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Sunrun solar programs. How We Compared Solar Companies

Sunrun solar programs. How We Compared Solar Companies


    Our promise. We provide a buying advantage with verified reviews and unbiased editorial research.

    Sunrun sells and leases customized residential solar energy systems and its battery storage service in 20 states and two U.S. territories. Customers can own or lease a system with

    Featured Reviews

    Sunrun is the best solar company you can find out there. They are very cost effective compared to other solar companies out there. I am very happy with my purchase and would refer.

    … My solar system is producing as much as our Sunrun rep promised us. We are very happy and satisfied with the service. Sunrun offers several solar options, we decided to go with.

    sunrun, solar, programs, compared

    Sunrun panels and equipment

    Sunrun uses monocrystalline solar panels from various suppliers, including LG. Sunrun uses monocrystalline photovoltaic modules in all of its home solar systems. These systems are known for higher efficiency and slower degradation.

    Sunrun installation

    Sunrun customizes solar system installations based on factors like a customer’s energy usage history and a home’s roof. Solar advisors use a proprietary design technology to analyze your home and energy needs.

    Once you and Sunrun finalize the design, Sunrun submits all necessary paperwork for approval from your local government.

    Once the system is approved, installation starts. Installation can take from one to five days. After installation is complete, the crew foreman explains how the system works and shows you how to power it on.

    sunrun, solar, programs, compared

    Your local government must inspect and approve the system before you can connect it to the grid. The utility company installs a net meter to track the amount of solar power that you send to the grid. Upon approval from the utility company, you can begin using your solar panels. The entire process can take several months to complete. A Sunrun project coordinator can give you an approximate timeline.

    Sunrun services

    In addition to solar energy production, Sunrun offers energy storage options. The company provides home batteries as its solar battery storage solution. This system uses the solar energy you produce and uses it during power outages or in the evening during time-of-use peak pricing. As of publishing, this energy storage option is only available to new Sunrun solar customers.

    The company also offers EV charging through a partnership with Ford. Sunrun customers can purchase a Ford Charge Station that is specifically designed to be used with the Ford F-150 Lightning. The EV charger will work with other vehicles that use an SAE J1772 connector, including Tesla, with a commonly used adapter.

    Sunrun cost

    The average cost for a solar energy system ranges from 15,000 to 29,000, but Sunrun’s are sometimes higher than other solar energy providers because of the technology it uses. Fill out a form on its website to get a free solar energy consultation and quote. Sunrun partners with Costco to make solar panels available to its members at lower prices.

    Sunrun takes care of paperwork, permits and installation, whether you lease or buy.

    Financing options

    There are multiple ways to pay for a Sunrun system, with eligible customers able to go solar for

    Sunrun video review

    Joesphine: My name is Josephine. I live in the state of California, and high PGE bill really got me into doing the solar panels with Sunrun. And it’s a very good thing to have the solar panels. I chose Sunrun because I really got tired of paying so much for PGE bill. And the reason I chose them, because I felt more comfortable throughout the whole presentation. And then when they came out and worked on my house, there was a group of younger people working on top of the roof, and they was just really laid back. And my son, he’s a special needs, and he went out to see what they were doing, and they talked to him and everything. And I thought, wow. hey, this is nice. And then they showed him little things, you know, what they were doing and stuff. And he was interested in it. I said, they took their time out of their schedule to talk to him. I was just really relieved and comfortable that he was able to go out and talk with them. About the purchase, I liked it that they explained all the details. And I felt more at ease. I felt at ease to ask questions. There was one question I asked, who is the founder of this company? And the guy told me it was a woman. And I thought, wow, Hallelujah. Finally. You know, I was all for it and, you know, girl power. The people that worked with me with the solar panels, they was very responsible. They came in, brought their equipment and stuff. And they made sure after they finished the work, they cleaned up and took all the stuff away. And then I looked at the panels, and I liked it so much, because the panels, when they finished it, it had a period on it. It came down slanted, so it made it look finished. And then when you walk past the house, it made the house look more expensive. And it also made the, the sound from the outside to the inside, it made the sound quieter. My Sunrun purchase was definitely worth it because it gives me a peace of mind, and I know I don’t have to come up with 200 every time the utility bill come out now. It’s really worth it to the point that I’ve told other people about it. And, you know, well especially like at Christmastime, I can burn my Christmas lights and stuff and I don’t have to worry about my utility bill being sky high the next month. So it’s well worth it. I would recommend it. So anybody that has a high utility bill, as I did, I really love my solar panels and I’m happy I purchased them.

