Solar companies are like other construction companies and can go bankrupt. Solar developers come and go. Businesses go bankrupt for many reasons: The one-man shop owner retires or gets sick, cash flow or financial issues, legal issues or any other reason can hurt a business and force it to close its doors.
What happens to customers?
Once a solar company closes its doors, it also ends the warranty on their workmanship. In some cases, a company can have an insurance or a bond to finish projects. Large companies have special provisions for liability and warranties in bankruptcy proceedings, but small companies don't have that. The customer can still have access to the warranty of their products (solar panels, inverters, racking etc).
When you select a company to do your solar installation, make sure to select a company with a strong financial record that you think will still be around 5 or 10 years later when the warranty will be needed.
I've seen companies offering 20-year warranties, especially in Maryland where there is a lot of competition. I wonder what these warranties are worth.
We're here with a quote when you need us
We're called upon to remove solar panels from roofs so the roof can be replaced, then we come out a second time to put the solar system back the way it was. This happens more and more as the solar market matures on the East Coast of America.
If you haven't gone solar yet and are hesitating, read our Guide to Go Solar to help you out.
We've been called to do maintenance on a small residential solar system installed by an HVAC company that was still operating in the area, but they simply refused to come out and fix the problem. Once we were on site to help the customer, we had to tell the customer their solar system has never produced a single kWh of power. Make sure to select a company that has experience in this domain.
Reach out to a reputable solar company in your neighborhood and ask them for a quote to do the maintenance. Not every solar company wants to do maintenance, so respect that.
Ipsun Power does O&M (Operation and Maintenance) for residential and commercial solar systems in and around Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Ask us for a quote here.