• Report: #982998
Complaint Review:

Sunrun Solar Company

  • Submitted: Sun, December 16, 2012
  • Updated: Sun, December 16, 2012

  • Reported By: Nash — Madera California United States of America
Sunrun Solar Company
45 Fremont 32nd Floor San Francisco, California United States of America

Sunrun Solar Company SunRun, Inc. SunRun, Inc. screwed me!!!! San Francisco, California

*Consumer Suggestion: True Up Bill Solution

*Consumer Comment: I'm curious...

*Consumer Comment: I should mention that I sent the link to this Ripoff Report to...

*Consumer Comment: First, you will ALWAYS have some sort of bill from PG&E..

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To whom it may concern:

It was with great anticipation when I finally started on my journey to obtain solar power for my home!  I loved the idea of 'going green' and trying to save the environment.  I was telling all my friends of my plans.  I was so excited!  This was on 2/10/2011.

A few months later, the 'true-up' amounts started to arrive from PGE.  I assumed that these amounts was what PGE was reimbursing me.  After all, isn't this what the salesman told me would happen?  As the months accumulated and the 'true-up' amounts kept increasing, I started to get rather excited and exhilarated-for these amounts added up to $935.75.  I assumed that this was my reimbursement from PGE!  I was making plans on ways to spend my extra money!  Hmm, pay bills?  Buy Christmas presents?  Take a small trip?  My imagination was running wild!

I was shocked and highly upset when PGE took this amount of $935.65 right out of my checking account!  Wait!  Where's my reimbursement? This has to a mistake, right?

PGE explained that the 'true-up bill' was for electricity I used that my solar panels did not produce.  What?  My solar panels did not produce enough electricity???? I told the solar salesman (Vince Antonino), when I initially wanted solar that I wanted to purchase 1/3 more electricity than I was currently using (prior to solar).  Wouldn't this amount to 133% ?  (100% plus 1/3% more)  My reasoning was that 'anything can happen over the next twenty years (the lease years of my solar panels).  I had thought that when I signed the contract with Sunrun that this is what I purchased.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that my solar panels were set up to only produce 50% of my energy usage!  This was not what I thought I was purchasing.  Why would I want to pay a premium price of $157.65 for only 50% of my electricity usage?  I was incensed!  I felt betrayed!

Prior to solar, my monthly energy costs went from a low amount of $72.00 and the highest amount $165.00.  Let's see, $157.65 x 12 = $1,891.80 for an entire year.  Add to this the $935.75 (true-up bill from PGE).  The amount comes to $2,827.55.  But wait!  I am not done-for you see PGE also charged $12.65 monthly for distribution, transmission, taxes, etc. that was billed separately from SunRun, Inc.. This amount comes to $164.45 for the year ($12.65 x 12 months).  Add this amount to the $2,827.55 and you get $2,992.  This amount is over and beyond the money amount paid prior to solar!  Almost three thousand dollars per year!  Before going solar, my yearly energy amount was $1,642.  My energy bill has almost doubled after going solar!

Needless to say, I complained to Terrence Dale Mueller, a representative from SunRun, Inc. within the first year of going solar.  However, he assured me the first year would be the worse and that I would start to see savings as the year progressed.  I told them (Sunrun) I felt swindled and that going solar was not benefiting me financially.  I gave them the above facts and figures.  Numbers don't lie.  The only one benefiting was Sunrun! I asked them to please disconnect the solar panels and to please take their solar equipment back. I no longer wanted nor desired to be connected to SunRun, Inc.  It just did not make financial sense to me.  Adamantly, Dale Mueller assured me that the first year is always the worse and the following year I should see substantial savings.  He said that Sunrun was keeping me from going into the higher, more expensive tiers that PGE charged.  I did not understand this concept totally, and against my better judgment, I continued to do business with Sunrun.  To his credit, Terrence Dale Mueller DID give a credit on my SunRun, Inc. bill of about $400.00.  I should have listened to the nagging doubt in the back of my mind to still cut ties with Sunrun.  Looking back, I feel he did this to keep me on for another year, and the guilt trip worked.

 Nonetheless, I had a representative from PGE come to my house to make sure the PGE equipment was working properly.  This was done around January 3-6, 2012. This was a free service provided by PGE.  He found nothing wrong with the PGE equipment, but mentioned that the problem HAS to be with the new water heater.  He strongly hinted that maybe the hot water heater was defective and perhaps was 'stuck' and that it kept reheating itself, increasing my energy costs.  This revelation made sense to me, so I had a hot water heater repairman come to my home to check out my hot water heater at a cost of $75.00 for the service call.  He found nothing wrong with the hot water heater and explained that the hot water heater had two safety valves.  He further explained that it would be impossible for the hot water heater to become 'stuck' due to not one, but the two safety valves.  Additionally, the hot water heater was less than one year old.  Ridiculous assumption, he said, made by the PGE repairman.

As the second year progressed, I aggressively became more and more frugal, for I did not want to be hit again with a huge 'true-up bill' from PGE.  I did not use my clothes dryer, electric heaters that were purchased just a year ago, air conditioner, running around and turning off all the lights, not even using a night light!  (Didn't the salesman assure me that I would never have to be frugal again)?  What a crock!  Even with all the frugal efforts made by me, my PGE true-up bill for the second year is over $600.00. This is in addition to the $157.65 paid to Sunrun monthly and the $12.65 paid monthly to the PGE for taxes, distribution, transmission, etc.

The reason this last years' bill of $600.00 is lower than the previous years of $935.75 is because I had a timer put on the hot water heater.  My heater only heats up for 30-60 minutes per day.  This, is what I believe, accounts for the lower 'true-up' bill from PGE.

