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. This article reviews the warranty offering of Solaria, an innovative manufacturer of solar panels and solar panel tracking systems.
Highlights of Solaria’s warranty
- Offers a 25-year product warranty
- Covers up to $500 total in labor costs
- Covers shipping of parts for replacement
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar options from local installers.
Quick overview: Solaria’s history and warranty
Solaria is a U.S. based manufacturer founded in 2000 and headquartered in Fremont, CA. Since they joined the industry, Solaria has been producing commercial and residential solar panels with a unique “shingled” solar cell pattern. This pattern allows for increased panel efficiency and wattage over a smaller surface area, and also gives their panels a sleek, all black look with fewer gaps between cells than in traditional solar panels.
Solaria's solar panel warranty at a glance
|Category||Solaria's coverage||Industry Standard|
|Product||25 years||10 years|
|Power||86% at year 25||80% at year 25|
|Labor costs||Up to $500 (no more than $300 for the first visit and no more than $200 for the second visit)||No|
|Shipping of parts||Yes||No|
|Extended warranty offering||Yes, offers extended performance warranty to 83.5% at year 30 via a select finance partner||No|
Solaria’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.
Solaria includes a 25 year product warranty for all of their solar panels.
Solaria’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.
Solaria provides a 25-year power warranty for both their panel and shingle technology, which guarantees that their products will still produce at least 86.0% of their original output by the end of the warranty term:
- 98% output at the end of year 1
- No more than 0.5% degradation from years 2-25
- Power output of 86.0% by year 25
You can review and compare Solaria’s solar panels in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
Does Solaria 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.
Solaria offers an extended 30-year power warranty to 83.5% via a select finance partner. You can take advantage of this extended warranty by contacting your installer or Solaria directly.
Solaria’s 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. Solaria does not offer workmanship warranties on behalf of installers of their products.
You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with Solaria: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your solar panel system will continue operating smoothly for 25+ years, and you never have to worry about Solaria’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your solar panel system, Solaria 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 Solaria on your behalf. Solaria will pay for the shipping or any replacement products, and they will pay up to $300 in labor to cover a first visit and up to $200 in labor to cover a second visit.
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 Solaria directly to make a claim. Solaria will assist you in finding an installer to replace their equipment and will still honor their warranty if the system’s original installer goes out of business.
Limitations and exceptions to Solaria’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – Solaria’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 Solaria 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
- Damage during shipping
- Moving an installing the system at another location other than the original installation site
Other warranty considerations, and how Solaria stacks up
- Bankability: Solaria conducts third party testing to provide additional technical due diligence.
- Escrows/insurance policies: Solaria 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 Solaria’s 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–Solaria or otherwise–simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.