Concerned about Sunrun solar complaints that are making the rounds?
Are you wondering what homeowners who’ve worked with Sunrun have to say about the company, or about any Sunrun solar complaints they may have submitted? Maybe you’ve heard horror stories of long wait periods or high bills after the installation. Or maybe you’ve heard bad things about the solar industry in general.
If so, you might be surprised to find that the majority of Sunrun reviews are actually pretty positive, noting great sales and customer service with fast installation times. However, sometimes everything seems to go wrong for a few unlucky homeowners working with Sunrun. What’s going on? Read on for common Sunrun solar complaints from homeowners.
Sunrun’s Business Model
Before we move on to Sunrun complaints, here’s a little background on how Sunrun works:
When compared to other solar installers/financiers like SolarCity, Sunrun has an interesting business model. SolarCity owns the entire installation process, from sales to installation and final inspection. Obviously, this can be quite expensive. You have to staff sales, designers, installers, managers, and everything else you need to make your business run smoothly.
Sunrun on the other hand, outsourcesmuch of the work. They work with third-party sales staff and hire small, local installation companies in each city they work in to complete their projects. In Sunrun’s mind, this allows them to keep costs as low as possible and keep their business streamlined, increasing profitability (in theory, since neither Sunrunnor SolarCity has yet to see a profit).
This presents complications, since as many as three different companies (Sunrun, the sales company, and the installation company) need to be aware of the progress of your project – and all the others they are working on – at any given time.
And this is where many of Sunrun’s customer experience problems come in. Communication between companies (and even between departments) can break down and cause project details, homeowner requests, or important information to be lost in the shuffle; eventually these things lead to construction delays and angry reviews.
Overview of Online Sunrun Reviews
Overall, Sunrun’s reviews are middle of the road, with an average review of around 3.5 out of 5 stars. Here’s Sunrun’s average rating from four popular review sites:
Best Company and Consumer Affairs allow you to dig a little deeper into the review data, showing why many reviewers gave a certain number of stars. The results are quite interesting. These reviews paint a picture, not of a company that provides average customer experiences all the time, but a company that either gives a really, really great customer experience or a really, really poor one.
On the Best Company site, 59% of customers rated their experience with Sunrun 5 stars, while 20% gave 1 or 2-star reviews. Over at Consumer Affairs, it’s much worse: 33% of reviewers gave Sunrun 5 stars, while 62% of consumers gave one star.
Since Sunrun works with local, independent installers in all its different branches – and even the Sunrun branches have their own internal installers – experiences vary wildly. Take a look at Sunrun’s reviews on Yelp. Above, we aggregated reviews from 5 different cities, but when you look at each branch’s reviewindividually, they are quite different. The branches in San Francisco, Portland, and Los Angeles enjoy 3.5-star reviews, but Phoenix and Las Vegas (though Sunrun no longer works in Nevada) both have 2.5-star reviews.
While we all know that people write online reviews mostly to complain, the sheer volume of 1 and 2-star reviews, as well as the variety in the ratings, is alarming. Again, what is going on? (Read on to find out).
How Do Other Installers Compare?
Before we delve into common complaints against Sunrun, let’s compare their ratings to other national solar companies to get some context and see how Sunrun fares when compared to other big names in the solar industry.
The largest solar installer in the US, SolarCity sees similar reviews to Sunrun. Strangely, SolarCity sees lower ratings than Sunrun on some sites, but higher ratings on others. Here are a couple:
Vivint is about the same size as Sunrun, but sees the single highest rating of any solar company here:
Overall, reviews of national solar companies are poor to average – ranging from a low of 2.5 stars to a high of 4 stars (out of 5). You can see that creating a great customer experience is something they need to work on as an entire industry.
A decade ago, the solar industry exploded as costs for panels and other equipment dropped and new financing mechanisms (such as leases and power purchase agreements) were introduced, allowing customers to bypass the high purchase price of solar.
Since then, these solar companies have just been trying to keep up with the demand and grow as much as possible. They are all extremely hungry, oftentimes to the detriment of customers’ experiences.
Sunrun is no different. When you look at their reviews above, they certainly don’t stand out in any way. Their reviews aren’t shockingly lower than any of the others, but they aren’t incredible, either. They’re simply…. average.
Common Sunrun Solar Complaints
As we saw above, reviews of Sunrun are typically an extreme dichotomy – either 5 stars with a great experience or 1 to 2-star horror stories.
