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Sunrun Solar Review (2024 Guide)

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We recommend Sunrun for homeowners interested in leasing their solar panel system. See why and which companies we suggest for non-leasing customers in our guide.

Author Image Written by Tamara Jude Updated 04/17/2024

Sunrun is a popular solar option with nearly 20 years of solar panel installation experience. It also has a variety of solar batteries and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, and a 0% down loan option. Sunrun promotes solar leasing with long-term system protections, maintenance, and added benefits for customers who prefer renting their solar systems. While the solar lease route comes with advantages for Sunrun customers, it does have its downsides, which we explore in our guide. 

Our Sunrun review also details the company’s product selection, warranty terms, cost, and customer reviews, and looks at how it compares to other top solar companies.

Sunrun
4.5
BBB Rating: A+
Best For: Best Solar Panel Leasing
Sunrun stands out for its solar panel leasing
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Year founded: 2007
  • State availability: 20 plus Washington, D.C, and Puerto Rico
  • Warranty: 10–25 warranty for product and workmanship (varies by contract)
  • Payment options: Full purchase, solar loan, solar lease, PPA
Pros
  • Additional insurance policy covering panel theft or damage protection
  • Free maintenance on Tesla Powerwall battery
  • Solar panels, batteries, and EV chargers available
Cons
  • Poor customer service, according to several recent BBB reviews
  • Shorter warranty coverage for cash and loan customers
  • Website does not clearly state how solar leases can impact incentive qualification

Sunrun installs monocrystalline solar panels from various manufacturers. In addition solar installations, Sunrun services include the following:

  • Sunrun battery storage
  • Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
  • System monitoring
  • Multiple solar panel options

How We Rated Sunrun

We used a detailed methodology to score Sunrun’s solar products and services in key categories. The company earned 4.4 out of 5 stars overall. Here’s how we rated it in each category:

Equipment and Services
3 / 5
3 / 5
Warranty
3.9 / 5
3.9 / 5
Reputation and Certifications
4.6 / 5
4.6 / 5
Financing Options
4.7 / 5
4.7 / 5
Experience
4.8 / 5
4.8 / 5
Availability
4.6 / 5
4.6 / 5
  • Equipment and services: Sunrun lost the most points for not offering roofing services or energy audits and for outsourcing installations. 
  • Warranty: While Sunrun’s warranty coverage is top tier, the company doesn’t provide a power production guarantee. 
  • Reputation and certifications: Sunrun lost minimal points for not holding North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification. 
  • Financing options: Sunrun offers four financing options, but we deducted points for no in-house payment choices. 
  • Experience: Sunrun received most points in this category for its years of experience but came slightly short due to not being as experienced as some competitors. 
  • Availability: We deducted points in this category for only operating in 19 states. 

What Do We Think of Sunrun?

Sunrun is a solid choice for homeowners interested in leasing a solar system, as it offers perks for those who choose this route. However, its lack of transparency around the downsides of solar leases and its lesser warranty coverage for those who choose other routes stands out as a top concern. 

Overall, Sunrun offers good product variety and high-efficiency solar equipment, though not as efficient as some industry leaders, such as SunPower. You can find more detail about SunPower’s efficient Solar panels in our breakdown of SunPower’s solar offering.

Pros
Sells solar panels, batteries, and EV chargers
Installs Tesla Powerwall batteries and includes free maintenance
Offers additional insurance policy in case of panel damage or theft
Cons
Pushes solar leases, which restricts ownership and solar incentives
Lessens warranty coverage if you pay by cash or loan
Operates in only 19 states

Sunrun offers additional equipment protection in the event of theft or damage through its BrightSave insurance policy, a benefit we haven’t seen from other solar companies. The provider offers a 25-year comprehensive warranty for customers who finance their solar panel system via a solar lease. Coverage includes ongoing maintenance and system monitoring services throughout your contract term.

