Solar City vs. Sun Run

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Difference between Solar City and Sun Run

Solar power is big news nowadays, especially in light of the looming threat of the depletion of the world's fossil fuel sources. Among the companies that have been the most vocal advocates of solar power are SolarCity and SunRun, each of which offers its set of advantages and disadvantages. In this comparison article, we take a look at the key strengths of each company.

Solar City
Sun Run

Profile

SolarCity is a company involved in the design, financing, and installation of solar energy systems. The company also offers a variety of related services, and even develops charging stations intended for use by electric vehicles.

SunRun Inc. is a residential solar electricity provider based in the United States. Its headquarters are located in San Francisco, California.

Beginnings

SolarCity was established in July of 2006 by Peter and Lyndon Rive. Initial funding for the enterprise came by way of a $10 million investment by Elon Musk, who was a South African entrepreneur and cousin to the Rives.

SunRun for its part was established in January of 2007 by Nat Kreamer, Ed Fenster and Lynn Jurich. Under the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement or PPA, customers of the company are not required to purchase solar panels, and instead pay a fee for the electricity that they consume. This model greatly reduces the capital requirements on the part of the consumer. SunRun also offers a solar lease program, and provides a variety of installation, maintenance, monitoring and repair services.

Achievements

SolarCity is currently the number one residential solar power provider in California, a status the company has held since 2007. The company was recognized as such by no less than the California Solar Initiative, and it also received an Aspen Energy and Environment Award in March of 2008. In May of the same year, SolarCity also finished construction of the largest commercial solar installation in San Jose on eBay's North Campus. July 2008 saw the company completing construction of the largest commercial solar installation in San Francisco for British Motors. The structure contains more than 1,600 solar photovoltaic panels.

But what the company is perhaps best known for is the introduction of a solar lease option called SolarLease. Under this program, users pay a much smaller amount than would otherwise be required for the installation of solar power equipment. In addition, the plan also reduces the costs of electricity as compared to paying for service from a utility company.

SunRun for its part has established partnerships with a number of related companies, and it currently provides service to consumers over 5,000 homeowners in seven states.

Similarities and Differences

SolarCity

  • A company involved in the design, financing, and installation of solar energy systems
  • Also offers a variety of related services such as charging stations for electric vehicles

SunRun

  • A residential solar electricity provider based in the United States
  • Customers are not required to purchase solar panels under the terms of a Power Purchase Agreement

 
 

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