Let’s face it – warranties aren’t the easiest (or most gripping) documents to read. There are often a lot of details and fine print included that can be hard to digest, leaving many to wonder: what does the warranty actually cover? Am I vulnerable? Anything I might be missing?
To make it as easy as possible, we’ve read warranty documents for the top solar battery manufacturers, talked to them to confirm what is and isn’t included, and plan to point out the most important aspects of each in a series of articles. In this article, we’ll review the warranty of a well-known manufacturer in the solar industry: Enphase Energy. Find out what solar + storage costs in your area in 2023
Highlights of Enphase’s battery warranty
Offers coverage for 10 years, 4,000 cycles, or 2.8 MWh per kWh of throughput (whichever comes first).
Option to purchase a five-year warranty extension for $333.33 (not available in all states)
Includes shipping of repaired or replaced equipment.
Covers replacements at no cost to you, excluding cost of labor.
Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare solar-plus-storage options from local installers.
Quick overview: Enphase’s history and warranty
Enphase is a California-based company founded in 2006 that pioneered microinverter technology for home solar systems. You can find Enphase technology on over two million homes across the world. In addition to their other products that span the residential solar market, Enphase released their first battery, the Enphase Encharge, in 2019.
In 2021, Enphase rebranded the Encharge battery to the Enphase IQ Battery. The Enphase IQ Battery comes in two different usable capacities: the Enphase IQ 3/3T and the Enphase IQ 10/10T. All Enphase IQ Batteries come with a 10-year limited warranty. Enphase guarantees that the battery will maintain at least 70 percent of its capacity to hold a charge throughout the 10-year limited warranty. In addition, Enphase offers a five-year warranty extension for all IQ Battery models (though it’s not available in all states).
Enphase’s battery warranty at a glance CATEGORYENPHASE’S COVERAGEINDUSTRY STANDARD Product and performance10 years, plus a cycles (4,000 cycles) and throughput (2.8 MWh per kWh) clause*10 years, plus a cycles or throughput clause End of warranty capacity70% at year 1060% at year 10 Labor for repairs/ replacementsNoNo Shipping of partsYesNo TransferabilityYes, with a feeYes, no fee
* The warranty period begins on the “Energize by” date indicated on the battery’s packaging, or the date that the battery is activated in its original location, whichever comes first.
Enphase’s product and performance warranty
A battery manufacturer’s product and performance warranty covers the integrity and output of the equipment itself – if your battery system has a defect or experiences unreasonable degradation, that should be covered by your product warranty. If there’s a defect with your battery, you or your installer should be able to tell that something is amiss and fix the problem immediately–often before the battery is ever installed. Regardless, it’s good to consider products with longer warranties for the peace of mind it provides.
Enphase includes a 10-year limited warranty for all of their batteries. The warranty period begins on the “Energize by” date indicated on the battery’s packaging, or the date that the battery is activated in its original location, whichever comes first. You can review and compare Enphase’s batteries in the EnergySage Buyer’s Guide.
You’ll also notice that many battery warranties will include a clause suggesting that your term may be cut short depending on your use of the battery – this is where cycles and throughput come into play. Note that Enphase includes both a cycle and a throughput clause in their warranty.
Every time you drain and charge your battery, it’s called a “cycle”. Like the battery inside your cell phone, your solar battery will gradually lose its ability to hold a full charge the more you use it. Because of this, some manufacturers guarantee a minimum number of cycles as part of their warranty agreement. But read this line carefully: oftentimes, manufacturers will guarantee a fixed product term OR a minimum number of cycles, whichever comes first. This means if you hit the warrantied number of cycles before your battery hits the end of its warranty period, it could end your warranty term. The confusing part here is that manufacturers will sometimes define a “cycle” differently–i.e., how much your battery needs to be drained and charged for it to be considered a “cycle”?
Enphase defines a “cycle” as the battery being 100% discharged and recharged, and includes a warrantied number of 4,000 cycles for all of their batteries.
Another clause that some manufacturers will put on their warranty pertains to throughput: the total energy a manufacturer expects the battery to deliver throughout its lifetime. Companies state these warranties in terms of megawatt-hours (MWh). For example, if your battery company provides a throughput warranty of 30 MWh, this means that the warranty is valid until the battery stores and delivers 30 MWh–or 30,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh)–of energy. Similar to a cycle life warranty, throughput warranties typically only apply if your battery delivers a set amount of energy before its warranty period is up.
Throughput numbers will vary quite a bit depending on the overall storage capacity of your system. Additionally, if your battery system contains several different battery cells–or modules–within it, your warranty may state a throughput by cell (which you can multiply by number of cells to get total throughput).
Enphase includes a throughput warranty of 2.8 MWh per kWh for all of their batteries.
Enphase’s extended warranty
Enphase also offers a five-year limited warranty extension for all IQ Battery models, which homeowners can purchase for $333.33 within one year of battery installation. It’s important to note that the extended warranty is not currently available for California or Florida residents. For more details on the limited warranty extension, check out Enphase’s website.
Enphase’s extended battery warranty at a glance CATEGORYENPHASE’S ADDITIONAL COVERAGE Product and performance15 years from the “Energize by” date or the date of activation at the original location (whichever occurs earlier), plus a cycles (6,000 cycles) and throughput (3.9 MWh per kWh) clause* End of warranty capacity60% at year 15 Labor for repairs/ replacementsNo Shipping of partsYes TransferabilityYes, with a fee
*Currently not available in California or Florida
Enphase’s end of warranty capacity rating
In addition to providing cycle or throughput warranties, most manufacturers also promise a certain level of performance by the time your warranty is up. This often presents itself as an end of warranty capacity rating.
