Sunrun is a solar energy contractor that has been in the business for more than 15 years. Although Sunrun has some really impressive positives, this solar company has some trouble with customer reviews and complaints that should be considered. In our Sunrun review, we will give you all the information needed for homeowners and business owners to ensure they make the right decision when it comes to solar panels.
Our Expert Take on SunRun Inc.
Sunrun has an A- rating from the BBB and over 15 years of industry experience. One of the things that help Sunrun stand out is the number of different methods or paths it offers customers to afford a solar installation. Most companies that provide solar systems will have financing options, but Sunrun also includes leasing options for those interested in solar installation.
The Sunrun brand name has a relationship with Costco. It also uses high-quality solar batteries and panels and is offered in 20 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Some of the other positives associated with Sunrun include free maintenance on their Tesla Powerwall solutions. In addition, the company offers industry-leading warranties on most of the products that it sells.
Whether you want to keep upfront costs down or want to work with a company that allows you to manage and lower your electric bill with very little money, Sunrun products could be right for you. We gave this provider a 4.2/5 rating.
Read our solar company comparison of Sunrun vs. SunPower.
Sunrun Solar at a Glance
Sunrun was founded in San Francisco, where its headquarters still remain today. The Sunrun customer has access to lots of information about this public company and even an online portal system that Sunrun offers once you are a customer and have completed the installation process of your solar lease or solar purchase. Here are a few of the basics to understand about the Sunrun Solar power company as a whole.
|Headquarters||San Francisco, CA|
|Services||Solar Energy Contractors|
|Certifications||Tesla Powerwall Certified Installers|
|# of Employees||15000+|
Pros and Cons of Sunrun
- Well established brand with leasing and purchasing options
- Free Tesla power wall maintenance
- Long warranty options on installations
- Provides system monitoring
- Insurance option available on panels
- Large areas of the country with no availability
- Some poor customer service reviews on BBB
Sunrun Solar Services
One of the great things about Sunrun Solar panels is that you have four different options to choose from for the payment setup. This includes a monthly lease, full lease, full purchase, or a monthly loan. Speaking with a sales representative, you will learn that each of these four options has its ups and downs. If you are looking to keep the monthly payment down, the full purchase is certainly your best choice.
For those looking to keep the upfront costs to a minimum, the leasing options are the best overall.
With the lease options, the solar equipment is owned by Sunrun, and it is also maintained by them. For the purchase, options expect that you will be the owners and although there is some service and a strong warranty, the level of maintenance that Sunrun does won’t be quite as much.
All four options come with rate hike protection and a warranty. The real question comes down to you as a homeowner and whether it means more to you to own or to simply lease and benefit from customer support. The salesperson you work with from Sunrun will help you understand the options that you have.
Sunrun Installation Process
Sunrun is a large business with more than 15,000 employees. As we mentioned, it is located in 20 states, and there are Sunrun installers throughout these 20 states. Of course, there could be times when your installation is contracted out. This happens when the Sunrun team is too busy to keep you with requests, and it must employ an outside contractor to get the job done.
A typical installation process from quote to turning the system on goes as follows:
- Get a free quote from Sunrun by providing information such as your location, name, energy costs, and credit score.
- A Sunrun sales representative will reach out with a detailed solar system proposal, which includes your customized system design, recommended solar panels, the appearance, full costs, and the energy savings you will have in the future. The proposal may also include the local or state solar incentives that are offered, such as solar tax exemptions or rebates.
- After agreeing to a proposal that fits what you are looking for, Sunrun will obtain the necessary permits and approvals needed by your local authorities to have solar panels installed on your home. Sunrun will also enroll in net metering programs if you are eligible.
- After all approvals and permits are received, Sunrun will install the solar system on your home.
- After the installation, Sunrun, the city, and your local electric company will do an inspection of your system. Once passed, you can turn your solar system on.
Sunrun’s Solar Panel Warranties
The warranty is a really important feature of any solar energy system that you purchase. Clearly, spending tens of thousands of dollars means that you will want to save as much money as possible on your next system. In addition to a warranty, Sunrun also offers a guarantee. Here is what you can expect from this company.
The Sunrun guarantee includes daily system monitoring, maintenance for most issues, and an option for insurance for your solar system. The leased options have a service package that comes along with the purchase, and this is because the equipment is not owned by the homeowner but instead by Sunrun. You will expect that it will take great care of the equipment it has just installed at your home.
