Tesla vs Sunrun: Who Is Our Pick?
Tesla vs Sunrun, which solar panel provider is better? Let’s take an in-depth look.
As the world continues to experience the effects of climate change on a personal and collective level, the importance of switching to renewable energy sources cannot be overstated. Solar energy, in particular, has proven to be a viable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. It is environmentally friendly and has become a viable long-term investment—homeowners and business owners can save money on their energy bills with these systems.
However, choosing the right solar installer can be a daunting task. With so many providers advertising their offerings, it can be difficult to parse which is the best to partner with. It is essential to find an installer with a proven track record of delivering quality installations and top-notch customer service.
Recently, we compared Sunrun and SunPower. In this article, we compare two household names in the solar industry: Tesla and Sunrun. After this thorough breakdown, you can make an informed decision on which provider to choose.
First, let’s take a close look at each player.
At a Glance: Sunrun
Since its humble beginning in 2007 in San Francisco, California, Sunrun has become one of the leading solar companies in the country. It has helped over 500,000 households in the United States switch to solar power.
Known for pioneering the solar-as-a-service business model, Sunrun allows homeowners to lease solar panels for a fixed monthly fee. This program has made these cutting-edge systems more accessible for many people who might not have been able to afford them otherwise.
While Sunrun does not produce its own solar panels, it sources its materials from well-established third-party suppliers. Sunrun even sells the Tesla Powerwall through its Sunrun Brightbox program.
In addition to residential solar systems, Sunrun also offers solar battery storage. It also provides EV charging stations specifically designed for the Ford F-150 Lightning, an all-electric pickup truck produced by the Ford Motor Company.
Sunrun’s acquisition of Vivint—another major solar installer—in 2020 further solidified its position as a leader in the industry.
At a Glance: Tesla
Tesla Energy, formerly known as SolarCity, is a subsidiary of Tesla, Inc., that specializes in renewable energy solutions, including solar panels and solar roofs. It also offers battery storage solutions through Tesla Powerwall.
Need we tell you about how the brand is synonymous with Elon Musk?
Tesla’s solar products are also known for their sleek, modern designs. Its solar roofs, for example, consist of individual solar tiles that resemble traditional roof shingles made with slate or clay.
A unique element of Tesla’s solar business model is its reliance on certified third-party installers to handle all of its solar installations. While Tesla does not quite have full customization for its solar panel systems, it offers a range of capacities from 4.8 kW to 19.2 kW.
Tesla has an online-only sales strategy for dealers and end-users. Customers can browse and purchase Tesla’s solar panels through the company’s website without needing in-person consultations or salespeople.
Tesla vs Sunrun: Warranty
Tesla and Sunrun offer impressive warranty coverage for their solar panel systems, although their specifics differ slightly.
Sunrun offers a 25-year performance warranty for their systems, which covers any drop in energy production below the guaranteed level. They also provide a 10-year roof protection warranty, ensuring roof penetrations remain watertight for a decade.
Additionally, Sunrun offers a comprehensive bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers all parts and labor, with free equipment replacement and system repairs.
As for the panels themselves, Sunrun’s warranty will depend on the manufacturers of the panels used in the installation. Again, this is because the company sources its panels from third parties.
That said, Sunrun carefully selects and sources its panels from highly regarded suppliers to ensure that customers receive top-of-the-line products.
On the other hand, Tesla produces its own solar panels, so they have control over the design, manufacturing, and troubleshooting processes. This may give Tesla an edge in terms of quality control and consistency across its solar products.
Tesla provides a 25-year power production warranty, guaranteeing that their solar panels will maintain 80% of their nameplate power capacity after 25 years. This also covers any defects in panel design and materials.
Additionally, Tesla offers a 10-year workmanship warranty, ensuring that any issues arising from installation or construction are covered.
Our Verdict: Either one is good and promises to be reliable for years to come.
Tesla vs Sunrun: Cost, Payment, and Ownership
When it comes to the cost of solar panel installations, Tesla’s are lower than the national average at about 2.75 per watt. Sunrun’s are much higher at 4.75 per watt.
Tesla offers price matching on its solar panels, which brings its effective price below average. Sunrun, on the other hand, doesn’t post specific costs on its website, so comparing its to other companies is difficult.
Tesla and Sunrun offer cash and loan payment options. They also offers lease and PPA (power purchase agreement), where customers can pay for the energy their solar panels produce rather than owning the panels outright. This can be a good option for homeowners who don’t want to pay upfront costs for a solar panel system.
Both companies offer solar systems that are eligible for the ITC (investment tax credit). But there is a critical difference between the two.