As you’re comparing the end of warranty capacity ratings across various batteries, higher percentages are better than lower percentage guarantees.
Enphase includes an end of capacity rating of 70% for all of their batteries. You can check the end of warranty capacity ratings and throughput warranties for each residential model in the table below.
Enphase’s IQ Battery throughput warranty Encharge 3/3TEncharge 10/10T Throughput (MWh)9.41 28.22 Initial usable capacity (kWh)3.36 10.08 End of warranty capacity (kWh)2.35 7.06
Enphase’s workmanship warranty
Battery companies should cover a replacement battery if you need it during their warrantied term–but, while the manufacturer may cover your replacement part, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cover the labor costs to re-install that equipment. In fact, many manufacturers do not reimburse for labor associated with diagnostics, replacements, or repairs of their products.
More often than not, installers are the sole party responsible for providing workmanship–or labor–warranties for your battery installation. However, some manufacturers offer additional protection by tacking on their own workmanship warranty for a limited number of certified installers in their network.
Enphase does not currently offer a workmanship warranty on the IQ battery. You can learn more about manufacturer endorsements and how they impact installer warranty offerings in this article.
How to make a warranty claim with Enphase: shipping & labor costs
Ideally, your storage system will continue operating smoothly for 10+ years, and you never have to worry about Enphase’s warranty. However, if you experience any defects or performance issues with your equipment, Enphase will be there to help.
If you notice an issue with your battery, your first phone call should be to your original installer: having designed and installed your system, they are the most equipped to diagnose (and fix!) any potential issue. If you can’t get in touch with your installer, or if they’ve gone out of business, Enphase has an installer directory you can use to find another company in your area.
During the warranty period, you can also reach out directly to Enphase with issues caused by product defects that your installer cannot fix. If product replacement or repair is needed, you can begin the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) Procedure with the help of Enphase directly or your installer – you then need to send the product to Enphase within 60 days of receiving your RMA number.
When it comes time for any repairs or replacements, there are two additional warranty considerations you’ll want to keep in mind: labor and shipping costs.
Labor cost for diagnostics, repairs, or replacements
Many manufacturers cover replacement parts at no extra cost, but don’t pay for the labor costs necessary to reinstall that equipment. Enphase is one of those companies – their IQ Battery warranty does not cover labor associated with uninstalling or reinstalling repaired or replaced equipment.
Shipping of parts
Similarly, not all equipment manufacturers will pay the costs to get equipment to you – but Enphase isn’t one of them! As long as Enphase determines that your claim is justified, they’ll cover the cost of shipping any repaired or replaced equipment.
Limitations and exceptions to Enphase’s warranty
Every warranty has its exceptions – Enphase is no different. Warranty limitations aren’t meant to make it harder for you to take advantage of the offering; companies simply try to protect themselves from unjust or unreasonable claims.
Here are a few things that aren’t covered in your Enphase warranty:
Enphase batteries are certified for outdoor use, but with restrictions. The average annual temperature cannot exceed 73.4°F in any rolling one-year period. The temperature is calculated using sensors inside the battery.
Acts of nature – this is a common one – most battery system manufacturers will not cover any damage caused by extreme weather events outside of their control, such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc. Fortunately, the hardware is pretty durable, and can withstand most storms without the added protection. Even better, should damage happen to occur during a storm, many homeowner insurance policies cover damage to solar-plus-storage systems.
Installation in conditions that are in violation of the Enphase IQ Battery installation manual.
Technical or cosmetic defects that do not interfere with the performance of the battery or actively degrade the system.
Other warranty considerations, and how Enphase stacks up
Transferability: The Enphase IQ battery warranty is transferable to new owners, as long as the battery remains at the original location. Enphase requires customers to complete a change of ownership form and pay a $199 fee to transfer the battery ownership.
Bankability: Enphase Energy is the leading supplier of microinverters in the world and a publicly traded company (ENPH) on NASDAQ. To learn more about their financials, visit their investor page.
Eligibility: Some manufacturers require customers to permanently connect to their monitoring system in order for their warranty to be valid. Enphase’s warranty requires the battery to remain connected to the internet, aside from instances that are out of the owner’s control.
Escrows/insurance policies: Enphase has their own insurance policy in place to ensure that their warranties will be upheld in the event that they go out of business.
Customer reviews: Another critical aspect of understanding a manufacturer’s warranty offering is investigating how their customers feel about their equipment and the services that they provide. Any warranty can look promising on paper, but how the installer or manufacturer performs when honoring their warranty is also critically important. If you are interested in reading Enphase’s reviews, you can do so here.
What about inverters?
We use “battery” and “battery system” pretty interchangeably in this article, but there’s one important difference between the two: an inverter. Energy storage systems typically include both batteries and inverters, while certain batteries can be sold independently. Inverters are key to the functionality of a battery, so it’s important to make sure yours is covered! If your product includes a built-in storage-only or hybrid inverter, it’ll likely be covered in your battery’s warranty terms. On the other hand, if you pair your battery with an external, third-party inverter, expect it to come with a different warranty agreement than your battery.
Enphase’s batteries are all built-in; thus, their warranty covers the inverters.
Finding the right battery for you
Finding the right storage system for your home means comparing multiple quotes from solar installers. Using the EnergySage Marketplace, you can find local solar installers near you, and make easy side-by-side comparisons of all your solar-plus-storage options, including equipment. By shopping around first, you can find the right option at the right price – warranties and all. If you have a preference for one type of equipment over another – Enphase or otherwise – simply note it in your account when you sign up so installers can quote you accordingly.