what if my solar company is no longer around business

What if my solar company isn’t around?

The recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has impacted a lot of solar companies. Particularly those who focused solely on solar installation sales and door-to-door consultations. This has led to a lot of homeowners unable to reach their original solar installer. Further adding to the challenge of getting help with their questions or solar issues. See what you can do if you are having issues with your solar energy system but your solar installer is no longer in business.

Homeowners who need their solar power systems serviced, only to find that their installer is no longer in business, face difficult choices.

Imagine having an issue with your solar energy system. You dig through your old paperwork and find the contact information for the solar contra tor who installed your system. You call the phone number, it’s disconnected. You check their website and get an error message.

What are your next options? If the installer who is no longer in business used high-quality components, then it is likely that the manufacturer’s warranty will cover the cost for new parts if you’re still under warranty. However, in most cases labor is not covered. You will have to get another solar company to replace the malfunctioning components, unfortunately, you will be responsible for the cost of the labor to repair and swap out the old broken solar components.

What to Consider if Your Solar Installer is No Longer Around

If you have purchased solar or are considering solar panels for your home or business here are a few other things you should know:

  1. By law, all California contractors have to provide a 10-year system workmanship guarantee to protect against any defective workmanship. This workmanship guarantee is useful if your solar installer is still in business but useless if they aren’t.
  2. Most manufacturers of solar equipment like, solar panels, racking and solar inverters offer their own unique equipment and performance warranties. The typical warranty for solar panels is for 25 years, but it is a good idea to double check with your installer to vet that the equipment offers the proper warranties.
  3. There is a debate about whether or not an extended warranty is a good idea or a waste of money. It will typically come down to your own personal goals, but you should get advice from your installer on whether an extended warranty makes sense. If you are still torn, it may make sense to buy an extended warranty for your solar inverter or a solar battery. These are the most common pieces of solar equipment to malfunction and require repairs.

History of Fly-by-Night Solar Companies

The solar industry has had a history of fly-by-night companies starting up and crashing down. Starting in 2008, once solar technology became efficient enough to generate enough power for the average homeowner to consume reliably, it was game on. Suddenly players from all over the home improvement space began offering solar panel installation on people’s roofs. The first set of early adopters were: 

  • Roofing Contractors
  • Window Contractors
  • Electricians
  • General Contractors
  • Investment Firms

Unfortunately, there was a very sharp learning curve. Installing solar can be extremely challenging since you are essentially putting an energy system meant to last for 25 years on a homeowner’s roof.

Solar Installer Out of Business? Get Answers

With strong government incentives and plummeting solar panel prices, a lot of fly-by-night solar installers were born. Promising warranties that they couldn’t honor, many were caught off guard when there were issues with their installation. Plus with the Federal Tax Credits continuing to get extended for four more years at the end of 2015, the urgency to go solar also dried up as well. With a slowdown in solar installations and a lot of solar repairs requests, they didn’t know how to properly service many solar companies decided to close—leaving many with solar panels on their roof with questions and no answers. For homeowners who are unable to get in touch with their original solar installer typically ask:

solar skyport sky carport

1. My solar energy system isn’t working. What can I do?

If your solar energy system has any issues, the first place you should call is your original solar installer. This is because the responsibility for ongoing service is typically handled under the warranty of the solar installer who installed the solar panels and the solar equipment manufacturer. If your original solar installer is no longer around, but your equipment is still under warranty, the equipment manufacturer will send you a replacement part. Still, you will have to find a solar company to help with solar repair. Our recommended steps are: 

  1. Call your original solar installer
  2. Call the equipment manufacturer that you believe is the issue.
    1. Solar Inverter
    2. Solar Panel 
  3. Call Forme Solar Electric to install new inverter or panels

Forme Solar Electric has installed and serviced all the major brands of solar panels, inverters and can help you diagnose and fix your solar issue

2. What happens to my lease?

Your solar lease is a personalized transaction that was made with a third-party financing company. Typical solar leasing companies are responsible for ongoing maintenance and will uphold the terms of the lease. These companies typically subcontract the work to local solar companies like Forme Solar Electric to do the solar installation or repair services. In the worst-case scenario, even if these solar leasing companies go bankrupt, these lease contracts are considered assets and are typically purchased by another company. 

3. What if I want to add more solar panels?

Yes, regardless of whether you purchased or leased solar, you have the option of adding more panels, as long as your rooftop still has room. Individual solar leases and most solar companies have a minimum number of solar panels that they will install. Most solar companies will have a required minimum because it doesn’t make sense for them nor the homeowner due to the price of the permitting process, and labor. That is why for most solar companies, the minimum number that you need to add to your solar energy system is typically 8 (eight) solar panels. It wouldn’t make much financial sense to have a solar installer come back to install one solar panel. You can also add a solar home battery to maximize your current solar energy system further. Adding a solar battery array will also require a permit, but this will allow you to store that excess solar energy making it so that you don’t need as large of a solar energy system. 

Why Choose Forme Solar Electric for Solar Repair or Maintenance?

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Solar Repair Specialists

We only employ the highest caliber of electricians who are licensed, bonded, and insured. Our technicians will work with you to ensure that all the services are performed to your standards. We offer upfront pricing and estimates on all the solar repair or maintenance services performed in your home or business. You will receive a written estimate, so there are no hidden fees or surprises for any services performed. From solar inverter issues or adding more solar panels, you can rest easy that we will have an expert solution for you! Our number one goal is to always provide our customers with the best services that will ensure their solar system is up and running ASAP. Call our experts at (714) 694-2262 to get an industry-leading repair experience today!