How Long Will Solar Panels Last?

By Megan Murphy
14 Jan 2021

A big question we hear a lot is, "How long solar panels will last?" It’s a big investment, so it’s extremely important to know that you’re going to get a good return. There are a lot of misconceptions on how long standard residential solar panels produce energy, so let's lay out the facts:


Remember, the warranty period and lifetime of your system are not the same thing.

With a standard hardware warranty, the manufacturer will replace the panels if the hardware fails - through 25 years. It’s an extremely low probability that this will happen due to rigorous testing and proven systems, but if it does, you’re covered. A solar panel’s product warranty insurance covers the integrity of the panel itself and protects you against problems such as manufacturing defects, environmental issues, premature wear and tear etc. As with most warranties, a longer period is generally more advantageous to you.

But wait... there's more!


If the hardware does fail, the manufacturer has to provide replacement hardware and pay us to come replace it. That means you won't need to worry about coming up with the money to replace a panel if a tree limb falls and damages it. As long as your solar provider is a certified installer, registered with the panel manufacturer, and still in business when you make that claim, you have nothing to worry about.

We hear from solar customers who have been abandoned or frustrated by another local installer and they desperately need service to maintain their system. Solar adopters deserve better and we're happy to enroll you in our Solar Orphan Program if your installer fails to meet your needs after installation!


The third and probably most important is the 25-year efficiency warranty. This covers 25 or even 30 years in some cases. It protects the owner if the efficiency of the system degrades. You don’t want to install solar and 15 years later realize they have lost most of their efficiency. This is extremely rare with how far solar panel technology has come. Most of the modules we install maintain over 90% efficiency through 25 years. If you follow the math with the degradation rate you can likely get over 50% efficiency even through 100 years.

In other words, these panels are going to last a long time. If anything does happen, you’re covered through the 25-year warranty period which is 2.5x longer than the return on investment period.

If you’re interested in learning more about the different solar panels we sell and the specific warranties that back them feel free to reach out. Give us a call at 816-295-6136 or click here to get an estimate. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions!