Tesla Solar vs. Sunrun (Full Review)

Solar is the fastest-growing source of renewable energy not only in the United States but also in the rest of the world. Property owners are now realizing the benefits of using solar systems to light and power their premises.

By installing solar panels in your home or commercial property, you stand to gain from a cleaner, sustainable energy. Solar is far much cheaper in terms of operational and maintenance costs.

Moreover, you will notice a sharp decrease in your monthly energy bills once you install solar panels in your building.

Following the upsurge in demand for solar panels, many companies have ventured into the business of producing top-quality solar panels. Two of the most popular manufacturers of solar systems include Sunrun and Tesla Solar.

In this post, review both companies and compare the upsides and downsides of Tesla and Sunrun solar panels.

Company History

Tesla is undeniably the largest and most established provider of commercial and residential solar in the United States. The company manufactures and supplies solar panels and solar roof tiles through their subsidiary known as SolarCity.

Initially, Tesla was renowned for its top-rated electric vehicles and it is not until the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016 that the company became a force to reckon with in the production and sale of solar systems.

Sunrun is another leading solar installation company based in the United States. Just like Tesla, Sunrun has powered hundreds of thousands of homes with solar energy.

Moreover, it is among the first companies to offer customers solar leases and power purchase agreements as a way of enticing clients to switch to solar energy.

Solar Panel Efficiency and Output Rating

Solar panel efficiency and output rating determines how much electricity the solar system can generate.

Most solar panels have an output rating of between 250 watts and 400 watts.

Tesla solar panels have an average output rating of 340 watts with 21.76 percent efficiency. This rating is one of the highest in the industry, meaning that you can always rely on Tesla solar systems to generate more electricity per panel.

Read Can Tesla Solar Panels Power a Whole House?

Sunrun solar panels have a high output rating of about 320 watts. The efficiency rating of Sunrun solar panels ranges from 15 to 22 percent, which is also impressive.

However, when comparing the two, Tesla panels prove to be more superior in terms of efficiency and output rating.

Panel Type and Design

There are three types of solar panels to consider. These include monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels.

Monocrystalline panels have the highest level of efficiency since they contain square-shaped cells and a black tint that absorbs photons easily.

Polycrystalline panels are cheaper but less efficient since they have a bluer tint rather than a black tint.

Thin-film are lightweight, less expensive, and easy to install but they are not always the ideal option due to less efficiency.

Sunrun has all three types of solar panels while Tesla only deals with monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.

This means that with Sunrun, you have more options when it comes to choosing the type of solar panel that fits your budget and energy needs.

Another distinguishing factor is that Tesla solar deals only with rooftop solar installations while Sunrun offers both ground-mounted and rooftop solar installations.

Installation Costs

Installation costs vary greatly depending on location, type of solar system, and solar panel brand, among many other factors. 

Tesla Solar charges customers based on location and number of solar panels installed, and many homeowners consider them to be the most affordable option available.

The reason why Tesla solar is cheap is that the company does not rely on door-to-door sales. The company is already popular, meaning customers come directly to them. 

In contrast, Sunrun solar panels are a bit pricier since the company has to do a lot of marketing.

However, the company remains among the first to offer customers solar leases and power purchase agreements. For this reason, they still have a loyal clientele base. 

Manufacturer Warranty

When shopping for a solar system to install in your home or business premises, it is always a good idea to look at the warranty coverage offered.

Solar panels are usually built to last but the warranty will always cover any repairs or replacements that need to be done in case of any mishaps.

Tesla offers a 10-year comprehensive warranty on all their solar panels. This covers labor costs on repairs on powerwalls, solar inverters, and roof mounting. Tesla will also repair your roof free of charge in case of any leaks that result from their rooftop installations.

The company also offers a 25-year panel performance warranty. Now, this covers any malfunctions that might occur, including any declination in the generation of electricity.

Sunrun has what they call the Sunrun worry-free warranty that includes system repairs and free equipment repairs. The warranty goes for a total of 10 years and it includes parts and labor costs.

The company also offers daily system monitoring, free repairs, maintenance, and comprehensive insurance for a decade.

Comparing the two, Tesla has better warranty terms than Sunrun since they cover their solar panels for up to 25 years, unlike the latter that only offers coverage for 10 years.

Read  SunPower vs. Sunnova.

Overall Quality 

The quality of both Tesla and Sunrun solar panels cannot be matched. Both companies produce high-quality solar panels at the best prices.

You would also want to consider factors like company reputation, technical specifications, temperature coefficient, efficiency, output rating, and power tolerance to determine the quality of the solar system you intend to buy.

Choosing a winner between Sunrun and Tesla when it comes to the overall quality of their solar panels is somehow overwhelming.

However, Tesla seems to get a slight advantage over Sunrun since their solar panels are sleek and have a higher output rating.

Tesla solar panels also have a low profile design with no visible grids, making them the ideal choice for your rooftop solar installation.

Read SunPower (Maxeon Solar) Vs. Sunrun

Real World Performance

Before buying and installing any solar system in your home or business premise, you should consider its real world performance.

Tesla solar panels have a temperature coefficient of 39 percent, meaning their power output falls at 0.39 percent for every degree Celsius that goes above 25 degrees.

Sunrun solar panels have a temperature coefficient of -0.258 percent per degree Celsius, meaning the power output falls by 0.258 percent for every degree Celsius that goes above 25 degrees.

Tesla solar panels might be more long-lasting compared to Sunrun solar panels, but it is clear to see that Sunrun panels have a better real-world performance.

It is therefore not surprising that many property owners have a preference for Sunrun solar panels on this end.   


When it comes to service delivery, nothing beats what Tesla has to offer.

Tesla manufactures its own solar panels and has its own installers. The company also rents solar panels to customers who prefer to lease. 

On the contrary, Sunrun does not manufacture its own solar panels, and they usually subcontract their installers.

When you purchase a solar system from Sunrun, you have to contend with the fact that your installer might just be any other local electrician.

The only comparable factor as far as service delivery is concerned is that both companies have the same footprint in the country. Tesla operates in 23 states while Sunrun has branches in 21 states.

Industry Experts Feedback

Feedback from industry experts as well as customers obviously has to vary. Some experts have very good words for Tesla while others prefer Sunrun.

However, looking at reviews from sites like solarreviews.com, bestcompany.com, and consumeraffair.com, Tesla certainly has an upper hand over its greatest rival, Sunrun.

The fact that Sunrun deals in all types of solar systems and provides rooftop and ground-mount solar installations makes them a popular choice with most industry experts.

Even though they do not produce their own solar panels, you can always count on them to deliver when it really matters.

Customer Support

Installing solar energy in your home or commercial premise is a solid investment and you require all the support from your preferred installer to ensure that you make the most out of your new power supply.

The good news is that both Sunrun and Tesla solar have invested heavily in customer support and you can always be sure of getting the right help in case of any problem.

You can contact customer support via chat, email, or phone at any time and expect to get the help that you need.

Both companies also have a mobile app that provides round-the-clock solar panel monitoring and you can contact customer representatives via the same application for instant help.


Choosing between Tesla Solar and Sunrun can be a bit of a challenge since both companies have their fair share of upsides and downsides.

Besides, both companies are stable, reliable, and they always stick to their word in terms of service delivery.

However, if you want to buy long-lasting panels at affordable rates, then always consider Tesla. Sunrun can be a good fit for property owners who want to lease their solar panels.

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