sunrun brightbox solar battery

Everything you need to know about the Sunrun Brightbox solar package

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batteries are becoming a popular addition to solar panel systems throughout the U.S. and across the globe. Energy storage can provide backup power if the grid goes down, and also help maximize savings in utility territories that have time-of-use (TOU) rates or unfavorable net metering policies.

Solar installation companies are picking up on the trend, and have started offering battery installation as a service. The biggest residential solar installer in the country, Sunrun, has a “solar plus storage” option known as the Brightbox package. Brightbox is available in Hawaii, Arizona, California, New York, and most recently Massachusetts.

What is the Brightbox?

The Brightbox package is Sunrun’s company-branded battery option, launched in partnership with LG. The Brightbox batteries are manufactured by LG Chem, not Sunrun, and are also available from other U.S. solar installation companies.

The LG Chem batteries are lithium ion, and come in a variety of sizes. Sunrun primarily offers the LG Chem RESU 10, which can hold 9.8 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. Sunrun says that their Brightbox package can provide 10+ hours of backup power if the grid goes down.

Brightbox financing options and maintenance offerings from Sunrun

Sunrun offers a few different financing options for the Brightbox. Like with solar, you can either buy the equipment or lease it from the company. If you lease, you can choose either a prepaid option or  monthly payments. If you’re looking to buy the equipment, they also have loan options for the solar panel system and battery.

Sunrun also offers a 20-year full service plan for the battery if you choose to lease it. Even without this service plan, the Brightbox is backed by LG’s warranty of 10 years, and assures that the battery won’t lose more than 40% of its storage capacity during that time.

Pricing for Brightbox from Sunrun

Sunrun doesn’t share pricing for the Brightbox package on its website. It can vary depending on the state and your financing option. Sources in New York report pricing between $6,500 and $8,000 in addition to the cost of your solar installation, while in Massachusetts, Sunrun advertises an initial cost of $1,000 with its leasing arrangement.

It’s also worth noting that Sunrun isn’t offering the Brightbox package to homeowners who already have Sunrun solar panel systems. The Brightbox is only available to customers in the states mentioned above (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New York) who are looking to install a new solar panel system and would like to add storage.

How Brightbox compares to the Tesla Powerwall

LG chem resu brightbox

The LG Chem RESU used in Brightbox installations

The Tesla Powerwall and Sunrun’s Brightbox offering are similar in multiple ways. Both batteries batteries have a lithium ion chemistry and come with a 10-year manufacturer warranty. Neither Tesla nor Sunrun are the exclusive installers of the batteries they offer.

The companies differ on the purchase options and installation for their batteries. Tesla is selling the Powerwall separately from solar, and offers it as an add-on to any homeowner (whether they have an old solar panel system, looking to install a new one, or have no solar panels whatsoever).

Sunrun, by comparison, only offers the Brightbox package if you’re also looking to purchase solar from them. That being said, both the Powerwall and LG Chem can be installed by many different types of installation companies (and even Sunrun was previously offering the Powerwall in their Brightbox package before partnering with LG!).

Another difference between the two types of batteries is their size. Tesla’s current battery offering has a higher capacity at 13.5 kWh than what is offered by the LG Chem RESU 10 (9.8 kWh), which means it is capable of storing and supplying more power.

Should you buy a Brightbox with Sunrun?

Like with any big purchase (including solar), you want to explore your options. Signing up on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace can allow you to compare turnkey pricing for solar installations from different pre-screened installers, and ultimately help you find the best deal.

If you already have a quote from Sunrun with a Brightbox offering, you can have it uploaded onto EnergySage to compare with other options. Alternatively, you can also note in your account which type of battery option you’re most interested in (whether it’s the Powerwall, LG Chem, or something else) so installations companies can provide you pricing and information about that battery if they offer it.


solar batteries


MiaSolé thin film flexible solar panels: a silicon PV alternative for your roof

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Most of the solar panels that are installed in the United States are made of silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells, but silicon PV doesn’t work for every situation. Thin film solar panels are an alternative that’s starting to take hold, particularly in situations where rigid PV panels aren’t an option.

Continue reading

nest vs ecobee thermostat

Nest vs. ecobee: which smart thermostat is right for your home?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

In the past few years, smart thermostats have gone from a niche product to one that’s accessible to most homeowners. If you don’t have them installed in your home already, you’ve probably seen the small screens on walls at a friend’s house or on display at a local electronics stores.

Continue reading

Depth of discharge (DoD): What does it mean for your battery, and why is it important?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Batteries are becoming a popular add-on to solar systems thanks to the extra benefits they can offer for solar system buyers. Batteries offer backup power benefits when the grid goes down, increases the usefulness of off-grid systems, and improves solar economics if you have less than ideal net metering policies or time-of-use (TOU) rates.

Continue reading

Sistine Solar: customized solar skins for your solar panel system

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There’s a lot of buzz around Boston-based Sistine Solar, and for good reason: their product allows homeowners to customize how their solar installation actually looks on the roof of their home. Sistine Solar’s innovative new solar technology is designed with the aesthetically-focused solar shopper in mind.

Continue reading

SolarEdge vs. Enphase: comparing warranties for leading inverter manufacturers

Reading Time: 4 minutes

solaredge warranty vs enphase warranty

If you want to make sure your solar panel system is operating as efficiently as possible, you are probably considering either power optimizers or microinverters (collectively known as “module level power electronics,” or MLPEs). In the United States, SolarEdge is the leading power optimizer manufacturer, and Enphase leads the pack for microinverters.

Continue reading

Solar tax credit – everything you need to know about the federal ITC for 2018

Reading Time: 5 minutes

federal solar tax credit itc extension

Congress has voted to extend the solar tax credit for homeowners through 2021.

Homeowners, solar companies, and industry advocates alike were given a big Christmas gift in 2015 when Congress approved the 2016 federal spending bill and extended the solar panel tax credit. The December 18 bill contained a 5-year solar tax credit extension, which makes solar more affordable for all Americans. Wondering how this impacts you? EnergySage has the answers.

Continue reading

How solar installers calculate solar production estimates

Reading Time: 6 minutes

solar production estimate

When you’re evaluating your solar options, there are a lot of factors to take into account. Price, of course, is key, whether you’re paying out of pocket or financing monthly payments with a lease or loan. You should also think carefully about the installation company you choose and the type of equipment going on your roof. But arguably the most important data points are the amount of electricity your panels will produce, and how much they’ll save you in the long run.

When a solar installer starts to work with you, he or she will highlight a “production estimate” as part of their quote, which is the basis for your long-term savings. Here’s how your installer estimates your solar panel system’s electricity production. 

Continue reading