A solar protection plan is designed to help homeowners manage the cost of unexpected solar repairs. Solar extended warranties go beyond what your solar warranty period, taking care of properly maintained solar panels that fail due to normal wear and tear up to terms as long as 25 years.
How Solar Extended Warranties Work
Most solar extended warranties cost between $350 to $500 per term. A typical extended protection plan can range anywhere from a 5 – 15 year term on top of the manufacturer warranty totaling a total of 25 years.
Solar warranties are popular among solar transactions, as new homeowners want peace of mind that panels failing will be covered in their new investment, and installers want to assure potential buyers that their solar will be taken care of.
Most Solar Panels come backed with a manufacturer’s warranty that protects a product against defects. Typically, a manufacturer’s warranty lasts 10 years years. An extended warranty, also referred to as a service contract or protection plan, extends the warranty for additional 5- 15 years.
A standard manufacturer warranty generally protects against normal wear and tear and product defects — things like a panel failing because it’s a lemon or due to heat, humidity, or dust. The level of coverage of a protection plan is usually similar to that of a manufacturer’s warranty; it simply extends your coverage for another five to fifteen years.
What to look for
In addition to what aspects of your product are covered by a warranty, be sure to take a close look at the service terms. How quickly you can get your product repaired and returned to you is especially important to businesses who may suffer big losses and a decline in customer satisfaction if operations are suspended due to product failure.
Will you pay a deductible when making a claim?
Can you make a claim 24/7?
Does the company guarantee returning your product in a reasonable amount of time?
Does it cover shipping from you to the service center and back?
Does the warranty cover the costs for both parts and labor?
The Pros of Buying a Solar Warranty
If you’re considering a solar extended warranty service contract, you may not be sure if it’s right for you. Consider these pros and cons of buying a solar warranty to decide if a service contract is a good idea for your solar.
Peace of mind: The single biggest benefit that a solar warranty offers is the ability to relax and avoid worrying about repairs in your solar array. Defective panels with solar warranty: a fix is just a phone call away. Costly repairs that might have brought financial hardship aren’t an issue: they’re likely covered under your solar warranty.
It’s an easy fix: With a solar warranty, you only need to remember one number, or even simply send an email for repair. You don’t have to spend time searching for and researching reputable repair companies, because your solar warranty has already chosen the best companies to take care of the job. You also don’t have to wait until business hours to start your repair: Solar Warranty claims can be submitted online or over the phone 24/7/365. All you have to do is call the warranty company and wait for your new panels to arrive.
A warranty is relatively inexpensive and can more than pay for itself: With a solar warranty, you’re likely to see big savings on the most common repairs. Solar warranties cost an average of $350 to $500, while experts recommend that solar owners plan to spend between 1 to 4% on solar maintenance and repairs each year. For a $20,000, that’s a minimum of $200 annually, far more than the cost of a solar warranty.
Your warranty may be free: If you’re buying a solar, your warranty may be free. It has become increasingly common for panel manufacturers to include a solar warranty in solar sales to encourage confidence and attract buyers.
Solar warranty is a great incentive for buyers: If you’re planning to sell your home, a solar warranty can instill confidence in buyers. You can highlight that your solar has carried a solar warranty, so repairs have been completed on time and in a satisfactory manner, and give new homeowners peace of mind that they’ll be covered if anything goes wrong.
The Cons of Buying a Solar Warranty
While there are many benefits of solar warranty coverage, the fact is that it’s not as simple as buying your plan and forgetting about taking care of anything in your solar for a year. You’ll need to carefully maintain your solar, and for certain solar owners, the expense of a solar warranty contract may outweigh the actual cost of repairs.
You may not need it: If your solar is still relatively new (less than 5 years old), or simply very well cared for, you may find that you have no claims to submit. Avoiding solar repairs for an entire year is a good problem to have, but it may make you feel that the money you’ve invested in your solar warranty didn’t pay off. Still, a few hundred dollars is a small price to pay for peace of mind on the chance that you need a serious repair.
Solar warranty won’t fix what’s already broken: Pre-existing conditions, like poorly maintained systems, are not covered under your solar warranty. So if you were hoping to get all of your new solar’s problems fixed by your solar warranty company, think again. You’ll likely be required to share your solar inspection to show that items were in good working order when you purchased the solar warranty.
Important system components may cost extra: Your inverter and racking system represent a significant repair expense if anything goes wrong, but they aren’t included in basic solar warranty agreements. You’ll have to pay extra if you want these important items covered.
You’re required to carefully maintain all systems and components: Repairs are covered by your solar warranty, but you’re on your own with maintenance. And that’s not all: if you don’t keep up with proper maintenance, your claims may be denied, as the warranty company can’t be liable for equipment that is abused or otherwise not taken care of. That means you’ll need to schedule regular service for all systems , and keep careful documentation of when and how they were serviced.
There’s a lot to love about solar warranty service contracts: you can save money and rest easy knowing that major repairs in your solar panels will be taken care of, and panic-inducing repairs become an easy fix. The pros easily outweigh the cons which is why we recommend all homeowners consider purchasing an extended warranty plan at time of purchase.
If you have any interest in learning more about solar panel warranty programs and how they can be beneficial for you please feel free to reach out.
You can reach me at 714-625-8204 (M-F 9am-5pm PST) or you can contact us here.