Despite the lower 'true-up bill' from PGE, I again contacted SunRun and spoke to a Gaiwin as to the possible reason WHY I had another huge 'true-up' bill from PGE?  He kept saying that I am using more energy.  How can this possible be when I had aggressively become MORE frugal (despite what the SunRun salesman told me)?

Still, I requested that a technician from SunRun to come out to check out the solar equipment to make sure it was not defective.  I could not understand how I could possible use MORE energy!  Did SunRun have inferior panels installed?  Something just had to be wrong, I reasoned.  The technician did indeed show up on 11/8/2012.  He found nothing amiss with the solar panels.  Go figure!  He was working for SunRun.

This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I could not possibly see this partnership with Sunrun as getting any better.  I am not saving ONE PENNY!  So with this in mind...

On 11/29/2012 I informed SunRun (Gaiwin) that I would cut ties with them.  Of course they (Gaiwin) tried to talk me out of my decision.  After all, they are not losing money, only gaining money from me.  So on 11/30/2012 I had my bank put a stop payment to SunRun.  I contacted PGE on the same day and told them the same information.  They instructed me how to turn off the solar power on my house.  They further asked me to write a letter to them informing them (Mike Handel) of my decision.  I did as I was instructed.

In conclusion, going solar with SunRun has not given me any semblance of savings; despite the claims of SunRun.  The 'true-up bills from PGE would have continued, and I will assuredly lose more  money.  I feel I was purposely lied to and deceived by the SunRun salesman (obviously promising to me anything to make a sale).  Where is the integrity of SunRun?  Solar energy works for some families; just not for me.  It saddens me that I could not save money with SunRun...EVER!  I have tried everything in my power to lower my energy costs, cutting my usage to the bare bone!  With this in mind, I have repeatedly asked  SunRun to please come get possession of their solar equipment (numerous times) and I would like to be relieved of my contract with them.  I am through!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/16/2012 05:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/sunrun-solar-company/san-francisco-california-94105/sunrun-solar-company-sunrun-inc-sunrun-inc-screwed-me-san-francisco-california-982998. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

True Up Bill Solution

AUTHOR: Solar/Electrical Contractor SD, Ca. - (USA)

Hello, I'm a small solar/electrical contractor out of San Diego California. My partner and I worked many years for corporate solar companies and know their evil agendas. Many times we witness good people suffer the consequences of PPA/Leasing agreements. It starts with a saleman (will tell you anything for a commission check$$). Then the company will design your solar system to only cover 80%, or less, of your electric bill. Why? Beacause the payments look better on paper!! Also, most companies save time designing solar systems using ''Satellite Imagery". This causes a lot of problems because of obstruction on the property including roof vents, chimney shading, skylight, and tree shading. One partially shaded panel can reduce your production immensely. This is another factor that contributes to a end of the year "True Up Bill" or "Overage Bill" because your system is not producing due to shading. I'm not saying PPA/Leasing agreements are a bad decision, they work if your system is designed to cover 100% of your electric bill. Find a local solar company not a ''Corporate" company to design your system. Local companies are usally made up of field installers that know the industry. The real solution to NOT end up with a True Up Bill is a "Purchase Agreement". Most states offer a 30% federal tax credit which banks will use as a down payment for your system. If your system is designed correctly and it covers 100% of your usage, the system will pay off your loan or investment in under six years while reducing your electric bill. Solar really works just not in the hands of greedy corporations...  

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#2 Consumer Comment

I'm curious...

AUTHOR: Ken - ()

 How did it work out for you when you "cancelled" your contract with Sun Run?

You do know they paid the money up front for the system and you agreed to pay it back over 20 years.

I'm hoping you've found the system will actually pay off.  

We've had our system since Sept. 2010 and it is starting to pay off.  It's an 8kw system and works very well. We use a lot of power, in part due to 24/7 operation of medical equipment. In off summer months we use about 28kwh/day and summer 42 kwh/day.  We have a new VERY efficient A/C and furnace.  We also use a gas water heater which is far cheaper to run.

What size is your system?  Do you check your meters on a regular basis to see what you're producing?  Ask Sun Run for help in interpreting this.

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#3 Consumer Comment

I should mention that I sent the link to this Ripoff Report to...


SunRun.  I would like to hear their side of this.
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#4 Consumer Comment

First, you will ALWAYS have some sort of bill from PG&E..


They provide your power on cloudy days and during the night when your solar is NOT producing electricity. Because they maintain the lines and meter to your house and also purchase power reserves you will ALWAYS receive a bill from them.

As power rates go up and they definitely will, you'll start to see a payoff.

You should have a chart that came with your installation that predicts how much power your solar will generate each month.

It doesn't matter what you were told or believe you were told, your written multi-page contract YOU signed governs all dealings with Sun-Run.

Sun Run's website lets you check your solar production daily.  If you don't know how to do this, ask them.

I find them to be very courteous and helpful.

My payment equivalent to Sun Run is $92/month and my power bill for all of 2012 was $225, NOT including the Sun Run payment.  I paid almost $200/month to Xcel Energy during the summer months before the solar.

I will be at the break even point soon...depending on the inevitable rate increases by the power company. We put in an 8kw system in Sept. 2010. It performs flawlessly.

You have taken a serious and contract breaking step by stopping payment to Sun Run, you will be liable for paying off the 20 year contract and if you fail to do that, you will be sent to collections and your credit pretty much in the toilet. Re think your position before the ship hits the sand.

You're NOT looking at the long term benefits of your investment.  You made the right moves, putting the solar in. Have patience and you will see it pay off.

BTW, I DON'T work for Sun Run, but find their contract reasonable and their service and customer support to be first rate.
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