A Glance at SunRun's Website

SunRun is a big company, and the company's site is big too. I think they've done a great job presenting a lot of information in an easy-to-understand way. I particularly recommend their FAQs, or Frequently Asked Questions:

SunRun solar leasing FAQ

Look at SunRun's answer to question #13: "How much money will I save with SunRun?"

Your savings from SunRun come from paying less for solar electricity than you would be paying for dirty electricity from your utility. In the beginning, the rate that SunRun charges you is roughly equivalent to the rate you pay your utility, so your savings will be modest. However, the rate that SunRun charges is either fixed or rises very gradually. When you factor in rate increase from your utility that you won't be paying, the amount of money that you can save with SunRun over the life of your agreement amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.

Look at that second sentence: In the beginning, the rate that SunRun charges you is roughly equivalent to the rate you pay your utility, so your savings will be modest. It's straight-forward, and honest. Makes me tend to trust the company.

The SunRun site is also a good place to learn about PPAs, or Power Purchase Agreements. SunRun operates in ten states, and some of their markets are PPA-only, so their website puts some effort into explaining them. With a PPA, instead of you owning whatever electricity is produced, you agree to purchase the actual electricity that's produced. That means your bill from the leasing company will change every month, as actual kilowatt hours fluctuate. Is this better or worse than a solar lease? Personally, I don't think it's very important. A company selling just solar leases will state that, with a lease, production is almost always better than that promised, so you will get free electricity. A company selling just PPAs might say that, if their system breaks down, you pay nothing, since the agreement is for production. My recommendation: don't bog-down on this aspect of your agreement.

Here's some SunRun text on PPAs:SunRun solar PPA text

You'll see that it's not that different from their text on solar leases: SunRun solar lease agreement

Besides emphasizing PPAs, another angle that makes SunRun different is that they are a finance company, without any employees that actually install solar. See FAQ #24:

24. Who installs my solar power system when I choose to go solar with SunRun?
SunRun selects the best solar panel installers in each local market to do all our system installations. Our solar panel installers have local knowledge and extensive experience, and we maintain a high bar for quality control so that you can be assured your installation will be managed smoothly.

Is this a weakness? SunRun's competitors say that it is.

next page: a glance at Vivant Solar's site

Should I Lease a Solar Panel System?
 
Who Should I Lease From?
 
Are Some Leasing Companies Better than Others?
 
Leasing versus Buying
 
How Much Can I Save if I Lease Solar?
 
Explain the Different Variables in a Lease
 
The Escalator Trap
 
Can I Sell my House, if I have a Solar Lease?
 
So... Should I Get Solar, Using a Lease?
 
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Quiz: Can you explain this solar lease promotion?
 
Understanding a Solar Proposal
 
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Assorted Lease Companies' Web Pages:
 
- BrightGrid
 
- Solar City
 
- Solar Universe
 
- SunCap Financial
 
- Sungevity
 
- SunPower
 
- SunRun
 
- Vivint Solar
 
 

2014 by Bill Fridl. All rights reserved.
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