What are Teir 1 Solar panels?
Tier 1 solar panels are solar panels made by large, reliable and established PV manufacturers. There are no ‘Tier 1 solar panels’ so to speak, only Tier 1 solar panel manufacturers. This means that the label itself is less to do with the product and more to do with the Brand behind the panel.
Tier 1 manufacturers are believed to make up no more than 2% of all solar manufacturers in the industry. Some examples of Tier 1 manufacturers include: JA Solar, Longi, Trina and Jinko Solar and QCell.
Common features of Tier 1 Solar panel brands include:
- Manufacturing solar panels for five years or more
- Publicly listed on a stock exchange, with a strong balance sheet
- Suppliers must manufacture their own brand of solar modules, and sell under their own brand.
- Tier 1 manufacturers must own their production facilities and have a fully automated production
- Have a strong brand reputation for quality and high service.
- Have a historically strong portfolio of projects financing over 1.5mW in capacity.
So Who Decides if a Solar Panel is Tier 1?
Tier 1 Panel manufacturers are a list published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance every quarter. Unfortunately, you do need a pricey subscription to access it. The classification originally started in 2012, and although the list doesn’t judge the quality of the solar panels themselves, the solar industry has found the Tier 1 list a great way to identify the best solar panel brands.
The list was originally established to help banks assess whether the solar equipment for large projects such as solar farms, was worth investing in. Therefore, BloombergNEF’s tiering system for Solar panel manufacturers is based primarily on bankability.
What Tier 1 Solar Panel brands do Deege Solar Install?
Are Tier 1 Solar Panels Worth it?
The solar industry is a victim of many pop-up shops and businesses that are looking to capitalise quickly on the need for Renewable energy, rather than focus on the long-term goal which is climate action. That’s why when you are investing in a Solar PV System, you want to ensure that you are purchasing products from a reputable company.
When selecting a Tier 1 solar manufacturer, you will notice two key differences. The Warranty and the Price.
Tier 1 solar panels typically come with a market-leading warranty or 25 years performance warranty or above. This is because as the manufacturer is more established, they have more confidence in their products and processes, as well as more resources to dedicate. You may still receive a good warranty from a non Tier 1 panel manufacturer, however, it is less likely.
When you choose a Tier 1 solar panel, you are buying into a brand. As Tier 1 brands will want to protect their reputation, this means that any warranty claims are more likely to be responded to, and there is a greater chance that the warranty will be honoured.
As Tier 1 solar panels are produced by the most recognisable and trustworthy brands in the industry, they typically are 10-30% more expensive than other solar panels.
While Tier 1 solar panels tend to be slightly more expensive, we think they are worth the extra cost. This is because a Tier 1 manufacturer is simply more likely to have invested more in the energy sector, providing an overall higher-quality panel, and firmer feet within the industry.
For more information on how much do solar panels cost, make sure to visit our blog page and available packages.
What makes a High-Quality Solar Panel?
Whilst the Bloomberg Tier 1 classification has nothing to do with the quality of a specific product, it does refer to the experience and reputation a brand has, in order to help differentiate between the hundreds of current solar module manufacturers. It does also indicate the security of a company, which is useful to consider for warranty claims if you were to have a panel failure down the line.
With a vast range of solar panels on the market, it can be hard to know which solar panels to install. With numerous manufacturers offering different cell technologies, warranties, efficiencies and so on, it can be an overwhelming decision to make. After all, you want to install the best value solar panel.
In Bloomberg’s own words, their Tier 1 Solar panel list, shouldn’t be used to replace the purchaser’s research, as the list doesn’t measure quality. That’s why at Deege Solar, we have put together a list of the Best Solar panels available on the UK market.
As award-winning solar panel installers, with over 12 years of experience within the industry, as a team we only offer the best solar panels on the market. Using our experience with brands and products to choose our inventory. After all, our main priority will always be our customers.
If you are a UK home or business owner who needs a helping hand deciding on the best solar panels for your project, our in-house team of experts would be more than happy to help guide you on your journey to going solar.