb up on your roof, remove the old panels, and install the new ones if labor is not included in the warranty and you need to get your solar panels replaced.
Product Warranty vs. Performance Warranty: What’s the Difference?
Solar warranties come in two main types, these are product warranty and performance warranty. Let us take a look into what these warranties are and how they are different from one another.
A product warranty, also commonly referred to as equipment, lifespan, or material warranty protects is a manufacturer-offered warranty that protects the panels against equipment breakdowns, flaws, and environmental problems that could lower the electricity production of the panels or render them inactive entirely. The majority of manufacturers offer 10-12 years of equipment warranties, and some premium warranties can even extend up to 25 years of system coverage.
Although solar panels are made to be extremely robust, unforeseen issues can occasionally arise. In such cases, a product warranty can be a godsend and can save you from incurring some very massive expenses. In fact, the entire expense of replacing one or more defective panels in case of problems like corrosion, defective wiring, and premature wear can be covered by your product warranty.
A performance solar panel warranty ensures that for the manufacturer-specified lifetime of your solar panels and the course of the warranty period, the energy production, or efficiency, of your solar panel system will not dip below a certain baseline value of electric power output.
Solar panel degradation is a natural phenomenon and will exist in all solar energy systems. This means that your solar panels will progressively lose their performance over the length of their lifetime. Knowing this, the performance warranty essentially guarantees that your system will degrade at a normal rate that is typical for residential solar panels. This rate is generally between 0.5% and 1% per year or 10% and 20% over the course of 25 years.
In simple terms, you can also think of a performance warranty as a guarantee that your solar panels will not lose more than 10% to 20% of their original performance after a period of 25 years. In the event that the performance of your panel(s) falls below these levels within their specified lifetime, the performance warranty will become effective and in most cases, the warranty companies will replace or fix the problematic panel(s).
Common Solar Panel Warranty Problems That Can Void Your Warranty
Solar panel warranties and assurances are subject to certain terms and conditions. If any of these terms and conditions are violated, the warranty will become void and your solar installer or manufacturer will no longer be liable for repairing or replacing your system in case of issues that would normally fall under your warranty coverage.
Following are some common terms and conditions associated with solar panel warranties:
- DIY installation of the system. Manufacturers often require that only a certified and licensed technician do the installation.
- An unlicensed technician makes or attempts to make, repairs to your San Jose solar panels.
- An unregistered person installs your solar panels. As mentioned before, the installer must be properly licensed and certified.
- Solar panels are repaired without informing or seeking the approval of the company that installed your panels.
- Your solar panels are tampered with in some way without the knowledge and supervision of the company.
- The Solar panels are repaired by a different solar company than the one that originally installed your system.
- You fail to uphold the mandatory upkeep and maintenance of your solar panels.
- The solar panels are exposed to chemicals in high concentrations.
It is worth knowing that the exact terms and conditions of your solar panel warranty will vary depending on your company. That is why it would be advisable to get in touch with your solar installer to get a complete list of solar panel warranty problems that will void your warranty so that you know precisely what practices you need to avoid and what you need to carry out.
Benefits of Solar Panels’ Warranty
Unlike the short-term warranties you get on most appliances like smartphones and microwave ovens, solar panel warranties offer you extended coverage and long-term security for your system. Some other major benefits you get include:
- Quick and convenient help
- Peace of mind
- Effective and efficient solutions to your solar problems
- High-quality repairs backed by proper licensing and certifications
- Higher market value for your home since a solar energy system covered by a warranty will fetch a higher price for your home than a system without a warranty.
- Long-term cost savings since repairs done under warranty are more extensive and can save you from many future repairs down the line.
- You could potentially enjoy free repairs and replacements depending on your company’s warranty policy.
The Final Verdict
Solar panel manufacturers and installers offer extended warranties on their solar installations. These warranties help protect solar panels against premature degradation, abnormal power loss, manufacturing faults, and defects as well as a multitude of other problems. As such, these warranties offer solar owners long-term security for their investment, making sure they get the best possible return for their money.
Got questions? Thinking about going solar?
The team at Sec. Services are ready to answer your questions and give you a no-obligation price quote on solar power solutions. Feel free to call us at 855-888-3993 or book a consultation online. And we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.