We can probably contribute some of these extremes to the fact that most people get online to review a company when they either have a stellar experience or some sort of nightmare. Few of us actually bother to write a review of a mundane experience.
Even still, let’s look at what reviewers have to say, starting with the positive.
For those homeowners who have a good experience, they typically cite honest and knowledgeable sales staff, clear and consistent communication, and fast turnaround – basic things any customer should expect. Here’s a sample of actual customer comments:
“The sales person gave us all of the information we needed to make an informed decision. The project management team kept us up-to-date on what to expect every step of the way. The installers and electricians were wonderful.” (Reviewer in Arizona)
“[My sales rep] has been there from day one and always makes herself available to answer any questions that I have had throughout the process. I have also been really impressed with how she is so knowledgeable and a consummate professional with a genuine desire to ensure that she takes excellent care of us.” (Reviewer in California)
For the majority of their projects, Sunrun is doing it right. Honest and helpful sales staff, knowledgeable customer service, and quick, professional installations.
However, there are those times when nothing seems to go right. Complaints come in many different forms, though they typically focus around these key points:
- Misleading sales tactics and uninformed sales staff.
- Poor communication from Sunrun and its partners to the customer.
- Installation issues leading to long wait periods. These typically revolve around roof problems, electrical issues, or improper solar design for the house.
With more thorough planning and proper communication, most of these issues could be avoided. (Are you listening, Sunrun?)
Here are a handful of reviews from across the country:
“Since day one nothing but a nightmare with this company. Took 6 months to have panels installed. As soon as they were, my circuit breakers kept going off. Losing power each time. Called Sunrun, given the run around right off the bat. I was told it was my problem and to hire an electrician and put in a new electrical box. Unreal…. Countless promises they will never keep. Outright lies about energy production. No customer service whatsoever. This company is a nightmare… Stay away.” (Reviewer in New York)
And remember how Sunrun partners with local companies? If not properly organized, this can create customer experience disasters:
“I had our system activated on Nov 30, 2016. It stopped producing on Dec 30, 2016. Since then it’s been an endless call with Sunrun and their partner Solar Universe. Your Customer Service do not even have the courtesy to follow up on my behalf. I have to wait 5 days to give Solar Universe to respond (which they did NOT). And since then, I have to call every other day to follow up.” (Reviewer in California)
Alarmingly, one of the most common complaints about Sunrun is high utility bills after the solar installation is complete. Here’s an example:
“My electric bill for the past 3 months have going up [sic]. We lease these panels so we’re paying Sunrun and also paying the electrical bill which has become well over what our Sunrun bill is. So I’m paying over double…” (Reviewer in California)
Sunrun (as well as other solar companies) need to be more explicit in explaining how solar will affect utility bills, more accurately estimate how much homeowners will be paying their utility company after the solar installation is complete, and give them tips on how to manage electricity use afterwards as well.
In our opinion, this is the single most serious issue with Sunrun, as most homeowners go solar to save money. Bad customer service can be forgotten. Even if your installation takes 8 months, at the end you’ve got a solar installation. But if bill estimates and savings estimates aren’t accurate, customers can be left in the financial hole. And they’ll be stuck there for the life of the solar installation or lease with no way of escaping.
What to Do if You’re Working with Sunrun
If you are working with Sunrun (or any other solar installer), take the following steps to ensure you have a great experience going solar:
- Read reviews – You are already doing that. Good job. But as we’ve seen, you need to hear about how your specific branch does. Yelp allows users to leave reviews for specific installation branches, so start there. Check with local friends or family who have gone solar with Sunrun to hear about their experiences. Read Angie’s List and forums. Do whatever you can to get some feedback on your branch.
- Get everything in writing – Nothing is official if it’s not in writing. It doesn’t matter if the salesperson promises you a hundred times that your huge satellite dish is no big deal and the installers can remove it ‘while they’re up there’. If it’s not in writing, that promise doesn’t exist. If it can’t be added to the contract, at least have your salesperson send you an email detailing whatever he or she promised you. That way, you at least have proof and Sunrun is more likely to honor it.
- Be flexible – When something goes wrong, it’s not always the solar installer’s fault. They might get on your roof and see damage or shingle wear. If they recommend you get new shingles on your roof, it’s not their fault – they’re actually looking out for you; getting solar panels removed for a reroof 10 years down the line is expensive! There are a lot of moving parts when planning a solar installation – from sales, design, permitting to installation and inspection – occasionally things go wrong. They likely aren’t doing it on purpose. If they do make a mistake, be certain to voice your opinion and thoughts on the situation, but don’t yell at your customer service rep; they’re probably trying to help you as much as they can within their limited position.
