Sunrun and SunPower provide quality solar energy systems to homeowners nationwide. Although both companies are considered leading solar providers, they each offer different benefits to customers. Our team researched both solar companies and compared their services, warranties, and customer reviews. Keep reading to learn which company is best for your home installation.
Sunrun vs. SunPower: Fast Facts
Here are the key features of Sunrun and SunPower:
Monocrystalline Panels (various brands)
Monocrystalline Panels (Maxeon)
10 to 25 years of warranty coverage (varies by financing options)
25-year warranty coverage
18 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.
50 states but varies by zip code
Cash payment, solar loan, solar lease, power purchase agreement (PPA)
Cash payment, solar loan, solar lease, power purchase agreement (PPA)
Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating*
*All BBB information is accurate as of October 2023.
Sunrun vs. SunPower: Benefits and Drawbacks
Below, we’ve listed some of Sunrun and SunPower’s benefits and drawbacks.
Sunrun Benefits and Drawbacks
We appreciate Sunrun’s long-term warranty coverage and in-house installers but noticed several complaints about poor customer support. Here are Sunrun’s main benefits and drawbacks:
➕ Additional coverage for panel theft and damage
➕ In-house installation team
➕ Multiple high-quality battery options
➖ Company website offers limited solar incentive eligibility details
➖ Shorter warranty coverage for cash and loan customers
➖ Some customers note poor customer service
SunPower Benefits and Drawbacks
We like that SunPower offers efficient, industry-leading solar systems and comprehensive coverage. However, it requires a higher solar investment than other installers. Here’s a complete list of SunPower’s benefits and drawbacks:
➕ 25-year comprehensive system protections
➕ Highest efficiency solar systems on the residential market
➕ Energy storage and electric vehicle (EV) charger installations
➖ Higher pricing than other providers, according to customer reviews
➖ State coverage varies by zip code
➖ System customizations limited to SunPower-produced solar equipment
Sunrun vs. SunPower: Company Overview
The next sections take a closer look at the product catalogs, warranties, and solar services of Sunrun and SunPower.
Sunrun vs. SunPower: Financing
Both Sunrun and SunPower offer several solar financing options to meet each homeowner’s budget. Here’s a breakdown of each available payment option:
Sunrun offers four financing options:
- Cash payment: Homeowners pay in full up-front, eliminating interest rates or long-term payments.
- Solar loan: You make an initial down payment on your solar system, then continue monthly payments with interest for a set period.
- Solar lease: With leasing options, the solar company retains system ownership, and you make monthly payments to “rent” the system.
- PPA: Instead of paying for a solar system, you pay for your monthly solar energy use.
SunPower also offers the same options for its customers but uses different terminology for some payment options:
- Full purchase: This is equivalent to the cash payment option.
- Monthly loan: This refers to the solar loan.
- Monthly lease: This is the company’s solar lease option.
- Full lease: This is Sunrun’s version of a PPA. Homeowners prepay for 25 years of solar power up-front to help lock in their rates.
Homeowners who use cash payments or loans qualify for additional solar incentive savings, such as the federal solar tax credit. Incentives help lower solar installation costs, helping to make your solar transition more cost-effective.
During our research, Sunrun emphasized its solar leasing and PPA options more than cash alternatives. The company offers limited information on how leasing options disqualify you from added solar incentive savings. We recommend reviewing all available payment options and selecting the best choice based on your budget and goals.
Sunrun vs. SunPower Reviews
To better understand the customer experience, we analyzed 100 reviews from Sunrun and SunPower customers.
We learned that Sunrun customers appreciated the smooth installation process and system efficiency. Negative reviews mentioned systems performance not meeting the outline guidelines and issues contacting customer service.
With SunPower, customers praised the installation team and overall performance. However, they noted SunPower’s higher-than-average pricing and poor tech and customer support teams.
