About Sunrun

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: May 20, 2014

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.


Read 75 Sunrun Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 5 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 5 1 star:  64
Bottom Line: 11% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 75
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  • Solar is great, Sunrun not so much

    • New York,
    • Nov 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We leased our panels from Sungevity in 2016. The panels have performed as expected. Here in NYC, we don't have an electric bill during the summer, generally starting in June. And, during the winter, the panels offset the electric used. Whoop Whoop. HOWEVER, April of 2019, we noticed that we were getting roof leaks, particularly in one room. We went on the roof and didn't see anything that would cause the issues. So we took down the ceiling in that room and discovered that the insulation was soaked and molded. The in-ceiling wires were rusted. When the panels were installed, we were told that the posts would go into the joists and not the deck. Every area where the post screws were in the deck leaked. We went back on the roof and saw that the pads around the post installs had lifted, the silicone sealant was only about an inch wide. The post screws had no sealant at all, so as the water went under the pads, it drained right into the post screws and into the insulation. We contacted Sunrun, after much back and forth, they sent out an insurance adjuster, this was in August. We were assured that the matter would be resolved quickly. kept reaching out to them to see what was the cause of the delay. Sunrun actually gave me the contact information of their insurance partner, because they didn't understand the delay. It is now November. NYC has experienced its first bomb cyclone and about 3 heavy rain events, and the temperature is dropping. Sunrun and its insurance partner have gone silent. Good, product is great. HOWEVER, even good product needs repair and Sunrun's lack of customer service shows that it does not stand by its Customer Service claims, its warranty or its promises.

    Is solar good, ABSOLUTELY. Sunrun, not so much. I would absolutely recommend solar installation to a friend. But not Sunrun.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    They tell you anything to get their panels on your roof!

    • Anaheim, CA,
    • Oct 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Upon signing their contract, Sunrun's rep told us any piece of roof with a panel on it would be taken care of by Sunrun at no cost! Now it's time to put a new roof on, they tell me I must pay a $95 an hour removal, and a replacement fee. Had them for approx 4 years, haven't done any services, and are filthy. Not sure how often it needs servicing, but I was also told they would come out and cleaned. Never happened. Read contracts, and never trust their reps!

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    STAY AWAY FROM SUNRUN!

    • Las Vegas, NV,
    • Oct 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Where to start...Let me say Sunrun intentionally took advantage of my desire to have solar offset my power bill and my lack of knowledge on kWh.

    Sunrun intentionally set me up with a discontinued system that is too small to make a significant impact on my power bill after telling me it would offset my power bill by 97%. The power company verified it right after the system went live and I got a bill that was HIGHER than the previous year without solar. The power company told me that the system was too small to do what Sunrun claimed.

    Sunrun installed a discontinued solar system on my house that by their own "Savings Analysis" is 114% Too SMALL to make a significant impact on my power bill. They said they would offset my power bill by 97% but when I only saved $86.00 my first year, I knew they lied to me and took advantage of me and they made me wait a whole year for that "savings analysis' just to tell me that they will not do anything for me.

    They forged my signature and initials on their 20-year ever-increasing monthly lease agreement...and now they do not want to upgrade the system, add another solar system, add a battery system or reduce my monthly lease rate. I talked to a Customer Care Manager and many more over the phone. Not one of these people were willing to do anything for me and denied every request for consideration I made.

    Sunrun and every person that works for them are deceitful underhanded lying predators that intentionally take advantage of their customers with a 20-year lease agreement.

    WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT TRUST ANYONE AT SUNRUN, YOU WILL GET BURNED!

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Stay away from Sunrun

    • Nevada,
    • Oct 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don't do business with Sunrun. The installation was lengthy and was done wrong, the power company had to come THREE times until they gave us the permit. Sunrun owes me $500 for fees I had to pay an electrician for their discrepancies, it has been months and they have not reimbursed me. They are an arrogant company with ZERO consideration. Monthly payment by credit card is assessed a $7.50 penalty. You can either send a check by US post (who does that anymore?) and not get penalized OR you can do an automatic bank draft. The problem is that you have no say when they withdraw the money, they are unwilling to change the date to meet their customer's financial timing. I say, screw them, go with Tesla or anybody else. DON'T DO BUSINESS WITH SUNRUN, I WARNED YOU. I found NO redeeming qualities in my dealing with them.

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

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Horrible experience!

    • Houston, TX,
    • Oct 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    So far this has been one of the worst decisions I've made with a new home. The savings quoted were very inaccurate. Not to mention I am paying almost double what I would have normally paid without the panels. First you pay Sunrun, which is around $80/mo for our home. Then you also pay Think Energy for whatever you use on the grid if your panels don't produce. So you pay double the bill. I haven't saved anything, it cost me more now. I called in to ask why in the summertime, with no trees around my home and panels facing where the sun shines on them pretty much all day...I am still not producing over the amount needed. Conclusion, I may not have enough panels and will have to resign a contract to have more added! This wasn't stated on sale, I was told they would just add more after a year if needed. Not to mention Think Energy sucks as far as CS goes, and that's who Sunrun partners with. My balance with the previous electric company was supposed to be paid for switching over, and it never was. Now I'm hit with an unpaid balance that I didn't find out about until months later! STAY AWAY!

