Since 2007, Sunrun has been evolving to meet the changing needs of the solar market – they first primarily offered solar leases and power purchase agreements and then expanded to become the largest solar installer in the U.S. Sunrun acquired Vivint Solar in 2020, which helped them reach their current market share of about 13 percent. They have recently begun offering solar-plus-storage to customers in almost all of their operating states, and are likely to expand as demand increases. Needless to say, Sunrun is definitely a name you’ll come across while searching for the best solar option for your home. Let’s take a look at what other consumers like you are saying about the largest solar installer in the United States.
- Sunrun is a publicly traded company and the largest solar energy installer in the United States as of 2022.
- Sunrun primarily installs solar energy systems that are leased to homeowners by the company, and their most popular lease option is a monthly lease.
- Sunrun’s positive customer reviews mention friendly sales representatives and note the simple solar panel installation process,
- Sunrun’s negative reviews mention large cancellation fees and misleading claims made by sales reps that the company does not follow through on.
- You can receive multiple quotes, look at customer reviews, and compare your options from Sunrun and other solar companies on the EnergySage Marketplace.
What’s in this article?
- Sunrun company overview
- Sunrun reviews
- Should you go solar with Sunrun?
- Frequently asked questions about Sunrun
Sunrun company overview
Founded in 2007, Sunrun has become the largest solar panel system installer in the United States, operating in 20 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. The San Francisco-based company was founded by now-CEO Lynn Jurich with the mission of developing a “solar as a service” business model. Sunrun is publicly traded (NASDAQ: RUN) and made its initial public offering in August of 2015. In 2021, the company earned $1.6 billion. To date, Sunrun has raised over $300 million in investor funding and reports having over 100,000 customers that have generated over $4.6 billion in total revenue.
They’ve evolved their business model over the years, transitioning from a strictly third-party ownership model to offering customer ownership options in addition to leases and power purchase agreements (learn more about solar financing options). If you live in an area prone to power outages, good news! Sunrun has recently expanded to offer battery storage solutions to new customers only via Sunrun Brightbox, which is a white-label offering of both the Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem batteries. They offer a full package to customers that includes installation of Sunrun solar panels and inverters from brands like LONGi and SolarEdge, optional batteries in almost all operational locations, and ongoing panel maintenance.
Sunrun reviews: aggregates from around the web
To determine whether Sunrun is the right clean energy company for you, we created a table that features aggregated satisfaction ratings of Sunrun from various review websites. You can check out reviews from verified EnergySage shoppers on our Sunrun page.
Sunrun reviews from around the web
|Review site||Rating||Total # of reviews|
|Better Business Bureau||3.78||2,558|
*Note: we did not include any third party websites that had less than 15 reviews of Sunrun. These review counts are updated as of December 2022.
**At time of writing, Sunrun’s BBB profile was being updated by Sunrun and review data was not available.
Sunrun’s positive feedback from past customers
To begin, we reviewed the positive trends and themes from Sunrun’s various reviews. Below is a summary of the most consistent feedback we found from happy Sunrun customers, plus relevant examples for each trend.
1. Many consumers have noted that Sunrun has friendly salespeople and a team who helps you assess your home energy needs.
Sunrun primarily installs third-party owned options (including leases and PPAs), and they pride themselves on offering “hassle-free” solar. For homeowners strictly trying to reduce their monthly energy costs, a lease can be a good fit. Companies like Sunrun that offer solar leases/PPAs handle the setup and installation logistics, and customers receive energy savings from a zero down investment. Many customers highlighted the simple process and friendly salesforce in Sunrun’s reviews.
2. They’re a bigger company and they’re partnered with Costco, so customers feel secure in their investment.
For much of the company’s existence, Sunrun has been one of the largest solar installers in the nation. In 2022, they are installing more systems than any other company in the United States. For this reason, many homeowners feel more secure with Sunrun than with local or less well known companies. Sunrun offers solar systems through Costco in select markets and thus consumers get the benefit of buying or leasing solar panels that are backed by a large and trusted corporation. Douglas shares his experience with Sunrun in the review from BestCompany.com below.
Sunrun complaints: what the unhappy customers are saying
We’ve covered some of reviewers’ most positive experiences going solar with Sunrun, but not every review is a positive one. To be fair, any large company is going to garner some negative reviews. However, their average review rating of around three would suggest there are some consistent complaints from customers as a whole. Let’s take a look at some of the common themes in these negative reviews.
1. Customers felt misled by salespeople about how much their electric bill would be lowered by their solar installation.
There is one common story told across review sites when it comes to Sunrun – it describes a salesperson who tells a homeowner that a solar lease would cut their energy bill from their utility company in half, when in reality the post-installation monthly payment ended up increasing (sometimes even doubling their bill). This situation can be the result of two main factors:
- Some solar salespeople will make aggressive claims to meet their sales goals, regardless of a home’s actual suitability for a solar installation.
