What should you know about warranties?

Warranties are key to ensuring that your photovoltaic system will be repaired if something should malfunction during the warranty period. photovoltaic systems eligible for some solar rebate programs must carry a full (not “limited”) two-year warranty, in addition to any manufacturers' warranties on specific components. This warranty should cover all parts and labor, including the of removing any defective component, shipping it to the manufacturer, and reinstalling the component after it is repaired or replaced. The rebate program's two-year warranty requirement supersedes any other warranty limitations. In other words, even if the manufacturer's warranty on a particular component is less than two years, the system vendor must provide you with a two-year warranty. Similarly, even if the manufacturer's warranty is a limited warranty that does not include the cost of removing, shipping, and reinstalling defective components, the system vendor must cover these if the retailer/vendor also installed the system.

Be sure you know who is responsible for honoring the various warranties associated with your system—the installer, the dealer, or the manufacturer. The vendor should disclose the warranty responsibility of each party. Know the financial arrangements, such as contractor's bonds, that ensure the warranty will be honored. (A warranty does not guarantee that the company will remain in business). Find out whom to contact if there is a problem. Under some solar rebate programs, vendors must provide documentation on system and component warranty coverage and claims procedures. To avoid any later misunderstandings, be sure to read the warranty carefully and review the terms and conditions with your retailer/vendor.