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Tesla Solar VS. Sunrun VS. Local Installers - comparison for which is best for your home

Psst! Switching your bank can help fight climate change!

January 27, 2022

Going more sustainable with solar power can be an expensive investment, but it will only do good in the long run. Some major players are Tesla and Sunrun, which can offer low prices, are very high-tech, but does that mean local installers are edged out? It’s easy to head over to the website where you’re met with how great each product is, but the trial really comes when usage begins.

In order to provide users with the most valuable information, we’ve compared the heavy hitters, but we didn’t forget about the little guy - the local installers. Read on to find out which company is the best choice for you.

Tesla Solar Roof

Get a qutoe for a Solar Roof from Tesla.

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Tesla is a big name in the automotive industry, and since they made a splash on the market, Elon Musk has made his entrance into the eco-friendly world where Tesla technologies operate on solar power to help halt and/or reverse climate change.

You can have your choice between solar panels or solar roofs, with panels being an excellent option for those who just want to dip their toes in the water. Right at the top of the page, Tesla makes a very ambitious pledge, to provide the lowest priced solar panels in America - with a money-back guarantee.

You can do your part to convert sunlight into energy to power your home, with all-day-everyday energy monitoring. Minimizing your reliance on the energy grid can also save you money, and Tesla has a price match guarantee as an incentive for more consumers to have more control over their utility spendings every month.

Tesla’s design studio will actually depict your potential savings so you know exactly why you’re spending for their solar technology.

The design of Tesla’s solar panels and roofs are sleek, low profile, and have a concealed edge. Your purchase also comes with Tesla’s Powerwall, which can be likened to an energy box that stores the solar energy gathered by the panels for later use.

You can get maximum solar energy production that’s easily monitored from your smartphone via the compatible app.

As for Tesla solar roofs, you get even more than just a few panels. Some bonuses include 24/7 outage protection, a very sleek roof, and the Powerwall as well. Is it cloudy and overcast? Don’t worry, because your Powerwall will have enough power stored to get you through the day and even during outages.

Another promise Tesla makes to its consumers is durability. Tesla solar roofs are made to last for years to come with roof tiles engineered for weather resistance. Not to mention, the tiles come with a 25-year warranty that further exemplifies Tesla’s quality and dedication to solar energy.

Utilities don’t need to cost you an arm and a leg every month. Although the initial investment can make you do a double-take, the end result in the long run is incredibly worth it. You can actually see the difference the Tesla solar roof is making when you open the Tesla app.

The app also gives you remote control over the system no matter where you are.


  • Lowest Prices
  • High Technology
  • Great App
  • 25-year warranty for solar roofs
  • Maximum solar production
  • Energy storage
  • Saves money on utilities
  • Sleek design
  • 24/7 outage protection for roofs
  • Price matching for panels
  • Weather resistance


  • Poor app-based support at times


Get a quote from Sunrun.

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If you haven’t heard of Sunrun, then it’s time you did. Every home has a different need, and Sunrun can allow for customized plans based on your specific requirements. The company helps you determine the battery details and system size, figure out your solar cost and how much energy you use, plus you can also learn about incentivization in your state.

Sunrun offers a variety of packages, which can be daunting to a solar newbie. However, the Product Selector will help you determine if a loan, rooftop panels, or if getting a monthly plan is the right course of action. This will all make sure you aren’t paying for something you don’t need and so you can get the best out of their services.

As of now, Sunrun doesn’t provide complete solar roofs, but their panels are industry-leading, making the company one of the top residential solar panel providers in the nation. What’s more, Sunrun offers multiple payment plans or you can choose to lease the panels - whatever is easier on your wallet.

Sunrun also provides an energy box called Brightbox, which helps with energy storage. The storage feature can help protect against outages and when paired with Tesla’s Powerwall, you can back up the energy needed for your entire home.


  • Often lowest pricing
  • Nation-wide company with institutional experience
  • Energy storage options
  • Various payment plans with the option to lease
  • Helps you find your ideal system and plan
  • Supports energy grid independence
  • Proactive solar monitoring
  • Comprehensive insurance


  • Limited support with national call centers, etc

Local Installers

What about local installers? They are slightly lesser-known, not all of them are nationwide, but does that mean the quality doesn’t compare to the big names? Let’s find out.

Example: SolarUnion

Get a quote from SolarUnion

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Here in San Francisco where housing prices are not the most competitive at all, going solar could help cut back on some utilities. SolarUnion is reliable and provides excellent service. This means you can enjoy your clean energy usage without having to worry if anything goes wrong because SolarUnion is right there to back you up.

The team handles everything from installing EV charging stations to solar panel installations and inspections. Whatever it is, they have you covered.

There is a lot we can see from a company warranty, and the one provided by SolarUnion is second to none. They offer a 25-year performance guarantee with another 25-year roof integrity warranty, enough to give Tesla’s basic 25-year warranty a run for its money.

SolarUnion aims to bring solar energy to everyone, starting right here in San Francisco. Renewable energy is their ultimate goal and not only are they committed to the usage of solar power, but they also take solar education very seriously. How can you understand the benefits of solar roofs and panels without knowing how they work?

You can trust in SolarUnion’s commitment to their vision as they proudly hold Diamond certification. Their list of services includes energy storage systems, solar roof inspections and installations, readiness audits and more.

You can start saving money with the implementation of solar panels, because your own power won’t carry the same markup that exists in a utility company. Just how much are the savings? We understand that there are skeptics out there that wonder if going through the hassle of installing these devices can actually make a difference.

If the price point difference each month is negligible, then there really is no point. However, with SolarUnion, you’re looking at hundreds or thousands of dollars back in your pocket each year. As time goes on, the panels would have paid for themselves and more.


  • Higher quality components
  • CEO comes to survey your house personally
  • High-quality service
  • No long hold times
  • Experts with permits
  • A lot of industry experience
  • Lengthy and comprehensive warranty
  • Quick installation
  • They go the extra mile


  • They operate on a smaller scale

The Verdict

So, just how do local installers compare to the big-name national or global companies? It seems to us that the representative for local companies, SolarUnion, can more than hold its own.

Tesla offers a long and comprehensive warranty, which is no surprise for a company of its scale, but SolarUnion matches Tesla’s 25-year warranty promise and beats it with a 25-year roof integrity warranty as well.

Your choice will also depend on the type of service you want. Some companies have just panels and others offer whole roofs and home solutions. However, while Sunrun specializes in panels, they do have one of the most flexible payment options with the choice of leasing the panels as well.

Aside from the quality of the product, another very important consideration to make is the support and after-service. Regardless of how coveted a product is, poor customer support or refusal to honor warranties can really put off customers, so make sure that is something you keep in mind.

The convenience and transparency of how your energy is being stored and used should be easily accessible. How can you monitor the performance? The most common method solar companies provide is through a mobile app. Not all companies will have this, so if you value convenience, definitely look into one that does.


There is no distinct winner, because each company provides differing benefits with its own drawbacks. Tesla is the best in technology, their panels and solar roofs are very good looking, they also offer an intuitive app, which can sometimes have laggy support.

The same holds true for Sunrun in terms of support, but this company offers a lot of flexibility and has plans for every user. SolarUnion is an excellent choice for outstanding service from a Diamond-certified company, but the smart features are still in development.

No matter which one you go for, one thing is for sure - your monthly utility bills will see a decline.