How Does Sunrun Solar Lease Work?

Choosing a Sunrun solar lease means enjoying the benefits of solar energy without the hefty upfront costs. Instead of purchasing solar panels, you pay a fixed monthly amount for the electricity generated by the panels. This approach makes solar energy more accessible and affordable for many homeowners.

How Sunrun Solar Lease Works

Sunrun pioneered the solar lease model in 2007, making it easy for homeowners to switch to solar energy. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • System Ownership: Sunrun owns and installs the solar panels on your roof. You benefit from the energy produced without owning the equipment.
  • Monthly Payments: You pay a fixed amount each month for the electricity generated. This makes budgeting easier and protects you from fluctuating energy prices.
  • Comprehensive Warranty: The lease includes maintenance, repairs, monitoring, and insurance. This all-inclusive package ensures your system operates efficiently.
  • Performance Guarantee: Sunrun guarantees your system’s energy production. If your system underperforms, you receive a refund for the difference.

Sunrun Solar Lease vs. PPA

Depending on your location, you can choose between a solar lease or a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA):

  • Solar Lease: Pay a fixed monthly rent for the electricity generated. This option offers stable, predictable payments.
  • Solar PPA: Pay a fixed rate per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the electricity generated. Payments fluctuate based on energy production, offering potential savings during high production periods.

Long-Term Peace of Mind

Sunrun’s solar lease offers a hassle-free experience with several built-in benefits:

  • Maintenance and Repairs: Sunrun takes care of everything, ensuring your system runs smoothly without unexpected costs.
  • System Monitoring: Continuous monitoring ensures optimal performance, allowing for quick detection and resolution of any issues.
  • Insurance: Full coverage for the solar system and roof penetration, providing peace of mind.
  • Warranty: 25 years of comprehensive coverage, protecting your investment over the long term.

Moving with a Sunrun Lease

If you decide to move, Sunrun has a dedicated team to help transfer your solar lease to the new homeowners, ensuring a smooth transition. This makes it easy to sell your solar home and transfer the benefits to the new owners.

Benefits of Sunrun Solar Lease

Sunrun’s solar lease offers several key benefits that make it an attractive option:

  • Zero Upfront Cost: You can go solar with no initial investment. This removes the barrier of high upfront costs, making solar accessible to more people.
  • Fixed Monthly Payments: Enjoy predictable and stable energy bills. You pay a fixed amount each month, which helps with budgeting and financial planning.
  • Maintenance Included: Sunrun covers monitoring and repairs, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected costs. This comprehensive maintenance plan ensures your system runs smoothly.
  • Energy Savings: Lock in lower electricity rates for up to 25 years. This long-term savings plan helps you save money on your energy bills over time.

Guaranteed Solar Energy Production

With Sunrun’s performance guarantee, your solar system will produce at least 90% of the estimated energy output. If it falls short, you receive a refund for the difference. Plus, any extra energy generated is yours to keep without additional charges.

Comparing Solar Lease and PPA to Buying

When deciding between leasing and buying, consider the following:

  • Leasing: No upfront costs and maintenance covered by Sunrun, making it a low-risk, hassle-free option.
  • Buying: Higher initial investment but potential for greater long-term savings and eligibility for tax credits. Owning your system can provide higher overall savings, especially when considering federal and state incentives.

Financial Considerations and Savings

Here’s a comparison of costs for different Sunrun system sizes:

System Size Installation Cost
5 kW $12,500–$15,600
6 kW $15,000–$18,720
7 kW $17,500–$21,840
8 kW $20,000–$24,960

Sunrun’s average pricing, at $20,000-$25,000 for an 8 kW system, is similar to that of its competitors. However, local installers may offer lower pricing. Additionally, Sunrun’s leased systems have a different pricing structure, with monthly payments based on your energy usage.

Before signing a Sunrun solar lease or PPA, here are a few questions to consider:

  • Is there a performance guarantee? Ensure your contract includes a performance guarantee, protecting you if the system underperforms.
  • Did you make any changes to the system design? Verify that the system design and layout match your expectations before finalizing the contract.
  • What are the terms of the warranty? Review the fine print to understand what is covered under the warranty.
  • What are my options when the agreement ends? Find out if you can extend the agreement, upgrade to a new system, or have the system removed at no cost.


Sunrun’s solar lease offers a cost-effective and maintenance-free way to go solar. With fixed monthly payments, comprehensive coverage, and guaranteed energy production, it’s a smart choice for many homeowners. Evaluate your options carefully to ensure you choose the best solar solution for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens at the end of Sunrun lease?

After paying for the remainder of your service, the new buyers will receive solar power from Sunrun until the end of the agreement. At the end of the term, Sunrun will remove the solar system at no extra cost.

2. What are the disadvantages of Sunrun?

A major downside of Sunrun is the poor quality of its customer support. A large number of complaints on its BBB profile suggest disappointing post-installation service in recent years.

3. Can I get out of my Sunrun contract?

Leasing contracts from Sunrun, Vivint, or other third-party-owned providers typically offer a short time frame where you can cancel the contract without incurring a penalty.

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