Category Archives: Selecting a Solar Installer

Articles & advice about selecting the best solar installation company for your home or business. How do you choose a good solar installer?

sunrun brightbox solar battery

Everything you need to know about the Sunrun Brightbox solar package

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Batteries are becoming a popular addition to solar panel systems throughout the U.S. and across the globe. Energy storage can provide backup power if the grid goes down, and also help maximize savings in utility territories that have time-of-use (TOU) rates or unfavorable net metering policies.

Solar installation companies are picking up on the trend, and have started offering battery installation as a service. The biggest residential solar installer in the country, Sunrun, has a “solar plus storage” option known as the Brightbox package. Brightbox is available in Hawaii, Arizona, California, New York, and most recently Massachusetts.

What is the Brightbox?

The Brightbox package is Sunrun’s company-branded battery option, launched in partnership with LG. The Brightbox batteries are manufactured by LG Chem, not Sunrun, and are also available from other U.S. solar installation companies.

The LG Chem batteries are lithium ion, and come in a variety of sizes. Sunrun primarily offers the LG Chem RESU 10, which can hold 9.8 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. Sunrun says that their Brightbox package can provide 10+ hours of backup power if the grid goes down.

Brightbox financing options and maintenance offerings from Sunrun

Sunrun offers a few different financing options for the Brightbox. Like with solar, you can either buy the equipment or lease it from the company. If you lease, you can choose either a prepaid option or  monthly payments. If you’re looking to buy the equipment, they also have loan options for the solar panel system and battery.

Sunrun also offers a 20-year full service plan for the battery if you choose to lease it. Even without this service plan, the Brightbox is backed by LG’s warranty of 10 years, and assures that the battery won’t lose more than 40% of its storage capacity during that time.

Pricing for Brightbox from Sunrun

Sunrun doesn’t share pricing for the Brightbox package on its website. It can vary depending on the state and your financing option. Sources in New York report pricing between $6,500 and $8,000 in addition to the cost of your solar installation, while in Massachusetts, Sunrun advertises an initial cost of $1,000 with its leasing arrangement.

It’s also worth noting that Sunrun isn’t offering the Brightbox package to homeowners who already have Sunrun solar panel systems. The Brightbox is only available to customers in the states mentioned above (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New York) who are looking to install a new solar panel system and would like to add storage.

How Brightbox compares to the Tesla Powerwall

LG chem resu brightbox

The LG Chem RESU used in Brightbox installations

The Tesla Powerwall and Sunrun’s Brightbox offering are similar in multiple ways. Both batteries batteries have a lithium ion chemistry and come with a 10-year manufacturer warranty. Neither Tesla nor Sunrun are the exclusive installers of the batteries they offer.

The companies differ on the purchase options and installation for their batteries. Tesla is selling the Powerwall separately from solar, and offers it as an add-on to any homeowner (whether they have an old solar panel system, looking to install a new one, or have no solar panels whatsoever).

Sunrun, by comparison, only offers the Brightbox package if you’re also looking to purchase solar from them. That being said, both the Powerwall and LG Chem can be installed by many different types of installation companies (and even Sunrun was previously offering the Powerwall in their Brightbox package before partnering with LG!).

Another difference between the two types of batteries is their size. Tesla’s current battery offering has a higher capacity at 13.5 kWh than what is offered by the LG Chem RESU 10 (9.8 kWh), which means it is capable of storing and supplying more power.

Should you buy a Brightbox with Sunrun?

Like with any big purchase (including solar), you want to explore your options. Signing up on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace can allow you to compare turnkey pricing for solar installations from different pre-screened installers, and ultimately help you find the best deal.

