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 inverter companies in the industry: SolarEdge.
Highlights of SolarEdge’s warranty
- SolarEdge provides two separate warranty terms: a standard 12-year warranty for their inverters, and 25 years for their power optimizers
- The company provides an extended inverter warranty–up to either 20 and 25 years–at an additional cost
- SolarEdge gives installers a labor reimbursement to help cover costs associated with maintenance or replacements
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar options from local installers.
Quick overview: SolarEdge’s history and warranty
SolarEdge is an Israel-based company, originally founded back in 2006. They are known for pioneering the DC power optimizer solution that is popular among residential, commercial and industrial (C&I), and utility-scale solar installations. “Popular” may be putting it lightly: more than 2 million solar installations worldwide take advantage of SolarEdge’s inverter solutions.
While solar panels have a lifetime of 25+ years, the same cannot always be said for inverters: most last 10-20 years, so there’s a high chance you’ll need to replace your inverter at some point during the lifetime of your solar panel system. Fortunately, SolarEdge provides a warranty that helps protect you should your inverter experience issues.
SolarEdge's inverter warranty at a glance
|Category||SolarEdge's Coverage||Industry Standard|
|Product (inverter)||12 years||12 years for string inverters, 25 years for microinverters|
|Product (power optimizer equipment - for string inverters only)||25 years||25 years|
|Product (communication equipment)||5 years||5 years|
|Labor costs||$125-$225 labor reimbursement paid directly to installers||No|
|Shipping of parts||Yes||Yes|
|Transferability||No transfer fee||Transfer fee|
|Extended warranty offering||Up to 20 or 25 years, at an additional cost||No|
Also known as a materials warranty, an inverter product warranty covers the integrity of the equipment itself. If your solar inverter has a defect, mechanical issue, or experiences unreasonable wear and tear, that’s where your product warranty comes into play.
SolarEdge offers three separate product warranties for its inverter technologies: one for the inverter itself, another for the module level power electronics (MLPEs) – AKA its power optimizers – and one for the communications equipment (which provide wireless communication between the inverter and your monitoring platform). The power optimizers have a product warranty of 25 years, similar to the level of coverage for the panels that lie on top of them. The inverter, on the other hand, comes with a standard 12-year warranty and the communications equipment is covered for 5 years.
Inverter replacement: what happens if your product is no longer available?
Let’s say you have a solar inverter that dies after nine years – inverter technology continues to advance, and by then, SolarEdge will probably have a brand new product stock. Will they be able to replace your broken inverter?
Should this happen to you, SolarEdge will either offer a replacement, comparable product or provide a credit that you can use to purchase a new inverter solution.
Does SolarEdge offer extended warranties?
Need more protection for peace of mind? Many solar inverter companies offer extended warranties for their products. Depending on the company and the product, an extended warranty may come at an extra cost, or only be available for certain installers who have been certified and endorsed by the manufacturer.
SolarEdge offers an extended product warranty between 20-25 years for their inverters, depending on the model. Prices for the warranty extension also vary by product, but generally range between $140 and $700 for their residential solutions. You can either purchase this additional protection directly on SolarEdge’s website, or ask your installer to include it in your quote and signed agreement – in fact, some installation companies even offer the extended warranty solution from the get-go!
More often than not, solar installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship–or labor–warranties for your solar installation – they’re performing the actual installation work, after all! However, it’s becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to offer an extra safeguard by tacking on their own workmanship warranty coverage. When applicable, it’s typically only an option if you work with specific installers in a manufacturer’s certified network.
SolarEdge does not currently offer a workmanship warranty to their customers.
How to make a warranty claim with SolarEdge: shipping & labor costs
If you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, SolarEdge will be there to help.
To start, if you notice an issue with your inverter, 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 you can’t get in touch with your installer, or they’ve gone out of business, SolarEdge has an installer directory you can use to find another company to help out with the problem.
Once the installer has identified any issue eligible for a warranty claim, they can begin the return merchandise authorization (RMA) process with SolarEdge directly. Depending on the problem at hand, your installer may be able to diagnose the issue remotely and initiate the fix straight from their cell phone! SolarEdge makes it possible for installers of a certain training to submit an RMA without placing a single call to them. However, in many circumstances, the installer will have to make a site visit in order to either identify or confirm what’s going on with your system.
When it comes time for any repairs or replacements, there are two additional warranty considerations you’ll want to keep in mind: labor and shipping costs.
Labor costs for diagnostics, repairs or replacements
Many manufacturers cover replacement parts at no extra cost, but don’t pay for the labor costs necessary to re-install that equipment. Fortunately, SolarEdge helps cover labor costs for replacing and repairing their Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) approved products up to a certain amount. While they don’t cover all fees, they provide a 12-year RMA labor reimbursement for their power optimizers of $125, plus $25 per every additional optimizer. For their inverters, the RMA labor reimbursement is applicable for 5 years, and the amount changes depending on when you’re using it: $225 plus $25 for every additional inverter during years 1-2, or $125 plus $25 for every additional inverter during years 3-5. Their communications equipment comes with $125 for RMA labor reimbursements during the 5-year warranty period. Importantly, this reimbursement is paid directly to the installer, and may not cover all the labor costs associated with the warranty claim.
Shipping of parts
Similarly, not all equipment manufacturers will pay the costs to get equipment to you – but SolarEdge isn’t one of them! They’ll cover shipping costs for replacement equipment as part of their warranty agreement, so long as the “claim is justified”. This means that they’ve confirmed it’s a reasonable claim, and you and your installer followed the proper RMA process.
Importantly, while SolarEdge will cover shipping costs, you may have to pay value added taxes associated with the shipment.
Comparing product and power warranty terms: the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide
What are some of the most popular SolarEdge products on the market today? Using the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide, you can compare the warranties, performance, and aesthetics of top solar inverters. There’s a lot in there, so we recommend using the filter and sorting functionalities to find the right inverter for you.
Limitations and exceptions
Every warranty comes with limitations and exceptions, including SolarEdge’s. These limitations aren’t meant to make it difficult for you or other customers to take advantage of their offering; at the end of the day, they simply need to protect themselves from unreasonable claims.
Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your SolarEdge warranty:
- Damage as a result of misuse, abuse, accident, negligence or failure to maintain their products
- Any damage from power surges, lightning, fire, flood, pest damage, accident, action of third parties, or other events beyond SolarEdge’s reasonable control or not arising from normal operating conditions
- Superficial defects, such as dents, marks or scratches
- Any products that are separate from which are separate from their products, including cables, fuses, wires and connectors, regardless of whether they come from SolarEdge or others.
Other warranty considerations, and how SolarEdge stacks up
- Transferability: As long as your equipment remains in place, you can transfer your SolarEdge warranties to new owners of your system at no cost.
- Bankability: SolarEdge is a public company (SEDG) traded on NASDAQ. They’ve been approved by major banks and financial institutions worldwide. To learn more about their financials, visit their investor page.
- Escrows/insurance policies: SolarEdge does not have an insurance policy or an escrow account to ensure that their warranties will be upheld in the event that they go out of business; however, SolarEdge does have a large warranty reserve, which is in compliance with the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
- Eligibility: Some manufacturers require customers to permanently connect to their monitoring system in order for their warranty to be valid. SolarEdge’s warranty is applicable regardless of connection to their monitoring platform.
- 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 SolarEdge’s reviews, you can do so here.
The best way to compare solar inverter options – warranties and all!
The key to finding the right solar panel system for your home is 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. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another, simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.