Who Is the Higher Photo voltaic Installer in 2023?

SunPower and Tesla are two of the most important names in photo voltaic, however which one is the higher photo voltaic installer? I’ve spent a whole lot of time researching photo voltaic corporations, writing about photo voltaic know-how, and evaluating photo voltaic manufacturers, and I’ve additionally transformed my own residence to photo voltaic, so I’m effectively geared up to offer an professional opinion on which firm installs the higher techniques.

On this article, I’m going to make use of my expertise within the photo voltaic business to clarify which firm I’d select and whether or not SunPower vs. Tesla is the higher photo voltaic firm. I take an in-depth take a look at every firm, evaluating them on the idea of worth, repute, merchandise provided, and extra.

Manufactures its personal photo voltaic panels

Nationwide service space

A number of financing choices obtainable


Greatest Know-how

Accessible in all 50 states

Cellular app to trace efficiency

Excellent know-how


My Take: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

My decide: SunPower

SunPower and Tesla are two of essentially the most extensively really useful residential photo voltaic corporations in the US. Each are identified for providing a number of the most technologically superior photo voltaic tools obtainable available on the market in the present day, however there are sufficient variations between the 2 corporations to make one the clear winner in my eyes.

SunPower has the very best high quality panels (made by its sister firm, Maxeon) of any photo voltaic installer within the residential photo voltaic enterprise. These panels have a 24.7% effectivity score, which is the very best effectivity score of any dwelling photo voltaic panel. SunPower is a premium photo voltaic installer via and thru, which suggests its techniques are fairly costly.

Tesla, alternatively, has lately turn out to be extra centered on offering extra inexpensive dwelling photo voltaic techniques. The corporate now not manufactures its personal photo voltaic panels and now installs a extra budget-friendly panel made by Qcells. Tesla can be essentially the most extensively obtainable photo voltaic installer within the nation, due to its intensive community of third-party installers.

General, I give the nod to SunPower. The corporate has an excellent repute, installs high-quality panels and tools, and is understood for its wonderful buyer assist. Tesla can be a very good choice — particularly in case you’re trying to save cash — however its buyer expertise is missing because it completely makes use of third-party contractors for installations.


Greatest For Panel Effectivity

Common Set up Value per Watt

Maxeon Photo voltaic: A Collection, X Collection, E Collection, and P Collection

Energy Score / Effectivity

In-house & third-party installers

The next sections take a more in-depth take a look at every firm individually. I’ll dive right into a comparability of SunPower and Tesla after we get to know every firm’s strengths and weaknesses.

Highest High quality Panels



Our Score

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SunPower is a premium dwelling photo voltaic model. It’s identified for its high-quality Maxeon panels, that are the highest-rated residential panels available on the market. Excessive-efficiency panels are higher at changing daylight into electrical energy, which implies that you would possibly be capable to get away with putting in a smaller system than you’d in case you selected a much less environment friendly panel.

SunPower additionally sells SunVault photo voltaic batteries, that are shut opponents to Tesla’s Powerwall batteries — extra on that later. SunPower prospects handle their techniques via the handy mySunPower app on their cellular units.

Certainly one of SunPower’s largest strengths is the corporate’s dedication to offering high-quality buyer experiences. The corporate’s guarantee is among the many greatest within the business and it’s identified for fast guarantee claims dealing with and excellent communication throughout and after set up.

The one destructive factor I’ve to say about SunPower is that its techniques are costly. I really feel that the elevated value is value it because you get what you pay for after which some, however SunPower is just not the corporate for you in case you’re in search of an inexpensive solar energy system.

Professionals & Cons

Installs high-quality Maxeon panels
Excellent buyer assist
Greatest-in-class guarantee lasts 40 years
Additionally presents the SunVault battery vitality storage system and mySunPower photo voltaic monitoring
No panel choice choices

Greatest Know-how

Tesla Vitality


Our Score

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No present presents obtainable.

Tesla Photo voltaic is the clear vitality arm of Elon Musk’s California-based firm, and it’s a little bit of an oddball in comparison with different photo voltaic corporations. On the one hand, the corporate is named a pacesetter in photo voltaic know-how due to its Powerwall batteries, photo voltaic roofs, and electrical automobile (EV) charging stations. Alternatively, it handles all of its installations by way of third-party installers and lately stopped manufacturing its personal Tesla photo voltaic panels.

Counting on third-party installers isn’t inherently a foul factor, nevertheless it results in a excessive diploma of variability in buyer experiences. Principally, how easily your set up course of goes will depend on the standard of your native Tesla-certified installer.

Equally, Tesla’s determination to begin putting in Qcells panels as an alternative of its personal in-house model isn’t mechanically a foul factor, nevertheless it does really feel like a slight downgrade.

