What type of coverage does a solar panel warranty provide?
Most photovoltaic panels perform without a hitch for decades. However, every now and then, a module may have a problem. Issues aren’t common, and a single damaged panel won’t stop your system’s electricity production. But just in case something happens, it’s helpful to know what’s covered under your warranty.
Solar Panel Equipment Warranty
Solar panels actually have two warranties — a product or equipment warranty, and a performance guarantee.
The photovoltaic panel product warranty covers the construction and integrity of the module. If you notice any manufacturing defects or premature wear and tear of the materials, this warranty should provide coverage.
Most manufacturers offer a 10-year product warranty from the date of solar module installation, though some guarantee their equipment for up to 12 years.
Solar Panel Performance Guarantee
The second solar panel warranty is a guarantee of a certain energy output for a specific time period.
All photovoltaic panels degrade over time, because nothing that is continually exposed to the elements can last forever. But solar modules are designed to degrade quite slowly, losing only a tiny bit of efficiency per year (about 0.07 percent, according to research from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory).
The performance warranty ensures that your panels don’t degrade too quickly. In many cases, energy output of at least 90 percent is guaranteed for the first 10 years after installation. And nearly every module performance warranty guarantees solar energy production of at least 80 percent for 25 years.
What About Weather-Related or Accidental Damage?
A solar panel warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage or issues caused by severe weather events.
The good news? Your homeowners insurance will typically cover this type of damage. Because photovoltaic installations are considered home improvement projects, most insurance companies automatically provide coverage for accidental and weather-related damage.
But check with your insurance agent, because not every company offers automatic coverage for photovoltaic panels. And depending upon your policy, your rates could change (many homeowners are happily surprised to see their rates go down after adopting solar power).
If your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover a photovoltaic panel system, you may be able to add a special rider. If that’s not an option, you could either switch to a more solar-friendly insurance company or invest in third-party insurance.
The professionals at Intermountain Wind & Solar — the leading residential and commercial contractor for Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado — use only the highest-quality solar modules with superior manufacturer’s warranties. Our photovoltaic panels rarely experience problems, but we’re always available to help, if the need should arise. For assistance in understanding your solar panel warranty, contact us today.