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’ll be breaking down the warranty of one of the most popular solar panel companies in the industry: Panasonic.
Highlights of Panasonic’s warranty
- Includes a labor warranty (25 years if installed by an Authorized, Premium, or Elite Installer and registered within 60 days of Warranty Start Date)
- Covers replacements and/or repairs at no cost to you
- Is an all-encompassing warranty (i.e. includes every main component of your system, including Enphase inverters and Unirac or IronRidge racking system)
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar options from local installers.
Quick overview: Panasonic’s history and warranty
Panasonic is one of the oldest and largest consumer electronics manufacturers in the world. Founded in 1918, Panasonic began their journey as a lightbulb socket manufacturer. Today, Panasonic is committed to enabling its customers through innovations in sustainable energy, immersive entertainment, integrated supply chains, and smart mobility solutions, with over 250,000 employees worldwide. With over 40 years of experience in the solar industry, Panasonic has become one of the most popular brands. In fact, in 2021, Panasonic was the most quoted solar panel brand on the EnergySage Marketplace.
Panasonic offers one of the best solar panel warranties in the industry. Their TripleGuard Warranty includes a 25-year product, power, and labor warranty for their standalone panels. When you bundle your Panasonic panels with Enphase microinverters, Panasonic offers an even more extensive warranty: the AllGuard Warranty. This warranty offers all of the benefits of the TripleGuard Warranty, while also extending to the microinverters, racking, and monitoring system.
Panasonic's solar panel warranty at a glance
|CATEGORY||PANASONIC'S COVERAGE||INDUSTRY STANDARD|
|Product||25 years||10 years|
|Power||90.76% for HIT, 92% for EverVolt at year 25||80% at year 25|
|Shipping of parts||Yes||No|
|Extended warranty offering||No||No|
Panasonic’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.
Panasonic includes a 25-year product warranty for all of their solar panels.
Panasonic’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.
Panasonic provides a 25-year power warranty. Their HIT series power warranties guarantee that their panels will still produce at least 90.76% of their original output by the end of the warranty term:
- 97% output at the end of year 1
- No more than 0.26% degradation from years 2-25
- Power output of 90.76% by year 25
Their EverVolt power warranty guarantees that their panels will still produce at least 92% of their original output by the end of the warranty term:
- 98% output at the end of year 1
- No more than 0.25% degradation from years 2-25
- Power output of 92% by year 25
You can review and compare Panasonic’s solar panels in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
Does Panasonic 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.
Panasonic does not currently offer extended warranties for their solar panels.
Panasonic workmanship & labor 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 – Panasonic is one of these companies.
When you purchase and install your solar system through a Panasonic Authorized, Premium, or Elite installer, you can expect a 25-year labor workmanship warranty backed by Panasonic. If you purchase Enphase microinverters bundled with your Panasonic solar panels, this workmanship warranty will extend to your entire solar system (although the monitoring components will only be covered for five years).
You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with Panasonic: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your solar panel system will continue operating smoothly for 25+ years, and you never have to worry about Panasonic’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your solar panel system, Panasonic 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 Panasonic on your behalf. Importantly, because Panasonic covers labor and shipping costs under their warranty, you don’t need to worry about paying any additional costs to get your system fixed. If, for whatever reason, Panasonic cannot fix or replace your panel, they will compensate you for reduced solar panel performance based on the number of months since the original purchase date and the difference between the power output and the minimal guaranteed output.
Unfortunately, solar installers can go out of business, and you may find yourself in a position where you can no longer call the business that installed your system for help. In this case, you can work with Panasonic directly to make a claim. Even in this situation, Panasonic will cover any costs associated with the warranty claim. Their warranty claim filing process documentation breaks down everything you will need to send to Panasonic, including: a completed claim form and certain photos of your system, depending on the issue you’re experiencing.
It’s worth pointing out that Panasonic’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. 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!
Limitations and exceptions to Panasonic’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – Panasonic’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 Panasonic warranty:
- Damage caused by extreme weather events (i.e. earthquakes, typhoons, tornados, lightning, heavy snow, fire, etc.)
- Damage or corrosion from environmental pollution (i.e., soot, chemical vapor, acid rain, etc.), direct contact with saltwater (i.e. ocean spray), immersion in water (i.e. due to flooding), or mold
- Damage caused by unapproved maintenance, repair or alteration
- Products that aren’t registered or don’t have evidence of purchase or installation by a qualified licensed solar or electrical contractor
- Cosmetic variations, strains, or scratches that do not affect power output
- Damage due to neglect, vandalism, accident, animals, or external stress (i.e. from falling debris)
Other warranty considerations, and how Panasonic stacks up
- Bankability: Panasonic is a highly bankable, well-established consumer electronics company with a diversity in product offerings and over 100 years of history.
- Escrows/insurance policies: Panasonic does not provide information on whether they have insurance policies or an escrow that ensures their warranties 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 Panasonic’s reviews, you can do so on their EnergySage company profile.
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–Panasonic or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.