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Solar panel warranty: Everything you need to know

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This Canstar Blue guide discusses solar panel warranty in Australia, including how long it applies for and what is covered.

If you’ve got solar panels, or are looking to get solar installed, it’s important to know what is covered under the solar warranty promised to you by the manufacturer and your installer. For example, if there is a defect and the energy output dramatically decreases, what assistance is your installer or manufacturer obligated to offer?

While not every solar panel warranty in Australia is exactly the same, this Canstar Blue guide outlines what you should look for.

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What is the warranty on solar panels?

Solar panel warranty will vary depending on the installer and manufacturer. The industry standard is 25 years, however, this does not mean that you can just get new panels installed when and if you feel like it. It also doesn’t guarantee that your panels will continue to work at 100% efficiency for their whole lifespan. Usually, solar panel warranty only guarantees about 80% efficiency.

What does the warranty on solar systems cover?

Whilst you might get told that your solar panel warranty is 25 years, this does not apply to the entire system. Generally, solar warranties are split into four separate warranties:

  1. Panel Performance Warranty
  2. Panel Product Warranty
  3. Inverter Warranty
  4. Solar Installation Warranty

Panel Performance Warranty

Typically, solar panels will come with a 25-year panel performance warranty from the manufacturer, protecting you against panels that degrade faster than they should. Most performance warranties guarantee that the panels will still produce 80% of their rated output after 25 years.

While this sounds great in theory, in practice it is often incredibly difficult to prove that a decrease in performance is solely due to the actual solar panel.

Panel Product Warranty

The solar panel manufacturer also provides the a product solar warranty, with most offering 10-15 years. This provides you with protection if your system underperforms due to faulty modules. Better quality solar panels come with a longer product warranty – some even up to 25 years.

Inverter Warranty

The inverter is the component of a solar system that is most likely to fail. Most solar inverter warranties cover five years however, this can sometimes be extended for an additional fee. This warranty is fairly important as the inverter failing makes the whole system basically pointless.

Solar Installer Warranty

The solar retailer may offer you an installation warranty, which covers the solar panel installation, that can vary from 12 months up to 10 years. Solar installation warranties are usually vague, so it is really important to make sure you know exactly what you’re covered for and who the warranty itself is with (i.e. whether the retailer or sub-contractor are liable).

How to make sure that you’re getting a good deal

To make sure your solar panel warranty is as good as it can be you should ask as many questions as possible prior to your install. Some key questions that you should know the answers to when you sign the contract are:

  • What is the warranty period for installation?
  • What specifically is covered?
  • What would void the warranty?
  • What is the average response time for a call out?
  • What is the warranty on the cables and other components used during installation?

If the retailer can’t answer any of these questions clearly then it may be a sign to look elsewhere. Some contracts include clauses that void the warranty for factors like shade or installation issues, so make sure you read the contract thoroughly before making your decision.

How do I make a warranty claim?

The first thing to do if you notice that there may be an issue with your solar system is to contact your installer or retailer. They will be able to arrange an inspection or take a look at your system remotely to help diagnose the problem. If a fault is found with the panel and it is within the manufacturer’s warranty period then the installer should lodge the warranty claim for you.

If you can’t get a hold of your solar installer, a solar specialist should still be able to come out and inspect your panels to offer advice on the best way to proceed. Otherwise, contact the manufacturer directly (their information should be on the solar warranty documentation you would have received when our solar system was installed). If all of this is unsuccessful, the next step would be to contact the relevant Office of Fair Trading who can negotiate on your behalf, arranging mediation where necessary.

Before a claim is accepted, the manufacturers will likely require documentation of the issue, including things like photos, reports and details of the installer. If there was an issue with the installation then this may lead to the manufacturer rejecting the claim.

Once the solar panel warranty claim has been approved, it is a simple matter of getting those panels replaced or repaired within a reasonable timeframe.

Compare solar plans 

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Ausgrid network in Sydney but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 3911kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Citipower network in Melbourne but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4000kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on the Energex network in Brisbane but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4613kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Here are some of the cheapest solar-specific deals from the retailers on our database. These costs are based on SA Power network in Adelaide but prices will vary depending on your circumstances. We show one product per retailer, listed in order of lowest price first. Annual price estimates assume general energy usage of 4011kWh/year for a residential customer on a single rate tariff. Price estimates exclude solar feed-in tariff credits. These are products from referral partners†. Our database may not cover all deals in your area, and please check retailer websites for up to date information.

Does installing solar panels void roof warranty?

Not necessarily however, it is important that the installers are careful and know what they’re doing. If they cause accidental damage then you might find your roof warranty invalidated. Some things that may cause this include:

  • Damage to roofing membrane or tiles
  • Inadequate racking systems
  • Using the wrong fasteners on your roof

The most important thing when installing solar panels is to get a reputable installer for the job. If you are looking for a good quality solar installer be sure to check out our solar installers comparison where consumers have rated installers based on a number of factors such as customer service, solar system performance, installation process, durability and set-up cost.

Best-Rated Solar Installers

Image credits: anatoliy_gleb/Shutterstock.com

Kelseigh Wrigley
Energy Specialist
Kelseigh Wrigley was a content producer at Canstar Blue for three years until 2024, most recently as an Energy Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.

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