Sunrun pushes solar leases without being transparent about disadvantages. Leasing your solar equipment means you don’t own it, so you’re not eligible for solar incentives that can help you save money. Not only do you get more if you choose solar leasing, you get less than the norm if you go a different route. Warranty coverage drops to 10 years if you pay by cash or solar loan, which is below the industry average.


What Type of Solar Panels Does Sunrun Install?

Sunrun doesn’t explicitly state which panel brands it installs, but we learned the company installs monocrystalline solar panels from various manufacturers. This panel type is the most efficient option on the market, with an average efficiency rate of 15%–22%. The solar panel brand you receive depends on your location. Sunrun utilizes third-party contractors to complete its solar energy system installations, using different installers in each state.

What Other Solar Products Does Sunrun Sell?

Sunrun doesn’t just sell solar panels. You can also choose from a variety of solar batteries and other energy products, such as:

  • Solar batteries: Sunrun has two battery options for backup energy storage: the Tesla Powerwall solar battery and the Sunrun Shift. You can read our guides for more information on the Powerwall’s pricing.
  • EV chargers: Though made for the Ford F-150 Lightning truck, Sunrun’s F-150 Lightning charge works with any EV charger compatible with the SAE J1772 connector. The Ford Connected Charge Station and Ford Charge Station Pro Connector also provide backup power to your EV during blackouts. There’s also the Sunrun Home EV charger that’s compatible with all EV models. 
  • Electric panels: The SPAN Smart Electric Panel acts as a command center for panel owners, providing real-time battery backup management and circuit-level control and visibility.

How Much Do Sunrun’s Solar Panels Cost?

We received an estimate of $25,000–$30,000 for a 10-kilowatt (kW) solar panel system when we called for a quote. Remember, this figure is only an initial estimate before any consultation, and it also doesn’t account for any solar incentives, which could reduce the price by thousands of dollars. 

In going through Sunrun’s quote process, we learned that several factors impact your total cost when investing in solar panels. The biggest contributing factors are panel type and size, roof layout and condition, the type and number of batteries you select, and required labor. Your location also plays a part in solar costs

We recommend getting a solar quote online or by phone to see how much your specific solar project would cost.


What Are Customers Saying About Sunrun?

Sunrun has mixed customer reviews online. We first checked Better Business Bureau (BBB) and found that the company is accredited and has an A+ rating and a 3.7 customer rating out of 5 stars*. This is out of more than 2,600 reviews on the site, so we feel confident saying customers have a mostly positive experience with the company. Positive themes include happiness with panel performance and noticeably lower electric bills. Customers also cite how helpful, knowledgeable, and supportive installers were. 

Homeowners report opposing experiences on the Trustpilot review site. There, Sunrun has 1.6 out of 5 stars, voted on by more than 100 customers. Negative themes point to delays, lack of responsiveness, failed inspections, and issues dealing with third-party companies associated with Sunrun. A review from Curtis L. notes roof leaks, communication issues, and poor cost savings. 

*Ratings are accurate as of May 2024.


How Does Sunrun Compare to Other Solar Companies?

We’ve reviewed and scored dozens of solar power companies against our methodology. Sunrun’s main difference from top solar brands in the industry is its lesser warranty coverage for customers paying by cash or loan.

Company Star Rating Warranties Payment Options Link
4.5
10–25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.4
10–25 years Full purchase, loan GET QUOTE
4.4
10–25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.4
25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.6
25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.0
10-25 years Full purchase, loan GET QUOTE
No results were found.

What Does Sunrun’s Warranty Cover?

Sunrun customers who pay upfront or finance their system via loan receive a 10-year warranty for product and workmanship, covering any issues caused by a poor installation, such as roof leaks. This coverage length falls below industry standards when looking at top competitors, though the added roof-leak coverage is a rare protection. 

Leasing customers receive a 25-year system warranty, such as free replacement, repairs, and 24/7 monitoring. This warranty also includes added insurance covering panel theft and damage. These benefits fall under its Protection Plus coverage, an included feature for leasing customers. However, purchase customers must add this service package to get the same coverage. Sunrun states that the service package can be purchased in select markets but does not disclose the associated costs on its website.