    down. Sunrun offers monthly leases, full leases (a power purchase agreement), purchases with financing and full purchases. The monthly lease option is the customer favorite, according to Sunrun.

    Sunrun warranty

    All of Sunrun’s solar plans come with a “worry-free” warranty, which covers equipment repairs and replacement, including parts and labor. Sunrun installations also come with a roof warranty that guarantees any roof penetrations remain watertight for 10 years.

    When you lease a solar energy system from Sunrun, all maintenance costs are covered. If you purchase a Sunrun system, you’re responsible for maintenance costs and any repairs that aren’t covered by the warranty.

    Sunrun FAQ

    Sunrun is a residential solar panel company that designs, installs, finances, monitors, maintains and insures its systems. It customizes home systems based on energy usage history, your design preferences and your home’s roof space using an automated site modeling tool that profiles roof characteristics like shading, pitch and sun exposure.

    When choosing Sunrun, you’ll first fill out a form on the company website. From there, you will work with a Sunrun representative to decide on your system size and battery details, figure out your cost and energy usage and finally look into incentives in your state.

    Sunrun is available in the following states as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

    • Arizona
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Florida
    • Hawaii
    • Illinois
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Jersey
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • South Carolina
    • Texas
    • Vermont
    • Wisconsin

    Yes, Sunrun proactively monitors your solar energy system’s production to make sure it is producing how it is supposed to. There is also the mySunrun app that allows customers to stay on top of their energy generation, bills and more.

    down. Sunrun offers free energy consultations and quotes. Over 830,000 homes across the U.S. have gone solar with Sunrun, according to the company.


    • Flexible payment options
    • Daily system monitoring
    • Warranty with complete coverage

    Bottom Line

    Sunrun offers personalized home solar energy system design, with the option to lease or purchase with monthly payments. Sunrun is only available in 22 U.S. states and territories, so it is not available in all areas.

    Sunrun Reviews

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    How do I know I can trust these reviews about Sunrun?

    • 4,274,871 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
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    • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

    My wife and I had solar installed on our roof last Summer and our system went live in August of 2022. We opted for the lease approach instead of a purchase. So, we did not have to put any money upfront at all. Zero. I work in Finance/Accounting and generally feel that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But in this case, it truly has turned out even better than we could have hoped for. We went with Sunrun, because they had a kiosk in Costco and we have used Costco’s other services in the past, like for our car insurance and have been very happy with it.

    Our salesperson, Ethan was great. He was very knowledgeable and I challenged him many times with lots of questions and he impressed me. I sent him lots of questions after and each time he was very responsive and helpful. They came out and inspected our roof, which was over 20 years old, to first confirm that it had at least 10 years of life remaining. We really didn’t want to re-roof to do this, so we were very happy when they told us the roof looked fine. So, within a few weeks, the solar panels were installed, which took less than a day. What takes longer is to get the city out to do an inspection and get permits, and then for PGE to connect the system to their grid and go live. They told us from start to finish it would be roughly 6 months, but in the end, when we went live in August of last year, it had only been about 3 months. And when it went live, we still hadn’t spent a penny and they gave us a 750 debit card just for signing up.

    Once it goes live, you pay Sunrun directly for the energy that your system generates at a set rate. For us it was about.24 per kilowatt hour/kwh. By contract, PGE was charging us between.35 to.40 per kwh and their rates were increasing by 15-25% a year, which is outrageous. So, on day 1, our electric rates were almost 50% less than PGE and the contract limits annual increases to those rates by Sunrun to no more than 2.9%, as opposed to the 15-25% increases we’ve been seeing from PGE. Yes, it doesn’t impact natural gas rates, as that still comes from PGE, but we’ve just replaced using our whole home gas furnace with electric space heaters (also bought at Costco), except when we have our kids home (who are all adults now).

