A worker walks past rows of solar panels (Photographer: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Bloomberg)

Sunrun Overtakes Tesla’s SolarCity as Top Home Lease Provider

(Bloomberg) -- Sunrun Inc. became the top residential solar leasing provider in the third quarter as rivals including Tesla Inc.’s SolarCity shifted their focus to cash sales.

Sunrun installed 80 megawatts through residential leases and other financing arrangements in the quarter, while SolarCity topped out at 59 megawatts, according to a report Wednesday from GTM Research.

SolarCity, which Tesla bought a year ago, held the largest share of the U.S. solar-leasing market in the first half with 31 percent, compared with Sunrun’s 27 percent. Vivint Solar Inc. was No. 3 with 15 percent, followed by closely held Sunnova Energy Corp. and SunPower Corp.

For the second half of the year, GTM expects Sunrun to claim the top spot. The shift comes as SolarCity has changed its focus to cash sales over financing deals, a move that’s aimed at boosting revenue but is also driving up customer acquisition costs, GTM said. Sunrun continues to focus on leasing and hasn’t had the same issues, which is helping it expand sales.

“As nearly every other large national installation company has struggled to grow this year, Sunrun is a standout as its growth has outpaced the market,” Allison Mond, a GTM analyst, said in the report. “Unlike its largest competitors, Sunrun has seen customer acquisition costs come down in recent quarters.”

Sunrun Overtakes Tesla’s SolarCity as Top Home Lease Provider

But as nearly every other large national installation company has struggled to grow this year, Sunrun is a standout as its growth has outpaced the market.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.