Author Archives: Kerry Thoubboron

sunrun brightbox solar battery

Everything you need to know about the Sunrun Brightbox solar package

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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


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

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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.

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How solar installers calculate solar production estimates

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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. 

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How do you replace a roof with solar panels? Solar panel roof replacement logistics

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A solar panel system will last you 30 to 35 years. In that time, your solar panels will generate plenty of savings on your electric bills.

Because solar panel systems have such a long life, many homeowners have questions about the impact this will have on their roof. How will the roof hold up over time? What if you have to remove and reinstall your solar panels for a roof replacement?

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New report says future homeowners can save big by installing solar with a new roof

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According to a new study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the key to driving down the overall cost of solar implementation may lie in targeting property owners considering new roofs or entirely new construction. The report, titled Cost-Reduction Roadmap for Residential Solar Photovoltaics (PV) 2017-2030, supports the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) goal of reducing the cost of solar electricity to just 5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by 2030.

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Tesla Energy announces solar partnership with Home Depot

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Through the partnership, Tesla will be setting up large displays of Tesla Energy products so that shoppers can see them up close in about 800 stores across the country. Displays will be staffed with Tesla Energy employees to answer questions and talk to shoppers about installing solar. 

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Duke Energy solar rebates: a new solar incentive for North Carolina

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North Carolina has long been one of the top states for solar thanks to its utility-scale solar farms, but over the past few years, homeowners in the Tar Heel State haven’t seen many financial incentives to go solar. A newly-announced solar rebate from Duke Energy will help property owners in North Carolina save thousands on their up-front solar installation costs.

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Net metering in Massachusetts: one of the Bay State’s top solar incentives

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The best states to go solar in all have at least one thing in common, and that is beneficial net metering policies. Massachusetts’ net metering policy allows property owners to send electricity generated by their solar panel system onto the grid, and receive credit on future electric bills for excess energy produced by the system. 

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SRECTrade: everything you need to know about the leading SREC aggregator

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Solar energy renewable certificates (SRECs) are some of the most attractive solar incentives available in the United States. Many states with renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have special “solar carve outs” that require a certain amount of energy production to come from solar. These states use SRECs as a way to promote solar installations and compensate system owners for the energy their panels generate.

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Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART): Massachusetts’ SREC II replacement program

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Massachusetts has always been one of the best states for solar. Not only does the Bay State have the high electricity rates that lead to a short payback period for your solar investment – it also has a history of having strong solar incentives for property owners looking to own a solar panel system.

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