    For my wife and I, we weren’t even doing this to save money, we just felt we should use clean energy to do our part in combatting climate change. We also own an electric car, so it feels great to be charging it using the sun. Oh yeah, and these crazy storms we’ve just had and all that heavy heavy wind? No leaks to our roof and the solar panels are continuing to work great. We were a bit worried about that, watching all those trees come down and things flying everywhere, but so far so good.

    Thanks for your review, Dan! Our goal is to make going solar easy and enjoyable, and we’re so happy to hear that you had a good experience with us. Thanks for doing your part by helping us create a planet run by the sun!

    Enrolling with Sunrun was a pleasant experience. The reps walked us through all the steps. We didn’t feel pressured and didn’t feel like we had to make a decision right there and then. We were given a lot of information to do our homework, and they let us make our own decisions but with correct information. The information we previously received from other companies talked about numbers but didn’t talk about the panels, the longevity, the company’s reputation, and how they started. That’s also important for such a big commitment financially. The installation took a little longer but it was due to COVID. There were a lot of stuff going on when we were ready to move forward. But the guys came and knew what they were doing. They were informative and would allow me to ask questions and get some information. It didn’t feel like they were unreachable.

    As a wife, we always get told by our husbands to stop using water and too much electricity. But we’ve been able to use the AC and run our Jacuzzi, and financially, we can do this now. We have a high usage in the summer. But we have a Jacuzzi that we run 24/7 to keep it always ready for us. And we are planning on purchasing in electrical car. We wanted to plan ahead, so that could also be a benefit to us.

    Compare Solar Companies

    Available in 50 states Has been in the industry since 1985 Provides its own monocrystalline solar panels

    Available in 23 states 25-year warranties for the product, labor, and inverter Power protection guarantee

    25-year workmanship and product warranty Perks for new construction homeowners Available in 20 states

    When Are Solar Panels Worth It?

    Transitioning to renewable energy helps to lower your electricity bills. reduce your carbon footprint. and boost your property value. However, your location, current energy rates, and local solar incentives can all impact whether such a big investment will be worthwhile for your home. We’ll take a closer look at these factors below.

    Energy Consumption and Rates

    Solar panels provide an economical alternative to fossil fuels. This equals energy savings for homeowners in areas with high electricity rates. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average American household spends 122 per month on electricity bills. However, these rates vary throughout the country, with energy bills as high as 180 for some households. Below are the states with the highest electricity rates per kilowatt hour.

    Data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

    Residents in areas with higher-than-average rates, such as California. will benefit more from a solar panel system than those in areas with a low cost of electricity.

    Energy consumption also affects how much a solar system will benefit your home. Homes with low energy consumption won’t receive long-term savings from going solar. Most reputable solar companies will review your average energy usage and estimate your potential savings from going solar. If your energy consumption or electricity rates are too low, a solar panel system won’t be recommended.

    Local, State, and Federal Tax Incentives

    Homeowners can use solar incentives. credits, and rebates to save money on their solar panel system. For example, the federal solar tax credit provides a tax reduction equal to 30% of your solar installation costs. Additional state tax credits and incentives may be available in your area. Your local utility company may also offer one-time rebates.

    Additionally, your state may have net-metering programs. These programs allow customers to sell extra energy back to the grid for credits on future electricity bills or payouts at the end of a calendar year. Alternatively, you can install a solar battery to store excess energy for use during a blackout, low sunlight days, or periods of high electricity rates.

    We recommend checking the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) to find solar incentives and rebates in your area.


    Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems work best in areas with ample sunlight. Solar panels will work in inclement weather but won’t generate their maximum power levels. If you live in an area with year-round cloudy or rainy weather, your solar system may not reach its peak energy output, and your long-term savings will be reduced.

