About SunRun

You may have noticed that solar energy production has been on the rise over the past few years, and SunRun claims to be the nation’s #1 home solar company. As such, the company claims to help you take control of your electric bill using clean, environmentally friendly solar power.

But when it comes to SunRun, do the positives outweigh the negatives? Let’s shine some light on the facts and see where they lead us.

SunRun Details

Because they take the cost and complexity out of home solar energy production, making it inexpensive, low-risk, and environmentally friendly, SunRun claims to have more than 50,000 customers, and to build a new system every 10 minutes.

With this in mind, signing up with SunRun works over four steps:

  1. During your initial SunRun consultation, the third-party installer will examine important factors such as how much money you’re currently spending on your electricity rates, where you live, your roof’s condition, and how much sun your roof receives.
  2. SunRun will then design a custom solar system for your roof, which will be installed by a professional, certified installation partner.
  3. You’ll choose your payment option (see more about this in the Pricing section).
  4. Finally, SunRun guarantees your system’s performance and maintains it for the next 20 years.

Once your solar panels have been installed and are up and running, you’ll be able to access your SunRun dashboard from any computer, which will tell you how much power you’re generating, how much CO2 you’re eliminating, and how much money you’re saving.

However, keep in mind that SunRun services are currently only available in the following states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, HI, MA, MD, NJ, NY, OR, and PA.

SunRun Pricing

According to SunRun, the typical 3-7 kW system costs between $18K and $40K, depending on location and design. As such, you’ll be given two options to pay for the system:

  1. Avoid high upfront costs by paying $0 down, and enter into a solar lease and power purchase agreement (PPA). This means you’ll pay a fixed rate for power generation and for the cost of the equipment over the course of 20 years.
  2. Alternately, you can purchase the entire system directly from SunRun, and then pay only power production costs.

Whichever option you choose, SunRun claims that your rates are locked in for 20 years, and production performance is guaranteed. In fact, the company claims that if your solar panels don’t produce the amount listed on your customer agreement, you’ll receive regular rebate checks from them.

Keep in mind however, that your initial savings may be modest, but that you could save thousands on your electric bills over the life of your SunRun agreement.

What Do Other Consumers Have to Say About SunRun?

SunRun Inc. is based out of San Francisco, CA, claims to have been in business for more than 15 years, and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Scientific American, and more.

The company holds an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, although they do have more than 50 closed complaints over the past three years. Most of these appear to reference problems setting up systems, and poor power production/no cost savings over traditional systems. In fact, we read more than one customer review complaining that their utility costs actually increased after having solar panels installed.

What’s the Bottom Line About SunRun?

Now that you know more about SunRun, should you sign up for one of their 20-year solar agreements? Perhaps, but there are some important considerations you should keep in mind beforehand.

First, understand that you’ll need to own your home, and have a roof that is in good condition, is facing any direction other than north, and is not too shaded.

Second, the most common customer complaints we encountered during our research cited problems setting up systems, and poor power production/no cost savings over traditional systems. In fact, more than one customer claimed that their utility bills actually increased after having their solar panels installed, which appear to be related to additional fees from the power company. Also, you should understand that, even though SunRun claims your cost savings may be modest the first year, several customers have claimed that it took as long as 2-3 years to start seeing savings, which, after paying highly inflated rates during this time, didn’t seem in line with the savings they were promised.

With this in mind, SunRun was part of a class action lawsuit in January 2013 claiming that the company grossly overstated potential cost savings. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate a resolution to the suit.

Bottom line: If you decide to pursue a SunRun system, be sure to ask as many questions as you can, thoroughly review your contract, and understand that it may take years to realize even a modest amount of savings on your utility bills.

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10 Customer Reviews for SunRun

Average Customer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 stars: 0 4 stars: 0 3 stars: 0 2 stars: 1 1 stars: 9
Bottom Line: 10% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-10 of 10
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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Mislead by Salesperson so they could make a sale

    I have SunRun solar and when the sales person first came to my door, I told them I did not want solar at this time because my roof needs to be replaced. The sales person told me it was no big deal, they just come out, remove them and after the roof is installed, they re-install them. They portrayed this as no big deal. I am now replacing my roof and it turns out it IS a big deal. The roof costs $9,800 to replace it for labor and materials. I have 22 panels on only 1 side of my roof. It costs $4,918 to remove/re-install the panels. That is MORE than HALF the costs of a new roof. I would have waited to have the solar installed AFTER I had the new roof installed had I not been mislead by SunRun.

