SunPower Review: Best-Performing Solar Panels Available

The first step to going solar is finding an installer you trust. SunPower's excellent warranties and quality equipment make them a solid option to consider.

SunPower Solar rating

/ 10
  • Most efficient panels
  • Strong warranties
  • No price match
  • Only installs one battery brand

SunPower offers some of the best solar panels available for residential installations -- they lead the pack in panel efficiency. It also provides strong warranties on batteries and workmanship. One of CNET's top solar installers, SunPower made its name with top-of-the-line solar panels, but now offers additional options that can meet your energy goals at a lower price.

When you're shopping for solar, you should identify how solar panels might affect your energy bill, understand your local incentives and get an idea of how much they might cost. Then compare quotes from various installers to weed out ones that are too expensive. You'll want to understand which financing options best fit your needs and whether getting solar power in some other way (like community solar) makes more sense for you. I've thoroughly researched SunPower, but this review shouldn't take the place of your own research.

Solar panels on a roof top over a patio.

SunPower offers panels with top marks for efficiency.


Solar panels can help you save on your electric bill, generate renewable energy at home, keep the lights on during a blackout and might boost the value of your home. If you install them before 2033, you can take advantage of a 30% tax credit on the cost of solar and get in on net metering plans and local incentives before they change, like they recently did in California.

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With high interest rates and net metering changes in California -- the solar industry had a tumultuous year in 2023, and SunPower was not unaffected. It had some public financial issues in late 2023 and early 2024. Regardless of your chosen installer's apparent financial health, it's a good idea to pin down what happens to your warranties and service agreements if the company goes out of business.

What do I get from SunPower?

You can buy or lease panels from SunPower or enter into a power purchase agreement. If you decide to work with SunPower, you'll get the best panels on the market by several metrics.

What equipment does SunPower install?

SunPower installs solar panels from Maxeon, a manufacturer that split from SunPower in 2020. The panels are packaged and branded as the SunPower Equinox, a combination of Maxeon solar panels, Enphase microinverters and mounting hardware. The panels have the highest efficiency ratings in the residential market: up to 22.8%. Enphase microinverters are well-regarded and the most widely used microinverters.

In February 2023, SunPower announced it would also begin installing Qcells solar panels manufactured in Georgia.

SunPower discontinued its SunVault battery in 2024. The company now offers Tesla Powerwall 3 batteries an an option for solar plus storage systems. The Powerwall 3 is a 13.5 kWh battery, with an impressive 11.5 kW of power output. You can install up to four Powerwall 3 batteries for a total energy storage capacity of 54 kWh.  

The strongest panels might come at a premium. Nate Coleman, SunPower's chief products officer, said the company is starting to offer more affordable options.

What warranties does SunPower offer?

Besides its top efficiency mark, SunPower's Equinox system comes with one of the best warranties available. Solar panels degrade as they age, and SunPower's warranty says its panels will produce at 92% or more of their original capacity after 25 years. Most manufacturers offer 25-year warranties but guarantee production closer to 85%. This means SunPower's panels will be generating more electricity for longer. Efficiency isn't the only factor you should take into account when buying panels. You could meet your needs with lower efficiency and cheaper panels, but a high-efficiency mark and strong warranty are two strong indicators of SunPower's top-of-the-line panel. (Online, SunPower mentions a 40-year warranty that Maxeon offers on its premium panels, which is not available in the US.)

Tesla offers a solid warranty for its Powerwall 3 battery. The battery will retain 70% of its original maximum storage capacity after 10 years, regardless of how often you cycle the battery. Many manufacturers offer a similar warranty but limit the amount of times you can drain and recharge the battery. 

A rooftop panel installation from SunPower comes with a 12-year roof warranty covering roof penetrations and a 25-year warranty on the equipment that monitors your system's production at the panel level. 

Does SunPower offer monitoring services?

You can track your solar panels' performance in the MySunPower app which is rated at 4.5 stars on Apple's app store and 4.3 stars on Google Play. I did not test the app.

