You are currently viewing SunPower vs. Sunrun: Which must you select? 

SunPower vs. Sunrun: Which must you select? 

SunPower vs. Sunrun —two giants on the forefront of the U.S. photo voltaic {industry}.

Each are identified for his or her high quality photo voltaic panels, battery methods, and different solar-related choices. However who’re they? Which firm has superior merchandise? And above all, which of those photo voltaic suppliers is best for you?

This text will assist familiarize you with every of the above firms by answering these questions and extra.


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SunPower Vs. Sunrun: Breakdown

(1 The time period ‘Rated Energy’ is the best photo voltaic panel output in fascinating circumstances. It’s expressed in watts.)


SunPower vs. SunRun: SunPower overview

SunPower logo

SunPower was first established in 1985 by Richard Swanson, {an electrical} engineering professor from Stanford, and has been headquartered in Silicon Valley ever since.

The corporate supplies green-tech vitality options to shoppers by promoting, putting in, and financing solar energy merchandise corresponding to panels, batteries, monitoring software program, and mounting {hardware}.

Some extent of satisfaction for this photo voltaic large is the truth that they’re the one U.S.-based firm that’s been round longer than its 25-year guarantee.

Cut up

In August 2020, SunPower Company made the choice to separate into two separate public firms:

  • SunPower: Accountable for supplying all solar-related companies to prospects.

  • Maxeon Photo voltaic: Accountable for producing SunPower’s high-efficiency photo voltaic panels.

SunPower company split.
Supply: SunPower

Maxeon Photo voltaic relies in Singapore, with factories in France, Malaysia, Mexico, and the Philippines. The corporate strategically selected these areas to assist them benefit from low-cost manufacturing processes all through Asia.

Now don’t let the thought of “low-cost manufacturing” put you off. Whereas the break up and site change has decreased manufacturing prices, the standard stays unchanged.

Because the break up, Maxeon has supplied SunPower with high quality merchandise such because the Maxeon 6 AC Photo voltaic Panel, which boasts an effectivity ranking of twenty-two.8%.

SunPower vs. SunRun — Maxeon panel efficiency.
Supply: SunPower Separation/Funding Announcement

In brief, the strategic resolution to divide the corporate into two elements has paid off for each the corporate and its shoppers.

Are you struggling to dimension your photo voltaic system? Our in-house specialists have created a photo voltaic calculator to assist make issues simpler for you!

SunPower vs. Sunrun: Sunrun overview

SunRun logo.

Sunrun was first established in 2007 by founders Lynn Jurich, Nat Kreamer, and Ed Fenster.

The corporate engages within the design, growth, set up, sale, possession, and upkeep of residential photo voltaic vitality methods all through the U.S.

Sunrun gives these photo voltaic companies each on to its prospects and thru its companions, together with set up, gross sales, and strategic companions (retail companions included).

Photo voltaic service pioneers

A big distinction between Sunrun and different photo voltaic firms (SunPower included) is its photo voltaic service mannequin. Proper from its inception, Sunrun pioneered this mannequin to create a low-cost answer for patrons searching for to decrease their vitality payments.

So, what is that this photo voltaic service mannequin?

The core service providing comes within the type of Sunrun’s lease and energy buy agreements — the corporate refers to those agreements as “Buyer Agreements.”

How It Works

Whereas SunRun permits prospects corresponding to your self to buy certainly one of its photo voltaic methods, 80% to 90% of its enterprise comes from “photo voltaic as a service.”

Primarily, you’ll enter into an settlement with Sunrun, which permits the corporate to lease out and set up a photo voltaic system on your own home — sometimes over a 20 to 25-year interval.

Sunrun supplies every day system monitoring, free upkeep, repairs, and complete insurance coverage all through this era. In alternate, it receives a gentle money stream from a high-quality buyer with good credit score. In the end, this permits the corporate to qualify for tax (and different) advantages.

In case you’re fascinated with Sunrun’s leasing choices, click on right here.

What’s in it for the home-owner?

By getting into right into a lease settlement with Sunrun, you may purchase a photo voltaic system for little to no cash upfront. As a substitute, you pay a month-to-month price. You get monetary savings when this price is lower than the native utility’s electrical energy charges.

However keep in mind, Sunrun nonetheless sells photo voltaic methods. As such, you may select from a number of versatile photo voltaic financing choices or pay outright.

Furthermore, you should buy a leased photo voltaic system after the contract interval is up.

