Warranties and insurance

Check what the warranties include before purchasing your solar products or insurance.

A warranty is an assurance your rooftop solar or battery system will work for the warranty period. It is in addition to the rights you automatically have under Australian Consumer Law.

If there is a fault or issue, a warranty may cover the cost of repair or replacement. There will be exceptions, such as damage caused by you or by the weather.

This information is general in nature and is not intended to be financial, legal or professional advice. You should obtain your own advice, tailored to your circumstances. See the website’s terms of use.

Product warranty

A product warranty covers faulty products.

A product warranty is sometimes called a manufacturer’s warranty or a warranty against defects.

Solar panel product warranty

For many panels, the product warranty is between 10 and 15 years.

Good quality, modern panels should last for at least 20 years. Some manufacturers now provide product warranties for 25 years or more.

This is the most important solar panel warranty to consider.

When choosing your solar panels, remember to check what is and isn't covered. For example, most warranties don't cover hail damage.

Inverter product warranty

Inverter

Common warranty

String inverter

5-10 years

Micro inverter (attached to rail)

10 years

Micro inverter (attached to panel)

25 years

Battery inverter

5-10 years

Hybrid inverter

5-10 years

For most solar systems, inverters will need to be replaced before the solar panels.

Solar panel performance warranty

Almost all solar panels come with a 25-year performance warranty.

This is the minimum output of working panels. The warranty is an assurance about the quality of the panels, not just about fixing defects.

Solar panel energy generation decreases over their lifetime. This is called “degradation”.

Manufacturers often guarantee that their solar panels will perform at a certain level for a certain period. The performance warranty describes the maximum degradation.

For example, a standard performance warranty is 90% up to 10 years, and 80% up to 25 years.

This means that for the first 10 years, your solar panels should produce at least 90% of their power capacity. Between 10 and 25 years, they should still work at 80% capacity.

Performance warranties can be difficult to enforce. If the panel fails, it is often the overall product warranty that can be enforced.

Workmanship warranty

A workmanship warranty is sometimes called an installation warranty.

It covers issues from the installation of your solar power components. For example, a leaky roof caused by cracked tiles.

A workmanship warranty is usually 5 years.

Battery warranties

As with any product, batteries degrade over time. This is a normal process and can’t be avoided. Manufacturers offer a range of warranties to guarantee performance of batteries to a certain level.

Many battery manufacturers offer a 10-year product warranty, reflecting the average life of the battery. The warranty terms could however be shorter depending on the type of battery, its storage capacity and how it is used.

For example, manufacturers may guarantee a fixed term in years (say, 10 years) or a minimum number of cycles over a battery’s lifetime, whichever comes first. A cycle refers to the number of times a battery is charged and discharged – often a daily occurrence for Australian households.

Alternatively, manufacturers may offer a throughput warranty. This refers to the total energy a manufacturer expects a battery to deliver throughout its lifespan, and it is often stated in terms of megawatt-hours (MWh). Similar to cycle warranties, throughput warranties typically only apply if your battery reaches its throughput guarantee within the warranty period (e.g. 10 years).

Another type of battery warranty is an end-of-warranty capacity rating. This is a guarantee that your battery will retain a certain amount of capacity throughout the warranty period. For example, manufacturers may guarantee 60% of your battery’s original capacity for 10 years.

Be sure to check what is covered in the warranties before choosing your battery product and talk to your solar retailer or installer about any warranty limitations and exceptions that may apply, including conditions of operation.

Some manufacturers impose conditions of use on their battery warranties. This may include limitations on the number of times you are allowed to charge and discharge your battery per day, whether you can purchase electricity from the grid to store in your battery, and the weather conditions the battery can be exposed to.

Talk to your solar retailer or installer about any warranty limitations and exceptions that may apply, including conditions of operation.

Extended warranties

Most basic product warranties are included in the sale price and sometimes can be extended for an optional fee.

Suppliers must not try to sell you an extended warranty by telling you that it will give you more rights than you automatically have under the consumer guarantees in the Australian Consumer Law if that is not true. They also can’t try to sell you a product which only replicates the rights you have under the Australian Consumer Law.

Make sure your solar retailer or installer provides you with clear information about how the solar system works and its expected performance, as well as system warranties.

This should include:

  • information on any warranty limitations and exceptions, such as conditions of operation
  • a clear understanding about how to make a claim
  • who is responsible for any associated expenses.

Insuring your solar system

Warranties usually do not cover things like hail damage. You can add another level of protection by taking out insurance on your solar system. 

Insurance requirements differ depending on whether you are a homeowner, business owner, renter, landlord or member of a body corporate. Talk to your insurance provider and/or body corporate manager early to check the requirements for your circumstances.

Any changes to your insurance policies may result in an increase to your premiums and you may also need to increase the building sum insured.

Make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered by your insurance policies, and what the benefits are for events that are covered.  Common insured events include weather such as hail or windstorms, vandalism, theft and accidental damage. Some insurers offer additional optional coverage for solar panels.

What to do if you have a fault

If you suspect a fault in your solar system, contact your solar retailer or installer. They should be able to check your system to find any faults. If you are within the warranty period, this may be free.

Problems with the solar panels themselves, or any associated equipment such as batteries and inverters, are likely to be covered by the associated product or performance warranty during the warranty period. Contact your solar retailer or installer in the first instance.

If your solar system is damaged by events covered by your insurance policies, contact your insurance provider.

Monitoring devices can tell you if your solar system isn't working correctly. Talk to your solar retailer or installer about the monitoring options available.  

System-wide checks by an accredited installer can also help you see if parts of your solar system aren’t working as well as they should be.

To learn more about monitoring your solar system's performance, see Monitor your solar system.