    When I called Sun Run customer service, all they did was quote Section 9 of their Contract. No accountability for misleading me so that I got the sale and I installed then vs waiting till after the roof. They only have ONE PARTNER that does the removal and install and they aren't even local. The partner even put charges for TRAVEL time in their estimate. I am very concerned that SunRun mislead me on the cost of removal/re-install to make a sale. I am very concerned that SunRun doesn't have local partners and they charge extra since they are not local.

    I am VERY un-satisfied. Their entire sales pitch was about SAVING me money. With the added cost of removal/install, I am in the hole. I have NO cost savings. They also recently came around and tried to get me to install solar on the other side of my roof. Again pitching the savings of the solar. If I had solar on both side of my roof, I would be paying around $10K for the removal/install and another $10K for the roof, making a new roof cost $20K vs. $10K due to the solar.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Extremly disappointed

    Please do another trust sun run for you solar needs. I was the one that did not really do my research. There was a problem with my roof, so we had to write up a second contract. With this second contract, my roof would be fixed and we can move on. However, they never terminated my first contract. I've been double billed for 3 months. They're not returning the extra money they took out of my account. It's been six weeks of me calling twice a week.

    There's Still no resolution. I'm still getting double billed even though they know I only have one system. I've started to receive collection threats from them. And I can't leave the company because I have a 20-year lease. This has been the worst experience ever. I would never recommend a company as incompetent as SunRun to anyone. Save yourself the money and frustration. Do not trust them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Horrible company

    • Colorado,
    • Jun 17, 2016

    They setup my system just fine, but I've had my panels on for 3 months now and they don't work, 0 power generation. The customer service department has given me a different story each time, never the same. They refuse to send out a technician. Thankfully I haven't been charged anything since my system hasn't generated any power.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 22 out 23 people found this review helpful

    SunRun Runaround

    • Redlands, CA,
    • Feb 2, 2016

    Sad to see them with a booth in Costco. I am tempted to stand there and warn anybody who shows any interest that SunRun is a terrible company who does not care about their customers.

    I know I will get a courtesy response to send them my name and address - but the bottom line is they will not do right by you.

    I have a system that had the inverter break twice. Both times, I found this out by checking my production and notifying SunRun. One of the times it was out for 2 months!

    They will hide behind the agreement that says they will meet yearly production or refund you - but far be it from them to compensate you for months of NO PRODUCTION.

    I have already warned several friends about SunRun who have subsequently bought systems with other companies. ODD that in multiple phone conversations with customer service, the response is "we can tell you are frustrated - and hope to provide better service in the future." How about providing better service now by looking at the months of no production and writing me a check for the missed production.

    Look me up in your records and do something other than a lame reply on Facebook and a follow up call that accomplishes little but reminding me I wasted thousands of dollars investing in a terrible company.

    Until then - COSTCO, I hope you wake up to who you have let in the door, your name should not be associated with SunRun - disgraceful.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 17 out 18 people found this review helpful

    One of the biggest mistakes of my life was letting them rip me off.

    • Staten Island, NY,
    • Jan 14, 2016

    Okay, forget about C02 and green energy agenda, snd even tiny tax break for usage of solar. I need to break at least even, let alone save money.

    Here's the given:

    • $205 monthly (average) ConEd bill with 760Kwt consumed
    • $150 monthly bill to SunRun for the lease of the system.

    Now, to offset $150 (to break even) in only 4-5 sunny months, the panels would have to produce at least 760 Kwt of el. energy. In reality, the 4 pick months consumption is 1000-1100KWt. And ConEd would ONLY credit if solar produces more than consumed in any given cycle.

    The first year SunRun guarantees to produce 7600Kwt, then over the lease period of 20 years, the production of energy will gradually decrease and ConEd rate for the Kwt, and my bills amounts will gradually go up!

    So far, for November and December, the solar panels produced only 325 KWt of energy. I understand, that those are the darkest months and all and I was told to wait at least a year to see the more accurate results. However, something's telling me it's not going happen based on my calculations and 2 conversations over the phone with SunRun reps.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 16 out 19 people found this review helpful

    SunRun -- legal robbery

    • Mesa, Arizona,
    • Oct 3, 2015

    The sales rep. told us that we would own the system at the end of the 20 year term and that we wouldn't have an electric bill from SRP except for the monthly $20 usage fee to be on the grid. Our system would be designed to accommodate our typical electrical usage. We were also told that we had the option to purchase the system any time during the initial term. Lies! Lies!