All of Tesla’s financing options give buyers ownership of the solar panels, meaning they are eligible for the tax credit. With Sunrun, only some financing options are qualified. If a customer chooses a lease or PPA, they don’t own the panels, just the energy they generate. Sunrun maintains ownership of the system and claims the tax credit instead.
Our Verdict: Tesla has a definite edge when considering cost-to-value and claiming the tax credit. Sunrun has the upper hand from an affordability standpoint, thanks to robust lease options with little to no upfront expenses.
Solar Panel Maintenance Tips
New solar panels provide efficient energy production and are easy to install. However, many owners neglect to take proper care of their solar panels. Consistent maintenance of your solar panels will keep them in top-notch condition.
Although solar panels require little maintenance compared to other energy sources, it is still wise to look after them. In doing so, you will ensure your solar panels last their entire potential lifespan.
Here at Bright Home Energy, we are committed to educating our customers to ensure they get the most out of their products. If you are here to learn how to take proper care of your solar panels, Bright Home Energy is here to help.
Whether your system is on your roof or ground, here are five maintenance tips for looking after your solar panels.
Maintenance Tip #1: Inspections
Solar panels can be prone to the collection of dust and debris. In addition, systems close to roads or highways are prone to build-up from dirt and fumes. Ground-based systems are more affected by these elements than systems on a roof. Still, regular inspection is essential.
Keep an eye out for changes in weather as well. Storms and changes in the wind can damage your panels.
Maintenance Tip #2: Cleaning
First, before doing anything to your solar panels, you should consult the manufacturer’s instructions. You should turn off the system and make sure you do not use anything to damage the panels. Specifically, avoid using unpurified/hard water, abrasive brushes, or detergents.
Spraying a moderate amount of purified, lukewarm water on the panels and wiping them with a soft cloth will suffice. If your panels are on your roof, you can use a non-abrasive sponge with a handle. Either way, ensure you consult an expert or the manual to prevent any harm to the panels.
Keeping dust and debris off your solar panel is essential to keeping it in its best shape. If you allow these things to build up, you will lose energy efficiency in your system.
Maintenance Tip #3: Ensure Ample Sunlight
Maintaining your panels’ exposure to sunlight is vital in keeping energy at its highest. Cleaning the panels will surely help, but make sure there are no obstacles that could interfere.
Ground-based systems can be affected by shadows or growing trees and plant life. Make sure there are no new hindrances to your solar panel getting sunlight.
Maintenance Tip #4: Looking After Accessories
Solar panel systems have various components that you need to look after. Specifically, look out for your solar inverters, which switch to fault mode in case of any faults in the system. As a result, this helps prevent any further damage to your system.
Reading the manual helps to know what you will need to do for your panels. Familiarizing yourself with what work is required for your panels will ensure you keep on top of maintenance.
Maintenance Tip #5: Contacting Experts
If you notice something wrong with your panels and are unsure how to fix it, call an expert. Do not attempt to repair or remove any parts if you are unfamiliar with them.
Luckily, Bright Home Energy aims to inform you of everything you must do to care for your panels.
Are you still unsure if your solar panels perform to their fullest potential? Do you need expert help in cleaning or repairing your solar panels?
Either way, Bright Home Energy is here to help you with your solar panel needs. Our technicians are experts in everything solar, so you will leave a consultation fully confident.
Get A Free Quote Today
Are you a solar panel owner in need of assistance? Or are you looking for a new solar panel system? Give Bright Home Energy a Call! Whether you need professional aid in maintenance or a completely new system, Bright Home Energy is here to help.
Give us a call or visit our website and get a free quote!
Call today at (480) 685-9238.
Need Your Solar Panels Cleaned? Here’s What You Need to Know
Anything that stands between your solar panels and sunlight will impact your system’s production.
Left unchecked, significant dirt and grime accumulation can create a decrease in your production and an increase in your electricity bill. If you find yourself in this position, you should look into having your panels professionally cleaned.
It is important to note that most solar panels that need to be cleaned are installed at a farm or near a high-traffic road. Pollen and other standard environmental dirt at your average home and business will be cleaned off with a good rain shower.
With the help of Jared Koch, owner of JTK. a Lancaster County-based professional cleaner, we’ve assembled a list of common questions related to solar panel cleaning. If you’re a solar-system owner who is considering having your panels cleaned, read on for answers to the common questions below.
Do Your Solar Panels Need Cleaning?
Solar energy is generally a set-and-forget investment that won’t require a lot of time or money to maintain. But depending on the type of environment your solar panels are in, the occasional cleaning could be in order.
Over time, dust, dirt, and grime build up on your panels, blocking out the sun and reducing your system’s output. For most, regular rain showers will be enough to keep your panels clean. But in other cases, this buildup can inhibit energy production to the point where cleaning is the best course of action.
