1. Sunrun vs SolarCity

Sunrun vs SolarCity

Sunrun and SolarCity are two of the largest, most recognizable companies in the solar industry. Both of these solar giants have been in business for more than a decade and have helped hundreds of thousands of customers switch to solar. While Sunrun and SolarCity are somewhat similar in terms of what they offer, there are a few important differences to note.
Sunrun logo verified_user
#5 Sunrun
8.8 Overall Score
3.6
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(1,595)
SolarCity logo
#57 SolarCity
4.2 Overall Score
2.7
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(689)

Overview

Sunrun

SolarCity

Best Panels Available
Best Panels Available
Canadian Solar
SolarCity
Best Inverter Available
Best Inverter Available
SolarEdge
SolarCity
Workmanship Warranty
Workmanship Warranty
20 Years
10 Years
Equipment Warranty
Equipment Warranty
25 Years
20 Years
Payment Options Available
Payment Options Available
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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
Time In Business
Time In Business
13 Years
14 Years

Ratings

Sunrun

SolarCity

Overall Score
Overall Score
8.8 of 10
4.2 of 10
Review Score
Review Score
3.6
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2.7
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Value for Money
Value for Money
3.4
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2.3
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Quality of Product or Service
Quality of Product or Service
3.5
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2.3
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Customer Service
Customer Service
3.4
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2.0
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Company Trustworthiness
Company Trustworthiness
3.5
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2.0
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Likely to Recommend
Likely to Recommend
6.5 of 10
2.6 of 10

Reviews

Sunrun

SolarCity

Number of Reviews
Number of Reviews
1,595
689
Review Breakdown
Review Breakdown
3.6
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5 star
46%
4 star
17%
3 star
8%
2 star
6%
1 star
23%
2.7
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5 star
30%
4 star
10%
3 star
3%
2 star
7%
1 star
49%

Reviews for Sunrun

Helpful Favorable Review

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Diana P.

September 23rd, 2020 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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I love having solar panels and especially love that I have not had an electric bill in over a year. Everyone at SunRun was pleasant to work with and walked me throught the process. I took off one star because for the first 6-9 months that I had the system it seems like there were multiple issues and someone had to come out at least once a month to work on it. The issues have since been solved and everything is working great now.


Helpful Critical Review

Verified Customer

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Ron

September 23rd, 2020 Sebastopol, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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They haven't shown up for the last two scheduled appointments I sat and waited for 4 hours on each one. I've been pleased with the equipment. Their installation is fine the sales people were fine but the maintenance people are irresponsible.


Reviews for SolarCity

Helpful Favorable Review

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Sawyer D

September 23rd, 2020 Ogden, UT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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Thanks for allowing a system size under 3 KW. I was told you wouldn't for a loan, but for cash, you did. Haven't had any technical issues. I'm afraid if I did, I'd be on my own or face long long hold times. Also, your offer of move the panels for $2000 is too good to be true. They should have insisted on attic run for conduit. Very nice crew, they did offer some special install services, but attic run should have been seriously impressed on me.


Helpful Critical Review

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Eddie

September 23rd, 2020 Diamond Bar, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
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Quality of product or service
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Customer service
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Company trustworthiness
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I purchased a house a month which had solar city solar panels and have been emailing Tesla every week for them to set up my account. I have not heard back from my Property & Title agent in weeks even though they estimate a 2-4 business day response time. This is absolutely the worst customer service I have experienced if you can even call it customer service. The reviews on Tesla solar panels were bad but I never expected my situation to be this bad.


The Final Word

Availability
Sunrun and SolarCity both provide solar services in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington D.C. Sunrun also operates in Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, while SolarCity does not. However, SolarCity offers service in Oregon and Washington, while Sunrun does not.

Payment Options
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer a variety of ways for customers to get a solar energy system on their roof, including outright purchases, loans, leases, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Sunrun has a bit of an edge in terms of solar leasing and PPA agreements, as the company pioneered those options and made them a large part of its business model today.

Equipment
Sunrun utilizes high-quality equipment from reputable manufacturers such as Canadian Solar and SolarEdge for its projects, while SolarCity manufactures its own solar equipment, including Tesla’s Solar Roof product, which is a unique option within the industry.

Installations
While Sunrun performs most of its solar installations with its own crews, the company will occasionally outsource installations on remote homes to third parties, which may lead to variance in workmanship quality and overall experience. SolarCity, on the other hand, does not outsource any of its installations, but some customers have reported problems with delayed and incorrect installations.

Warranties
With up to a 25-year equipment warranty and a 20-year workmanship warranty, Sunrun offers lengthier product and labor coverage than SolarCity, which provides a 20-year equipment warranty and a 10-year workmanship warranty.

Battery Storage
Both Sunrun and SolarCity offer battery storage options. Sunrun’s battery storage option is called Brightbox, and it can be purchased or leased. SolarCity provides Tesla Powerwall batteries, which are compact and made to seamlessly integrate with other SolarCity equipment, but must be purchased; there is no lease option.

Referral Program
Sunrun and SolarCity both offer a referral program. Sunrun pays customers $350 for each friend they refer to the company, while SolarCity offers a $250 referral payout.

Recommendation
Sunrun and SolarCity offer similar payment options and battery storage selection. Sunrun has a bigger service area than SolarCity, offers longer equipment and workmanship warranties, and provides a larger referral bonus. For these reasons, Sunrun is recommended over SolarCity for individuals who live within the company’s operational area.

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