While some solar panel warranties aren't worth the paper they're written on, Sunpower's 25-year "No Worries" warranty is worth its weight in gold!
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What does your warranty actually cover?
Almost all solar panels come with some kind of “warranty”, even the cheapest, nastiest ones. We have consumer laws to make sure of that. But if you check closely you’ll notice the warranty probably only covers parts – and occasionally the freight to get it to you.
When it comes to the labour to take down the faulty panel, replace and then legally dispose of it, those costs are your responsibility. If they’re still around, the company that sold you the panels may do the right thing, but they’re not under any obligation. To put that into perspective, over 1,000 solar installers closed their doors in Australia in the last decade.
It is also important not to confuse a “product” warranty with a “performance” warranty. The product warranty gives you a good indication of how long the manufacturer is confident their product will last. As soon as your product warranty ends, you have no warranty.
|WARNING: The cost to remove and dispose of a failed solar system is quite considerable - with environmental regulations meaning specialised waste disposal is required. This should be factored in when buying cheap solar systems - the removal and disposal costs could be the same or more than the original purchase price.|
Only SunPower solar panels “No Worries Warranty” covers the lot:
- Panel replacement – 25 years
- Freight – 25 years
- Labour – 25 years
- Disposal – 25 years.
And remember, this is a manufacturer’s warranty, backed by a stable and respected company. SunPower panels are manufactured by Maxeon whose majority shareholder is Total - the French Oil and Gas conglomerate, and 10th largest company in the world. SunPower pays for the cost of panel replacement, freight, labour and disposal. So, even if your solar installer is not around, you are still covered.
Why does warranty length matter?
The length of a warranty is a pretty good indication of how long the manufacturer expects their product to last. It’s natural that cheap solar panels will have a short, parts-only, warranty, because of the corners that have been cut to keep the price so low.
It’s also an indication of how quickly the panel will degrade and produce less-and-less energy. This means your panels may only be producing a small fraction of their original capacity by the time the limited warranty ends.
Not only does SunPower’s warranty cover everything mentioned above for 25 years, they also outperform any other panel on the market for up to 4-times longer.
SunPower has been manufacturing and installing solar panels since 1985 and at the cutting-edge of developing the technology ever since. Because of this they have almost 40 years of research, data and independent reviews of their product’s performance. SunPower can provide their “No Worries” warranty because they have complete confidence in their product’s performance and longevity.
68.5% of panels globally have only been installed over the last five years - many of them from new companies that may have been founded as little as five years ago. Because they are new to the industry, these new panel manufacturers have no idea how their panels will perform over the medium-to-long-term, in real-world environments.
Can where a panel is made impact the warranty?
The short answer to this is yes. The US Government has banned the import of solar panels made with materials produced by Western Chinese companies connected to forced labour programs. The EU and other western countries are currently reviewing this situation.
|LATE BREAKING NEWS: The US is ramping up its enforcement, with Canadian Solar, Jinko Solar and Trina Solar imported panels all being held up at US Customs until they can prove their supply chain has not included Western China. Jinko Solar reportedly has more than 100MW of panels being held.|
This decision has huge implications for Australian solar purchasers.
It is almost certain that Australia will soon follow the USA’s lead. This would deny market access for cheap Chinese solar panel brands such as Canadian Solar, JA Solar, Jinko, Longi and Trina.
If blocked from the Australian market, local offices will close, making it almost impossible to arrange replacement panels – which would be banned from entering the country anyway.
Because SunPower Solar Panels are manufactured in locations including France, Malaysia, Philippines, Mexico and Eastern China – not Western China, they will not be affected by any potential ban.
Along with producing the best solar panels on the market, SunPower ensures there is no forced labour in their supply chain. As a NASDAQ listed company, SunPower’s manufacturer, Maxeon, strictly implements a Global Human Rights Policy that is independently audited annually.
Latest update on panels actually being blocked:
View a Bloomberg News video on the issue at:
For more information about Maxeon, see:
Does a 25-year warranty mean more expensive panels?
Well, yes… and no.
SunPower makes the best performing solar panels available, which means the original purchase price is a little higher, but because they keep performing from 2.5 to up to 4 times longer than the majority of panels on the market, they pay for themselves many more times over.
And because your upfront cost generally translates into a just a slightly longer payback period – which is cost-neutral (or more likely cost-positive) because of the energy your panels are creating – you could actually be saving up to 400% more over 25 years and beyond.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information about solar warranties. We hope it has explained things clearly and helped you to become more confident about the right solar panel choice for you.
Remember, always ask the right questions, read the small print and make sure you don’t fall into the solar warranty trap!
If you’d like to know more about the SunPower 25-year "no worries" warranty, we’d love to talk to you.
Better still, fill out the form at the top to get Sunpower for $0 upfront now!
Alternatively, call us on 08 7120 6377 or hit one of the buttons on this page to organise a free consultation.
Accreditation: Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer
Clean Energy Council Accredited Installer
Evidence of an installer’s competence in the design and installation of stand-alone and grid-connected solar PV systems. Systems designed and installed by CEC-accredited installers are eligible for government incentives and rebates. Laurie Centofanti and Peter Doyle are CEC Accredited Installers.
Accreditation: Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer
Clean Energy Council Approved Solar Retailer
This Code of Conduct is a way for solar businesses to show their commitment to responsible sales and marketing activities and solar industry best practice.
Accreditation: Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator
Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator
Working with Australia’s biggest energy users
Energy Busters engineering team leader is an accredited auditor (Category 1) with the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) (a Federal Government Agency) and audits large energy users on their behalf - conducting NGER and carbon audits across Australia for many ASX200 companies.
Accreditation: The Association of Energy Engineers Certified Measurement and Verification Professional
The Association of Energy Engineers Certified Measurement and Verification Professional
Leaders in energy efficiency
CMVP, or certified measurement and verification professional, is the highest accreditation in the energy efficiency arena. Two of Energy Buster’s senior engineers, based in Adelaide, are CMVP-accredited. They lead our engineering team, enhancing our energy modelling capabilities, researching the viability of new technologies and providing quality assurance.
Accreditation: Climate Active
Accreditation: Smart Energy Council
Smart Energy Council
Peak industry body for solar, storage and smart energy management
A not-for-profit membership organisation committed to clean, efficient, cheap and smart energy solutions for all Australians.
Accreditation: SunPower Elite Partner
SunPower Elite Partner
Membership of SunPower’s verified local solar installer network, committed to helping customers maximise the value of their SunPower solar investment. SunPower chooses its partners for their proven reliability and commitment to quality.
Accreditation: Sustainable Engineering Society
Sustainable Engineering Society
A technical society of Engineers Australia, open to all engineers and other professionals working towards environmental sustainability. Provides national focus and leadership within the engineering profession on sustainability for the benefit of society. Offers continuing professional development and education and networking and advocacy opportunities.