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

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Sunrun salesmen don't listen to their customers

    • Tucson, AZ,
    • Sep 28, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Look at the history since I signed up with Sunrun. I'm paying way too much to TEP and Justin who works for Sunrun said that if they have to install more panels that it would require another contract with Sunrun costing me more money every month. I told Nicolas Mendoza when I sighed the contract that I was installing A/C in the spring of 2019 and that the last year's TEP electric usage won't be accurate, talking to Tami Overhage with Sun Solar said he didn't mention it in his paperwork. I have a machine shop in my garage and now I am afraid to turn them on. I used them on a daily basis until Sunrun installed the system. My wife is totally handicap. Now that it is starting to cool down I hope to take my wife out with me while I play in my garage. But again how much will it cost me when I turn on my welders, air compressor, parts washer, etc. I am my wife's 24/7 caregiver and we are on a fixed income so I hope you can see why I'm so concerned.

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

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Sunrun - AWAY!

    • Roselle, IL,
    • Sep 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    No one and no thing is perfect, my philosophy has always been that things break, people overlook something, no big deal. The real measure of a company, person, or service is how they deal with the problem. Sunrun has failed in this area beyond miserably. Everything was signed and ready to go on 2/14/19, the salesman touting how great it will be to be building credit during the long late spring and summer days in advance of our midwestern winters. System was finally installed on 7/10/19 and final inspection and turn-on of 8/6/19. Since that date, according to the information provided by their downloadable report the system has not produced watt number 1. I have called my "project coordinator" multiple times (8/16, 8/19,8/20,8/27.8/28,8/29, 9/2,9/9) and have gotten voice mail every time except on two occasions both times I was instructed to "reset" the system - to no avail. And only once was my voicemail returned but not to the number I requested. Also left one rather upset message to my salesman asking if he could intervene but no returned phone call or no courage. As of this date (9/14/19) still not working or a returned phone call.

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

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  • 16 out 16 people found this review helpful

    Run fast

    • Lincoln, CA,
    • Aug 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Run, don’t walk away from these liars. Took 18 days after reporting systems failure for a service person to respond. Took an additional 15 days to get parts. In the meantime they expect you to still pay for non-existent service. The point of contact at Sunrun never returns calls or emails. Stay away from this company.

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

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  • 1 out 4 people found this review helpful

    We couldn’t be happier

    • Atco, NJ,
    • Aug 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    The Sunrun rep came to my home a few months ago. My wife and I sat down with him for a little over an hour. After discussing our options we decided to go with Sunrun.

    My family and I couldn’t be more happy to enjoy the benefits of having solar!

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

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  • 18 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Broken promises

    • N. Las Vegas, NV,
    • Jul 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We leased panels from Sunrun last year and were promised by the Sales Rep that we would pay Sunrun the $50 a month and the only cost we would have from NV Energy would be a small service fee to be on the grid, also any power not used that NV Energy would give us a rebate. Well, none of this transpired. Also, we were told our panels are not producing the energy we were promised and part of the problem was due to shading from our cypress trees.

    The cypress trees were in place when Sunrun’s so-called experts did the survey prior to the installation. Now we are being told we have to consider "human error". Sunrun is a scam.

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

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  • 4 out 15 people found this review helpful

    I have no choice but to use this company

    • Spring Valley, CA,
    • Jul 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They are partnered with San Diego Gas & Electric and I have more negative feelings about them than I do Sunrun.

    I am being offered this program because I am low income and I live in a mobile home park. They are installing six panels for me, and my monthly electric payments are going to be such that I won’t have to worry about running my air conditioner during summer months - an activity which cost me anywhere from $200-$400 per month depending on how miserable the heat is. Not to mention about two years ago San Diego Gas & Electric increased rates from top to bottom so that even with a care discount I pay sometimes $200 a month on my level pay. I have to depend on air-conditioning in the summer, otherwise I can I live in my trailer.

    The program that they signed me up for is one where I do not purchase the system, they will own it, and they will maintain it.

    Some of their other programs, however, involve purchasing the solar panels and solar battery, and require the homeowner to maintain the system themselves.

    I just had my roof inspected today, and all they are worried about is that it is nice and solid with no leaks, which qualifies me. So the next step is for their sales representative to speak to me. I don’t know exactly what this program involves and how elaborate this system is going to be, but I qualify for this system because of my income and neighborhood, also by a new California law that is requiring all homes to have solar panels by 2025 or so.

    About a year ago I contacted several companies about getting solar panels, there are several other programs, none of them offered solar panels for mobile homes, only mobile homes that were on land that you owned qualified for the subsidies. This new law and this new system allows me to get solar panels.

    I have to remark here that some of the bad reviews for this company sound like they were written by the exact same person even though it appears that they were written by different people in different states. There are certain things, their bulleted list of complaints which are almost identical, and similarities in language. These are usually a giveaway when somebody is trying to pad public opinion with negativity. I will create my own opinion, thank you. If somebody has honest complaints then I want to hear those, but I have not seen any valid or honest complaints about this company. Also, I have read things like "seven years, nine years". Well no, this company was only started three years ago so how can they be reviewing on the basis of a system that they installed nine years ago when this company did not even exist? The program under which I am getting my solar panels is a brand new program, so there cannot be anybody complaining about this particular program since it is only a few months old.

    I do not have an order number yet, I just went through all of the paperwork and they have not assigned me one yet, I will have to wait until they begin the work. If I am not satisfied with the system, I will come back in here and edit my review appropriately. But at this time I am not expecting to complain about it. And most of the people here who have these systems got them on the basis of some nice subsidies which practically paid for the entire system to be installed. Because every program like this involving green energy has state and federal incentives that work in favor of the buyer. If they truly have a problem with the system, there are federal and state avenues where you can lodge a valid complaint. Putting the complaint in this review section is not a valid form of complaint, it is just a negative opinion intended to bend the impression of this company in a negative direction. And every person that I have dealt with as far as this company is concerned has answered all of my questions in great detail so I know exactly what I am getting into.

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

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