SunPower vs. Tesla: Which Solar Company Should You Choose in 2024?

SunPower and Tesla are both powerhouses in the solar industry, but which is the better choice? Learn the ins and outs of the two companies with our comparison.

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Solar power has been growing in popularity over the past couple of decades, with more and more homeowners choosing to install solar panels on their homes and produce their own electricity rather than relying on a utility company. Thanks to that popularity, there are numerous choices for customers looking for a solar energy company to install panels on their home. Two of the best solar companies in the industry are SunPower and the Tesla solar company, but how do homeowners choose between the two?

This comparison looks at the pros and cons of SunPower vs. Tesla so homeowners can make an informed decision of which company to choose for their solar installation.

How We Compared SunPower vs. Tesla

  • Service area: It’s essential for homeowners to ensure that the solar company they’re considering offers service in their area. While some companies serve all 50 states, others have a relatively limited service area. 
  • Panel efficiency and performance: Solar panel efficiency and performance are vital considerations for customers who want to install solar panels on their home. Low-efficiency panels will produce less energy, and customers will need to rely more heavily on the utility company for their electricity. Choosing high-efficiency panels gives homeowners more freedom.
  • Additional products and services: Solar panels are just the beginning when it comes to the range of products and services solar panel companies offer. When shopping for a solar system, customers will also want to see what other products and services are available from their short list of companies.
  • Cost and financing options: Installing solar panels can be a pricey project, though many homeowners find the cost worth it. In addition to cost, customers will want to compare financing options with each solar company they’re considering to find the best one to suit their needs and budget.
  • Warranties: Solar panels are an expensive addition to a home, and if they break, homeowners want to know they are covered. Shoppers will want to compare solar company warranties to determine the best coverage. Warranties can cover the panels, the installation, and even the long-term power production.
  • Customer reviews: Reading the experiences of existing customers can help homeowners get a better understanding of how a solar company does when it comes to customer service. Homeowners may want to take online customer reviews with a grain of salt since unhappy customers are much more likely to leave reviews than happy customers.
Service Area50 states and Washington, D.C. 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Panel EfficiencyUp to 22.8 percentNot specified
Additional Products and ServicesSolar batteries, electric vehicle chargers, system monitoringSolar roof, solar batteries, electric vehicle chargers, system monitoring
Financing OptionsBuy, loan, lease, power purchase agreement (depending on the state)Buy, loan
Warranties25-year performance, product, and labor warranty25-year performance guarantee; 10-year comprehensive warranty
Better Business Bureau RatingA+A+

Service Area

A solar company’s service area is one of the most important considerations for homeowners who want to install solar panels on their home. After all, there’s no point in wasting time researching a company that doesn’t operate in their area.

Luckily, SunPower and Tesla both have wide service areas, offering solar panel installation services in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Customers will want to note that installation services may not be available in all areas, so they’ll need to double-check that there is an installer located near where they live. However, compared to other solar panel installation companies with more limited service areas, SunPower and Tesla are likely to be a realistic option for most homeowners.

Verdict: Both SunPower and Tesla offer solar panel installation in all 50 states, so customers are likely to be able to opt for either company for their solar needs, no matter their geographic location.

Winner: Tie

Panel Efficiency and Performance

Solar panel efficiency is an important factor when homeowners are determining whether solar panels are worth it. When choosing solar panel brands and installation companies, homeowners will want to note the efficiency ratings and performance of the solar panels installed by each company. The higher the panels’ efficiency, the more power they can produce. That means the number of solar panels to power a house may be lower for higher-efficiency panels, lowering the overall cost of installation.

SunPower solar panels have the distinction of being the most efficient in the industry, with an up to 22.8 percent efficiency rating. Although Tesla solar panel efficiency isn’t advertised on the Tesla website, it does say that its panels deliver “maximum solar production year-round,” which can be reassuring to those considering Tesla solar panels.

Verdict: Tesla doesn’t advertise the efficiency of its solar panels, but claims they are “highly efficient” and deliver “maximum solar production year-round.” SunPower makes the same claims, but backs it up with numbers—SunPower Maxeon panels offer up to 22.8 percent efficiency, which is the highest in the industry.

Winner: SunPower

An aerial view of solar panels on a house.
Photo: Bilanol

Additional Products and Services

The two solar companies share a similar set of core products: solar panels, batteries, system monitoring, and electric vehicle charging. SunPower solar modules may be the most efficient in the industry, but Tesla takes it a step further by offering solar roof tiles as an alternative to traditional solar panels. The Tesla Solar Roof is constructed from glass solar tiles and steel roofing tiles. The glass tiles soak up the sun’s energy to produce power that’s then stored in a Tesla Powerwall battery, while the steel tiles create a durable surface that can withstand even the harshest weather conditions. Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles have a Class A fire rating, a Class 4 hail rating, and a Class F wind rating, all of which are considered the highest ratings available. A Tesla Solar Roof costs more than solar panels, but homeowners concerned with their home’s aesthetics may think the cost is worth it.