With all of that stated, Tesla’s Powerwall batteries are typically considered the gold normal for residential photo voltaic batteries. They’ve wonderful battery storage capacities for the worth and seamlessly combine with the remainder of your photo voltaic vitality system. In addition they have revolutionary options like Storm Watch that you just received’t discover anyplace else and the flexibility to rapidly change your system from prioritizing most financial savings to favoring most storage.

Tesla’s techniques are additionally very inexpensive, and the corporate presents an excellent price-matching program meaning you actually can’t discover a extra inexpensive system — with related specs — anyplace else.

Professionals & Cons

Tesla Powerwall batteries are the perfect within the enterprise
Tesla photo voltaic monitoring is great
Very inexpensive thanks to cost matching
Nice if you would like an EV charging station
Third-party installers result in inconsistent experiences
Now not has the very best effectivity panels

Photo voltaic Panels Supplied: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

Winner: SunPower

Let’s begin with SunPower. By way of pure efficiency, you’re not going to discover a residential photo voltaic panel that’s higher than the Maxeon panels SunPower installs. They’ve the very best effectivity score obtainable available on the market in the present day, degrade much less over time than most panels, and have above-average sturdiness.

SunPower photo voltaic panels are extra environment friendly than different panel manufacturers, which suggests they generate extra vitality in much less house, saving you cash by requiring fewer panels to fulfill the identical vitality wants. Particularly, Maxeon’s flagship 400W panels produce 224 W/m2 (watts per sq. meter), whereas the common panels utilized in most rooftop photo voltaic installations solely produce 192 W/m2.

SunPower’s panels have a superb degradation price of simply 0.2% per yr, which is effectively above the common of 0.75% per yr seen throughout the business.

Alternatively, you are able to do far worse than the Qcells panels that Tesla installs. Qcells panels have an effectivity score of 20.6%, which isn’t fairly nearly as good as Maxeon’s 24.7% however is environment friendly sufficient for dwelling use. The producer’s guarantee for Qcells panels ensures that vitality manufacturing received’t drop under 90% of its preliminary worth inside 25 years, which is nice for peace of thoughts.

Neither SunPower nor Tesla presents some other panel manufacturers, which suggests they’re each not nice for individuals who need a choice to select from.

Sunpower Photo voltaic Panels Supplied Tesla



Skinny Movie



Manufacturers Supplied


Photo voltaic Set up Prices: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

Most inexpensive: Tesla / Greatest worth: SunPower

SunPower’s excessive value is the primary drawback it has in comparison with Tesla. SunPower’s techniques value $3.30 per watt, on common, which is effectively above the business common of $2.66. Even so, I nonetheless assume SunPower presents higher worth for the cash since its high-efficiency techniques will prevent more cash in the long term.

Tesla’s Qcells panels are extra inexpensive, and the common value of a Tesla photo voltaic system is simply $2.72 per watt, relying on the system measurement you buy.

Tesla additionally presents value matching for any equally scoped system. So long as you discover a higher value inside 14 days of your Tesla buy and the system you’re value matching has the same capability to the Tesla system you buy, Tesla will match the worth of the cheaper system. This can be a main level in Tesla’s favor because it basically means you possibly can’t discover a extra inexpensive system from one other photo voltaic firm.

Photo voltaic Financing Choices: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

Winner: SunPower

SunPower presents extra financing choices than Tesla, which supplies it one other win on this class.

SunPower accepts money purchases, photo voltaic loans, photo voltaic leases, and energy buy agreements (PPAs).

Tesla solely accepts money and photo voltaic loans, which makes its techniques tougher to afford for individuals on tight budgets. Tesla’s price-matching program takes a number of the edge off, however I’d nonetheless wish to see Tesla provide extra financing choices for individuals who can’t afford the excessive upfront prices of a photo voltaic panel system.

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Photo voltaic Warranties Supplied: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

Winner: SunPower

SunPower’s guarantee covers at the very least 25 years for tools, efficiency, and workmanship, with some Maxeon panel fashions coming with a 40-year producer’s guarantee. Twenty-five years is the usual size of apparatus and efficiency warranties within the photo voltaic business, however 25 years for workmanship is effectively above the business common of 10 years.

Tesla’s guarantee is strong however not fairly nearly as good as SunPower’s. Tesla presents protection for tools and efficiency for 25 years and workmanship protection for 10 years. I can’t essentially fault Tesla for toeing the business line, however its guarantee protection is solely not so good as SunPower’s.

One thing I can fault Tesla for is the repute it has for not dealing with guarantee claims in a well timed method. I’ll discuss extra about buyer evaluations of every firm in a later part, nevertheless it’s value mentioning right here that Tesla is infamous for having a troublesome guarantee claims course of and lengthy ready occasions.