We’ve seen better protection plans for cash and loan customers with other providers that don’t require additional costs. Keep this in mind when considering purchasing a system with Sunrun.


What Are Sunrun’s Payment Options?

Sunrun offers four choices for solar financing: a full purchase, a monthly loan, a monthly lease, and a full lease. Sunrun heavily emphasizes its leasing options and highlights them as a customer favorite. Though Sunrun doesn’t detail each plan in full online, it offers an outline of included features and benefits.

QUICK Tip

Here’s an overview of Sunrun’s available payment plans:

Plan NamePurchase OptionSystem OwnershipUpfront PaymentRate ProtectionWarranty
Full purchaseOutright purchaseHomeownerFull system cost10 years
Monthly loanPurchase and financeHomeownerSolar loans begin with $0 down10 years
Monthly leaseMonthly payments to lease the systemSunrunAs low as $025 years
Full leasePrepay for solar energy costsSunrun25 years of energy cost25 years

What’s Sunrun’s Installation Process?

Sunrun handles the installation process, so you don’t have to worry about permits or utility companies. Here’s what you can expect during a typical solar system installation with Sunrun:

  1. Site assessment: Your solar panels must face the right direction to properly harness energy. During the site assessment, Sunrun professionals will determine if your home can support solar energy, as some homes receive too much shade to produce solar energy.
  2. Design approval: After the site assessment, Sunrun designs your system to support your home’s exact needs.
  3. Permitting: Before installation, the company will handle city permitting for you.
  4. City/county inspection: The city must approve the installation before it’s connected to the electrical grid.
  5. Solar installation: Sunrun will install your solar panels within five days of receiving a permit and confirmation from your city or county.
  6. Utility interconnection: Sunrun will speak directly with the utility company to establish net metering and connect your system to the grid.
  7. Activation: You can start using your system once the utility company approves the operation.

Sunrun proactively monitors BrightSave and Protection Plus products, checking your system’s efficiency and ensuring all parts are in good working order.


If you’re interested in solar leasing and know the downsides of system ownership and solar incentive disqualification, Sunrun may be a good option for you. You’ll get comprehensive warranty coverage and additional perks, such as system protection and monitoring. 

Though Sunrun has a range of high-performing solar products to choose from, it may not be the best choice for those looking to pay in full upfront or finance using a solar loan. These customers receive below-average warranty coverage and don’t have the option to add the benefits mentioned above. For these customers, we recommend checking out solar companies SunPower and Blue Raven Solar

We suggest carefully reviewing warranty coverage, efficiency rates, and customer reviews before deciding on a solar company. We also recommend getting quotes from a few providers to compare pricing.


FAQ About Sunrun

What is the downside of Sunrun?

A major downside to Sunrun is its pushing of solar leases without transparency around this financing option’s disadvantages, which include lack of system ownership and disqualification from solar incentives. Only 2.3% of our 1,000 surveyed solar customers chose Sunrun for their solar installation.

Is Sunrun credible?

Sunrun is a credible solar company. It’s been accredited with BBB since 2009 and holds an A+ rating with the bureau.

Is Sunrun owned by Costco?

Sunrun is not fully owned by Costco but has a partnership with the retailer. Costco sells Sunrun products and services, offering a Costco cash card worth 10% of your total solar equipment cost.

How long do Sunrun solar panels last?

Sunrun panels last about 25 years or longer since they are monocrystalline panels. These panels can last up to 40 years with regular maintenance and care.


Our Rating Methodology

We are committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. After over a thousand hours of research on solar companies, interviews with experts, and common customer needs, we’ve created a detailed rating system for solar providers based on six factors:

  • Solar equipment, installation, and services (25%)
  • Warranty and performance guarantees (25%)
  • Brand reputation and certifications (15%)
  • Financing options (15%)
  • Experience (10%)
  • Availability (10%)

Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.