sunrun solar reviews

Sunrun solar reviews: what are America’s homeowners saying about its top installer?

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With Tesla Energy and SolarCity in a transition phase due to the ongoing merger between the two companies, a new solar behemoth has taken the reigns as America’s top installer. Sunrun now installs more solar systems than any other company in the United States. With a new focus being given to this California installer, we thought it would be appropriate to review the firm and offer our take to help consumers assess Sunrun in depth when comparing them to other U.S. installers – many of which provide competing solar quotes on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace.

The company overview of Sunrun Inc

Sunrun was founded in 2007 by now-CEO Lynn Jurich with the mission of creating a “solar as a service” business model. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Sunrun is a publicly traded company that made its initial public offering in August of 2015 under the symbol RUN.

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. The company originally was strictly a third-party ownership provider, offering solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) to customers as a way to showcase the appeal of going solar without a major upfront cost. In 2015, the company started offering customer ownership options (including both cash purchases and solar loans) in addition to leases and PPAs.

Sunrun reviews: aggregates from around the web

The first step to reviewing Sunrun is to examine what other shoppers across the country are saying about the installer. Below is a table that features aggregate satisfaction ratings for Sunrun from various review websites.

Sunrun reviews from around the web

Review siteRatingTotal # of reviews
BestCompany.com3.4879
Facebook3.3324
Consumer Affairs3.8669
Yelp3.574
Better Business Bureau1.589
HighYa1.453

*Note: we did not include any third party websites that had less than 15 reviews of Sunrun. These review counts are updated as of 2019. 

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.

They have friendly salespeople, and they take care of the entire installation process for you

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.

sunrun consumer review

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. As of late 2017, 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 lesser known companies. Furthermore, 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.

customer review of sunrun

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 3 would suggest there are some consistent complaints from consumers as a whole. Let’s take a look at the common discrepancies.

The initial salesperson misled me about how much my electric bill would change

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 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:

  1. Some solar salespeople will make aggressive claims to meet their sales goals, regardless of a home’s suitability for a solar installation.
  2. 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 sell and can lead to a faster signed contract.

bbb customer review of sunrun

The customer service drops off significantly after the installation is complete (or the contract is signed)

Most Sunrun lease contracts are 20 to30-yearr deals that come with a hefty cancellation fee attached. As a result, there is less incentive in their payment structure to focus efforts on customer support post contract sign.

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 to hear back from Sunrun’s customer support team.

customer review of sunrun

The ultimate takeaway: get multiple solar quotes to make the smartest decision possible

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 shopper reviews, as well as from getting and comparing multiple quotes.

To read the testimonies of other shoppers, you can check out the websites we used in this article, including YelpConsumerAffairs, Better Business Bureau, Facebook, BestCompany.com and HighYa. 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 Solar 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.

Regardless of which solar company you ultimately select, we recommend that all homeowners thoroughly read their final solar agreement to ensure that they understand the specifics before signing a binding contract.

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43 thoughts on “Sunrun solar reviews: what are America’s homeowners saying about its top installer?

  1. Claudeth Forbin

    I leased my system from Sungevity. Sunrun took over when Sungevity went out of business. They have the worst customer service. First they overbilled me. Took forever to get my money back. Now have been waiting a year for the. To remove the panels so we can repair our roof because of the poor installation. No one replies to email. I’m going to check with the state of NY to see what action. I can bring against them. Hoping to remove the panels and go with another company.

    They.may be number 1 for installation, means nothing with the awful customer service.

    Reply
  2. D M Chin

    My system performs great when it is running, because Sunrun did not design or install my system. Unfortunately the company that installed my system went bankrupt and sold my contract to Sunrun. Now I’m the redheaded step child.

    Sunrun maintains leased solar power systems. Not, my problem goes back to the end of March, my inverter has been shutting off with an Arc-fault error. Though it shows an error it if reset the system continues a brief time before it shuts down again. Sunrun sent a technician to repair system. The technician did nothing but report that the system was up and running. The technician had come at a time outside my scheduled appointment and did not announce his presence. He had come at a time that the system was running. Later that same day the system tripped again. I called Sunrun and asked why the technician had not come for the appointment the Sunrun operator stated that there was a technician at my house but he showed up a couple of days earlier. I told the operator that the system had tripped again, the operator stated that the inverter would probably have to be changed and an appointment would have to set to come and replace it.