- Write a bad review – This is for worst case scenarios. If it’s been 6 months and your installation is still only partially completed or if your installation isn’t working and no one at Sunrun can help, write a review online with one of the big review sites (Yelp, the BBB, etc). Sunrun often responds to these promptly and more than one customer has said their issue was taken care of very quickly after they wrote the review. Use your voice!
Have you had a positive or negative experience with Sunrun? Tell us about it in the comments below!
When it comes to buying out a lease agreement, there's generally a few options. If you've leased from Sunrun, a company that pioneered the solar lease and solar power purchase agreement (PPA) structure back in 2007, the options include a cash buyout, or a full amount solar lease buyout.Is Sunrun a good choice for solar? ›
Sunrun is a good and practical choice for customers looking to quickly and simply save money on their energy bills through a solar lease. However, for homeowners looking for attentive customer service both before and after installation, we advise you to shop around.Is Sunrun a Chinese company? ›
Sunrun is an American provider of photovoltaic solar energy generation systems and battery energy storage products, primarily for residential customers. The company was established in 2007 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California.How can I tell how much electricity my solar panels are generating? ›
Most solar panel systems will come with a meter that shows how much energy is being generated at any given time. Some systems can also provide an online monitoring tool you can access via your phone or computer. Much will depend on the system you buy and how much you want to monitor.Is there a class action lawsuit against Sunrun? ›
The SunRun class action lawsuit also claims company agents misleadingly told consumers they could terminate their SunRun contracts if they move.Is Sunrun in financial trouble? ›
Based on the latest financial disclosure, Sunrun Inc has a Probability Of Bankruptcy of 51%. This is 26.05% higher than that of the Technology sector and about the same as Solar (which currently averages 51.96) industry. The probability of bankruptcy for all United States stocks is 28.04% lower than that of the firm.Will Sunrun remove solar panels? ›
At the end of the term, Sunrun will remove the solar system at no extra cost. You can also buy your solar panels outright and move them to your new home, but it's generally easier and more cost-effective to transfer the agreement to the new household.Does Sunrun have a good reputation? ›
If you're interested in making the switch, Sunrun Solar operates as one of the largest solar installation companies in the country. Overall, the company is well-known but suffers from poor customer reviews and is generally viewed as more expensive than its competitors.Why is sunrun solar so expensive? ›
The average cost for a solar energy system ranges from $15,000 to $29,000, but Sunrun's prices are sometimes higher than other solar energy providers because of the technology it uses. Fill out a form on its website to get a free solar energy consultation and quote.
Sunrun: The biggest solar company in America. Sunrun offers quality panels, a choice of a couple of batteries and quality inverters. It also offers strong warranties. Most of its business is in leases or power purchase agreements, and Sunrun provides stronger warranties for power purchase agreements than purchases.
No. Although Costco and Sunrun are partners in advertising solar, Costco does not back the warranties for your solar panel system – all they provide is a Costco Cash Card and access to their Costco Member Service Hotline.Who is the most reputable solar company? ›
- The Best Solar Panel Installation Companies of 2022.
- Sunpro Solar.
- Blue Raven Solar.
- Momentum Solar.
- Palmetto Solar.
- Trinity Solar.
Your Home Is Using Too Much Power
If your solar panels are not reducing your bill, it can be because: Your system is generating less electricity than you use. You're using too much electricity at night when panels aren't generating it. Too many appliances or devices are plugged in.
Let's say on a good day, you average 5 hours of direct sunlight. Multiply 5 hours of sunlight x 290 watts from a solar panel = 1,450 watts or roughly 1.5 kilowatt hours per day. That's about 500-550 kilowatt hours of energy per year from each panel on your roof.How many kWh per day is normal? ›
That means the average household electricity consumption kWh per day is 28.9 kWh (867 kWh / 30 days).Is Sunrun doing well? ›
As of November 08, 2022, Sunrun Inc had a $4.9 billion market capitalization, putting it in the 83rd percentile of companies in the Renewable Energy Equipment & Services industry. Currently, Sunrun Inc's price-earnings ratio is 83.8. Sunrun Inc's trailing 12-month revenue is $2.1 billion with a 3.3% profit margin.Will Sunrun go back up? ›
The average Sunrun stock price prediction forecasts a potential upside of 80.42% from the current RUN share price of $25.71. What is RUN's Earnings Per Share (EPS) forecast for 2022-2024? (NASDAQ: RUN) Sunrun's current Earnings Per Share (EPS) is $0.32.Does Sunrun have a future? ›
What Is Sunrun Stock's Forecast For 2022? The outlook for the solar industry as a whole is very positive -- at least when it comes to revenue growth. It seems pretty clear that solar will continue to experience rapid growth, both in the utility-scale space and in the residential space (Sunrun's market).Why is Sunrun not profitable? ›
Solar developer Sunrun is growing fast, but supply-chain woes and Covid-related problems hurt its results in the fourth quarter, causing earnings to fall below analysts' expectations.Are Sunrun solar panels made in China? ›
Sunrun has been in business since 2007, while Tesla only entered the solar market in 2016. Sunrun's solar panels are made in the USA, while Tesla's are made in China.