Whether or not your panels need to be cleaned is going to come down to what type of buildup you have on your panels and how much sunlight it’s blocking. The best way to truly know is to get a solar panel cleaning company to come out and take a look. They’ll look at how much electricity your system is producing, and they’ll safely conduct a visual inspection to determine the best course of action.
Learn : Below is a video on how shade impacts solar panels. Extreme dirt accumulation can have a similar impact on your solar panel’s ability to produce energy.
How Does Professional Solar Cleaning Work?
The process of having your solar panels cleaned is relatively simple.
JTK uses a solar panel cleaning robot to clean most systems. The setup is straightforward, and all they need is water and access to your solar system. The robot is connected to the water supply and is then run across your panels. For most properties, no additional soaps or solutions are needed. An operator will control the robot remotely, directing it to gently scrub away the dirt and grime on your panels.
The robot cleans your panels in a way that’s very safe for your panels. They don’t require extensive setup or many materials, making the process a fast, simple, and effective solar panel cleaning solution.
The robot can clean systems with a 5/12 pitch or 25 degrees. If your solar panels are pitched higher than this, JTK will use water-fed brushes, which gives them the ability to access the high-pitched panels.
Can You Clean Your Own Solar Panels?
Cleaning your own solar panels is not something that we recommend.
Solar panels are sturdy, built to withstand the elements, and last for decades. However, they can be seriously damaged if not treated correctly.
Many cleaning products can permanently discolor your solar panels’ finish. They can create a milky film over the panels, which could permanently decrease your production. Additionally, a high-pressure stream of water can quicken degradation, leading to a permanent reduction in energy. Even washing your panels down with soapy water and a garden hose can cause issues.
Learn : This is what you need to know about solar panel degradation.
Doing any of the above can void the warranty from the solar panel manufacturer, meaning if something goes wrong with your solar panels down the road, you won’t be covered.
Most importantly, cleaning your panels on your own can be extremely dangerous. Climbing a few stories in the air with water and soap is not easy to do safely. You’re much better off hiring a professional.
How Much Do Solar Panel Cleaning Services Cost?
Ideally, what you spend to have your solar panels cleaned should be made up for by increased production. But how much exactly should you expect to pay?
The only answer to that is: it depends.
The larger your system is or, the heavier the grime, the more time and product it will take to get the panels cleaned. This will be reflected with a higher price. Another factor could be the distance your system is from the contractor’s shop.
As a very broad estimate, cleaning for an average residential system could cost around 150. Larger commercial and agricultural systems can be in the thousands.
How Will Cleaning Improve My Solar Panels’ Efficiency?
Cleaning your panels should mean better panel efficiency, meaning your solar panels will produce more free electricity than they did before they were cleaned.
To get a general sense of how much more electricity they’ll produce, look into how much your solar panels produced in years past. If there’s a significant decrease in production and your panels look visibly dirty, you may earn back some of that lost production with cleaning. However, keep in mind regular degradation, fluctuations in weather from year to year, and other needed maintenance could also be responsible for the drop in production.
Solar panel cleaners will be able to give you a better idea of how cleaning your dirty panels will improve efficiency with an on-site estimate.
How Often Should Panels Be Cleaned?
The frequency of solar panel cleaning will depend on what’s happening around your system. It could range from once every few months to once a year or longer. It all depends on how much dirt is being released into the air.
For example, a system on a farm will likely need to be cleaned more often than a system in a neighborhood. Additionally, systems near major highways and busy roads need to be cleaned more frequently.
Your solar cleaning contractor should help you set up a cleaning schedule that keeps your solar system in its best working order.
Still not sure whether or not your solar panels need to be cleaned? Reach out to JTK for a free site evaluation and estimate. They’ll come to take a look at your system and help determine whether or not cleaning solar panels can save your business or farm money.
Solar Panel Cleaning Market Size,Share,Trend And Analysis
The global Solar Panel Cleaning Market size was worth 559.9 million in 2021 and is expected to grow to USD 1,236.4 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 10.89% during the forecast period.
The solar panel cleaning market is a subset of the larger solar industry and refers to the cleaning and maintenance of solar panels to ensure their optimal performance. Solar panels can become dirty due to various factors such as dust, dirt, and bird droppings, which can reduce their efficiency and power output.
The market for solar panel cleaning services has been growing in tandem with the growth of the solar industry. As the number of solar installations increases, the demand for maintenance and cleaning services also rises.
The market is segmented into residential, commercial, and utility-scale cleaning services. Residential cleaning services are typically offered by local contractors or cleaning companies, while commercial and utility-scale cleaning services are provided by specialized companies that have the expertise and equipment to handle large-scale cleaning projects.