- Households with significant energy use will require a larger system, and can realize higher savings by buying (rather than leasing) solar panels. However, salespeople know that pitching a smaller leased system is an easier upfront sale and can lead to a faster signed contract.
One reviewer shares his negative experience on EnergySage’s website in the review below.
2. The customer service drops off significantly after the Sunrun installation is complete (or the contract is signed).
More than one customer has noted in their review that the follow up from Sunrun when issues arise with their solar system is less than desirable, making it hard to get things quickly fixed. This leaves the solar system on your roof out of commission and not generating renewable energy for you to power your home.
Most Sunrun lease contracts are 20- to 30-year deals that come with a hefty cancellation fee attached. As a result, there is less incentive in their payment structure to focus efforts on ongoing customer support post-contract. Once you’ve already signed on to receive Sunrun’s solar services, they may focus more of their efforts on recruiting the next customer instead of following up with existing ones, as explained in the review below from Consumer Affairs.
A large percentage of the negative reviews online about Sunrun mentioned this frustration. The general trend: when something went wrong with their system or something was wrong on their bill, it took a long time and multiple phone calls to hear back from Sunrun’s customer support team.
How much do solar panels cost?
The cost of solar panels depends on a few factors: system size, location, panel brand and type, your roof, labor, and permitting costs. All of these factors can make the price of solar vary widely from location to location. In 2022, the average cost of a solar installation ranged from $16,870 to $23,710. This includes any discounts from the federal solar tax credit, which is only available if you purchase your panels outright or with a loan. The average cost per watt of solar panels in 2022 was $2.86, before incentives.
Should you go solar with Sunrun?
Investing in solar power is a major financial decision, whether you choose to go with a Sunrun system or another solar provider. Each individual homeowner is going to have a unique experience with Sunrun. And like any large purchase, the more quotes you receive, the more educated of a decision you can make. At EnergySage, we encourage all solar shoppers to make as informed of a decision as possible. This information comes from both the testimony of other shoppers in reviews, as well as from getting and comparing multiple quotes.
The ultimate takeaway: get multiple solar quotes to make the smartest decision possible
To read the testimonies of other shoppers, you can check out the websites we used in this article, including Yelp, ConsumerAffairs, Better Business Bureau, and BestCompany.com. You can also check out the thousands of solar company reviews we have aggregated on EnergySage.
Another way to ensure that your solar offer is fair (whether it’s from Sunrun or another solar company) is to compare it against other competing offers. When you register on the EnergySage Marketplace, you can upload quotes you have already received from solar companies like Sunrun, and easily compare them side-by-side to other installers in your area. You can also speak with one of our in-house Energy Advisors, who will be able to walk you through all of your quotes and help you understand which option is the best for you.
Regardless of which solar company you ultimately select, we recommend that all homeowners thoroughly read their final solar agreement and warranty offering to ensure that they understand the specifics before signing a binding contract.
What to know about Sunrun’s warranty
Sunrun offers a wide variety of products and installation services with different warranties to match. Solar panels installed by Sunrun are covered under their manufacturer warranty which is about 10 years on average but can be as high as 25 years (most solar panels installed through the EnergySage Marketplace have 25-year warranties). Both their monthly and prepaid solar leases come with proactive monitoring, which allow Sunrun to monitor your system for possible issues in real time. Sunrun also offers a “bumper-to-bumper” warranty on their system installations, which includes free equipment replacement and system repairs.
Frequently asked questions about Sunrun
While we covered a lot in this article, you still might have some questions about going solar with Sunrun. We answered some FAQs for you below to help clear up any lingering questions.
Unfortunately, no. If you sign a solar lease agreement or power purchase agreement with Sunrun or any other company, you are not eligible for any of the solar rebates and incentives available, such as the federal solar tax credit. Instead, the company that owns the solar system will be eligible for any financial incentives, because you are purchasing the solar energy produced by the panels on your roof from the company that owns them. Only solar systems purchased outright or with a loan qualify for rebates and incentives. However, you will still be able to take advantage of net metering credits if you live in an eligible state.
In addition to Sunrun, companies such as SunPower, Tesla (formerly SolarCity), and Clean Power Finance offer solar leases and PPAs. You can learn more about all of these options on their linked company profiles.
Sunrun operates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. It offers its newer Brightbox battery service in all of the above locations aside from Wisconsin.
Start your solar search today on the EnergySage Marketplace
The EnergySage Marketplace is the nation’s leading online solar marketplace: when you sign up for a free account, we connect you with solar companies in your area, who compete for your business with custom solar quotes tailored to fit your needs. Over 10 million people come to EnergySage each year to learn about, shop for, and invest in solar. Sign up today to see how much you can save with solar.