Sunrun vs. Sunpower Comparison 2023: Which Is Best?

Published Date: June 23, 2023

Sunrun Vs. Sunpower Comparison 2023 Which Is Best

Most home and business owners in the United States have numerous solar companies, but two of the most popular options are Sunrun and SunPower. Sunrun is a residential solar energy company known for its solar leases in the renewable energy industry. SunPower installs residential and light-commercial solar panel systems and uses some of the best solar panels available. Let’s compare Sunrun vs. SunPower, so you can make an informed decision when selecting a solar panel installation company.

The Quick Verdict

Both companies have unique benefits, depending on your budget and solar energy needs.

Reasons to use Sunrun instead of SunPower

Although SunPower has a solid reputation in the solar energy industry, its prices are often higher than other solar companies. Sunrun is a good option for budget-conscious homeowners willing to forgo higher-end solar panels.

Explore our Sunrun review for a detailed and comprehensive understanding of this solar installer.

Reasons to use SunPower instead of Sunrun

SunPower has excellent online customer reviews and has been known for providing outstanding customer service since 1985. It uses high-quality SunPower Maxeon solar panels with some of the best warranties and long-term power output in the solar industry.

Read our extensive SunPower review to gain detailed information on this solar company.

Sunrun vs. SunPower At a Glance

Let’s break down some key considerations when deciding between Sunrun and SunPower.

Factors Sunrun SunPower
Standout Feature Sunrun offers affordable solar energy options and is often less expensive than SunPower. SunPower iMaxeon solar panels perform well in hot weather and have excellent long-term performance.
It operates in all 50 states, so it also has a larger service area.
Time in Business    16 years 38 years
Location Presence  22 States
Covered States - Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.
50 States
Panels Offered Uses a variety of T-1 solar panels, which vary by location SunPower Maxeon solar panels
Solar Batteries Offered Tesla Powerwall, LG Chem SunVault Storage
Services Residential solar energy systems, solar power systems with battery backup, solar leases, solar financing Residential and light-commercial solar energy systems, solar power systems with battery backup, solar leases, solar financing
Efficiency Ratings Varies by location 21.7% to 22.8%
Warranty Length Varies by ownership model and equipment manufacturer, offers optional protection plus plan for 20 years for an additional fee 25 years, including labor and all components
Environmental Impact 70/100 rating by CSRHub
CSRHub rates companies based on their corporate social responsibility performance using the following criteria: communities, employees, governance, and environment. Companies with greater performance receive higher scores.
(on a scale from 0 to 100)
80/100 rating by CSRHub
CSRHub rates companies based on their corporate social responsibility performance using the following criteria: communities, employees, governance, and environment. Companies with greater performance receive higher scores.
Financing Options $0 financing options, solar leases, Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) $0 financing options, solar leases, Power Purchase Agreements (PPA)
BBB Rating A+ A+
Next Steps

Sunrun vs. SunPower Highlights

Here are some of the pointers to consider when comparing Sunrun and SunPower.

  • Solar Services & Panels Offered

    Sunrun uses various solar equipment from different brands, while SunPower uses its equipment, including Maxeon solar panels and the SunVault energy storage system.

    Maxeon solar panels have excellent warranties and long-term power output. But, SunPower Maxeon solar panels usually cost more than budget solar panels, so they might not be the best option for budget-minded solar shoppers.

    Although both companies install solar systems with different ownership models, Sunrun is known for its solar leases.

  • Efficiency and Performance

    SunPower’s Maxeon solar panels have a high power output for years and perform well in hot weather. The power performance warranty states the modules will produce 88% of their original peak power output after forty years.

    Tests also show that Maxeon solar panels are durable and reliable. PV Evolution Labs (PVEL) tests solar panels for reliability and performance measures and named five Maxeon solar panel models 2023 Top Performers.

    Because Sunrun uses a variety of solar panels, it is difficult to assess their efficiency and performance.

  • Costs and Payment Options

    Both Sunrun and SunPower offer $0 down financing options. Many homes need a 5 to 8-kilowatt (kW) solar system to produce most of their electricity. SunPower prices can range from $3.48 to $4.10 per watt.

    Therefore, a system with a 5 kW output rating from SunPower would cost between $17,400 and $20,500 before solar incentives and tax credits. Sunrun states national average prices on its website, which are likely slightly lower than Sunpower’s.

    The federal solar tax credit can reduce the total cost of a solar energy system by 30%. However, it is only available for households and businesses that purchase their solar system rather than for solar leases or PPAs. If you plan to buy and not lease your solar panels, speak with a tax specialist to determine if you qualify for the solar tax credits. In addition, some states or utility companies offer tax credits and rebates for installing a residential solar system.

    We can help you get a personalized solar quote for your specific needs. Both companies can design a solar system specifically for your property that minimizes shading and maximizes your solar electricity output.

  • Warranties

    The solar system warranties vary by the ownership model of the solar system. Free maintenance and repairs are standard with solar leases. However, if you buy your solar panels, the solar system warranties vary by the installer.