Sunrun Customer Reviews
Below are several customer reviews for Sunrun:
“I have been up and running for a little longer than 6 months now and am amazed at how efficient my system is. My electric bill has dropped to about $15.00 per month, which is just for small taxes and the electricity delivery charge per month. I am extremely pleased with the system.” —Martin P. via Best Company
“They have been providing us with a great service so far. [T]he system is running properly without any difficulties since they have installed my panels. I have been getting enough energy for my property. I would say that I’m satisfied with the service I have been provided by Sunrun.” —Rustam A. via Best Company
“This company charges a lot more than they are worth. The salespeople didn’t tell the truth about what you would get from the solar panels, and instead of saving money, it has cost me more.” —Mary Z. via Best Company
“My system has been underperforming my contract guarantee for over a year. My customer service rep has changed numerous times and my current one assigned doesn’t respond to emails. All I’ve been told is that they are waiting on parts, for a year now, and they will review my account once it’s fixed. Again, more than a year now. Terrible customer service. Just terrible.” —Wes C. via Best Company
SunPower Customer Reviews
Here’s a sample of recent SunPower reviews:
“I went with SunPower for the knowledgeable presentation I saw and their reputation in the industry. So far, the installation was smooth, and the system seems to be working great. Right in time for our heatwave too!” —Jose F. via Best Company
“I relied heavily on reviews before choosing SunPower. With the exception of a couple scheduling hiccups and failure to notify me they have delivered as promised. The sales representative was very thorough with her explanation and answers, the installation team was very efficient and did a nice job. My system has only been active a few weeks and seems to be doing fine, only time will tell. I am happy with my decision to go with SunPower.” —William B. via Best Company
“Installation was rough. It required multiple visits the first day and it required multiple scheduling attempts, mostly because the dispatch team would not call and would only text for some weird reason to try to schedule the installation. The technology is awesome, the equipment is great, and it produces power, so it does everything it needs to do, but their project management team and scheduling team is not to the same level as their sales team.” —Jeme via Best Company
“Overall the experience has been good over the years but in the last year you keep sending out techs who don’t show or don’t fix the issue. I realize they are not part of your organization but neither your group or theirs seems to know what’s going on.” —Sheila K. via Best Company
Choosing the right solar energy provider depends on your needs, system preferences, and budget. If you want to invest in high-quality residential panels and the best long-term comprehensive warranty coverage, choose SunPower as your solar company. You’ll benefit from the high-performance system, leading to better energy bill savings. If you’re more interested in leasing your system and not in solar incentives, consider Sunrun for your solar needs. You’ll receive a reliable renewable energy system and added theft or damage protections.
We recommend getting quotes from at least three solar providers to find the best option for your home.
Sunrun vs. SunPower FAQ
Sunrun vs. SunPower FAQ
What are the benefits of choosing SunPower?
SunPower offers high-quality systems designed for maximum energy output. The company pairs custom-made components with some of the best solar panels available, tailoring each system to the homeowner’s specific energy needs. SunPower’s warranty includes 25 years of equipment, workmanship, and panel performance protection, ensuring your system lasts decades.
Why is SunPower priced higher than Sunrun?
SunPower is priced higher than Sunrun due to its better system quality and customized parts. SunPower uses high-efficiency panels and in-house system equipment to optimize energy production. Homeowners pay more for a higher-quality system, leading to better energy savings.
What are the disadvantages of choosing Sunrun?
Some disadvantages of choosing Sunrun include shorter system coverage and fewer perks for customers who buy their systems. Sunrun provides only 10 years of coverage for paid customers compared to the 25 years that come with a leased system. In addition, cash customers don’t receive additional coverage, such as insurance coverage for panel damage and theft, that comes standard with the leased systems.
How We Chose the Top Solar Companies
We researched and analyzed dozens of solar panels and solar installation companies. We then formulated a solar company review methodology based on several factors, including product catalog, solar services, warranty coverage, and installation method. We also analyzed customer reviews, conducted consumer surveys, and spoke with industry professionals to identify customer pain points.
Speaking directly to representatives, we determined how each solar company personalizes its solar panel installation for each home. We analyzed each company’s warranty options to ensure its product and performance guarantees match or exceed industry standards. We also conducted secret shopping to gain first-hand experiences as a customer.
We evaluated each provider based on its rating and history with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to determine reputation. In addition, we analyzed the 100 most recent Google Reviews for each provider across various locations and branches.