The past two years have been hard for almost all industries across the world. Company closures are rampant, and, it appears the pandemic has today taken a major player in the solar game. LG announced today that it is shutting down its solar panel manufacturing business globally.
A message on the company’s website reads; “LG Electronics is exiting the global solar panel business… The decision by the LG board of directors in South Korea follows a comprehensive review of the impact of increasing material and logistics costs, as well as severe supply constraints on the solar business.” Moreover, LG also indicated that it is not wasting any time, with the company stating that the wind-up of its solar panel business will be complete as early as June 30 this year.
This statement comes just days after the South Korean juggernaut released its 2022 panel lineup in Australia featuring NeON H+. Alas, how does the closure of one of the world’s most well-known solar panel brands affect you?
Existing LG Solar Panel Customers
Will LG Solar honour my warranty?
LG Electronics has indicated that it intends to “honour [its] warranty obligations in accordance with applicable regulations… for a period of time after the closure.” Only time will tell whether or not this will be the case with previous closures of well-known panel manufacturers showing the opposite. If you are an existing LG panel owner, contact your solar installer and ask how your warranty will be honoured in the future. All reputable CEC Approved Solar Retailers have processes in place to address manufacturer warranties should the manufacturer shut up shop.
Australian Consumer Law provides consumers with certain automatic rights (consumer guarantees) when they purchase a product or service. These guarantees cannot be excluded, and exist regardless of additional voluntary warranties that the solar PV retailer or manufacturer provides. Should the manufacturer close down, your warranty becomes the responsibility of your retailer/installer.
Can I still get replacement LG Solar panels?
LG panels will be available for some time to come as stockists clear existing inventories. Additionally, the company has indicated that production would continue until the second quarter of this year to “maintain an adequate inventory for service requests.” This means that replacement panels will still be available for an unknown period of time.
If you have any issues with your LG panels, please contact your installer for further guidance.
Customers Looking to Purchase a New Solar System
What does the LG Solar closure tell us?
The sudden closure of LG Solar and its panel manufacturing business is a timely reminder that no manufacturer is immune to growing costs and the intensification of price competition. Currently, LG has a roughly 7% share of the Australian rooftop market according to solar analytics company, SunWiz. This means over 200,000 homeowners across Australia with LG panels are now left scratching their heads wondering what comes next.
Why should I choose a reputable Solar Retailer?
LG’s exit from the solar industry also shows the importance of choosing a reputable solar retailer. When a manufacturer closes down and effectively ‘walks away from its warranties, Australian Consumer Law means that the solar system’s installer is still liable for warranting the product.
In addition, when selecting your installer it is important to choose a reputable CEC Approved Solar Retailer with a local operation to protect your investment long-term. Likewise, choosing a ‘fly-by-night’ solar installer who is here one-day advertising dirt cheap systems on TV won’t mean much when they too are no longer around when your system fails, effectively leaving your system orphaned.
How do I find a reputable Solar Retailer?
The easiest way to find a reputable installer in your area is to visit the Clean Energy Council website. There are very simple steps that you can take to reduce your risk.
- Buy Local, go and see their operation for your self and see who you are dealing with;
- Check out the company’s ABN and business name to see how long they have been in business;
- Read reviews, articles and comments from reputable sites including Word of Mouth Online and Google;
- Make sure that the company sources it’s products from official distributors or direct from the manufacturer;
- Select a company that does not sub-contract the installation and has in-house electricians that are accountable for their workmanship.
If you would like more information on installing solar, visit our Why Choose a Solar System page.