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.

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Read 66 Sunrun Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.3
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 4 4 star: 1 3 star: 0 2 star: 4 1 star:  57
Bottom Line: 11% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 66
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  • 1 out 1 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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  • 1 out 1 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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  • 19 out 22 people found this review helpful

    Do not use this company!

    • New York,
    • Jun 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I couldn't be more unhappy with this company! The reason we decided to sign up with this solar company is because their salesman assured us that if there were any issues with our system, it would be fixed immediately. This couldn't be more further from the truth. Two days after my panels were turned on, an error message appeared. We called the company to let them know. We were told that someone would call us back in two days. Two days later we were given an appointment for two WEEKS later! I put in a complaint to speak to a supervisor to address the fact that my system will not be looked at for two weeks. Not only did no one call me back, no one came to look at my system on my appointment date! When I called to speak to a supervisor I was finally given an appointment a week later. The person who came did not call us with any information.

    The next day the error light was on again. That was June 6th. Today is June 12th, still no word from Sunrun. When I complained about this to the supervisor I was told that he was unable to fix the problem and needed to come back with more people to help him. I asked when that appointment would be. I was then told that my expectations were too high for having the system fixed in a timely manner. I was told that they are a California-based company and have little manpower in New York. That is the complete opposite of what I was told when I signed up. I still have no appointment date for when someone is going to fix my machine. My husband has had to reset the system every day for the month that we had it. Stay away from this company!

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

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  • 52 out 57 people found this review helpful

    DO NOT trust Sunrun! All they want is your money!

    • Phoenix, AZ,
    • Mar 31, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    This company locked us into a 20-year contract (three different residences - one of my relatives and one of our neighbors). We are ALL 100% unhappy with Sunrun! Their Customer Service is a nightmare IF you can even GET any customer service. We signed up a year ago and everyone was great UNTIL we realized they FORGOT, or did not set the service up properly, at one of our homes, so that family was paying for solar service from February - July 29th, when they realized the switch was never flipped to actually START the solar service and process. So, we wondered why the electric bills were still a couple of hundred dollars when they PROMISED this is not a scam and it will save you so much money, etc. NO, NOW this family was paying higher electric bills PLUS a new solar bill, so, it actually has been costing them double what they use to pay, and to this day in 2019, solar is still not working properly, yet no one can fix the problem blah blah blah.

    The electric company says it is Sunrun's problem and Sunrun says to call the electric company. This company is a JOKE and a FRAUD! Sunrun says everything has been running perfectly since August 29th, 2018. Their winter bills used to be under $100 monthly, now they are up in the $160's - $200. Plus another $125-$150 monthly for solar. So, instead of having JUST an $80-$100 winter bill without solar, between the two bills it's now costing about $280 on an average monthly. But they tell us everything is working great, yet NO technicians have been to her house for about 10 or 11 months to check it out. She still has problems currently to this day!

    My own personal issue at my residence is my solar worked great for about three months, then it lost communication and they got my grids mixed up with someone else (whatever that means)? It literally took from May of 2018 to February of 2019 to get a tech out here that actually fixed it and got it working.

    This company is all nice at first UNTIL they lock you into a contract and you start having problems with their service. My solar is finally working again now for the first time since LAST May. No one wants to acknowledge that I had NO solar for 9 or 10 months but, they still want my money and call me EVERY DAY two or three times for all those months they want me to pay for, which is funny because I told them, "GOOD LUCK, NOT going to happen!" Who pays for a service monthly when you are NOT getting the service? NOT ME.

    I HATE this company more than ANY company I have ever worked with. It's so funny when they say, "We are going to disconnect your service if you don't pay it to current." I told them it's been disconnected for almost a year anyway, so I am used to that, LOL. That's WHY I am NOT paying anything until this is ALL fixed! I WILL NOT PAY for a service that was NOT working and they told me they had NO techs to get to our homes because they had so many employees quitting at once, so no one could get out to fix the system and get it running properly. THAT is NOT MY problem. I told them I will pay you when my service works and ONLY for the time it is working...they got it fixed 10 months later after I constantly kept calling, texting, emailing and complaining every couple weeks, month after month!