    The contract has a "buyout" pricing list. Small print states that this is the minimum amount that you will be charged after they determine fair market value. Lets face it, after you get an attorney to read your contract, you will see that they can legally screw you for 20 years.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 20 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Paying 40% more!

    • Rockland, MA,
    • Sep 16, 2015

    SunRun started off great. However, I compared their rate to National Grid and was astonished to see it was 38% higher. National Grid is at .08105 and SunRun is charging .119. I called them up and they told me that since their rate is fixed for 20 years this should turn around over the long term.

    Where is the 10-20% savings the salesman told us about?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Oct 30, 2015

      John

      National grid might charge around 8 cents for generation but they charge you 15-20 cents for delivery/supply charges. Your total kWh rate with national grid will be between 22-30 cents. I just looked at a national grid bill from March 2015 and it was 30 cents. Total Dollar amount/ total kwhs. Do the math yourself and you might learn something.

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  • 18 out 19 people found this review helpful

    Ripped off by SunRun

    • Livermore, CA,
    • Aug 23, 2015

    We had a 7 KW system installed, paid $1000 down and it cost $250/month to lease for 18 years. At the end of every year they collected approximately $800.00 'True up' cost. My PG&E Bill was about $40.00 a month. So the $1200 I thought I was saving was not correct, as the costs were $1280.00 a year.

    Fast forward to a new home with 2.7 KW system, PG&E is $4.95 a month every month with no true up fee's. Something stinks here, I think they were metering my output to be sure I never got credit for over producing. Beware of this scam.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 24 out 28 people found this review helpful

    My History With SunRun

    • Aug 5, 2015

    I had a SunRun sales man call at my house. I asked how much it would cost to put 7500 watts on my roof. He told me that his company felt that for the size of my house I only needed 4335. I said that was not enough.

    Later my Sister-in-law mentioned that she was interested in Solar. I gave her the card to SunRun and she called. She decided to go with their system.

    Talking to her, I decided to give SunRun a call and see if things had changed. They said they would put 17 300 watt panels on my house for 5100 watts. That wasn't much but I decided to go with them. They said if I sign that day I would have the panels up within 6 weeks. Great, since we were planning on going to Portland to see relatives just after that time.

    Instead, this is what happened. They didn't get the panels up on time. They then had me contact my HOA to get permission to install. Of course I wouldn't get the letter till after we left for Portland. So we then get the email of the approval, which I forward to SunRun. I even get a call from one of their reps about the email letter, so again the HOA sends to me and him.

    Still nothing. We were gone 6 weeks, come back no panels on the house. I call and of course their was another problem. Finally on July 30 (signed in May) they have a crew come out to put the panels on. I asked them if they are 300 watt panels. No, they're 255 watt panels. I say forget them. At which time my wife goes ballistic about not having them put on. Even though they lied.

    I get a call from their managers, sorry for the mix up but their is nothing we can do. It's going on August. The summer is the worst time in Arizona. They give me 6 months of no payments (which I take with a grain of salt, after all they lied all this time).

    Final situation, it's too late to get another company, they lied all this time. Tell me that this is what the system will produce. Well I was told that the system would produce 8100 kwh per year. No way with 4335.

    My suggestion, do not use SunRun.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 27 out 31 people found this review helpful

    SunRun is a rip off

    • California,
    • Jul 13, 2015

    I am and an electrician. I took A class from a distributor to install their solar panels. When you figure out how many panels to put in a home you get the average monthly bill. You then calculate how many panels you will need to generate 100% of your average monthly use plus 15% to get the state and federal credit which could be up 50% of the cost of the solar system. It usually takes about 20 4x8 panels.

    With SunRun you are leasing so you do not get the credit. They usually put in half of the panels you need. You should be generating 100% of your needs not 20%. They sell the power to the power company and give you 20%. Without your own panels you get 100% in California because of the deal with PG&E the access is fed back to the grid and reverse the meter. PG&E will bill you once a year and either give you a small bill or a credit. But the deal was they will not give you more than $100 even if it is much more than that. So SunRun is giving solar a bad name, they are in it for the profit not saving money for the homeowner or getting off the grid. It is a a legal rip off and con.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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