What are Tier 1 Panels?

By: Soleira

You had probably heard before the solar-related term “Tier 1 panels”, which is highly used per solar companies as a reference of quality for their products. But, is this its actual meaning? Let’s see what is its proper use. 

In the first place, the term has been incorrectly taken by many solar companies as a rate for the quality of their products, proving that they’re selling items under high standards.  This action started to create a wrong “reputation” in the panels brands, making it seem as if this classification was based on the quality of the materials used in the panels and its durability. But nothing could be further than the truth.

The Tier 1 ranking scale does not have anything to do with quality. Indeed, it was implemented by Bloomberg New Energy Finance Corporation and the purpose in the first place was to classify not the panels, but their manufacturers to establish a financial-based on their bank-ability. 

 As the classification started to run, many companies used it to gain prestige with its customers, but the truth is this term only represents the financial stability of the manufacturers who created the panels; in other words, it doesn’t work as a guarantee of quality. 

The definition of a “Tier 1 manufacturer” by the Bloomberg Corporation is: “Those which have provided products to five different projects which have been financed non-recourse by five different (non-development) banks in the past two years.” Lists of Tier 2 and Tier 3 manufacturers are not published by Bloomberg, in case it exists such classification it’s just a result of marketing strategies. 

Do I have to choose a Tier 1 manufacturer panel over non-classified ones?

It is recommendable to take into consideration the Tier 1 ranking score only if you are a banker and are planning to offer a credit to the manufacturers. If you’re just a customer that’s planning to go solar and is searching for the best quality products, the best thing to do is to contact your solar company and ask directly an expert for assistance. 

Are you still unsure about what’s best for you when going solar? Contact us and talk to our customer service to receive more information about it, our team will be glad to assist you with anything you need.