The only problem we came across with this Sunrun guarantee is that customer service seems to be behind, and homeowners were having trouble getting in touch after making repeated phone calls. It’s one thing to have the guarantee in place, and another to have it accessible to the homeowners that need it. This is something to watch moving forward with Sunrun.
Solar System Warranty
The solar system warranty includes free equipment replacement and system repairs. For these replacements and repairs, the equipment and installation costs will be covered. Of course, when it comes to renewable energy, there are some systems that are known for being better than others. When researching Sunrun Solar reviews, we found that people had very few issues related to system breakdown and warranty-related claims.
Sunrun also offers a warranty that all roof penetrations are watertight for ten years. This is an important feature and one that is almost always exclusive to companies that have higher-quality installers. Sunrun claims that their installers have more than 20 years of solar panel installation and plenty of knowledge about your home and roof.
Proactive Solar System Monitoring
For the most part, solar power systems are not difficult to take care of. Most of the time, you are told to keep the system free of debris and inspect it from time to time to make sure there are no problems with the connection to the utility company or with battery storage.
Luckily with Sunrun, there is proactive solar system monitoring, and it is done daily. If an issue arises, Sunrun will know about it before you even do. With over 200,000 systems currently installed throughout the United States, this company has a strong presence.
The comprehensive insurance option offered by Brightbox is a good option for those worried about theft or damage. The chance of something happening to your solar system is likely not that high, but the peace of mind offered by Sunrun will help them stand out from different companies on the market.
How Much Does Sunrun Solar Cost?
Sunrun will typically cost between $11,000 and $15,000; for a solar panel system. However, depending on your energy costs in your area, net metering options, and other incentives, this could vary greatly. In addition, if you have a large home that has very high energy needs, you may also pay closer to $25,000 or more. This video breaks down how you pay for solar power vs. actual solar panels with Sunrun:
Almost all of the top solar companies, Sunrun included, will offer information about incentives that can help you save money. The sales rep will tell you about the federal savings program designed to save homeowners 26% on their home solar system. This 26% won’t be in place for much longer and is set to drop to 22% in 2023, so take advantage of this while you still can.
Remember that the costs of the Sunrun systems will vary depending on if you are purchasing a solar battery backup, Tesla Powerwall, or a full solar panel system for your home.
|Plans||Monthly Lease||Lease System||Purchase System||Monthly Loan|
|Purchase option||Monthly lease option $0 to a little down||Pay the solar lease in full at the beginning of the contract||Purchase in full||Purchase and finance|
|Upfront payment||As low as $0||25 years of the energy cost||Full system cost||Solar loans begin with $0 down|
|Full service||Included||Included||With Protection Plus||With Protection Plus|
Financing Plans & Options
Sunrun is actually one of the best providers when it comes to financing plans and options. We mentioned that the Better Business Bureau rating for Sunrun was an A- but many of these individual reviews about Sunrun will speak to the affordability of the product and the financing options that it provides customers.
Sunrun is now offering a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) as an additional option to help homeowners save money on their electricity and electrician costs. However, the main reason that Sunrun stands out is the leasing options.
Choosing between a lease or a purchase can be a big decision at first. However, when homeowners see the pricing involved and the fact that you will be well-equipped in a power outage, the lease option brings some great options to the table.
Remember that there are also local incentives to help you save money on the financing. Many homeowners take advantage of low-interest rates on renewable energy loans in their area.
Specials or Incentives Offered
Unfortunately, there are no current incentives from Sunrun. However, the product is offered in more than 20 states, and therefore there are local and state-level options that many homeowners can take advantage of.
The most important rebate currently on the market is the federal tax credit. This will help all homeowners save 26% on the purchase of their solar power system. With the federal incentive, you will pay upfront for your home solar system, and then 26% will come back to you as a return on your next tax bill.
In addition to this federal program, there are also local energy providers and even state-level tax incentives that Sunrun will help you work out. The company typically provides information and links to what you need, but it will typically require you to fill out this paperwork and file it all for yourself.
Homeowners should also look for tax incentives as well as property tax exemptions when installing a solar system. Sunrun does not offer these directly, but representatives can help you understand if others in your area are taking advantage of it.
What Solar Panels Does Sunrun Use?
Sunrun Solar has some poor ratings when it comes to customer service; however, the actual solar panels that it uses don’t seem to have too many issues. It has relationships with Tesla and the new Powerwall system that has been quite popular among homeowners throughout the United States.
In addition, there are companies like LG and LONGi that it works with to give customers options as to which solar panel will be the best for their needs. It does make sense to do your research here and end up with something that stands out as better than others on the market.
