Sunrun is a multi-award winning company specializing in residential solar power. It provides personalized plans and systems for over 100,000 homeowners in 14 states across America. The company has received praise and support from the Department of Energy and is widely recognized as a pioneer in the industry. Their USP is their unique understanding that not all customers want or need the same, customizing specific solar energy packages for each home.
Covers the difference if your panels don’t generate enough power
Uses unique Department of Energy funded end-to-end BrightPath platform
Largest dedicated residential solar energy provider
Government funded and approved products
Comprehensive and accessible website
Sunrun often provides installation
Customized service based on your energy usage
Customized payment plans available
Not all areas qualify for Sunrun installation
Customer service is not 24/7
Overall rating: 3.5
Installation & Monitoring: 4
Cost & Savings: 3
Customer Support: 3.5
One of the best things about Sunrun is that every aspect of the process is managed and customized. You start by speaking with a customer services representative, who will draw up a completely targeted plan for solar in your home. They then cover all the design, permits and permissions, and get back to you when it’s time for installation. All you need to do is to turn it on!
Sunrun offers a variety of panels, each with their own selling points.
Monocrystalline panels typically have a high efficiency level but tend to be an expensive option.
Polysilicon is a cheaper material but has a lower efficiency.
Thin film silicon panels are also cheaper, but are also much less efficient than crystalline solar panels. They take more space to produce less energy.
Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) panels are thin film solar panels that are the same size and shape as roofing shingles. They are more expensive and look significantly better, however they are still less efficient than the crystalline panels.
A photovoltaic system comes with numerous different parts – wiring, racks, an inverter to make sure you’re getting the right kind of energy and power levels. These are all elements that drive up the price and can sometimes be hidden by companies, but Sunrun is up-front about the components you need and the relationship between cost and efficiency.
Sunrun pioneered the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and leasing of solar panels. It was the first company to offer residential customers the choice to rent them for the power they generate or pay a fixed price per kWh of energy used. This has been a hugely successful model across the USA for encouraging homeowners to switch to solar power.
Sunrun provides in-house installation and for some areas it provides solar energy services, too, but not for all. In areas where it does not take care of installation, it works with partners who take on the same responsibilities but are locally based. Some may find it annoying to have another company to deal with, but Sunrun will still take care of all the permits and ensure your system is up to code when it is installed. Sunrun makes it really clear what you can expect in terms of set up. First you will have a site assessment, where an expert will come and take measurements and flag up any issues, such as the type of roof or amount of shade you receive. You can expect this between 1 to 2 weeks. Then you will be contacted for design approval of your custom plan, before permitting and permissions are taken care of, all by Sunrun. This process can take up to eight weeks, followed by installation and inspections.
Sunrun will monitor the system once it is installed and it will take care of repairs and maintenance if necessary with their Lifetime Support. There is a roof-and-product warranty that protects your roof from leaks and means your solar energy system is covered for repairs if any damage or fault occurs.
Efficiency is measured by how much sunlight hitting your panel converts to useable electricity or energy in your home. The efficiency of your system will depend on the materials you choose. The majority of good quality panels come in at a 15% efficiency level. The highest recorded efficiency is 22.04% for the latest, most expensive model on the market. Your consultant will talk you through the efficiency level of your choice of panel depending on the system you choose. Sunrun estimates that your panels will help you save 20% on energy bills and promises that if your personalized system doesn’t provide enough electricity, they’ll make up the difference.
Sunrun provides a handy breakdown of costs so you know exactly what you’re paying for.
The prices for solar panel systems range from $15 000 to $29 000 which puts Sunrun at a low to mid range. They provide good value for money when buying the panels to own and the financing plans are flexible to your budget. They also offer a $0 down plan to get you started with no deposit.
BrightSave Monthly lets you pay your lease or PPA as you go.
BrightSave Prepaid lets you pay your full lease amount up front, which means no monthly bill from Sunrun
BrightBuy allows you to buy the panels upfront at a one-time cost
BrightAdvantage gives you the same opportunity but helps with financing through a loan Sunrun has lots of information available about local and state incentives to help you switch over to solar and price estimates do not reflect the 30% federal tax credit available.
Customer support is available by phone Monday – Friday 6am – 9pm, Saturday 8am - 5pm and Sunday 9am – noon. You can also access your customer account online where you can register a problem or you can send customer service an email. You will receive a response in the stated operating hours. There are no service fees but you also do not have a dedicated consultant. You can also use your customer account to keep track of your energy use and bills. The team also monitors your system and offers support for the lifetime of your solar panels.
Sunrun provides a comprehensive overview of how solar panels can benefit your home – from cleaner energy to saving 20% on bills. The customer service is friendly and the service is personalized to your energy and financial needs.
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