    Your home should also be free of any obstructions that could cast shadows on your panels, such as surrounding trees and nearby buildings. Blockage for even a few hours a day could reduce your panels’ energy output and lower your potential savings. Homes in the northern hemisphere that face south, southwest, or west receive the most direct sun exposure. resulting in optimal solar energy production.

    Property Value

    Any home improvement project can boost your home’s property value, including solar panel installation. The U.S. Department of Energy ’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that your home value increases by 20 for every 450 you save on your utility bills. If your solar panel system saves you 800 per year, that translates to an added 16,000 to your home value.

    Your increased property value may not necessarily result in additional property taxes. Several states have laws protecting homeowners from paying additional taxes for clean energy upgrades. These laws vary by state, so we recommend researching exemption laws in your area.

    Roof Design

    Your home’s roof design and angle are crucial to your solar panel installation. You’ll need enough roof space to install an adequate number of solar panels. How many panels you need depends on your energy usage and which type of solar panels you select.

    High-quality solar panels are more efficient, so you’ll need less of them to power your home. These panels help to conserve space when additional roof obstructions, such as chimneys or skylights, reduce your available area. Choosing inexpensive solar panels with lower power output will require more panels and ample roof space.

    The Overall Cost of Solar Panels

    Your total solar system cost will include more than the panels themselves. You’ll also have to pay for labor and additional equipment, plus ongoing maintenance and servicing fees or add-ons such as a solar battery or electric vehicle (EV) charger.

    The good news is that solar panel have dropped by 60% over the last 10 years. according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). An average solar energy system now costs around 20,000, though pricing varies based on your system size. local rates, and your chosen solar installer.

    Your final price also depends on your selected financing option. Homeowners who pay for a solar system up-front will see a higher return on investment because you’ll avoid interest rates and get access to solar incentives. You’ll also qualify for solar incentives if you choose a solar loan. However, the interest rates will add to your total cost over time.

    Additional options, such as a solar lease or power purchase agreement ( PPA ), allow homeowners to lease their system rather than committing to ownership. These options cost less up-front but disqualify you from incentives and won’t increase your property value.

    Our Recommendation

    Solar panels aren’t beneficial for everyone. Several factors, including local weather conditions, available incentives. and electricity rates. impact whether a solar system will be worth it for your home. In ideal conditions, a solar system offers long-term energy savings and increased home value. Homeowners installing solar panels should select the right financing options and take advantage of state and federal tax credits to maximize their return on investment.

    sunrun, solar, programs, compared

    Available in 50 states Has been in the industry since 1985 Provides its own monocrystalline solar panels

    Will more people install batteries?

    The Public Utilities Commission sure hopes so. Several commissioners said they supported the decision to ensure that more solar is banked for the evenings, when the state currently relies on polluting gas-fired power plants to keep the lights on.

    “We are making this change because of our commitment to addressing climate change,” Commissioner John Reynolds said. “If ratepayers are going to subsidize rooftop solar, it must do more to address climate change and meet grid needs.”

    Although solar incentive payments will be lower during most times of the day, they’ll be higher in the evening — especially summer evenings when California has flirted with power shortages as rising temperatures drive up the demand for air conditioning.

    For homes and businesses that can store solar power in batteries during the day and disperse it at night — helping the state avoid rolling blackouts without cranking up those polluting gas plants — the financial aspect of rooftop solar will look a lot better.

    “This a vast improvement on the status quo,” said Matt Baker, who was appointed by Newsom this year to lead the Public Advocates Office, an independent arm of the utilities commission. “For solar going forward, it is targeting exactly what we need to target, which is how do we get solar and battery adoption up to levels like Hawaii has.”

    Just 14% of Californians who installed solar over the last year also added batteries, which can bring the upfront investment to about 30,000. The solar industry has been working for several years to pivot to solar-plus-storage, but installers say they need more time to bring battery costs down and to make the financial case for energy storage to consumers.

    Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.