    Third residence (we referred our neighbor), in the beginning, when things were good, and we thought this was a great professional company. Our neighbor's electric bills are higher than ever and now she is stuck paying high electric bills AND $150 bill for a service that has never worked or saved her any money. She is also locked into a 20-year contract. This company doesn't care, they just want our money! We ALL wish we would have NEVER fell for the promises this company makes. Once they lock you into the contract for TWENTY YEARS, the only people that call you back are the collection people asking for money even though you are sitting there paying double the electric bills you use to pay (before having solar). Our next step is attorneys and going to the News Stations. Also reporting them to the BBB tomorrow!

    I am no longer interested in speaking to the people in the call centers. It's WAY PAST that now. None of us are happy and this company is costing us so much MORE money than we use to pay! If I could get someone way up there that will listen to how messed up our accounts have been since day one, I would be willing to try and start this process over, but, I can't get anyone higher than a collections rep and so-called "supervisors" on the phone that just brush this off and give us so-called "courtesy credits" or "performance guarantee credits." They gave someone else's credits to my account, it's such a mess, that still has not been fixed. No one there knows what they are doing and my emails and calls are ignored. It's VERY annoying! I have even reached out on Facebook to the owner or CEO, etc. NEVER heard from anyone...that was months ago! I give up, it's been so time-consuming dealing with all this for a year straight. I am over all of it!

    The ONE positive thing I CAN say is that the technician that FINALLY made it to my home 9-10 months later was outstanding...great guy, did everything promised and got everything working and my electric bill is way down again. I gave him an awesome review but this company in general sucks! I was willing to call and make a payment today for the one month my service has worked properly (as I promised I would pay for if everything was working properly) and their customer service REFUSED my payment unless I paid for all the previous months I was "DELINQUENT" on. So, I told them to forget it and cancel the payment. I am NOT paying for service I didn't have for almost a whole year. They are CRAZY if they think that's going to happen.

    Now they are ruining our credit because we don't want to pay for them not keeping their end on what was promised to all three of us. This company as a whole is TERRIBLE! I NEVER write reviews, but I felt like for this I have to, if we can save others through going through this. It may not be a scam, but they sure do NOT do the right thing and handle business. In regards to that, it definitely feels like a scam and has cost us a LOT of extra money when the whole purpose was to SAVE all this money they promised us . My story sounds really similar to all these other stories...interesting!

    I give them ZERO stars for quality and customer service. This MADE me give at least ONE star...I don't even give them that much!

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

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  • 41 out 45 people found this review helpful

    Not happy with Sunrun

    • New Jersey,
    • Mar 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We had panels installed about 15 months ago. We were very happy with the installation and performance of the panels. Last week I discovered damage on my roof below a section of panels. Roof was less than 10 years old when panels were installed and when roof was inspected by Sunrun prior to installation. Was told by Sunrun roof was ok, which I mistakenly took to mean it should last the life of the lease. Had a roofer look at the damage and he said it would take a while for that much damage to occur.

    I called Sunrun to see about removing panels on the damaged area was told it would cost over $2k and over $5k to remove all the panels to replace the whole roof which is what I should do. I wish the inspector could have caught the damage or at least recommended a new roof prior to installation to guarantee no problems. What's the sense of having your roof inspected if 15 months later you have roof damage. $5k plus will eliminate any savings I will have accumulated for going solar. Didn't expect to be putting on a new roof 15 months into my contract. Now I have no choice but to get the roof replaced. Solar seems like a waste of money now.

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

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  • 36 out 40 people found this review helpful

    Costing me more money monthly with solar

    • Copiague, NY,
    • Mar 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They were quick to sign us up, telling us we'd save over 20% on our electric, but now that we have the panels it's costing me over $60 more monthly than I paid with their solar panels. I contacted them, stressed my disappointment and am awaiting a call back. I told them they could either lower my monthly lease payment or come and take their equipment off my roof because if one more month goes by without resolution, I'm stopping the automatic payment from my checking account. I'm sorry I ever went along with this company's service.

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

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  • 46 out 51 people found this review helpful

    Don't do it, just run

    • San Jose, CA,
    • Mar 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    One of the most dishonest solar companies. They over evaluate and provide a system larger than your needs, overcharge on cost per kWh and will not assist in making changes to your system or contract so it is a fair deal for both parties. Trying to contact anyone is almost impossible and when customer service does contact you, as they have in an inquiry I recently made, they ignore you for any follow-up requested. Zero stars for this company, if possible.