The panels that Sunrun uses are monocrystalline panels and are considered the most efficient type of solar panels that the current solar market has. The brand that you get will sometimes depend on your location, or you can talk to your Sunrun sales representative about some preferences that you might have. Remember that warranty should come into play when choosing a solar system from Sunrun.
In addition to the solar panel offerings, Sunrun also offers the Brightbox Home Battery, which is a product from LG. This is something that will kick in during a power outage, very similar to the Tesla Powerwall battery. The battery will hold up to 13.5 kWh, which is available to use when you need it the most.
One of the things we noticed about Sunrun is that it likes to create whole-home energy solutions for both your car and house and its website offers lots of examples and products to help get that done.
Sunrun has a partnership with LG and Tesla. It uses these to negotiate some of the best rates for solar panels and battery storage options for customers. The partnerships that Sunrun has in place will likely continue to expand as the company gets larger and more and more people to go solar.
Service Area & Availability
There are currently twenty states with Sunrun installation services available. However, in addition to these 20 states, the areas of Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico are also considered locations that Sunrun will accommodate. Each state has its unique incentives that are worth looking into before you decide on the perfect solar panel system for your needs. View a list of states below.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington D.C.
- Puerto Rico
Sunrun Reviews From Actual Customers
As we have mentioned, there are a few negative reviews out there for Sunrun, yet it still has an A- rating from the BBB. The majority of the issues come from problems with customer service. We highly recommend reading both positive and negative reviews, as well as speaking with a representative from Sunrun, before you make your final decision.
The bottom line is that Sunrun is using good quality panels; it just seems to struggle with contact and communication with customers at times. This could be related to the large size of the company.
“We’ve had nothing but a great experience with Sunrun. Didn’t have to pay anything to have my system installed, and the salesperson took care of pretty much everything throughout the whole process. We’ve had no issues with the system and haven’t really had to do anything with it. My wife and I are glad we went solar, and we’re saving a ton of money each month!”– Jon S.
“I had a wonderful experience with Sunrun, starting with their representative at the kiosk in Costco to my post-installation needs, such as the battery rebate.
The consultant, site auditor, project coordinator, and installation personnel all exhibited professionalism, punctuality, and quick response to my inquiries. The Sunrun team has done a fabulous job of providing the education that has helped me understand the process and what it means to go solar and make the best of my solar system. Thank you, Sunrun!”– Ramin Z.
“We added solar to our home several years ago. It is owned and maintained by Sunrun, and we get the benefits of significantly lower electric bills. Two years ago, one of the panels wasn’t performing as expected. Sunrun was on top of the problem, corrected everything in a fast and professional manner, and we were on track once more. So nice to not have to worry, just know any problem is addressed quickly.”– Christine B
Bottom Line: Is Sunrun a Good Company?
Sunrun may have a few negative reviews, but when you look at the overall positives, this is expected from a company that has been in the industry for this long. Overall, Sunrun is an excellent company with a strong reputation across most of the United States. The fact that it offers both lease and purchase options for homeowners helps them stand out as one of the best on the market. When you can customize a payment solution that works specifically to your budget, the opportunities are endless. In the end, we recommend getting a quote from Sunrun if it installs in your local area.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sunrun
How long has Sunrun been in business?
Sunrun has been in business since 2009. It is BBB accredited with an A- rating, which has been in place since 2021. Sunrun is offered in 20 states and has become one of the larger solar power companies in the industry.
Where is the Sunrun headquarters?
Sunrun is located in San Francisco, but there are also locations in twenty states in total. Sunrun also offers installation in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.
What inverter does Sunrun use?
Sunrun does not make its own inverters it sources microinverters from a company called Enphase Energy.
Who owns Sunrun?
Lynn Jurich and Ed Fenster are two of the founders of Sunrun that are still actively involved in the company today.
Is Sunrun Worth It?
If Sunrun currently offers installation in your state, it is worth contacting them for a quote. Customers were very happy with the service, workmanship, and professionalism of the Sunrun employees. In addition, energy independence and a decrease in total energy bills have left people pleased they chose solar power.
Will Sunrun design my solar panel system?
Sunrun offers many benefits that help customers justify the total cost of their solar panel system. From remote monitoring to long warranties to leasing options that will help satisfy your needs as a customer, Sunrun solar panel installation and longevity is quite good. For homeowners that have been on the fence about whether or not solar is worth it, this company could help you pull the trigger.
Today's Homeowner’s Solar Companies Rating Methodology
At Today's Homeowner, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.
Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.
We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:
- Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
- Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
- Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
- Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
- Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
- Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
- Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.