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Photo voltaic Set up Course of: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

Winner: SunPower

SunPower is at the moment within the strategy of shifting all its installations in home, which suggests you’ll work together instantly with a SunPower consultant and the work will likely be finished by SunPower installers. The corporate already handles lots of its installations internally, however quickly will probably be 100%.

The take-home level is that SunPower’s set up course of is already easy and well-regarded, in response to the huge assortment of buyer evaluations on the web.

Sadly, the identical can’t be stated for Tesla. Not like SunPower, Tesla depends on third-party contractors to put in its techniques, which ends up in a whole lot of variability in buyer expertise and satisfaction. Some Tesla-certified installers are wonderful, however seemingly simply as many are arduous to take care of, non-communicative, and gradual.

Your expertise with Tesla might range, and that’s the crux of the issue. In the event you’re pondering of going with Tesla, you must analysis your native installers to get a way of what you’re entering into. You could be fortunate sufficient to reside close to some high-quality Tesla installers, otherwise you may not.

Principally, your expertise with SunPower from getting a quote via the set up and past may be very prone to be wonderful and stress-free, whereas the outsourcing from Tesla can result in some delays and frustration in some circumstances.

Further Photo voltaic Merchandise Supplied: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

Winner: Tesla

Lastly, an outright win for Tesla. With the choice to stop manufacturing its personal panels, Tesla has to depend on its different photo voltaic tools to set it other than different photo voltaic corporations. Fortunately, that looks like a very good transfer as a result of Tesla presents a number of the greatest further photo voltaic merchandise of any photo voltaic installer.

Tesla’s Powerwall batteries are largely thought of the perfect within the enterprise. They’ve an enormous 13.5 kWh (kilowatt-hour) storage capability, value $14,700 earlier than the federal tax credit score or some other photo voltaic incentives, and are simply managed via the Tesla app. Powerwalls make an important addition to a Tesla system since storage options just like the Powerwall assist preserve utility payments down even while you’re panels aren’t producing sufficient vitality to energy your property.

SunPower’s dwelling battery, the SunVault photo voltaic battery, prices $16,000 and has a 13 kWh capability, which supplies it a barely worse worth. It has the same steady energy output to the Powerwall and can final virtually as lengthy throughout energy outages, nevertheless it’s dearer and has a decrease capability.

Tesla additionally presents an EV charging station that allows you to cost your Tesla or different electrical automotive when you’ve got an adapter. Tesla’s EV charging station is without doubt one of the greatest Degree 2 chargers available on the market. SunPower’s charging station, the Wallbox Pulsar Plus, can be a high-quality Degree 2 charger however is mostly not regarded fairly as extremely as Tesla’s charging station. In my view, they’re about equal, however the common consensus says in any other case.

Lastly, Tesla makes the Tesla photo voltaic roof, a low-profile rooftop photo voltaic choice that extra intently resembles shingles. Tesla is just about the one firm that provides a photo voltaic roof, so that you’ll need to go along with the corporate if you would like an alternative choice to a standard roof-mounted photo voltaic array.

Sunpower Photo voltaic Merchandise Supplied Tesla

Photo voltaic Panels

Photo voltaic Batteries

Photo voltaic Inverters

Floor Mounts

EV Charging Stations

Buyer Critiques: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

Winner: SunPower

SunPower simply wins this class. The corporate has been round for greater than 30 years and has amassed a wealth of glowing evaluations from glad prospects. SunPower’s buyer assist is famend all through the photo voltaic business, and the optimistic evaluations scattered across the web are proof that SunPower is dedicated to standing behind its merchandise.

I can’t say the identical for Tesla. The web is stuffed with destructive buyer evaluations calling out Tesla for failing to handle guarantee claims in a well timed vogue. Tesla can be notoriously troublesome to get in contact with, making it a wrestle to get points resolved. A part of the issue is the reliance on third-party installers, however even direct interactions with Tesla are hit and miss, in response to many on-line evaluations.

General, SunPower receives above-average buyer scores and better-than-average buyer evaluations, whereas Tesla, sadly, falls on the opposite aspect of the spectrum. Tesla has extra destructive evaluations relating to customer support than most opponents, whereas SunPower dominates the house.

Photograph credit score: Earthworm / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Protection Space: SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

Winner: Tie

SunPower and Tesla are each obtainable in all 50 states, though whether or not or not both firm companies your space will depend on the place you reside. Tesla is essentially the most extensively obtainable photo voltaic firm, it’s true, nevertheless it doesn’t outstrip SunPower by sufficient to offer it the win.

If you wish to see whether or not there are any SunPower or Tesla installers close to you, take a look at the useful map instrument under.

Discover Photo voltaic Value Estimates In Your State

Backside Line: Is SunPower or Tesla Photo voltaic Higher For Your House?

