Chico, CA asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts

Q: My solar panels have been damaged by rodents. Company says warranty does not cover damage.

I have a question about my solar warranty. The system was installed in 2017 and is still under warranty. Squirrels (presumably) have built a nest and chewed some of the connections under one of the panels, but the company says their warranty does not cover this damage. I think the company should have seen this as a probability (big tree right next to house!) and installed the system so as to prevent animals from getting under it.

But all their warranty says it that they will install it in a workman-like manner (see quote below). But leaving it so easily susceptible to damage doesn't seem "workman-like," are these terms defined somewhere more clearly? Do building codes say anything more specific? "All work shall be completed in a workman-like manner and in compliance with all building codes and the conditions and requirements of solar installers of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) and the Massachusetts Commonwealth solar II Rebate Program."

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1 Lawyer Answer
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Boston, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: After a brief check I was unable to find any state regulations governing solar installers or installations. They may exist. Can you call your local building inspector and ask if there are any such regulations or regulations that would generally apply to correctly securing equipment from animal intrusion. I realize your contract with the installer may be very one-sided but I would request they repair this at their expense if you have not done so already. If the panels themselves are affected you as a homeowner should not be expected to repair complex electricity generation equipment.

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