what to do if your solar company files for bankruptcy
Right now, the solar industry is growing faster than ever. This rapid growth means that a lot of different solar companies are being started every day. The rising amount of solar providers has lead to an ultra-competitive market, as well as a lot of inexperienced installers flooding the industry. This can often lead to bankrupcy cases for solar companies who fall behind or can no longer compete in the new industry landscape. If you're considering solar, you may be concerned about things like warranty coverage in the event your provider goes under. Today, we are looking at some ways you can protect yourself if your solar provider goes under, as well as what their financial position might mean for you.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
When considering solar, do some research. What are their customers saying about them online? What are their employees saying about them online? How long have they been in business? Have they ever changed their name or rebranded themselves? All of these things can be an indicator of the type of service you can expect from a potential solar company.
Equipment manufacturer bankruptcy
If your solar company has filed for bankruptcy doesn’t mean that you will lose support for the products or services that you’ve purchased. In the U.S., filing for bankruptcy sets off a reorganization process where the company will sell its assets, and in many cases the buyer also takes over responsibilities like upholding warranties.
Here are a few ways you can avoid being left without a production or equipment warranty:
1. Buy an extended warranty
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to purchase an extended warranty from your solar installer. Extended warranties can be purchased through most solar installers, and in the event that your equipment manufacturer goes out of business, your installer is still contractually obligated to honor your warranty. However, if both your installer and manufacturer end up bankrupt, you could be at risk for losing any kind of warranty protection.
2. Insure your solar installation
See if your nsurance company offers plans for renewable energy and solar, and covering your installation with one of these plans will protect you from defective panels, decreasing output, and other damage that might happen to your solar array. These types of policies can cover installation and operations damage, power output, and overall equipment health. It's important to keep in mind that you might end up spending the same amount of money to replace parts like inverters or single panels as you would entering an insurance agreement.
3. Buy from a warranty-insuring manufacturer
The safest way to prevent being left without a warranty from a bankrupt solar manufacturer is to buy your panels from a warranty-insuring manufacturer. A warranty-insuring manufacturer commits their warranties to being held up through third-party backing even if they themselves declare bankruptcy.
Solar installer bankruptcy
One of the biggest questions you should consider before going solar is: "What happens if my solar installer goes out of business?” Depending on if you are working with a large installer with business across the country or a local company only servicing areas near you, installer bankruptcy may affect you differently.
Large companies declaring bankruptcy have been making news headlines recently. This can be somewhat of the norm for large solar installation companies. When these large companies declare bankruptcy, they are almost always bought by another solar company or an equity fund. This means that as a customer, you shouldn’t worry about losing your installer services because they will most likely be transferred to another experienced solar company.
As with large installers, local companies will often be bought by a separate entity that will take responsibility for all of the installer services that were originally promised to you. In this type of small company bankruptcy, the installer that is servicing your panels may change, but the installer warranty and originally promised installer services for your panels will still be available to you.
However, not all small installers will be bought by a larger company. Because of this, it may be smart to consider investing in a solar panel operations and maintenance (O&M) plan. O&M plans are purchased through separate companies not involved in the installation of your solar panels, and provide long-term services for your solar panels. In the case that your local installer goes bankrupt, your O&M provider will still work to diagnose and repair issues with your solar energy system that your installer would have handled.
Additionally, whether your solar installer is a national company or a few guys working out of a garage in your area, you will still be covered by the equipment and protection warranties provided by the manufacturer of your solar panels even if your installer goes out of business. These warranties typically guarantee around 80% electricity production capacity over 25 years and materials coverage for 10 to 25 years.
CALL SYNERGY POWER
In the case that your solar provider does go under, Synergy Power is here to help. With over nine years in the industry, we have built strong relationships with most solar manufacturers and can provide additional support, as well as troubleshooting for most systems. In the case that your provider is no longer in business, but you would like to add to, or upgrade your existing system, Synergy Power also provides multiple options for expansion.
Drop us a line at 801-590-9906