If you already have a quote from Sunrun with a Brightbox offering, you can have it uploaded onto EnergySage to compare with other options. Alternatively, you can also note in your account which type of battery option you’re most interested in (whether it’s the Powerwall, LG Chem, or something else) so installations companies can provide you pricing and information about that battery if they offer it.


solar batteries


SolarCity/Tesla: what’s the latest with the merger? Status of the SolarCity brand

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Elon Musk and his companies have been in the news a lot lately, and for good reason. Musk is constantly pushing the technology envelope, from space exploration to electric vehicles to solar technology. Since Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity, there have been many changes to what used to be the leading solar installer in the U.S. Learn more about how SolarCity and Tesla will fit together, and what their merging means for solar shoppers.

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Top solar companies in Florida: 2017 ranking

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Top solar companies in Florida 2017

Solar in the Sunshine State is heating up. Prices are falling, and solar makes more sense than ever for Florida homeowners. Choosing the right installer for your Florida solar project is one of the most important steps in the solar shopping process, but it can be difficult to know which installers are the best.

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Solar power companies in the U.S.: which should you choose?

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solar power companies United States

One of the most important decisions you make when installing solar is which company will provide and install your panels. There are a few large solar players who are always mentioned in conversations about solar electric companies and your options for installation. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of these big players and if you should consider working with them for your home solar project.

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Solar panel insurance: does solar increase your home insurance?

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solar panels and home insurance

More than one and a half million homes have solar installed on their roofs as of 2018. Investing in a solar PV system has a variety of benefits: solar panels will reduce your electricity bills by generating electricity on-site for 25 years or more. A solar energy system can also increase your home value by tens of thousands of dollars. Home solar is a significant investment in your home, which leaves many homeowners wondering: do I need to get solar panel insurance or will my system be covered by my home insurance?

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Tesla low profile solar panels: the latest from Elon Musk’s clean energy empire

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Tesla solar panels 2017

Tesla’s plans to make solar panels have been known for years. The company is constructing a factory in Buffalo, NY, specifically to produce Tesla solar panels, but until recently not much more was known about their plans.

In April 2017, the much-discussed solar panel product was finally revealed, but the company didn’t announce it with the fanfare usually reserved for Tesla product releases. Instead, the Tesla Energy website was quietly updated to include a page specifically dedicated to solar panels alongside its other energy products like the Powerwall and Tesla solar roof.

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How the Sunrun & Costco solar partnership works

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sunrun costco solar program

If you regularly shop at Costco, you may have spotted a kiosk for home solar installations in the store, or even spoken to a store representative about installing solar panels. Costco has a partnership with Sunrun, one of the largest residential solar companies in the country, to offer their members special benefits when they go solar. Here are the details of Costco’s partnership with Sunrun.

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Sunrun solar reviews: what are America’s homeowners saying about its top installer?

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sunrun solar reviews

With Tesla Energy and SolarCity in a transition phase due to the ongoing merger between the two companies, a new solar behemoth has taken the reigns as America’s top installer. Sunrun now installs more solar systems than any other company in the United States. With a new focus being given to this California installer, we thought it would be appropriate to review the firm and offer our take to help consumers assess Sunrun in depth when comparing them to other U.S. installers.

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“Free solar panels”: Are they really free?

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If you’ve been shopping around for a solar panel system, you’ve probably heard at least one company advertise ‘free solar panels’ – that they will install a solar system on your roof for free. But, much as with anything, remember that there is no such thing as a free lunch (or a free solar panel).

Free solar panels pure energies

Examples of companies advertising ‘free solar panels’

Decoding the sales pitch: The term ‘free solar panels’ is sometimes used to advertise solar lease or solar power purchase agreements (PPAs).

Under both types of arrangements, a company will put solar panels on your roof for no money up-front, but will charge you for the electricity that they produce.

Most offers will save you money but not all of them, so make sure you’ve thoroughly compared all your options. Also consider buying the solar panels or financing them with a zero-down solar loan.

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What’s the best way to find solar panel installers near me?

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solar installers near me

If you want a high-quality solar installation, you need to find high-quality solar installers near you. Before you move forward with your home solar project, it is important to find a local solar installation company that is easy to talk to, acts professionally, and offers premium products and installation services.

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