Once you pay off your loan or buy your system outright you will essentially be getting energy for free. When it comes to payment, those who are using solar energy will still get a monthly utility bill. This will show how much energy you produced versus how much energy you used for the month.What will replace solar panels? ›
Caption: Perovskites are widely seen as the likely platform for next-generation solar cells, replacing silicon because of its easier manufacturing process, lower cost, and greater flexibility.How long do Sunrun solar panels last? ›
Studies show that solar panels can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, or sometimes longer. Still, this doesn't mean the panels on your roof will stop producing electricity after a couple of decades.Who makes the best solar panels in the US? ›
The top five solar panel manufacturers in the U.S. are Hanwha Qcells, Jinko Solar, Silfab Solar, Mission Solar Energy, and Solaria. These companies produce high-performance solar panels for residential and commercial installations.Will solar panels get cheaper in 2022? ›
The report added, a 2022 solar system could end up costing more than it would have in 2021 as providers run out of materials and deal with continued delays and higher prices. "Having been in residential solar for 15 years, the pricing trend has almost always been down.Are solar panels cheaper in 2022? ›
Solar energy is becoming much cheaper all over the world according to a GTM Research study by solar analyst Ben Gallagher. He predicts that the price of constructing solar power technology will decrease by 4.4 percent each year, meaning that by 2022 the price of projects will have dropped by 27 percent.Do solar panels increase bills? ›
You won't notice any difference in your electricity supply. You can use your solar panels alongside a normal energy tariff, and there's no need to tell your energy company. You'll just use less electricity from the Grid, and therefore pay lower bills.Who is the biggest solar company in the world? ›
|S. No.||Solar Company||Country|
- – The Tata Solar 160 MW monocrystalline PV module is among the top 10 solar panels in India.
- – These solar panels have a unique design and provide optimum efficiency.
- – They are made using high-quality materials and around 6,75,000 photovoltaic cells.
Largest Solar Companies Research Summary
The largest solar company in the U.S. is NextEra Energy, with a revenue of $17.069 billion and an market share of 2.37%. As of 2022, the U.S. solar industry has a market size of $12 billion. U.S. jobs like Solar Technician will grow by 63% through 2028.
Leasing contracts from SunRun, Vivint, or other third-party owned providers offer a short time frame where you can cancel the contract without incurring any penalty. This time frame may be different from one leasing company to another, but you can expect it to be around 30 days after signing a contract.Who is a competitor of Sunrun? ›
SunRun's top competitors include Vivint Solar, Swell Energy, and REC Solar. Vivint Solar is a provider of residential solar energy systems in the United States. Vivint Solar designs, installs, and maintains cost-effective solar energy systems. …What is the target price for Sunrun? ›
Sunrun Inc (NASDAQ:RUN)
The 22 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Sunrun Inc have a median target of 44.50, with a high estimate of 72.00 and a low estimate of 28.00. The median estimate represents a +44.50% increase from the last price of 30.80.
SunPower has overall higher quality solar panels than Sunrun. Thanks to its superior output ratings, efficiency ratings, and warranties, SunPower solar panels dramatically outperform Sunrun panels. The SunPower M Series solar panels are the best solar panels on the market today.What percentage of solar companies fail? ›
Between 2000 and 2016, about 8,700 unique solar companies installed at least one solar energy system in American homes. By the end of 2016, only 2,900 installers were still active, meaning two-thirds of all solar companies had faced solar bankruptcy, or simply vanished.Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels? ›
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, homes with solar panels sell 20% faster and for 17% more than those without.What are 2 problems with solar panels? ›
- Solar panels can be visually unappealing. ...
