Solar performance guarantees

Adding solar panels is one of the safest investments you can make for your home, and the top solar panel manufacturers give you even more peace of mind by offering solar performance guarantees. Solar panels, and the parts that make up the rest of the system, are designed to last for decades. With a guarantee, you know that your solar panels will continue to bring you a specific amount of electricity over the years– or the manufacturer will fix the issue.

How is a solar performance guarantee different from a product warranty?

A product warranty covers the different parts in your system– a typical warranty will say that if anything goes wrong because of a manufacturing defect, you’ll get a new part. (Like most warranties, it will probably say something about normal use; if you’re holding rooftop dance parties on your solar panels and something breaks, you might be out of luck). You’ll also get a service warranty, which covers any issues from installation.

A performance guarantee, on the other hand, looks at the actual power output of your panels. It guarantees not just that the solar panel will work, but that it will perform at a high level. When you get your new solar system, it will come with specs that tell you the minimum peak output of your panels. With a guarantee, you’ll know that your panels are going to put out a certain percentage of their rated power.

What performance should I expect from my solar panels?

A strong, reliable home solar system can work for decades through heat, cold, rain, and snow. Talk to your installer about the expected lifetime of your solar panels. You want a system that can maximize the amount of power you get out and the amount of money you save on electric bills. Performance guarantees will tell you the minimum amount of power you can count on getting from your solar panels. Like a rechargeable battery, solar panels produce slightly less power after you’ve had them for many years, but you’ll always get a specified output. Some performance guarantees say that you’ll get at least 90% of the rated power output for the first 10 years, and 80% for 25 years. If your panels don’t perform, the guarantee will often not just replace the part, but also pay you back for any shortfall in power.

How can I monitor the performance of my solar panels?

Part of the fun of having solar panels is watching them pump out power (and save you money). Most systems provide an in-home display to see how your panels are performing, and you may also be able to monitor performance online or through a mobile app. Some manufacturers automatically notify dealers if there’s any performance issue, so you don’t need to monitor the panels yourself. Want to learn more about solar performance guarantees available in your area? Sign up with to learn about current deals.