We recently announced our new SunPower Complete Confidence Warranty . Today we answer all of your questions about the industry’s best 25-year solar warranty .
Q. What’s the advantage of a single warranty on the whole system all from one manufacturer?
A. A working solar system is composed of many components that work together to turn sunlight into usable power for your home. When you buy a SunPower ® solar system with components that are designed and engineered to work together, you get the confidence of knowing that not only will the system work better together, but also that, should anything go wrong, you have one company, SunPower, backing your entire system — not just a component. If there is an issue, you have just one phone call to make.
Q. Is length of coverage the most important part of a manufacturer’s warranty?A. While length of coverage is important, it’s even more important to understand the comprehensiveness of the coverage. If something goes wrong with your system, is there one company to contact, or will you have to juggle amongst multiple manufacturer warranties, each of which is responsible for only one component of your system? Can you simply pick up the phone, or are you required to send a request for help to a P. O. Box in a distant location and wait an extended period of time to receive help? Will a representative inspect the system at your home, or will you be expected to ship a faulty component, at your expense? Do you have peace of mind knowing that your system will be fixed at no extra cost to you, or will you be billed for extra charges, such as labor or shipping? These are only some of the considerations that SunPower took into account when creating our industry-leading Complete Confidence Warranty.
Q. I saw that another brand offers a warranty that also provides 25 years of coverage. Is this the same as SunPower’s warranty?
A. Other manufacturers, many of which are new to manufacturing solar, are trying to catch up to SunPower’s 30+ years of dedicated solar experience, and to the exceptional terms of our Complete Confidence warranty. Many of them include hidden charges, such as shipping and labor costs, and don’t cover all of the many parts that go into a working solar system – panels, inverters, racking system, monitoring hardware and software. SunPower is the only company who offers one comprehensive product, power, and labor warranty for all components, because we engineered and designed the entire system.
Q. Why does SunPower claim to have the best power warranty in the industry and how does this benefit me?
A. Over time, all solar panels lose a small amount of production, measured by its annual degradation rate. SunPower panels have the lowest degradation rate in the industry. This means that a system with SunPower panels can produce more power, and we back this with our 25-year Complete Confidence warranty.
Q. What does it mean when the product and power warranties reflect different lengths of coverage?
A. Homeowners should be suspicious of product and power warranties with separate lengths of terms. Product warranty covers defects, and power warranty covers how much power the system is producing. What’s the value of a longer power warranty if the product generating the power breaks but is no longer warranted?
Q. Why should I consider SunPower, when some competitors offer higher wattages?
A. The “efficiency” of a solar panel determines how much power can be generated in the same amount of space (power density). Some solar panels try to compensate for lower efficiency by creating larger-sized panels to increase wattage, but this does not solve a homeowner’s power needs since the home’s available roof space cannot change. SunPower’s high efficiency panels produce more power in the same roof space than conventional panels.
Q. Why is shipping and labor important coverage? Isn’t it cheap to replace a panel?
A. Hardware is only part of the total cost of getting a home equipped with solar. Other costs include product shipping, handling/packaging, installation, and other labor costs. SunPower covers all of this, because we know that anything short of end-to-end coverage will result in homeowners unexpectedly having to pay extra hidden costs.
Q. If I think I have a problem, what do I do?
A. You can contact your SunPower dealer who can handle your claim directly with SunPower for you. You’re also welcome to contact SunPower directly (1-800-SUNPOWER), and we will dispatch a SunPower dealer to help you. You may be asked for a description or pictures to help us better diagnose the issue, but rest assured that we’ll help make sure your system is up and running as soon as possible –at no extra cost to you.
Q. What will happen if my original installer goes out of business? Who will cover my warranty? Will I have to pay them for labor?
A. If your SunPower dealer is no longer available, you can always just call SunPower directly (1- 800-SunPower), and we will send an installer to help diagnose and resolve your issue. Because the SunPower warranty provides end-to-end coverage, there are no extra hidden costs to get your system up and running again.
Q. Does SunPower have warranty insurance in case they go bankrupt?
A. PV Panel Warranty Insurance, like any insurance policy, is riddled with fine print, and incorporate confusing details like high deductibles (also known as self-insured retention, SIR), or limits to payouts. In contrast, SunPower is a financially conservative company and maintains one of the largest reserves in the industry with one of the lowest claim rates. Your investment ultimately rests on the underlying quality and reliability of the product itself – choose the better product.
Q. Does the SunPower warranty cover coastal areas?
A. Yes, SunPower’s warranty covers systems that are installed in common beachside locations. We expect and assume that your system is exposed to a reasonable amount of salty water mist and sprays, but does not come in direct contact with large bodies of salt water (e.g., you live on a boat, or if your home experiences a flood).
This post originally appeared on the SunPower Resource Blog