- Impact of nature on solar panels. ...
- Microcracks on PV cells. ...
- Poor connections. ...
- Inverter issues. ...
- Debris building up on panels. ...
- Solar panels are currently difficult to recycle.
As it takes typically about 15 years to recoup your installation costs, if you're considering moving, solar panels probably aren't worth it (though see the point below on whether this could be offset by them pushing up the value of your home).How much solar do I need for 2000 kWh a month? ›
A Californian resident would require x27 500-watt solar panels to produce a total of 2000 kWh per month.How many solar panels do I need for a 2000 square foot house? ›
To make the average amount of energy used by a home in America, a 2,000 sq. ft. home would need between 16 and 21 solar panels. That's assuming the home has a good south-facing roof that gets a full amount of sunlight every day.
In the past we used just over 30 kWh/day, which is about average in the U.S., although there is huge variation. In our state, the average is over 36 kWh/day.What uses the most electricity in a house? ›
- Wet appliances. Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. ...
- Cold appliances. ...
- Consumer electronics. ...
- Lighting. ...
Bear in mind some appliances (like fridge/freezers and TVs on standby) use electricity overnight. Visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to get free and impartial advice on the energy usage of your appliances.How many kilowatts do I need for a 2000 square foot house? ›
Average kWh usage for a 2,000 square foot home: 1,325 kWh. Average kWh usage for a 3,000 square foot home: 1,840 kWh. Average kWh usage for a 4,000 square foot home: 2.200 kWh.What happens if I dont pay my Sunrun bill? ›
If Sunrun does not receive payment from your credit card provider or bank, you agree to pay all amounts due upon demand, and Sunrun may suspend your access to the Service in addition to any other remedies Sunrun may have under this Agreement or the Solar Power Service Agreement.Can you cancel a solar contract? ›
Similar to the FTC rule but broader in scope, some state laws give consumers three days to cancel a solar contract. It doesn't matter if it was a door-to-door sale or not. These states include: Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, New York, New Mexico, and North Carolina.What happens at the end of a Sunrun contract? ›
Sunrun has a PPA product option that will allow you to purchase solar energy at a low, predictable rate without having to worry about the maintenance or performance of your solar panels. At the end of the PPA contract, the homeowner can extend the contract or buy the solar system from the solar company.Can you get out of solar panels? ›
Buyout of a Solar Lease Contract
If you have a few years left to end your solar lease, you may consider prepaying the balance on the outstanding lease and have the solar panels either left at or lifted from the house. Your solar company must have included a buyout price and period in their contract.
Leasing contracts from SunRun, Vivint, or other third-party owned providers offer a short time frame where you can cancel the contract without incurring any penalty. This time frame may be different from one leasing company to another, but you can expect it to be around 30 days after signing a contract.Does Costco back Sunrun? ›
Does Costco back Sunrun's warranties? No. Although Costco and Sunrun are partners in advertising solar, Costco does not back the warranties for your solar panel system – all they provide is a Costco Cash Card and access to their Costco Member Service Hotline.
- Standard home solar does not “work” at night.
- Home solar panels are not attractive.
- DIY solar installation is difficult (if not impossible) for most homeowners.
- Not every roof configuration is ideal for maximum solar power generation.
- Solar manufacturing is not good for the environment.
The most common estimate of the average payback period for solar panels is six to ten years. This is a pretty wide range because there are many factors that will influence the number of years it can take to pay off your panels and the monthly savings you can expect.What is the catch with Sunrun? ›
Sunrun, like most other solar providers, doesn't give much pricing info up front. It also offers shorter warranties for customers who purchase panels rather than lease or enter a power purchase agreement. These points, and the fact that it doesn't offer a price match, keep Sunrun's score lower.Is it expensive to remove solar panels? ›
Even if you own your panels outright, just removing them from your roof will cost around $300 to $500. If the panels or glass needs to be repaired, expect to spend somewhere between $200 to $1000, depending on the extent of the damage.Do solar panels stop electricity bills? ›
You won't notice any difference in your electricity supply. You can use your solar panels alongside a normal energy tariff, and there's no need to tell your energy company. You'll just use less electricity from the Grid, and therefore pay lower bills.What happens when you remove solar panels? ›
Removing Solar Panels Can Leave a Mess
Taking away the solar array leaves holes in the roof. And while you might not be able to see these holes from the ground, the penetrations can create problems for the next homeowner. This is particularly true if the holes aren't filled and sealed against future leaks.