SunPower vs. Sunrun: Which firm produces higher high quality?

As a potential photo voltaic panel proprietor, it’s solely pure so that you can gravitate towards an organization with superior photo voltaic panels. Let’s take a better take a look at what every firm has to supply.

Which firm has superior photo voltaic panels?


Proper off the bat, SunPower has the benefit. You realize who produces its photo voltaic panels (Maxeon) and the place they’re manufactured.

Listed below are some examples of what SunPower has to supply:

Specs SPR-P6-395-BLK SPR-P6-400-BLK SPR-MAX3-410-BLK
Wattage 395W 400W 410W
Effectivity 20.1% 22.6% 21.6%
Product and Energy Guarantee 25 years 40 years 40 years
Assured Output % At 25-12 months Mark 86% 92% 92%

High quality-wise, SunPower stands confidently behind its merchandise. The corporate gives a complete 25-year guarantee masking its Efficiency Collection choices. Moreover, it gives an industry-leading 40-year guarantee on its Maxeon panels.


Sunrun doesn’t manufacture its personal merchandise. Whereas the corporate did have a partnership with LG, the South Korean tech large has since determined to cease manufacturing photo voltaic merchandise. As a substitute, the corporate makes use of a number of tools suppliers.

Right here’s the difficulty — you received’t know which panels you’ll be supplied with till you enter into the buying course of. With this in thoughts, it’s troublesome for us to offer you a concrete reply as to the general high quality of its panels.

Lastly, as a result of Sunrun doesn’t manufacture its photo voltaic panels, those that buy its photo voltaic arrays should depend on producer warranties. Nonetheless, the corporate supplies a 10-year workmanship guarantee in opposition to injury to your roof or set up issues.

Which firm has superior vitality storage?


SunPower gives its SunVault storage. This vitality storage answer (ESS) is a seamless backup energy possibility throughout energy outages. Nonetheless, it’s additionally appropriate for normal use.

You may simply combine these models into current SunPower photo voltaic methods. On the draw back, SunVault methods are incompatible with third-party photo voltaic tools.


Sunrun doesn’t manufacture its personal ESS answer. As a substitute, it gives the Tesla Powerwall.

The Tesla Powerwall is a house battery system that shops vitality generated from photo voltaic panels or the grid. Furthermore, it might probably present backup energy throughout energy outages.

The Powerwall is designed to be easy and simple to put in, whether or not on the bottom or wall-mounted. What’s extra, it’s scalable, so you may set up a number of models collectively to extend your whole storage capability.

However right here’s the most effective half — you may combine it into an current photo voltaic system or use it as a standalone backup energy supply.

Now let’s check out these firms’ respective vitality storage choices:

Specs Powerwall+ SunVault
Usable capability 13.5 kWh 13 to 26 kWh
Steady energy ranking 5.0 kW 6.8 kW
Depth of Discharge (DoD) 100% 100%
Spherical-trip effectivity 90% 85%
Guarantee 10 years (limitless cycles) 10 years (limitless cycles)
Finish of guarantee capability 70% 70%

Sources: Tesla Powerwall 2 Datasheet – North America/ SunVault Specs

What’s the decision?

Photo voltaic panel-wise, SunPower takes the cake. The corporate’s complete 25 and 40-year warranties and the truth that its panels are identified entities make it an absolute no-brainer.

Taking a look at vitality storage, the winner shouldn’t be so clear. Sunrun gives the Tesla Powerwall, which edges out SunPower’s SunVault by way of round-trip effectivity, though its steady energy ranking shouldn’t be as excessive.

Nonetheless, the SunVault shouldn’t be suitable with third-party photo voltaic methods. Due to this fact, we give the benefit to Sunrun.

In want of some photo voltaic blueprints? Click on right here.

SunPower Vs. Sunrun: Which firm is cheaper?

Value of residential photo voltaic within the U.S.

To get a greater sense of the place every firm stands price-wise, it’s vital to know the worth of residential photo voltaic.

A graph illustrating the median gross price of residential solar in H1, 2022.
Supply: 2022 NREL white paper

As per the above graph from the NREL’s newest photo voltaic {industry} replace, the median gross worth of residential photo voltaic in H1 2022 is $2.77 per watt.


