Not all Tier 1 panels live up to their name – beware

Research is key. We care about our clients, not just now but in the future. This is why we urge our customers to research their panel manufacturer to gain some insight into their financial stability, yes their financial stability.

Solar Panel

So what is a Tier 1 solar panel? Evidentially it seems that the term “Tier 1” solar panel can be used fairly liberally by many solar panel manufacturers. The term indicates that the panel is of high quality however, this is not always the case. The Tier 1 ranking scale is coordinated by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation; it is used to rank the panel manufacturers in accordance with their level of financial stability.

So why does the Tier 1 ranking have more to do with financial stability rather than product quality? Well, according to Bloomberg, a Tier 1 manufacturer is “those which have provided products to five different projects which have been financed by five different (non-development) banks in the past two years”. Consider this, a bank would not fund a large project worth millions if the panel used was not likely to last the distance. Thus one can come to the conclusion that a Tier 1 solar panel is designed to produce power for as long as the expected lifespan of around 25 years, and therefore regarded as a high-quality panel.

But, not all companies in the Tier 1 list are in a good financial state. According to this article below published by, there are a few big-name companies that actively market in Perth and Australia wide that are clearly in financial strife. Companies like Sunpower, GCL, Canadian Solar and Yingli, according to this list, are not ranking favourably: “Any company ranked below a score of 1.1 is in the Distress Zone, which means it’s likely to face bankruptcy within the next 2 years.”

Let’s now cover the benchmark companies. At Clean NRG Solar, we pride ourselves on providing top quality brands and services from financially stable companies and major corporations. So who do we recommend you ask? Considering the top 3 ranked companies are not readily available in Australia, Risen is on top of the list for Australian supply. Along with a few major brands including LG*, REC, and the German-made Solarworld Brand.

When it comes to your inverter and panel manufacturer and of course, your solar retailer, we can’t stress enough, please do your research and invest wisely.

It’s as simple as Googling for example “Clean NRG Solar reviews”.

Altman Z-Score Q3 2016: Which PV manufacturers are most financially stable?

*Note LG is not listed as a solar manufacturer because they do not deal solely with solar panels.