The adoption of new technologies such as automatic cleaning systems, drones, and robots is also expected to drive the growth of the solar panel cleaning market. These technologies can increase the efficiency and safety of cleaning operations and reduce the cost of maintenance.
In summary, the solar panel cleaning market is an important and growing segment of the solar industry that is driven by the need to maintain the efficiency and performance of solar installations. As the solar industry continues to grow, the demand for solar panel cleaning services is expected to increase.
Solar Panel Cleaning Market Player’s Analysis
In finalizing their position in this market player positioning, recent events for these firms, such as new solution/product releases, marketing projects, RD, partnerships, mergers acquisitions, regional expansions, and technical innovations, are considered. The report also includes detailed profiles of key players such as
- Boson Robotics Ltd.,
- AEET Energy Group GmbH,
- Kashgar Solbright Photovoltaic Technology Co., Ltd.,
- Premier Solar Cleaning, LLC,
- Carmanah Technologies Corp,
- Saint-Gobain Surface Conditioning,
- Serbot AG,
- Sharp Corporation,
- SunBrush mobil GmbH
- among other.
Global Solar Panel Cleaning Market Segments:
By Mode of Operation
Solar Pumps Market
Solar Pv Panels Market
You can place an order or ask any questions, please feel free to contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring Cleaning and Maintenance for Solar Panels
Spring is a time when many home and property owners look to get some basic cleaning and maintenance done, and one common example here is for solar panels. While it’s true that solar panels do just fine in winter conditions and won’t be at any major risk of damage or large concerns, the long winter can dirty them and perhaps introduce a few very minor areas of upkeep that should be covered once the cold season ends.
At Intermountain Wind Solar, we’re happy to offer high-quality commercial and residential solar panel services to clients in both Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho. Here are some general spring cleaning and maintenance tips we can offer to those with solar panels, ensuring that their panels are in great shape headed into the highest-sun periods of the year.
Be Careful. For Multiple Reasons
Care on your roof is naturally important no matter what, but it’s doubly so when it comes to solar panel cleaning or maintenance. Here are a couple reasons why:
- Safety: The constant theme we referenced is safety, which needs to be taken into account at all times when up on a roof. There should never be any risk that you or anyone else suffers an injury in the process.
- Panel damage: You don’t want to damage the panels themselves either, of course; it’s important to use gentle yet effective techniques for cleaning, and safe pressure for any maintenance needs.
- Warranty: Relatedly, there may be warranty considerations here. If the solar panel cleaning or maintenance is performed improperly, then it can void the warranty and cause you to pay for any repairs that arise from it. If you know your panels remain under warranty, it pays to check it extensively before doing anything to them.
Consider a Solar Panel Cleaning Kit
If you’re going to be doing the cleaning yourself, then it pays to get a solar panel cleaning kit that contains all the necessary items. You can sometimes find these kits at home improvement stores or online retailers; they normally come with enough materials for multiple cleanings and may include brushes, rags, special cleaners, and other items needed for effective maintenance.
The presence of these special cleaners is one of the more important benefits of a kit, as some general-use cleaners can actually damage the panels or reduce their effectiveness over time. So it’s important to have an approved cleaning product that won’t cause any issues when used on solar panel surfaces.
Always Check Manufacturer Tips or Instructions
Solar panels are typically manufactured and sold by specific companies, and they’ll often provide some helpful tips or directions on how best to clean and maintain them. If your panels do come with such a guide or set of recommendations, it pays to read through it carefully before doing any work.
This could include safety rules or guidelines on the types of cleaners that can be used. Even if you do have a kit, it’s wise to check these instructions and make sure that the products contained within won’t cause any issues when applied to your specific panel model.
Stay Away From Harsh or Abrasive Chemicals or Supplies
As you’re searching for a solar panel cleaning kit or system, be sure to avoid anything that contains harsh chemicals or abrasive supplies. Abrasive materials can scratch and damage the panels over time, reducing their efficiency; strong chemicals can also eat away at the surface and create similar issues.
So look for gentle cleaners, soft brushes, and other items that won’t cause any harm when used in a cleaning or maintenance scenario. Along the same lines, it’s wise to avoid using power washers on your panels as well; the pressure from these can actually damage them and reduce their effectiveness.
This is another area that highlights the value of a solar panel cleaning kit. when you buy one, you can be sure that the products included are designed specifically for solar panel use and won’t cause any issues.
As you can see, cleaning and maintaining solar panels in the spring is an important task, but one that should be done with caution. By following the tips above, you can ensure your panels remain in great condition while also protecting yourself from any potential safety risks along the way.
For more here, or to learn about our solar panel services for clients in Salt Lake City, Boise or nearby areas, speak to our team at Intermountain Wind Solar today.