Solar workmanship warranty expectations clarified

Energy Trust’s Solar team often assists customers with questions and concerns, which often identify areas for improvement. One such customer concern, received in late 2023, prompted the Solar team to review warranty exclusions.  

Upon legal review of the customer’s concerns and the warranty provided by the trade ally, Energy Trust found that the exclusions were reasonable. They included negligence of system maintenance, force majeure (natural disaster, extreme weather, etc.), and manufacturer bankruptcy. The warranty also included reservations to charge a service fee for work required that was not a result of poor workmanship or faulty equipment. 

Energy Trust’s Solar team plans to clarify warranty requirements in the upcoming year. Current requirements will remain in effect until updates are announced later this year. Energy Trust’s current workmanship warranty requirements for Solar may be found in two places: 

  1. Solar + Storage Design and Installation Requirements: 3.2.3 Contractor Warranty covering all parts and labor for a minimum of two years. 
  2. Program Guide for Solar Electric Trade Allies, Part 2: Solar Trade Ally Performance and Expectations, 2.8 Solar Within Reach Trade Ally Participation Requirements: “Providing a seven-year, full system workmanship warranty for eligible Solar Within Reach projects.” 

Energy Trust operates under the principle of, “do no harm”. This means our incentive programs must not cause undue hardship, such as unanticipated service fees or other costs related to poor workmanship or equipment defects, especially for those experiencing low to moderate incomes. Our workmanship warranty has often been described as “bumper to bumper” for that reason. Energy Trust expects that customers will not be charged for work described above during our required warranty period, except in extreme cases of necessary exclusions and protections. 

Watch for updates and clarifications regarding warranties later this year. If you have questions or concerns about current warranty requirements, please reach out to the Solar team at