SunPower vs SolarCity

Jordan Grimmer
Jordan Grimmer | Senior Editor

SunPower and SolarCity are both companies with a large footprint in the solar industry. SunPower has been in business for more than 30 years and has pioneered hundreds of solar technologies. SolarCity had over a decade of experience and developed various innovative solar equipment of its own prior to being acquired by Tesla in 2016.

Below, you can note the similarities and differences between SunPower and SolarCity. Note that you can no longer have solar installed under the SolarCity name (see our Tesla page to read up on Tesla solar). 
 
SunPower logo
#19 SunPower
8.5 Overall Score
3.7
star star star star_half star_border
(4,319)
SolarCity logo
#165 SolarCity
5.1 Overall Score
2.6
star star star_half star_border star_border
(716)

Overview

SunPower

Panels from

SunPower

Inverters from

SMA

Batteries from

SunPower

Workmanship Warranty

25 Years

Equipment Warranty

25 Years

NABCEP Certified

Yes

Purchasing Options Offered

N/A

Time in Business

39 Years

SolarCity

SolarCity

SolarCity

Tesla

10 Years

20 Years

N/A

N/A

18 Years

Ratings

SunPower

Overall Score
8.5 of 10
Review Score
3.7
star star star star_half star_border
Value for Money
4.3
star star star star star_half
Quality of Product or Service
4.4
star star star star star_half
Company Trustworthiness
4.4
star star star star star_half
Likely to Recommend
8.6 of 10

SolarCity

5.1 of 10
2.6
star star star_half star_border star_border
2.3
star star star_half star_border star_border
2.2
star star star_border star_border star_border
2.0
star star star_border star_border star_border
2.4 of 10

Reviews

SunPower

Number of Reviews
4,319
Review Breakdown
3.7
star star star star_half star_border
1 star
9%
2 star
2%
3 star
3%
4 star
12%
5 star
74%

SolarCity

716
2.6
star star star_half star_border star_border
1 star
50%
2 star
7%
3 star
3%
4 star
10%
5 star
29%

Reviews for SunPower

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

Ethan Furman

January 31st, 2024

DETAILS

I had a great experience with SunPower. Very high quality panels, excellent warranty, and great savings compared to what I’m paying for with the utility. Given SunPower has been in business for decades, I feel very comfortable using their products.

Helpful Critical Review

star star star_border star_border star_border

Ton van der Willigen

June 8th, 2024

DETAILS

The service for repairs is really bad, Mico inverters are breaking down often and for a replacement you have to wait 3 months or more. This time they made an appointment between 8 and 10 and around 11 I had to call them with the question when are you? Around 12:30 I got the message appointment cancelled we are coming the next day between 8 and 10 just before 10 I got the call appointment cancelled we are coming next week, let's see if they are showing up not much hope in the service company out of Orlando Florida.

Reviews for SolarCity

Helpful Favorable Review

star star star star star

CLAIRE KAZLMAN

January 24th, 2023

DETAILS

check_circle

Review Source

I love Solar City. For the 10 years+ we have had them, our monthly bill sits at the same price every month. So, being in California, even during the very hot summers with the AC running, our bill never went up. It was very, very affordable, and we never had any technical issues with them. We would own the solar panels after 15-20 years and then pay even less every month. Thank you Solar City. I should say our solar bill was equal to half of what our Electrical/Power bill would have been. And we even have a credit of a few hundred dollars with our electric company.

Helpful Critical Review

star star_border star_border star_border star_border

Boyd Norman

November 29th, 2022

DETAILS

check_circle

Review Source

Since going with solar city in 2015, I have not rec and discounts the ,system has often been off line and with error codes and I am paying high bills. I suspect it has to do with the company purchase I, still have not been able to monitor usage. I would like to spk with a rep ASAP for resolution or removal thank you. Jim b Roseville. Ca

The Final Word

Availability

SunPower equipment is currently available in 28+ states, while SolarCity solar systems were offered in 20 states.

SunPower systems are available in the following states: 
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Payment options

SolarCity allowed customers to purchase a solar system outright, finance a system with a loan, lease a system, or utilize a system by signing into a power purchase agreement (PPA).

SunPower also allows outright purchases, loans, PPAs, and leases. 

Equipment

SunPower holds 750 solar technology patents and makes the highest-efficiency solar panels currently available on the market. According to testing, SunPower’s panels deliver 44 percent more energy per watt than competitive products and can maintain their production better than other panels in partly-shaded conditions. In addition to being extremely efficient, SunPower solar panels are all black and designed to blend in better with the rooftop than traditional blue panels.

While SolarCity’s panels were not on par with SunPower’s in terms of efficiency, the company did produce and offer solar shingles, which are a unique product in the industry (the equivalent now is Tesla's solar roof).

Installations

SunPower performs its own installations in select areas of California. Outside of these areas, the company’s installations are performed through dealers. In addition to performing the installation, the dealer also acts as the customer care center for the life of the solar energy system.

SolarCity, on the other hand, performed all of its installations with its own in-house team. However, several customers reported issues with delayed and incorrect installations.

Warranties

SunPower offers industry-leading warranties, including a 25-year warranty on equipment, a 25-year warranty on labor and installation, and a 25-year warranty on system performance.

SolarCity provided its customers with a 20-year warranty on equipment, a 10-year warranty on labor and installation, and a 25-year warranty on system performance. 

Battery Storage

SunPower uses its proprietary SunVault system batteries. 

SolarCity offered Tesla Powerwall batteries to its customers, which are designed to seamlessly integrate with the company’s solar equipment.

Top Choice

SunPower Logo
SunPower

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