Sunrun is one of the largest solar installers in the US, with a 13% market share according to EnergySage. As of 2023, the company operates in 21 states plus Washington DC and Puerto Rico. In addition to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, Sunrun also installs home batteries and electric vehicle chargers.

Sunrun is characterized by their solar leasing options: you can get a traditional lease with monthly payments, or you can choose a 25-year prepaid lease where the total cost is lower. Sunrun also offers the BrightAdvantage solar loan program in certain locations. Finally, you have the option of purchasing your home solar system with an upfront cash payment.

Sunrun is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). As of July 2023, Sunrun had an average score of 3.75/5 on the BBB website, based on 2,673 verified customer reviews. The company was founded in 2007 in San Francisco, CA, and they acquired Vivint Solar in 2020. Sunrun has completed more than 800,000 solar panel installations as of 2023.

How Much Does a Sunrun Solar Installation Cost?

The cost of a solar panel system varies depending on its capacity and location, and this applies even when comparing installations from the same company. The following are some average solar costs reported by trusted sources:

The estimated cost of a solar PV system varies depending on the source, but you can expect to pay around $3 per watt of capacity. This means the typical cost of a 5-kilowatt system is around $15,000, while a 10-kilowatt system can cost around $30,000.

MarketWatch conducted a solar cost survey among 1,000 homeowners in the US, and they found that Sunrun customers had typically paid between $15,000 and $20,000. Costco members who purchase a Sunrun solar system can get a Costco Shop Card worth 10% of equipment costs. In other words, you get a 10% cashback.

  • Regardless of the size of your solar power system, you can claim 30% of project costs as a federal tax credit.
  • After subtracting this incentive, the average system cost drops to around $2.10 per watt. 

For example, if you pay $18,000 for a 6-kW solar PV system, you can claim a $5,400 tax credit on your next IRS filing. In this case, the net cost drops to around $12,600.

What Solar Panels and Inverters Does Sunrun Use?

The Sunrun website does not specify the solar panel brands used in their installations. However, the following are some of their preferred brands according to Ecowatch and MarketWatch:

  • Canadian Solar
  • Panasonic
  • REC
  • LONGi

Sunrun also used to install LG solar panels, but they are no longer being produced as of 2023.

With respect to solar inverters, Enphase Energy is their main provider. Sunrun and Enphase signed a strategic supply agreement in 2019, and most home solar systems installed by Sunrun now use the Enphase IQ microinverters. This means each solar panel is equipped with its own inverter, instead of having a central string inverter converting the output of all panels from DC to AC (direct current to alternating current).

Both Sunrun and Enphase Energy have developed energy monitoring apps, which can be used to keep track of the electricity generated by your solar panels.

Sunrun Home Battery Options: Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem

Sunrun offers the Brightbox energy storage service as an addon for their home solar systems. Customers can choose between two battery options:

  • Tesla Powerwall: 13.5 kWh storage capacity
  • LG Chem RESU: 9.6 kWh and 16 kWh versions available

The Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem RESU are frequently ranked among the best batteries for homes. Regardless of the brand chosen, your energy storage system also gets the 30% federal tax credit.

If you add a home battery to a solar array, it can provide backup power during blackouts. Solar panels alone cannot provide backup power, since their electricity output varies depending on the amount of sunshine. To use your home appliances during blackouts, you need the stable power output of a home battery or a conventional generator.

Other than providing backup power, a home battery increases the savings achieved by solar panels. You can charge a battery during the day and use the stored energy at night, when solar panels are not productive. Also, if your electric company charges time-of-use tariffs, you can configure the battery to provide power during peak-tariff hours. In both cases, you maximize the dollar savings achieved with the electricity generated by solar panels.

Does Sunrun Install EV Charging Stations?

Sunrun has a business partnership with Ford, and they are the preferred charging station installer for the F-150 Lightning. Sunrun installs the Ford Charge Station Pro, which offers the following features:

  • Charging current output of 80 amps
  • 30 miles of driving range per hour of charge
  • Capable of fully charging an F-150 Lighting in eight hours

During blackouts, the Ford Charge Station Pro can use the battery in an F-150 Lighting as a backup power source for your home. The charging station uses a standard SAE J1772 connector, which is compatible with electric vehicles from other manufacturers such as Tesla.

Solar PV System Installation Process

The Sunrun website has an automatic product selector where you can input basic information about your home: location, square footage, roof type, electricity consumption, energy storage needs, etc. They also ask if you prefer to lease or purchase the solar panel system.

Once you contact Sunrun, the company follows a 7-step procedure:

  1. Site Survey: A Sunrun technician visits your property to conduct a site assessment. This includes taking roof measurements and identifying optimal locations for PV panels.
  2. System Design: Sunrun engineers complete the solar PV system design based on the initial meeting and site survey. The design is completed according to local building codes and utility interconnection guidelines.
  3. Permitting: Sunrun handles all the paperwork required to set up a home solar system in your location. The client does not have to worry about permitting requirements.
  4. Installation: The solar panel system is installed according to the approved design, and this procedure can be normally completed in a single day.|
  5. City Inspection: Sunrun will schedule an inspection with city authorities, so they can verify that the solar energy system has been installed according to local codes.
  6. Utility Connection: Sunrun also coordinates the interconnection with the local utility company. If necessary, they will replace your power meter with a modern smart meter compatible with solar panels.
  7. Power On: Your solar PV system is switched on and synchronized with the local grid voltage, and you can now save on power bills by generating your own electricity.

The permitting and interconnection requirements can vary depending on your location. Sunrun has ample experience meeting these requirements, with more than 800,000 customers across multiple states.

Does Sunrun Offer a Good Warranty?

Solar panel systems installed by Sunrun are covered under the following warranty terms:

  • 10-year product and workmanship warranty
  • 25-year power performance warranty

You can access the customer support department 24/7 via chat. 

Sunrun has a decent warranty in general, but there are competitors who offer better terms. For example, SunPower offers 25-year coverage in all three areas: product, workmanship and power performance. However, the Sunrun warranty includes coverage against roof damage and equipment theft, which is a benefit not normally offered by competitors.