SunPower is the clear winner on this head-to-head, popping out on prime in all however one class and tying Tesla in one other. SunPower is without doubt one of the oldest and most well-respected photo voltaic corporations within the business, and the high-efficiency panels it installs give it a large efficiency benefit over Tesla.

With that stated, Tesla is much from a low-quality photo voltaic firm. Certain, it has its points with customer support and guarantee claims, however the renewable vitality techniques it sells are greater than able to offsetting your electrical energy payments.

If you wish to be taught extra about SunPower or Tesla, use the buttons under.

Manufactures its personal photo voltaic panels

Nationwide service space

A number of financing choices obtainable


Greatest Know-how

Accessible in all 50 states

Cellular app to trace efficiency

Excellent know-how


FAQs About SunPower Vs. Tesla Photo voltaic

What are the benefits of SunPower over Tesla?

SunPower installs higher-efficiency panels than Tesla and has a significantly better repute for customer support and assist. SunPower additionally makes use of in-house groups to put in its photo voltaic techniques, whereas Tesla makes use of third-party contractors. Meaning it’s sometimes a lot simpler to get in contact with SunPower when you’ve got any questions or run into any points.

Is SunPower cheaper than Tesla?

No, SunPower is dearer than Tesla. SunPower’s techniques value about $3.30 per watt, on common, whereas the common value per watt for a Tesla system with Qcells panels is round $2.72. Understand that the general value of a photo voltaic system will depend on what further tools you could have put in, like photo voltaic batteries and EV chargers.

Which is healthier, SunPower or Tesla?

In my view, SunPower is healthier than Tesla. Regardless that the price of a SunPower system is larger than the price of a Tesla photo voltaic system, the SunPower system could have larger effectivity, higher guarantee assist, and higher buyer assist. I believe that makes SunPower a greater worth than Tesla, however you must go along with Tesla in case you’re in search of a extra inexpensive system.

Methodology: How We In contrast SunPower vs Tesla Photo voltaic

At Right now’s House owner, we try to convey you essentially the most clear, correct info to your dwelling enchancment tasks. Our photo voltaic scores emphasize what issues most to you — a variety of energy-efficient panels, respected and dependable set up, and complete warranties.

Our scores are primarily based on publicly obtainable details about every firm, secret buying on-line and over the cellphone, customer-review evaluation, and interviews with photo voltaic business consultants.

An organization can earn a most of 100 factors throughout six classes, transformed to a five-star scale. We researched and analyzed dozens of photo voltaic installers and developed the next formulation:

  • Companies Supplied (20 factors): What does every photo voltaic supplier provide as a fundamental service with any photo voltaic set up plan? In-house labor led to corporations being ranked larger than those who contracted their labor out to 3rd events. Equally, battery system set up and panel monitoring have been key elements that we appeared for in every supplier. Tesla presents extra companies than SunPower, however SunPower’s in-house installations give it a slight edge on this class.
  • Guarantee Interval (20 factors): Photo voltaic warranties can cowl labor, parts, or each. The size of those guarantee plans is of chief significance. Corporations that provide 25-year guarantee protection obtained our highest rating on this class. Tesla’s guarantee is true consistent with the business averages, however SunPower’s guarantee goes above and past, providing 25 years’ value of workmanship protection and as much as 40 years of apparatus safety.
  • Different Choices (20 factors): Photo voltaic corporations that present secondary companies are rated extremely. These embrace acquiring permits to function (PTO), offering financing and price-matching choices, and cellular performance-tracking choices. This class is principally a tie. SunPower and Tesla each provide related photo voltaic monitoring and don’t provide in-house financing. Tesla’s value matching offers it a slight increase.
  • Firm Status (15 factors): Our important metrics for score firm repute have been Higher Enterprise Bureau (BBB) scores and criticism response price. These are dependable indicators of high quality. A lot of our greatest suppliers have a 100% criticism response price. SunPower simply takes the win right here as probably the most well-respected photo voltaic corporations within the nation. Tesla’s repute is marred by destructive buyer evaluations that decision the corporate out for offering poor guarantee assist and for having a troublesome set up course of.
  • Buyer Service (15 factors): Availability by way of cellphone and on-line is vital for contemporary dwelling service suppliers in any area of interest. People who provide each, together with clearly posted enterprise hours and in-person estimates, are rated extremely. SunPower additionally wins this class simply. Tesla’s poor buyer assist practices and reliance on third-party installers means it’s a lot simpler to get constant assist from SunPower.
  • Availability (10 factors): Corporations with availability in additional than 40 states obtained our highest rating on this class. We rated suppliers with a extra restricted presence progressively decrease, relying on precise attain. SunPower and Tesla are each nationwide corporations with a presence in all 50 states, so this class is a tie.

We monitor firm knowledge on an ongoing foundation to maintain rankings and data updated.

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