You cringe as your utility bills go up each year, and you want a way out. You’ve heard that solar is a feasible option for cutting your monthly energy costs, but you’re not sure where to start. We know you have so many questions! Are there major differences between the top solar companies? If so, which one should you choose?

To help you review your options, we’ve compared two of solar’s longest-running solar power providers. Take a look at how they stack up.



SolarCity is the largest solar power provider in the U.S. As the brainchild of Elon Musk, SolarCity has installed power systems in 19 states, more than 75 operations centers, more than 400 schools, multiple corporations (including Google, eBay HP, Intel, Walgreens, and Walmart), and even multiple government agencies (including the U.S. Armed Forces and Department of Homeland Security).

How Much Do SolarCity Solar Panels Cost?

SolarCity power systems cost $5.10 per watt, no matter what size system you install. You can pay upfront or opt for SolarCity’s “My Power” plan, which allows customers to prepay their SolarCity loan at a fixed annual rate of 5% for 30 years.

A solar power system is customized for each home, so the amount you spend and save depends on your system size, design, and any local rebates you qualify for. According to SolarCity’s estimates, a 3kW solar system might start at $25 to $100 per month. To get a better idea of how much you would pay to install a solar system for your home, get a custom quote or schedule a free consultation.

Can I Lease?


If you go for the Solar Power Purchase Agreement (SolarPPA), you’ll pay for your solar power based on a set kilowatt-per-hour (kWh) rate. Since you don’t own the solar equipment you’re using, you pay $0 down after signing a contract, with the option purchase the system after five years.

If you decide to lease a solar power system (SolarLease), you pay a fixed monthly fee. (It works the same as if you were to lease a car.) SolarCity’s SolarLease costs $0 down after you sign a contract.

Is Installation Free?

Yes, whether you buy, lease, or opt for the SolarPPA.

Can I Get A Discount?

Probably. You might be eligible for state and federal rebates and tax credits. These subsidies could cut your costs up to 30%!

Is SolarCity In My State?

SolarCity serves 19 states, plus Washington, D.C.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

“My Power” customers receive a 30-year system warranty and 10-year roof warranty.

How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels?

Due to reported backlogs and inefficiencies at SolarCity, you might wait 6 months or more for installation after you sign a contract. However, your solar system typically requires little to no maintenance once it has been installed.



Sunrun has been in business for 17 years. As the leading solar lease and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) provider in the U.S., Sunrun offers multiple financing options to customers.

How Much Do Sunrun Solar Panels Cost?

Sunrun only offers leasing and PPA options. If you purchase a solar power system through Sunrun, that system will come from a third-party provider. As with SolarCity, you pay $0 down after you sign a contract.

Depending on the electricity rates in your area and amount of sunlight that will hit your rooftop, Sunrun estimates that you’ll save 20% — an average of $84 to $150 — on your monthly utility bill.

Can I Lease?

Yes! Through Sunrun’s BrightSave Monthly, you can pay per kWh (through a PPA) or on a fixed monthly rate (through a lease). BrightSave Prepaid lets you pay your entire lease upfront.

Is Installation Free?


Can I Get A Discount?

Probably. Whether you choose Sunrun, SolarCity, or one of their competitors, you could be eligible for a local rebate and government tax credit. These subsidies could cut your costs up to 30%.

Is Sunrun In My State?

Sunrun works in 13 states.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Sunrun offers a 10-year warranty.

How Long Does It Take To Install Solar Panels?

Unlike SolarCity, Sunrun subcontracts with local installers to set up your power system and provide repair and services. Your panels will typically be installed within two to four months after you sign a contract.

Is SolarCity Better Than Sunrun?

SolarCity is the only solar company that uses in-house teams to finance and install solar power systems. Sunrun offers similar financing options as SolarCity, but it works with local solar installers to set up and maintain your solar power system.

If you’re comparing each company solely based on price, we can’t tell you which provider is the best choice. Sunrun and SolarCity install similar panels, and both offer a way for you to switch to solar without paying high upfront costs. Before you choose a provider, get a quote and free consultation from both companies. Then, once you know the exact cost estimate for your home, you can decide which provider is a better fit for you.


This article originally appeared on Green Future. Visit their site to read more of their helpful posts!