    Sunrun, the nation’s top rooftop solar installer, is likely to have an easier time adjusting than most. But the San Francisco-based company still foresees challenges, arguing that the utilities commission should have lowered payment rates more gradually.

    “The more time you give the industry to get ready, respond, go into action, the more likely it is that we’re not all looking back a year from now talking about how [we] slowed down the clean energy transition,” said Mary Powell, Sunrun’s chief executive.

    Will electricity rates go down?

    Rates have been rising fast and are expected to keep doing so. For PGE customers, for instance, base rates for most customers have risen roughly 50% over the last five years, according to data compiled by the Utility Reform Network, a consumer advocacy group. PGE recently requested another increase that would result in monthly electric bills at least 20% higher by 2026.

    Those price shocks have been driven by utility investments to reduce wildfire ignitions, upgrade aging infrastructure and replace fossil fuels with cleaner energy — investments that earn utility shareholders a guaranteed profit of roughly 10% for every dollar spent.

    But critics of net metering say the program has contributed to higher energy bills, saddling ratepayers with a 4.6-billion annual subsidy for solar-powered homes and businesses. Reducing the subsidy will limit further rate hikes to an extent, they say.

    And the less electricity rates rise, the more likely it is that millions of Californians will replace their gas furnaces and boilers with electric heat pumps, and their gasoline cars with electric vehicles — key technologies for reducing climate pollution.

    sunrun, solar, programs, compared

    The commission’s proposal “better aligns signals and incentives across the board,” said Mohit Chhabra, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the few environmental groups that supported Thursday’s decision.

    L.A. is banning most gas appliances in new homes. Get ready for electric stoves

    Climate change spurred Friday’s unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council.

    Other climate activists dismiss the idea that net metering causes higher energy bills, saying state officials underestimate the benefits that rooftop solar brings to all ratepayers — including less need for utilities to build expensive long-distance power lines.

    How will low-income homes be affected?

    Almost everyone involved in the net metering debate thinks it should be easier and cheaper for low-income families to install solar panels and batteries. But how much the new payment system will help them is a matter of fierce debate.

    Under the new solar rules, low-income homes enrolled in subsidized rate programs will receive higher payments for solar power they export to the grid — as will all homes in disadvantaged communities and on tribal lands, a last-minute change approved by the utilities commission. But environmental justice activists say those higher payments are still much too low.

    “It’s not enough to really expand low-income customer access,” said Katie Ramsey, an attorney with the Sierra Club. “The goals they’re stating are good, but the implementation is really risky — particularly the fact that the export values drop so sharply.”

    The commission’s decision also refers to an expected 900 million in new upfront incentive payments for rooftop solar and battery systems, with two-thirds of that money set aside for low-income homes. But state lawmakers still need to allocate those funds next year — and with a possible recession on the horizon, solar supporters aren’t sure the money will materialize.

    Federal data show that 12% of California solar adopters in 2021 had incomes below 50,000, and an additional 28% had incomes between 50,000 and 100,000. Renewable energy advocates will be watching to see whether those numbers rise. They’ll also be looking to state officials to do more to bring solar power to the roughly 45% of Golden State residents who rent their homes.

    Should California make solar more expensive? Inside the climate justice battle

    Clean energy activists and utility giants are duking it out over the future of rooftop solar.

    But as for net metering? The program’s critics insist that it’s done more harm than good for low-income families.

    “It’s just an upside-down Robin Hood thing going on,” said Pedro Pizarro, chief executive of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison. “It’s just such a massive transfer of wealth, and it’s getting bigger.”

    Sunrun vs. SunPower: Warranties

    Sunrun offers customers a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty for 25 years. If there is an issue with the solar panels or another mechanical part of the system within that time, the company will make repairs free of charge. Sunrun also stands apart with its unique 10-year roof-leak warranty. This protects the homeowner if the solar panels or installation create any roof holes or leaks. A separate roof-leak warranty is uncommon among solar installation companies, and it may provide potential Sunrun customers with some extra assurance that the company’s installers do diligent installation work.

