Sunrun vs SunPower, which solar panel system is better?
As the world moves towards clean energy, more and more people in the US are installing solar panels on their homes.
With the wide range of solar panel sellers available in the market, it can be challenging to determine which provider is the best fit for your needs.
Two popular companies that homeowners often consider are SunPower and Sunrun. Both are leading providers of residential solar panels and energy storage systems.
In this article, we compare SunPower and Sunrun to help homeowners make an informed decision when choosing a solar panel provider. Whether you’re looking for personalized service, a custom solar panel design, or a reliable energy storage system, we hope this piece helps you.
Before we take a deep dive into the nuances of either company’s offerings, let’s look at what they do.
At a Glance: SunPower
Specializing in solar solutions for residential and commercial properties, SunPower’s Equinox® system offers some of the most efficient classes of solar panels available today.
The company’s unique selling proposition is simplifying solar panel (and system) selection and management for all customers. Its SunPower® Design Studio is another innovative tool that enables users to see what their home would look like with solar panels installed.
Further, SunPower’s mySunPower mobile app allows users to monitor their home’s solar energy production, storage, and electricity use from the convenience of their mobile device.
SunPower’s industry-leading 25-year complete system warranty provides peace of mind for customers, covering not only the panels but also labor and parts.
At a Glance: Sunrun
Specializing in residential solar and energy storage solutions, Sunrun’s primary goal is to make the transition to solar as easy and stress-free as possible for homeowners.
Sunrun’s Solar Advisors are experts in the field and provide one-on-one consultations to guide you through your solar adoption journey. They provide daily system monitoring, free maintenance, repairs, and comprehensive insurance throughout the life of your solar system.
Sunrun’s proprietary software significantly influences its custom solar design services. It generates a detailed analysis of your home’s energy usage and production potential, so the company can design a system that maximizes your energy savings.
Homeowners get bumper-to-bumper warranty that covers their solar systems from top to bottom, including all parts and labor, and free equipment replacement and system repairs. It also includes a guarantee that roof penetrations are watertight for ten years.
This guarantee provides much-needed peace of mind and assurance that the solar system will operate at peak performance.
Sunrun vs SunPower: Solar Power
Let’s look at a few solar panel elements where Sunrun vs Sunpower can be compared.
Solar Panel Manufacturer and Brand
Sunrun sources their solar panels from third-party suppliers. In contrast, SunPower has partnered with Maxeon Solar Technologies—a reputable manufacturer that produces high-quality solar panels with a proven track record of durability and efficiency.
SunPower offers its own Maxeon Solar line, with A Series, X Series, E Series, and P Series.
Installation Costs and Financing
While Sunrun’s average installation cost is around $3.93 per watt, the figure stands at $4.60 for SunPower. It’s worth noting that the exact installation costs vary depending on various factors, such as roof size, location, and additional services required. For some more perspective, NRG Clean Power typically completes similar projects for right around $3.00/watt. Get a price here.
When it comes to financing options, Sunrun offers lease, loan, and PACE programs, while SunPower offers only loan or mortgage options.
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a financing program that helps homeowners and commercial property owners pay for energy-efficient upgrades, such as solar panels, through a property tax assessment. Offered by many local and state governments, the PACE program lends funds for these upgrades, which are then repaid over time through an assessment of their property tax bill.
Power and Output
SunPower’s solar panels have a higher efficiency rate that ranges from 19.8% to 22.8%, while Sunrun’s panels have a rating of 15% to 22%.
SunPower’s panels also have a higher output rating, ranging from 330W to 545W, while Sunrun’s panels have an output rating of 250W to 400W.
This means SunPower’s panels are more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity and producing more energy.
Installation and Warranty
SunPower has a 25-year warranty compared to Sunrun’s ten years. While both companies leverage contracted installations, SunPower also has in-house installation capabilities.
In summary, while Sunrun offers lower installation costs and more financing options, SunPower provides higher-quality panels with better efficiency and output ratings, as well as a more extended warranty.
Sunrun vs SunPower: Energy Storage
To truly maximize the benefits of solar power, you can install an energy or battery storage system. Energy generated during the day can be stored in a battery for a reliable and continuous power source.
Both Sunrun and SunPower offer complete solar energy storage and battery systems. Let’s take a look into each in detail.
Effortless Energy Independence with Sunrun
Backed by the prowess of the Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem, Sunrun offers its Brightbox™ solar storage service. The difference between Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem is that the former is for whole-home backup, while the latter is designed for partial coverage.
The Powerwall is a sleek and compact battery that can store up to 13.5 kWh of energy, which is enough to power a standard home for several hours during an outage. Sunrun offers financing options for their Brightbox™ service, so homeowners can get whole home backup with Tesla Powerwall for as little as $0 down.
The company’s monthly and full amount lease of Tesla Powerwall comes with 24/7 systems performance monitoring and maintenance. Brightbox™ also enables homeowners to use stored energy during peak demand times instead of relying on more expensive grid electricity.
For instance, on hot summer afternoons, when air conditioning use is at its peak, utility companies may charge higher rates for electricity. With Tesla Powerwall, Brightbox™ can instead revert to energy generated by solar panels during high-demand periods to power your home. By avoiding the jacked-up electricity prices, homeowners can save on their utility bills.
Without having to pay high upfront costs, homeowners can take control of their home energy, reduce reliance on traditional power sources, and ensure access to electricity even during power outages.
Streamlined and Smart Energy Storage with SunPower
SunPower brands its energy storage system as the SunVault™ Storage System. The solution packages two “boxes,” so to speak: the SunVault™ Battery and Hub+™, which is the control center for the system.
Customers can use SunPower’s mobile app to view the system’s performance and manage its settings. With the app, you can select how much stored power you want to use daily for cost savings and how much to reserve for an outage.
SunPower provides a 10-year warranty for the SunVault™ Storage System as part of the Complete Confidence Warranty, the same guarantee that covers SunPower® solar systems.
Sunrun vs SunPower: A Near Tie
Sunrun and SunPower are reputable residential solar panels and energy storage systems providers. They both offer unique features that cater to different homeowner needs and preferences.
When choosing between providers, you must first evaluate your energy needs and budget. Consider the level of personalized service you require, the design of the solar panel system, and the type of energy storage system that best suits your household’s needs.
By doing your due diligence, consulting with experts, and carefully weighing your options, you will make an informed decision and enjoy the many benefits of solar energy for your home.
Check out our comparison of SunPower vs ADT Solar.