    Update: I contacted Sunrun customer service rep after several attempts to get a hold of anyone went unanswered. Victoria E. reached out January 31st. Advised they would do an analysis and get back to me February 7th, and after nearly two weeks afterward and no update, I again reached out to Victoria on February 20th. An analysis on my savings over 1-year was sent showing a $10/month savings. Given the fact that I am charged a minimum monthly delivery charge by PG&E of $11.07 for February 2019, I am actually losing money. I asked Sunrun to consider reducing my kWh cost of .27 or remove panels to make it more cost effective. I also asked for an explanation of why I received a $150.00 reconciliation charge which clearly shows my system was not designed properly. Here is the kind response I received from Victoria.

    "At this time, with the system currently saving you from paying a higher PG&E bill, there is no reason for us to adjust the kWh rate. We can do another analysis in a years time and if it is determined that you are losing a significant amount of money, then and only then will we re-evaluate that kWh rate. Sunrun will not be removing any panels from your system, the system remains intact from the time of installation and there are no changes that happen with the design/layout after that point in time. I know these are not the answers you are hoping for, but as it stands right now we will continue to uphold the original agreement, and we can look into this matter again after a full year has passed."

    You decide if this is the company you want to do business with.

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

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  • 31 out 37 people found this review helpful

    This company is a scam

    • Centereach, NY,
    • Feb 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    In December 2015 I signed a 20-year lease with Sunrun Inc. My home is not suitable for solar since it is surrounded with tall trees twice as high then the home. I hade no knowledge and experience with solar energy and trusted Sunrun. The system was turned on in April 2016 through the summer.

    In September 2016 the problem started. I contacted Sunrun customer service, a so-called Tier 3 A customer service representative Mr. Benjamin Thompson assisted me until April 2017. Several courtesy credits were given, two trees were cut and the cost was a split. Unfortunately, this did not solve the problem since this Solar Lease was for another 19 years. Mr. Benjamin Thomsen informed me in April 2017 that he is moving on in his carrier and if I need further help to contact Sunrun. Which I did when the same problem started again in September 2017. Since that date until now I have spoken to about 8 different customer service reps at Sunrun without any results.

    In April 2018 I hade another large tree cut, which cost me $1500 and to my understanding the production of the panels can't supply the power as Sunrun promised.

    I just wanted to add on that the trees on the southwest side of my house belong to my neighbor so I can't cut those trees down.

    Sunrun is advertising on their website and on their marketing stands/boots at Home Depot or other major retail locations as 20% savings.

    Prior to getting solar my electric bill was 30-50% less than what it is costing me now for electricity.

    ​I have SOLID DOCUMENTATIONS PICTURES AND PROOF for my allegations.

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

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  • 10 out 20 people found this review helpful

    Good experience

    • Colorado,
    • Feb 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been with Sunrun for 9 years now. There were no issues on the install at all, and the panels have saved us money overall. There have been months where we didn't get as much electricity as promised - and we did get a rebate. My only complaint is that when they send workers over to figure out why they aren't producing, we get no warning. So when we heard workers on the roof, and didn't know why they were up there - well, that was a bit freaky! But overall, I got what was promised, and I have saved some money.

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

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  • 38 out 43 people found this review helpful

    Horrible misleading service and advertising

    • Waianae, HI,
    • Feb 4, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    We had our solar system installed in May 2018 and the rep after all the calculations reassured us that our electric bill will be lower than before. And now we have a $195 monthly bill from Sunrun and exactly the same electric bill as before, absolutely no changes. This company is a scam. Never use their services and don’t believe them. I will contact BBB and other consumer protection agencies.

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

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  • 32 out 36 people found this review helpful

    Keeping promises made

    • Fallbrook, CA,
    • Jan 27, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was assured several times that if my roof leaked after the installation of the solar panels, that Sunrun would come out and repair the roof. The technicians, installers, supervisors, etc. that were on my roof before and during installation never mentioned that I needed to replace the paper below the tiles on our roof, so now our roof has leaked in our a dozen places onto the brand new carpet we just installed. All these men walking on my roof have caused damage to tiles and the paper below it, so I contacted Sunrun to share the cost of repapering our roof. They have refused to take any responsibility. I have asked them to remove the solar panels so we can have a roofer repair the roof. They have not gotten back to me about 5 (yes 5) emails to the lady who initially was dealing with my complaint. They haven't kept their promise on multiple levels...that's not good PR.

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

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