    Sunrun offers a 2-year warranty with all solar roof installations and an optional 20-year protection plan at an additional cost. However, some solar energy system components, such as solar panels, inverters, or batteries, will likely also have manufacturers’ warranties. By contrast, SunPower offers a 25-year labor and equipment warranty for all solar PV systems at no additional cost.

  • Energy Storage

    Sunrun and Sunpower install solar batteries for electricity during power outages and blackouts. However, installing a solar battery considerably increases the total cost of a solar energy system, but they can qualify for federal solar tax credits.

    Sunrun installs Tesla Powerwall and LG Chem solar batteries, and SunPower installs the SunVault Storage batteries. All three solar batteries have a limited 10-year warranty and are lithium-ion.

    The Tesla Powerwall is a whole-home backup option due to its large battery capacity.

    The LG Chem battery is an excellent option to back up essential loads, such as the blower on the furnace, lights, communication equipment, and refrigerator.

    The SunVault Storage system was designed to work with the SunPower Maxeon batteries and can provide three days of backup.

  • Customer Experience and Support

    Sunrun and SunPower use certified solar technicians, and the quality of workmanship may vary based on location. Sunrun customer reviews are mixed, with positive and negative online reviews. It has a customer support line available Monday through Friday from 5 am to 7 pm PST and Saturday from 6 am to 4 pm PST.

    SunPower has higher ratings overall and many satisfied customers. Its customer support line hours are Monday through Friday from 6 am to 7 pm PST and Saturday from 7 am to 4 pm PST. It also has an email address to offer technical support to customers.

  • Incentives, Rebates & Partnerships

    SunPower partners with AAA in some areas and offers a member-only rebate. It also offers a $1,000 rebate for U.S. Veterans and Active Duty Military. The SunPower Foundation does work to promote environmental justice with more equitable access to solar power. Sunrun also does philanthropic work and partners with community groups to complete projects.

  • Environmental Impact

    Both solar companies received above-average scores from CSRHub for their environmental performance and have created sustainability goals. For example, Sunrun has committed to achieving net-zero emissions across its operations by 2040. Sunrun and SunPower are transitioning to electric vehicle fleets to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.

  • Solar Monitoring

    Many homeowners want assurance that their solar panels are working correctly. Solar monitoring systems provide real-time and historical performance data on solar electricity generation and overall performance.

    Both Sunrun and SunPower provide solar system monitoring with their solar installations. However, the mySunrun solar monitoring app received lower ratings on Google Play than the mySunPower app.

    mySunrun app: 2.5 stars with 600 reviews

    mySunPower app: 4.3 stars with 1,800 reviews

  • Service Areas

    Sunrun operates in 21 states plus Puerto Rico, while SunPower works in all 50 states. Therefore, SunPower has a larger service area than Sunrun and serves more of the United States.

Factors to consider when choosing between Sunrun and SunPower

Consider the following if you are picking between the two solar companies.

  • Do both installers operate in your area? SunPower operates in more states than Sunrun.
  • Is your roof space limited? If so, SunPower’s high-efficiency panels might be worth the additional cost.
  • Do you live in a warm or hot climate? If so, SunPower Maxeon solar panels might be a good choice because the modules perform better than most at high temperatures. 
  • If a robust solar warranty is essential to you, SunPower excels in this area. Strong warranty protection can decrease unexpected repair and maintenance costs if you buy solar panels (instead of leasing them).
  • Is long-term electricity output a top consideration? If so, SunPower is a good choice because the power performance guarantee states the panels should produce 88% of their original peak output after 40 years, which is very impressive. 
  • Both Sunrun and SunPower use certified partners in some locations to complete solar projects. Conducting local research for your location can provide insights into the quality of the solar installation and overall customer service, as it can vary.
  •  If budget is a constraint to you, then Sunrun will likely be a cheaper option than SunPower.
  • Getting quotes from Sunrun and SunPower helps determine the price difference between the two solar companies.

Final Verdict on Sunrun vs. SunPower

If you are looking for a low-cost solar installation, Sunrun is a solid option, especially if they operate in your area. Although their customer service reviews are mixed, they offer competitive pricing and $0 down solar financing. 

SunPower is an excellent choice if you want high-quality solar panels that perform well in hot weather and are willing to pay more. This solar installer has above-average customer ratings and offers a 25-year warranty for labor and equipment.


Which is cheaper, SunPower or Sunrun?

Although prices vary by location, specific solar equipment, and the home, Sunrun prices are often lower than SunPower. However, Sunpower offers an exceptional warranty on solar panels, equipment, and workmanship, so your maintenance and repair costs could be lower if an issue arises.

Are Sunrun And SunPower The Same Company?

No, the two companies are not affiliated, even though they share some things in common. Both solar installers are based in California and are publicly-traded companies.

Which company, Sunrun or SunPower, is better for residential solar installations?

SunPower has higher customer ratings than Sunrun, uses quality Maxeon solar panels, and offers a robust 25-year labor and equipment warranty. However, Sunrun may have lower prices than SunPower and might be a better budget option.

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