In keeping with the NREL, SunPower’s residential photo voltaic panels value round $3.92 per watt. Taking this determine into consideration, a 5kW photo voltaic panel system in the USA will value you round:

$3.92 per watt x 5,000 = $19,600

As of Q2, 2022, SunPower residential solar systems cost approximately $3.90.
Source: 2022 NREL white paper
As of Q2, 2022, SunPower residential photo voltaic methods value roughly $3.92.
Supply: 2022 NREL white paper


Sunrun’s photo voltaic panels have a tendency to return in at a dearer $5.39 per watt. Due to this fact, a 5kW photo voltaic panel system in the USA will value you round:

$5.39 per watt x 5,000 = $26,950

Observe to our readers: the above values don’t contemplate system effectivity. Whereas we’d prefer to account for effectivity to offer you extra correct estimates, it merely isn’t potential as a consequence of Sunrun sourcing its merchandise from a number of third-party suppliers.

What’s the decision?

Each SunPower’s ($3.92) and Sunrun’s ($5.39) prices per watt are properly over the $2.77 common.

However once more, it’s clear that the second spherical of the SunPower vs. Sunrun duel goes to SunPower, with the previous having a considerably cheaper cost-per-watt common.

Which Firm is Proper For You?

This a part of the SunPower vs. Sunrun debate comes all the way down to your wants.

If you wish to buy a photo voltaic system outright, then SunPower is the go-to possibility. There’s a cause the corporate has change into a juggernaut within the photo voltaic {industry} — its service and merchandise are properly famend and of top of the range.

Nonetheless, should you don’t need to commit to buying a system and would favor to lease one, Sunrun is a stable wager.

Sure, we all know that SunPower leases out their methods too, however Sunrun has been on the forefront of photo voltaic leasing agreements for a very long time. In any case, they did pioneer the mannequin.


Critiques exist for a cause. Positive, inherent bias does play a job, but it surely’d be foolish to disregard the worth of opinions completely.

With the above in thoughts, listed here are some hyperlinks to every firm’s opinions on Shopper Affairs and Greatest Firm.




Associated Studying: SunPower vs. Tesla (Which model must you select?)


How do SunPower and Sunrun strategy customer support and assist?

Whereas the article doesn’t particularly point out the customer support particulars of SunPower and Sunrun, typically, respected photo voltaic firms prioritize buyer assist, providing varied channels like telephone, e-mail, and chat assist to help with inquiries, points, or considerations.

Potential prospects are suggested to learn opinions and maybe contact every firm on to gauge the extent of customer support supplied.

Can I combine Sunrun photo voltaic methods with third-party vitality storage options?

The article doesn’t specify, however sometimes, photo voltaic firms like Sunrun may permit integration with varied third-party vitality storage options, provided that compatibility and technical specs are met.

It will be finest to contact Sunrun instantly for exact info on integrations.

How environmentally pleasant are the manufacturing processes of SunPower and Sunrun?

The article doesn’t present particular particulars on the environmental affect of the manufacturing processes of SunPower and Sunrun.

For correct and detailed info on the sustainability and environmental practices of each firms, it will be finest to consult with official stories or attain out to the businesses instantly.

How do the set up processes of SunPower and Sunrun examine?

Specifics on the set up processes of SunPower and Sunrun should not lined within the article. Usually, the set up course of entails an preliminary evaluation, system design, allowing, set up, and last inspections.

Potential prospects ought to contact every firm instantly to know their respective set up processes, timelines, and any extra companies supplied.

What financing choices can be found for SunPower photo voltaic methods in addition to buying outright?

The article primarily discusses buying choices however doesn’t delve into particular particulars relating to SunPower’s different financing choices.

Usually, photo voltaic suppliers provide varied financing options together with leases, loans, and Energy Buy Agreements (PPAs). For detailed and customised financing choices, it is suggested to seek the advice of with SunPower instantly.

Are there any efficiency ensures supplied by Sunrun given the variability in photo voltaic panel producers?

The article doesn’t present particular particulars about efficiency ensures by Sunrun. Normally, firms provide efficiency ensures to make sure that the photo voltaic methods function at a sure effectivity stage.

Potential prospects ought to inquire instantly with Sunrun to acquire exact info relating to efficiency ensures, particularly contemplating the variability in photo voltaic panel producers.

Closing ideas

By now, we’re assured that you’ve a a lot better concept of every firm and what they entail. However keep in mind, extra analysis can solely profit you. So earlier than you decide to something, you’ll want to examine as a lot as potential.

In closing, we hope you’ve discovered this useful resource to be of use. Ought to you will have any additional questions or insights into this (or every other matter), we encourage you to observe us on Twitter or attain out to us within the feedback part beneath.

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