    After a couple of weeks I again called Sunrun in reference to my appointment, the operator stated that they were still waiting for a new inverter and they would call once one was received.

    After another month I called inquiring as the progress of the inverter, at that time I was told that due to covid they would not send anyone out until the lock down was lifted.

    My city was entering phase 1 of reopening, and again I called Sunrun. This time they said that they were not sending anyone to repair my system because it was up and running. I told them reason the system was up and running was because I was constantly watching the inverter and resetting it after it shut off.

    I waited a couple of days until the inverter tripped again and called Sunrun. This time they stated that someone would get back to me to set up an appointment.

    After about a week I again called Sunrun and had a appointment set for 8 days in the future. At the time of the setting of the appointment I told the operator that I wanted the technician to call me when he/she were coming and that I did not want them to just reset the system which I had been doing all along. The appointment was set for 8 days between 12PM and 5PM. The system had been down for over a week at this time with no production.

    Day of the appointment 12PM – 5PM had come and gone at 5:01PM, my system was still showing the error message. I attempted to contact Sunrun but had to wait for them to call me back. When Sunrun called me back they stated that the technician was at my residence and had repaired my system. I told the operator that I had requested a call when the technician was on his way and that I had never received a call. At this time another appointment was set , this time two weeks in the future.

    After the call to Sunrun I received a voice message on my cellphone from the technician that he had been at my residence. I tried calling him back but his voice mail was not setup.

    The next day looking at Sunrun’s website the production records showed production from 9AM – 11AM, then nothing. The technician had come early and just reset the system, and after 3 hours the system went down again

    Now I have wait two weeks now. Hopefully this time they’ll do more than reset the system.

    Reply
  3. Margaret

    Worst customer service. Bought it outright and took forever to get it up and running. Ran for only a few months without issue and then some motor or part has gone out. We have been without solar for just under 2 months (and in Arizona this is peak solar time) and we cannot get anyone to reply when we call. We have had one gentleman come out in the almost 2 months time and that was almost 3 weeks ago. He was ordering the part that went out. Since that visit – NOTHING!!!! They are a worthless customer service company. We will NEVER recommend them again. This is the second house we have had sunrun on – first house we had a lease contract. Better customer service back then but having the contract really made it difficult to sell that home. That is why we bought it outright this time. BIG MISTAKE ALL AROUND!!!! If you are smart you will look for another company until they hire more technicians and improve the customer service.

    Reply
  4. Mark Brett

    Since the beginning of this process I have always maintained I am anal and now exactly what I want. I was so very clear and upfront everything needs to be optically appealing and symmetrical. When I received you very first layout/proposal, I called you and expressed my concerns of how discussed I was. My two-year-old granddaughter could do a better job laying out the solar project. I then went onto my cad estimating software system in the office and completed a layout for you and your team to work off. At that time, you assured me it would be exactly how I want it.
    We then scheduled a site survey of my roof, I took the morning off to meet your team member, scheduled for 8:00am. At 8:00am my phone rings and your site surveyor tells me because it’s raining, and he would like to reschedule. Well unfortunately that set me off and I should have known better at that point to move on. In my world you do not call someone at the time your scheduled to be there and attempt to reschedule. So, week a couple weeks passed, I calmed down you and I talked, we rescheduled the site visit. I asked for one thing “do to send the individual you attempted to send the first time”. Guess what, you did exactly what I asked you not to do, sent the same guy. However, I did not know this at the start, and he was a nice guy, so I bit my tongue. He and I walked the roof, I clearly explained where I wanted the solar panels and where I did not along with everything mentioned above.

    A week passed you stated you called excited you finally received the plans back from the survey. After only a few questions you realized and quickly determined what they sent you was wrong and not what we talked about. So, you asked for another week and thanked me for my patents! Here we are today is 6-8-2020 you send me another layout of the solar on my roof and again its wrong.

