sunrun brightbox solar battery

Everything you need to know about the Sunrun Brightbox solar package

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 can also help maximize savings in utility territories that have time-of-use (TOU) rates or unfavorable net metering policies.

Solar companies are picking up on the trend – many have started offering battery installation as a service to pair with a solar panel system. The largest 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.

Find out what solar + storage costs in your area in 2022

What is the Brightbox?

The Brightbox package is Sunrun’s company-branded battery option, launched in partnership with LG. LG Chem’s batteries are not an exclusive offering of SunRun; they 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 offers the LG Chem RESU10H, which can hold 9.3 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. Sunrun states 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 a Brightbox installation. Similarly to solar panels, 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, SunRun has loan options for both the solar panel system and battery.

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

Pricing for Brightbox from Sunrun

Sunrun doesn’t share pricing for the Brightbox package on its website. That said, what you’ll pay for the Brightbox package 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 Sunrun advertises an initial cost of $1,000 with its leasing arrangement in Massachusetts.

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 have 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 independently from its solar panel systems and offers it as an add-on to any interested homeowner (whether they have an old solar panel system, looking to install a new one, or have no solar panels whatsoever).

By comparison, SunRun 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 (13.5 kWh) than what is offered by the LG Chem RESU10H (9.3 kWh). This means that, with a Tesla PowerWall, you’re capable of storing and supplying more power.

Should you buy a Brightbox with Sunrun?

With any big purchase, you want to explore your options – solar is no different. 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.

storage content
Find out what solar + storage costs in your area in 2022
Posted on by .
Categories: Buyer's Guide
Tags: , , ,

About Kerry Thoubboron

Kerry has worked in solar for more than 6 years, starting her career as an Energy Advisor dedicated to helping customers compare their options and make well-informed solar decisions. She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Environmental Analysis and Policy. Outside of work, you can find Kerry snowboarding, watching The Office, or having passionate debates about which New England state is best (spoiler: it's Vermont).

11 thoughts on “Everything you need to know about the Sunrun Brightbox solar package

  1. Gustavo

    OMG! Am I been scammed too. I did get my panels installed today and I noticed there was no battery back up either. I called immidiately to my coordinator and they refused to acknowledge that the problem was in their end, but blamed me instead (poor customer service right there).
    The original proposal did have a battery back up, only to realized that they removed that from the design face.

  2. Robert

    Scammed by Sunrun: though we had discussed in detail that The battery backup system was the reason I needed solar, they silently removed the battery backup from my plan during solar panel design phase.

    Come day of installation and Ifind out what they did.

    Customer Service does not answer the phone. Had a dozen calls had me waiting for a long time, just to be disconnected (Sales picks up immediately, but can’t do anything), and their automatic callback never happens.

    Promised callbacks from Sales managers never happen.

    I repeat: DO NOT BUY

  3. Rae Bourne

    I too was scammed by SunRun and they have done nothing to resolve my concerns. Essentially, when the PG&E grid went down in August 2020 I discovered the battery does not supply electricity to any of the appliances in my home.
    I called SunRun and got the run around the sun instead. Still waiting on SunRun for a solution to my problem.

  4. Aileen Hill

    If possible to install a bright box to existing Sunrun solar panels already leasing system

    Would be nice to have backup power when PG&E turns off power

  5. David Finkelstein

    Add me to the list of disgruntled SunRun customers. Not only will they not add a battery to my existing SunRun system, purchased before they had Brightbox, but they want me to stall a new system at 2010 prices! Furthermore, they are very slow to service broken panels (3 of mine have failed so fortunately they were bought on the PPA program and SunRun owns them), so I don’t advise buying them if you can lease them.

  6. Luke Bau

    Put it simply, don’t buy, unless you want to get involved with endless phone calls with Sunrun.

    The battery system is supposed to feed the excess energy back to the power grid to generate utility credit for the owner. But the box just simply charges itself from the solar during the day and sits idle onernight, barely doing anything else.

    I called Sunrun several time. They either go silent afterwards, or say that the system runs perfectly from their end. So now it seems like a dead end for help from Sunrun, and having spent that much money on the Brightbox.

  7. George Howell

    Andrew McKee, I too have been scammed by sun run and I pay more money for electricity overall (SunRun plus Hawaiian electric). I wonder how many others have the issue you and I have.

  8. Andrew McKee

    I wished I had never gotten involved with Sunrun!! I have yet to save any money, my system has been installed a year, and I have spent WAY more money than I would have if I had just staying with my power provider. Sunrun always makes excuses, and offers no solutions! I believe my system is undersized and does not even come close to generating enough to make a real difference. By time I pay Sunrun and my power provider I am loosing my backside!!

  9. Frank

    Slight nitpick…..the Tesla Powerwall 2 has a capacity of 14.5kWh and a useable capacity of 13.5kWh. While the LG offering is 9.8kWh, it’s usable capacity is only 8.8kWh.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.