Solar Product Warranties vs. Workmanship Warranties – What’s the Deal?


As you begin your search for photovoltaic (PV) installers, you’ll likely come across 2 similar-sounding concepts:

1.) Solar Product Warranties

2.) Solar Workmanship Warranties


But what do these 2 terms mean exactly? And how do they differ?

Solar Product Warranties Defined

Solar product warranties are very similar to what you receive whenever you buy consumer goods like iPads, televisions, or computers. In essence, the manufacturer guarantees that its product will not break for a set period of time.

But with most electronic products, the best you can hope for is about 1 year of coverage—maybe 3 years if you buy extended protection.

However, PV products work a little differently.

Because solar doesn’t have any moving parts, it is one of the most durable energy generation technologies in the world. Moreover, each component is rigorously tested before shipping to market.

As a result:

  • Most panel optimizers carry warranties ranging from 12 to 25 years (depending on the manufacturer). If anything happens, the original factory will replace the defective part free of charge.
  • Solar PV panels come with standard warranties of 25 years. Again, if anything happens, you receive a replacement part for free. However most panels last much longer—sometimes for as many as 40 years.

Solar panels come with 25-year manufacturer warranties. Panel optimizer warranties range from 12 to 25 years.

It’s important to note that all solar panels degrade with time—usually about 0.5% every year. This is why manufacturers only guarantee 80% performance or higher after 25 years.

To learn more about PV product warranties at Direct Energy Solar, click here.

Now let’s turn to the other type of warranty—the one that covers installation workmanship.

Solar Workmanship Warranties Defined

Whereas product warranties protect you against component-related issues, workmanship warranties protect you from labor-related defects—i.e. those arising from the actual installation process.

This type of guarantee states that:

  • The design, assembly, and installation are all done correctly
  • The system will perform as expected—without malfunction
  • Any defects that may arise will be fixed free of charge

All Direct Energy Solar installations come with 20 year workmanship warranties.

Solar workmanship warranties vary depending on the installer. Some offer none, while others provide 5 years of continuous coverage.

At Direct Energy Solar, all of our installations come with 20-year workmanship warranties.

To learn more about our solar workmanship warranties, click here.

For Truly Worry-Free Solar Protection, Be Sure to…

As a general rule, you should avoid any contractors who don’t provide both types of warranties—product and workmanship.

The longer the coverage, the better.

However, there is one final type of coverage that a select number of installers provide—a solar production guarantee.

With this type of protection, the installer promises that your system will deliver a predetermined amount of solar energy every billing cycle. If your installation ever falls below this threshold, the contractor will correct the problem—and even compensate you for any financial losses.

At Direct Energy Solar, this 20-year coverage comes standard with all of our installations. And when you combine this with our other worry-free guarantees, you never have to concern yourself with breakages or performance dips. We even monitor your system’s energy output on your behalf.

Our goal is to help you enjoy peace of mind and get the most out of your solar investment.

To learn more, contact us today for a free consultation.