When it comes to considering solar as an option for your home, many people want to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth.
This isn’t as simple as looking for the cheapest option. In fact, low price listings are often an indication that the manufacturer or installer has cut corners. This is a dangerous way to operate.
Warranties are an important consideration in your commitment to going solar. LG Energy has provided answers to six common questions buyers have about the warranties of their solar products.
The LG warranty is one of the most solid warranties offered for solar panels in Australia. Consumers get a 25 year Manufacturer’s Warranty on the NeON2 and NeON R modules against any manufacturing fault, as well as a 25 year Output Warranty to ensure the solar power panels will still produce at least 90.08% of their nominated output in 25 years for the NeON 2 and 90.8% for the NeON R. LG also covers the labour and transport in areas within 80kms to capital cities; please read the LG warranty conditions for details.
LG panels are also ensured to not generate fewer watts than rated on the name plate; as the LG output tolerance is up to 3%, a new 350W module will always give you an output of more than 350W*, such as 352 or 354W. This means you get what you pay for. In the case of some cheaper panels some have a +/- 3% output tolerance, meaning a 326W panel can still be called a 330W panel.
*under test conditions at 25C ambient.
Lastly, LG’s warranty is transferable, meaning that if you sell your house the new owners gain the benefits of the remaining warranty period. Some other manufacturers’ warranties are not transferable.
If you received a rebate when buying your solar power system, then the solar rebate conditions usually require that the solar system must remain at the installed location. This means you cannot simply unscrew the solar panels and mounting system, disconnect the solar inverter and take the whole system with you. The panels have to remain with your old home.
The warranties provided in the LG Manufacturer’s warranty are transferable when the module remains installed in its original location. This means, when a customer sells their home with LG Modules installed, the new owners of the property will continue to enjoy the LG manufacturer’s warranty protection. The warranty period runs from the original date of purchase.
Solar panels generally come with an Output or Performance Warranty (in LG’s case it is 25 years) and a Manufacturing Warranty (in LG’s case also 25 years).
It is important to know who is providing the warranty – the manufacturer or the importer. In brands like LG the manufacturer and importer is LG Electronics, so if anything goes wrong LG Electronics will be the party responsible. In cases where a manufacturer has no representation in Australia, the importer is responsible for the warranty. If the importer changes their business name, sells or ceases to be in business, their Manufacturer’s Warranty obligations towards you stops. Also in case the importer only has a small number of staff and operates out of a virtual office, how strong is the warranty really? LG with it’s close to 1 billion Annual business has real skin in the game in Australia and New Zealand, via our existing business investments.
Because the warranties are for a long period of time and the solar industry is volatile, it is almost always better to choose a solar panel from a manufacturer that is diversified (meaning makes a range of products and therefore has multiple income streams) rather than a single solar manufacturer who you have never heard of. Ask the company supplying your system to give you in writing the details of who will provide and uphold the warranty, as well as asking them to back the warranty themselves should the manufacturer go out of business.
A system manual that provides operation, maintenance and safety information should be provided by your installer upon completion. This should also include the warranty conditions and a system energy output (kWh) estimate specific for your system in its installed location.
It is important you obtain written confirmation of statements made by your installer, including performance claims, guarantees, country of manufacture of panels and warranties. For example, sometimes inferior panels are sold with names that mislead the customer on the country of manufacture. Insist on written information at the time of the quote and also as part of the hand over documents. Documentation will be essential if you need to make consumer, warranty or insurance claims. The LG solar warranty information can be found here.
For residential and commercial solar systems most solar panel manufacturers specify that aspects of the Warranty is void if the module(s) are moved from their original install location. LG also insists that the solar panels remain on their original installation location in order to receive the full warranty coverage.
Please also note that the Federal Government STC rebate relies on the solar power system to remain on the original install location for many years. Therefore it is very unlikely for solar systems to be uninstalled and to be moved. If you sell your house and want solar at the new property, it is better from a rebate and warranty point of view to leave the solar system at their original installation location and then purchase a new system for the new home.
The attitudes and polices of insurers towards solar needs to be considered on a company by company basis as policies do vary, however, as a general rule the majority of insurers see solar systems as just another fixture to your home and are usually perfectly happy to cover them, often at no or little additional cost to existing household policies.
Make sure you confirm in writing that your solar system is covered on your policy and what, if any, specific requirements your insurer has. Always make sure the products and services you select are capable of withstanding scrutiny, in case of future problems.
In the event of a claim for damage to your solar system, your insurer might request evidence that the solar equipment is made by a reputable manufacturer and installed by a qualified installer following all the relevant Australian Standards. They might want to assure themselves that the use and installation of the solar system has not caused the problems.
The Linear Warranty allows the purchaser of LG solar modules to establish the baseline performance of the solar panels at any point in 25 years. Actual performance of panels can be compared to this to establish eligibility for a warranty claim. LG has the confidence in its panels to last 25 years that it does not put unnecessary hurdles in the way of a legitimate warranty claim.