    I have tried from the beginning by sending you a layout. Have explicitly told everyone and anyone in your organization where I would like to see the panels, always expressing eye appeal, uniformity etc. Then you blatantly sent to ne the guy I asked you not to send. All that said you still cannot get it right. Your team is not a team. Clearly none of you talk nor do you communicate with each other about what your customer wants. If you did none of this would not be happening. Its amazing a company like this can even stay afloat and remain in business, you all just do what you want. This said there is “NO WAY” I could ever let a team member of Pos gen ever work on my house. You would clearly butcher the job and create more damage than good; I would be better off paying double for my electricity. I will reach out to another solar provider.

    Reply
  5. Michael Fruchtman

    Got a bill from the electric company for $800 and called Sunrun to ask why. Said perhaps I need more panels or something isn’t working right. Sent in 1 year of bills as requested and still waiting for an answer. No customer service at all. They just avoid and hope you’ll give up. If they don’t answer soon I’m sending them a letter to tear it all out and I’ll go elseware. Not afraid to call in the attorneys.

    Reply
    1. Nicholas Taylor

      I can completely relate, I own a very small home that is 576sqft one bedroom one bath. There are solar panels that completely cover the roof on both sides & my monthly electric bills are still around $150. Every time I call customer service I get these young kids that know nothing about the equipment & they’re only trained to read what the production numbers are on the computer screen. To them things are always working fine! I finally demanded a technician to visit the property to make sure things are running well & the customer service rep literally tried to talk me out of it & threatened me that there would be a $95 technician fee. I said fine I’ll pay it because I know something is wrong with my panels.

      The technician came out June 4th 2020 & noticed my production was super low, the equipment was running on old software so the technician updated my SIM Card.

      Ever since that visit I continue to receive emails from customer service saying if you have any questions regarding our recent visit to give them a call. I have left several voice mails for Joyce Harvey, responded back to her initial email & I have still yet to hear back from her or anybody else.

      I also own a 3400sqft home that is 5 bedrooms & 5 baths, no solar panels & my electric bills per month are around $90. This is my primary home, I also work from home & my wife & 2 kids use up less energy then my smaller property with solar. Makes no sense to me!

      PLEASE DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH SUNRUN, save your time & energy!

      Reply
  6. Charles Shultz

    I am a Sunrun customer since 2011. I am a less than satisfied Sunrun customer since 2011. I’m sure Sunrun’s business model has changed over the years as the company has grown and expanded their service area, but at the time, my system was proposed and installed by a third-party company that has since closed their doors (abruptly). One of the key selling features for me in 2011 was the promise of independence from the grid during storms or aging infrastructure. Not too many months into the Lease, Sunrun sent out a notice of how the winter storms here in the Northeast would mean if the grid went off-line, our systems would shut down and we too would be without power. I immediately called Support to discuss the Sunrun promise of grid independence. After hemming and hawing, I was told they didn’t have the technology to keep individual homes on-line during a grid failure?? and that if wanted back-up I should buy a gas or diesel generator?? Ok, how can a green company recommend a non-green solution? And how can you not have the technology, the needed technology is exactly what is used to tell the generator to turn on and off!!
    Over the years I have watched as Sunrun has gotten around to having a battery storage system, but when I inquire, the answer has been, not for installation in Pennsylvania.
    The latest insult occurred today. After reading about Sunrun and Tesla partnering to install Tesla powerwalls, with their industry-superior battery technology, I contacted Sunrun about finally having the backup I should have had in 2011. Their answer – not available for existing customers, MAYBE later this year. So 9 years in and I still don’t have the grid-independence I was promised in 2011. And the panels are starting to be less efficient than when installed, which the agreement states is Sunrun’s responsibility to replace when efficiency starts to drop.

    Reply
  7. Marilyn & Cumming Dunnachie

    I have Sun Run Solar and have been sending you
    Checks for my bill. You send the checks back and then bilL
    Me again. I was refunded 404.00 and you billed me 404.00.

    The check is being sent back to you again.

    Reply

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