Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top solar equipment manufacturers–and talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included–and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. In this article, we break down the warranty of LA Solar Group (LASG), a solar installation company that began manufacturing its own solar panels.
Highlights of LA Solar Group’s warranty
- Includes a 25-year product, performance, workmanship, and roof penetration warranty.
- Covers replacements and/or repairs at no cost to you.
- Includes any necessary labor and shipping.
- Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar options from local installers.
Quick overview: LA Solar Group’s history and warranty
LASG offers a number of services, from solar energy system installations, to roofing installations, to battery storage installations. In 2019, they contracted a solar panel manufacturing plant, LA Solar Factory, to manufacture their own line of solar panels to become more of a vertically integrated company (meaning they produce most of the equipment they use as opposed to relying on other manufacturers’ products). LASG provides its customers with a comprehensive warranty package, including a 25-year workmanship and roof penetration warranty.
Back when LASG just installed solar systems, they only covered the workmanship warranty – meaning you had to work with separate companies to fulfill any warranty claims for your system’s product components, like the solar panels, inverters, and racking equipment. LASG found that, as an installer, they weren’t able to help customers quick enough with these manufacturer warranty claims, so they decided to invest in a long-term solution by hiring a manufacturing company to create their own line of branded products.
LA Solar Group’s solar panel warranty at a glance
|CATEGORY||LA SOLAR GROUP’S COVERAGE||INDUSTRY STANDARD|
|Product||25 years||10 years|
|Power||80% at year 25||80% at year 25|
|Shipping of parts||Yes||No|
|Extended warranty offering||No||No|
LA Solar Group’s product warranty
Also known as a material warranty, a solar panel manufacturer’s product warranty covers the integrity of the equipment itself – if your solar panels have a defect, mechanical issue, or experience unreasonable wear and tear, that should be covered by your product warranty.
If there’s a defect with your solar panel, it’s typically apparent “out-of-the-box”. In other words, you or your installer should be able to tell that something is amiss and fix the problem immediately–often before the panel even makes it to your roof. Regardless, it’s good to consider products with longer warranties for the peace of mind it provides.
LASG includes a 25-year product warranty for all of their solar panels.
LA Solar Group’s power warranty
Like every other type of electronic, the performance of your solar panels will degrade over time: fortunately, solar panel manufacturers offer a power (or performance) warranty for their products. Power warranties help protect you against atypical degradation of your solar panels, ensuring that the output of your panels won’t fall below a certain level after a set period of time.
Different types of solar panel technologies degrade at different rates. Generally speaking, the highest quality solar panels offer long power warranties (25 years or more) that guarantee at least 80 percent of the original output by the end of the warranty term.
LASG provides a 25-year power warranty for both their panel and shingle technology, which guarantees that their products will still produce at least 80% of their original output by the end of the warranty term:
- 90% output at the end of year 10
- No more than 10% degradation from years 10-25
You can review and compare LA Solar Group’s solar panels in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
Does LA Solar Group offer extended warranties?
Need a little extra protection for peace of mind? Many solar panel manufacturers offer extended warranties for their products. Depending on the company and the product, extended warranties can come at an extra cost, or only be available for certain installers who have been certified and endorsed by the manufacturer. At the moment, LASG does not offer an extended warranty.
LA Solar Group’s workmanship warranty
More often than not, solar installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship warranties for a solar installation. However, some manufacturers offer additional protection by tacking on their own workmanship warranty for a limited number of certified installers in their network. LASG offers a 25-year workmanship warranty, as a part of the comprehensive package. They only work with insured partners that are licensed to install and maintain the system.
You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with LA Solar Group: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your solar panel system will continue operating smoothly for 25+ years, and you never have to worry about LASG’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your solar panel system, LASG will be there to help.
If you notice an issue with your system, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue.
If your installer determines that you need to replace a piece of equipment–like a solar panel– they can file a warranty claim directly with LASG on your behalf. Importantly, because LASG covers labor and shipping costs under their warranty, you don’t need to worry about paying any additional costs to get your system fixed. LA Solar will upgrade your system to full production and if, for whatever reason, they cannot fix or replace your panel, they will compensate you for reduced solar panel performance. They even claim the warranty process only takes minutes!
If your solar panel warranty doesn’t cover labor reimbursement, this cost (and whether you’re responsible for it) will typically fall under the umbrella of your installer’s workmanship warranty. Be aware that workmanship warranties vary from one installation company to the next, so remember to read your installer’s workmanship warranty thoroughly before signing any contract!
It’s worth pointing out that LA Solar’s labor coverage and reimbursement offer is an outlier in the industry, and a good one at that: most solar panel manufacturers do not cover any labor costs associated with replacing or repairing their products.
Limitations and exceptions to LA Solar Group’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – LASG’s is no different. Warranty limitations aren’t meant to make it harder for you to take advantage of the offering; companies simply try to protect themselves from unjust or unreasonable claims.
Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your LASG warranty:
- Defects or damage caused by extreme weather events (i.e. lightning, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires, flooding).
- Damage caused by unapproved maintenance, repair or alteration.
- Cosmetic defects, dents, or markings that do not impact the performance of the products.
- Any roof leaks, if it’s found that the solar installation isn’t the root cause.
Other warranty considerations, and how LA Solar Group stacks up
- Bankability: LASG is a vertically-integrated company with a diversity in product and service offerings.
- Escrows/insurance policies: LASG does not provide information on whether they have an insurance policy or an escrow that ensures their warranty will be upheld if they go out of business.
- Customer reviews: Another critical aspect of understanding a manufacturer’s warranty offering is investigating how their customers feel about their equipment and the services that they provide. Any warranty can look promising on paper, but how the installer or manufacturer performs when honoring their warranty is also critically important. If you are interested in reading LASG reviews, you can do so here.
Finding the right solar panels for you
Finding the right solar panel system for your home means comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you, and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price – warranties and all. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another–LA Solar Group or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.