SunPower vs SolarCity

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, while SolarCity has over a decade of experience and has developed a variety of innovative solar equipments of its own.

Read on to discover the similarities and differences between SunPower and SolarCity and determine which company is a better option for you.
SunPower logo verified_user
#1 SunPower
9.4 Overall Score
4
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(865)
SolarCity logo
#51 SolarCity
4.1 Overall Score
2.6
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(679)

Overview

SunPower

SolarCity

Best Panels Available
Best Panels Available
SunPower
SolarCity
Best Inverter Available
Best Inverter Available
SMA
SolarCity
Workmanship Warranty
Workmanship Warranty
25 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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Buy
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Lease
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Loan
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PPA
Number of States Serviced
Number of States Serviced
18
20
Time In Business
Time In Business
35 Years
14 Years

Ratings

SunPower

SolarCity

Overall Score
Overall Score
9.4 of 10
4.1 of 10
Review Score
Review Score
4.0
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2.6
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Value for Money
Value for Money
4.0
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2.4
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Quality of Product or Service
Quality of Product or Service
4.0
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2.3
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Customer Service
Customer Service
3.8
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2.1
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Company Trustworthiness
Company Trustworthiness
4.0
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2.1
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Likely to Recommend
Likely to Recommend
7.7 of 10
2.6 of 10

Reviews

SunPower

SolarCity

Number of Reviews
Number of Reviews
865
679
Review Breakdown
Review Breakdown
4.0
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5 star
64%
4 star
11%
3 star
3%
2 star
5%
1 star
17%
2.6
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5 star
31%
4 star
10%
3 star
3%
2 star
7%
1 star
48%

Reviews for SunPower

Helpful Favorable Review

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[email protected]

March 17th, 2020 Santa Clarita, 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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a Sub contractor installed my panels , Did a terrible job contacted SunPower They immediately sent a reprehensive out and corrected the problem and did a prefect job I would Highly recommend SunPower but not a Sub contractor


Helpful Critical Review

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jon earl

February 21st, 2020 Pahrump, NV 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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sunpower has not performed any maintenance as promised by the salesman , i am a 74year old disabled senior and have had their system for one year, and it has not perfoemed as promised. they have not been cleaned,and are creating a fire hazard on my roof . we were sold the cleaning,and bird stop if needed.


Reviews for SolarCity

Helpful Favorable Review

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Jared

April 22nd, 2019 Bothell, WA 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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Overall my experience with SolarCity/Tesla has been amazing. Great customer service every time I've called to get a status update or help move the process forward. Installers that came out were contracted (around March 2019) and did an amazing job. SolarCity/Tesla upgraded me to the newest panel for free as well due to supply issues (SC330 instead of SC320), and my panels are doing amazingly!


Helpful Critical Review

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Hans Muelthaler

January 8th, 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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Ive had Solar City since 2013,Now Tesla= Roof started leaking a few weeks ago from under some panels,Almost impossible to speak directly to customer service. No Help!! Find out my roof is warranty only for first yr, Now I have to hire a 3rd party contractor to take panels off ,another company to fix roof,then put the crap back on to my roof! Run do not Take this company for your Solar.Buy it outright ,Do Not Lease!


The Final Word

Availability
SunPower equipment is currently available in 40 states, while SolarCity solar systems are offered in 20 states.

Individuals in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Washington D.C. have access to both SunPower and SolarCity solar energy systems.

SunPower systems are also available in Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, while SolarCity does not offer service in these states.

SolarCity operates in Washington, while Sunpower does not.

Payment Options
SolarCity allows 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, and leases, but the company only offers PPAs to commercial customers, which means residential SunPower customers do not have access to the PPA option.

Equipment
SunPower and SolarCity both manufacture their own 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 are not on par with SunPower’s in terms of efficiency, the company does produce and offer solar shingles, which are a unique product in the industry.

Installations
SunPower performs its own installations in select areas of California. Outside of these areas, the company’s installations are performed through a network of 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, performs all of its installations with its own in-house team. However, several customers have 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 provides 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 does not produce its own batteries, but its systems are compatible with Freedom CPAP batteries, which are manufactured by Battery Power Solutions.

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

Referral Program
SunPower’s referral program rewards customers with $100 for every qualified homeowner they refer who has an in-home consultation, regardless of whether or not the referee actually purchases a solar system.

SolarCity pays customers $250 for each referral that installs a solar energy system.

Recommendation
SunPower and SolarCity have similar offerings in terms of payment options—although SolarCity provides PPAs for residential customers while SunPower does not—and battery storage. 

While SunPower does outsource a majority of its installations to certified dealers, the company offers some of the best solar equipment available and incredibly lengthy warranties, which is why SunPower is recommended over SolarCity for those who live within a state where its products are available.

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SunPower
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