Does SunPower use subcontractors?

SunPower uses a mix of in-house installers and subcontractors.

How much do SunPower solar panels cost?

Prices vary by location for all solar companies, and SunPower is no different. Prices as of July 2022 ranged from $3.28 per watt of solar panel to closer to $4 per watt in California, said David Saitta, SunPower's senior director of residential sales. The median cost in 2022, according to the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, was about $3 per watt for an 8-kilowatt system. Other estimates put the average higher. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Tracking the Sun report put the national average over four dollars per watt. Estimates can range for a variety of reasons. The best way to ensure you're getting a good deal is to move out of the theoretical and get multiple quotes for actual systems at your location.

The map below shows average prices for residential solar installations as reported by FindEnergy.com. State incentives and the tax credit are not included in the estimate. States in gray don't have data available.

While SunPower offers arguably the best equipment on the market if you can meet your energy needs with less efficient and cheaper panels, you might opt for them. Still, SunPower offers different tiers of its Equinox system, and with more affordable options coming down the pike, SunPower could easily be the company that offers the best solar value for your home. Offering Qcells panels is part of this shift, Coleman said.

SunPower doesn't offer a price match guarantee.

Solar panels on a two story house with a porch.

SunPower's solar panels are under a 25-year warranty.


What financing options does SunPower offer?

SunPower offers panels for purchase, lease and power purchase agreement. While leases and power purchase agreements are more affordable upfront, costing just a monthly payment for the equipment or power produced, purchasing panels generally returns the greatest savings over the lifetime of the solar system. The company also offers financing and leasing options for the Powerwall 3.

Does SunPower operate in my state? How do I order?

SunPower operates in all 50 states.

Zooey Liao/CNET

SunPower has an online tool that lets you get an idea of your solar array's appearance and your estimated savings. You do have to provide contact information. The estimated array for my home seemed to include panels on a small walkout balcony that doesn't have a roof, so it's a bit of an imprecise tool, like many online estimators. 

To get a quote, fill out a short form on SunPower's website, which will prompt a call or email from a solar advisor. You'll work to design your solar system with a SunPower employee, which will require 12 months of electricity bills. This often takes place online, SunPower said, but conducting the meeting in person is an option. Once you've reached an agreement, a site visit does occur to check the condition of your roof and electrical panel.

Online, you get very little information about your potential costs before you have to provide contact information. This is fairly common, and companies that do offer upfront cost information typically offer rough estimates.

SunPower works with both in-house installation teams and dealers around the country to install their panels.

Is SunPower the best choice?

While one review, here or elsewhere, can't adequately answer that question, SunPower has quite a few things going for it.

SunPower offers some of the best solar panels available, and its equipment is covered by some of the strongest warranties available, including protection for your roof that outlasts some of its competitors. While some other solar companies offer more battery options, the typical solar customer doesn't yet buy one. SunPower's prices could be a little above average, though it's hard to tell. Given that each home is unique, it's definitely worth including SunPower in your research. 

While this review is as thoroughly researched as possible, it doesn't rely on any hands-on testing or experience with the purchasing process. Solar companies are tricky to review in that way. Be sure to gather multiple quotes, including from smaller, local installers in your search.


  • Top-of-the-line panels
  • Strong warranties


  • Only one battery brand
  • No price match
A house with solar panels in a desert setting.

SunPower operates in all 50 states.


Just looking for an emergency backup? Check out our best portable solar panel reviews and best solar generators.  

SunPower reviews: What customers are saying

Online reviews are a tricky beast. If you're like me, you're more likely to head online to leave a bad review out of frustration than to say, "It was just fine." We're including a selection of reviews here, not to say this is exactly what your experience will be, but to acknowledge that reviews can help you identify what questions you ought to ask before signing up and trends in customer service.