Of course, Tesla is also known for its range of electric vehicles. Homeowners who also have a Tesla EV can monitor their vehicle in the Tesla app alongside their solar panels or tiles, their Powerwall, and their home’s energy consumption. This is an added convenience that may sway those who own (or who want to own) a Tesla vehicle to go with Tesla solar panels vs. others.

Verdict: While Tesla and SunPower offer many of the same products and services—including solar system monitoring, solar batteries, and electric vehicle chargers—Tesla customers have the option of installing sleek solar roof tiles to better blend in with their home’s construction.

Winner: Tesla

Cost and Financing Options

To determine the exact cost of solar panels, customers will need to get a quote from SunPower or Tesla since neither company advertises prices on their websites. However, Tesla does offer a price-match guarantee that suggests competitive pricing. To take advantage of the guarantee, customers must present Tesla with a comparable quote for a system of a similar size with an included inverter and minimum 10-year warranty. Taking advantage of this guarantee can lower customers’ Tesla solar panels cost for installation compared with SunPower solar panels cost.

When it comes to financing options, SunPower comes out on top. Both Tesla and SunPower give customers the option to purchase their solar panel system outright or finance the system through the company directly or using one of the best solar panel loans. But only SunPower has leasing and power purchase agreement options. Customers who are interested in either of these options will need to cross Tesla off their list, but SunPower’s additional options cater to more customers with differing budgets and financial situations. Those who aren’t sure which option is best for them will want to familiarize themselves with the pros and cons of leasing vs. financing solar panels.

Verdict: Neither company advertises its prices, though Tesla does offer a price-match guarantee to assure customers they’re getting a good price. And while Tesla only offers two options to pay for panels—buying them outright or using a solar loan—SunPower also has leasing and power purchase agreement options, which can cater to a wider range of customers.

Winner: SunPower


Most solar companies offer warranties on their solar panels and components, as well as on workmanship and power production. Both SunPower and Tesla have 25-year power-production warranties, which means the companies guarantee that their panels will still function at a certain level 25 years after installation. However, SunPower’s warranty promises that its solar panels will achieve 92 percent of initial energy production within that time frame, whereas Tesla’s guarantee is lower at 80 percent.

Additionally, SunPower’s 25-year warranty applies to solar panels and related products, as well as workmanship. In contrast, Tesla offers a 10-year warranty on batteries, solar inverters, and roof mounting, so customers may feel more confident going with SunPower’s lengthier warranty.

Verdict: SunPower and Tesla both offer 25-year warranties on power production; however, while Tesla guarantees its panels will achieve 80 percent of initial energy production in that time, SunPower guarantees its panels at a much higher 92 percent. SunPower’s 25-year warranty also applies to products and workmanship, while Tesla only warrants batteries, solar inverters, and roof mounting for 10 years.

Winner: SunPower

A view of two workers installing solar panels on a roof.
Photo: Jeremy Poland

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews can tell a homeowner a lot about the actual customer experience. Company websites focus on the positives since their aim is to sell the product to the customer. But review sites allow existing customers to share their personal experiences working with the companies in question. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that unhappy customers are more likely to leave reviews than happy customers, so online reviews tend to skew negative in many cases.

Tesla’s reviews on Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs are middling, with happy customers praising the company’s all-inclusive app that lets them keep track of their solar panels and EVs in one place and the company’s professional installation. On the negative side, customers mention technical difficulties and inconsistent customer service experiences. SunPower’s reviews on Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs are overall more positive, with reviewers mentioning the ease of working with the company’s representatives and their positive experiences getting issues fixed in a timely manner. Overall, SunPower’s customer reviews suggest a better experience for homeowners looking to install solar panels.

Verdict: Customer reviews for SunPower and Tesla are varied across platforms, including Trustpilot, Consumer Affairs, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). SunPower’s reviews lean more positive across platforms, suggesting a first-rate customer experience.

Winner: SunPower

Our Verdict

With its industry-topping high-efficiency solar panels and comprehensive warranty, SunPower is an outstanding choice for homeowners who want to go solar. Those who prefer the high-end look of solar tiles over panels may prefer to go with Tesla for their solar installation.

Though the advantages of solar energy are clear, solar panels are a major investment, so homeowners need to feel confident in the solar company they choose for their installation. Though SunPower and Tesla are two of the best solar technology companies, SunPower comes out slightly on top thanks to its offerings, including the highest-efficiency solar panels in the industry and a comprehensive 25-year warranty. 

Homeowners who prefer the aesthetics of solar tiles over solar panels will want to consider Tesla. The company’s Solar Roof product combines glass solar tiles with steel roofing tiles to create a durable surface that can withstand extreme weather as well as producing solar energy.

Regardless of which company a homeowner chooses, they can rest assured that both SunPower and Tesla have a proven record of successful solar panel installation and an array of satisfied customers. Those who are still on the fence may want to consider Sunrun vs. Tesla or Sunrun vs. SunPower as an alternative option.

Catherine Hiles Avatar

Catherine Hiles

Senior Editor

Catherine Hiles is a senior editor for the Performance team at She brings a decade of experience writing, editing, and publishing in a variety of different industries, from home and automotive to finance and travel.