When prospective solar customers are making financial decisions about their solar equipment, understanding the purpose and coverage of manufacturer warranties is crucial for ensuring peace of mind and long-term reliability. These warranties serve as a promise from manufacturers to stand behind their products, offering protection against defects, performance issues, and unexpected failures. 

In the video and transcript below, we hear David Dunlap, VP of Product Strategy at BayWa r.e., delve into the objectives of manufacturer warranties in the industry and how they are tools to ensure that products are installed by trained and competent professionals, contributing to the overall reliability of solar energy systems. 

I think the first one is around the confidence in a brand or product, right? So as a consumer, we all are faced with making investment choices, whether it’s a household appliance or a piece of electronics or whatever. We may not think much about the warranty, but if you compare one product that has a 90-day warranty against another that has a 5-year warranty. 

Just intuitively, what does that tell you about the manufacturer’s expectation for the lifetime of that product? And maybe we only want to get a half a year or a year’s worth out of it, and we’re going to exchange it for the next one. Right? We are in this age of disposable manufacturing. 

I think that at the end of the day, a manufacturer that is willing to stand behind their product for a longer time gives any consumer business or end user more confidence that their product is built to last. 

The extent of the warranty also kind of gets into more detail about what that means for their product to be around for that long. 

And then I think the other main purpose is the support for professionalism – professional installation and best practices. And I think that’s really the most important one in solar because we are still a younger industry compared to some, but the need to have more sophisticated equipment manufacturing be installed in the proper way. Having a warranty that is really only in effect if it goes through a certified trained installer is very different from a product that you expect any homeowner or any non-trained professional to get their hands on and do whatever they do with it. 

In solar, we do see a lot of warranties are only valid if purchased through an endorsed supply chain and installed by a certified professional. 

And so I think that accomplishes the dual goal of do it right and install this equipment properly so that it can last the full lifetime that it was intended.

Want to dive more into manufacturer’s warranties and other relevant topics for residential solar? Consider enrolling in the Customer Contracts & Agreements course!