Like most solar companies, SunPower's Better Business Bureau customer reviews are generally lower than its grade, which measures its responses to customer complaints through the BBB, among other things. Here's a sample of reviews of SunPower, which average a strong 4.24 stars out of five, although there seems to have been a spate of one-star reviews recently. SunPower has responded directly to the recent reviews, promising to follow up.

Some reviews quoted below have been lightly edited to correct typos.

Five-star reviews

"This was probably the smartest choice I have made behind purchasing my home. Simple process. The only thing I did was secure my pets during installation and kick back and wait to save a ton of money." Fred B., August 2022

"Before I got this company, I did a lot of research from other companies and found SunPower to be straightforward and professional. They gave a timeline of when to expect things. The installation was done in a couple of days. They left my house clean when done and still they followed up to make sure things were working well. This company has been around for over 30 years and is very reputable. No regrets for making SunPower my solar company." Margaret L., May 2022

One-star reviews

"Following their admission of fault in the solar panel installation, SunPower sent me a confirmation email and asked me to provide a repair quote from a company of my choosing to address the resulting internal damages. Despite submitting the quote over a month ago, I have not received approval from them yet." Raoul D., May 2023

"Add me to the list of customers without solar power. My Inverter is bad and I have not had any solar power produced by my system since last September. I have been told that the inverter required for my system is no longer being produced and that they are trying to find one. Meanwhile, I am being billed every month by SunPower, who takes the money directly out of my account. I also have had to purchase power from our local provider at top rates since I am classified as a solar customer." Ada Jeanne G., April 2023

How we evaluate solar companies

Reviewing solar companies in a hands-on way is difficult. Accounting for all the differences from project to project is impossible. To provide a helpful review, we focused on what we can measure and meaningfully compare among companies.

We focus on three buckets of criteria: equipment, warranties and service. 

Within the equipment category, companies receive scores for the panels, inverters and batteries they install. Warranties include guarantees on the panels, workmanship and weatherization against leaks. Companies earn points for service if they offer a price match, a meaningful level of price transparency and a well-rated app for monitoring solar production. They lose points if there are major issues pertaining to customer service (lawsuits, investigations or clear reputations for shoddy service). These issues will always be detailed in the review.

You can read a detailed look at how the scoring breaks down.

We don't consider the average price of a company's installations in their score. This information is difficult to find and hard to compare across service areas (and even roof-to-roof). Companies are often slow to disclose it, too. We also leave out easily found but irrelevant information like how many states a company operates in.

SunPower FAQs

Does SunPower offer financing options?

SunPower offers purchase, lease and power purchase agreements. You can also finance a solar loan through the company. I haven't seen SunPower's loan offerings, but it can pay off to shop around for better terms.

Does SunPower offer energy monitoring?

Yes. SunPower offers monitoring through the mySunPower app. The app lets you track your solar panel system's production and energy storage status. It's also compatible with certain devices that will allow you to track your energy use. The app gets a strong rating on the App Store and Google Play.

Does SunPower offer energy storage?

Yes. If you're interested in adding a battery to your solar panel system, SunPower currently offers Tesla Powerwall 3 batteries. 

Correction, Jan. 31, 2023: An earlier version of this article misstated the Better Business Bureau's grading process. Any company can receive a grade from the Bureau, regardless of whether it has paid to go through the accreditation process.

Article updated on May 23, 2024 at 8:49 AM PDT

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Written by 
Andrew Blok
CNET staff -- not advertisers, partners or business interests -- determine how we review the products and services we cover. If you buy through our links, we may get paid. Reviews ethics statement
Andrew Blok Editor I
Andrew Blok is a former editor for CNET who covered home energy, with a focus on solar. As an environmental journalist, he navigates the changing energy landscape to help people make smart energy decisions. He's a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State and has written for several publications in the Great Lakes region, including Great Lakes Now and Environmental Health News, since 2019. You can find him in western Michigan watching birds.
Expertise Solar providers and portable solar power; coffee makers, grinders and products Credentials
  • Master's degree in environmental journalism
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