    Even though Sunrun offers a relatively comprehensive warranty, SunPower’s is virtually unrivaled in the industry. SunPower guarantees the system’s power production, installation work, and products for a full 25 years. This means that if there are any defects with the products or if there was an issue stemming from installation work, SunPower will repair or replace whatever’s needed for no charge. SunPower also guarantees a certain level of power output from the panels for 25 years. This is upheld by SunPower’s studies on its panels, which show their higher reliability and lower degradation over their lifetime.

    Verdict: Sunrun provides a 25-year system warranty as well as a unique additional 10-year roof-leak warranty. However, SunPower’s warranty terms stand apart with a complete 25-year product, workmanship, and performance warranty that assures customers that SunPower stands by its equipment and work.

    Sunrun vs. SunPower: Customer Reviews

    Customer reviews are not always reliable—a disgruntled customer with a negative experience is much more likely to leave a review than a happy customer—but referencing them is an important part of vetting solar companies. Sunrun solar reviews and SunPower solar reviews can be found across multiple sites.

    On Consumer Affairs, Sunrun has 3.4 out of 5 stars. Positive Sunpower reviews cite friendly salespeople and technicians as well as fast installation. However, some customers cited that they spoke to a different company representative at every interaction, which made it difficult to ask questions or develop an effective dialogue.

    SunPower has 4.3 out of 5 stars on Consumer Affairs, and customers were pleased with the company’s transparency, clear communication, and professional interactions. Customers also say that the SunPower app is easy to use and the company is prompt in answering questions. Some negative reviews noted long installation timelines; however, many of these were from 2020 through 2022, when supply chains were slowed and project delays were expected across home service industries.

    Both Sunrun and SunPower have A ratings with the Better Business Bureau. SunPower appears to consistently respond to and resolve user complaints. On the other hand, the Better Business Bureau has posted an alert for Sunrun on the company’s page that notes a pattern of complaints that “state delays in response time when contacting the company to resolve issues.” The company responded and cited staffing issues as part of the reason for the delayed customer responses, and it appears that Sunrun is aiming to improve its customer service.

    Verdict: Sunrun’s reviews are wholly positive; however, the Better Business Bureau has issued an alert for the company following a series of recurring complaints, which may signal that the company has not been responsive to certain issues. SunPower’s reviews slant more positively across multiple review sites, citing clear communication and smooth installation processes.

    Verdict: With its top-of-the-line solar panels and robust 25-year warranty, SunPower is a standout solar power provider for homeowners nationwide. For customers who fall in its service area and are looking for a low price on solar panels, Sunrun is another excellent company to consider.

    Homeowners across the U.S. can’t go wrong with SunPower. The company offers highly efficient solar panels, and customers have been pleased with the service they’ve received. Plus, SunPower’s robust warranty ensures customers that the company stands behind its products and services. However, Sunrun is another solid choice for homeowners who fall in the company’s service area, and Sunrun may be able to deliver a great price on panels and installation.

    Even after all that information on these two leading companies in the residential solar industry, homeowners may still have some questions. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about Sunrun, SunPower, and solar energy in general.

    Q. What are the main benefits of solar panels?

    The advantages of solar panels are that they save homeowners money on their energy bills, increase a home’s overall value, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Q. Will SunPower go out of business?

    It doesn’t appear that SunPower will go out of business soon. The company is continually increasing its profitability, especially as solar becomes a more popular choice for homeowners.

    Q. Which company has more experience: SunPower or Sunrun?

    Sunrun was established in 2007, while SunPower was officially incorporated in 1985, making SunPower the company with more experience.

    Q. Which company has lower costs: SunPower or Sunrun?

    According to reviews, Sunrun’s panels tend to cost less than SunPower’s, but SunPower’s panels are also more efficient, saving homeowners more money in the long run.

    Q. Does Tesla own Sunrun?

    No, Tesla does not own Sunrun.

    Q. Which company has better customer reviews: Sunrun or SunPower?

    SunPower generally receives better customer reviews than Sunrun.

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