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Another Solar Panel Price Change? (July 15, 2020)

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
4,076
23,785
Maryland
In Maryland I'm seeing before incentives:

Small (4.08 kW): $8,200 (previous $10,000) - $1,800
Medium (8.16 kW): $16,400 (previous $16,000) +$400
Large (12.24 kW): $24,600 (previous $23,500) +$1,100
Extra Large (16.32 kW): $32,800 (previous $30,000) +$2,800

Significant percent drop for Small systems. Slight increases for larger systems. I hope I get to keep $23,500 for my Large system order. I already got approved for my loan!
 

jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
7,414
5,037
Northern California
In Maryland I'm seeing before incentives:

Small (4.08 kW): $8,200 (previous $10,000) - $1,800
Medium (8.16 kW): $16,400 (previous $16,000) +$400
Large (12.24 kW): $24,600 (previous $23,500) +$1,100
Extra Large (16.32 kW): $32,800 (previous $30,000) +$2,800

Significant percent drop for Small systems. Slight increases for larger systems. I hope I get to keep $23,500 for my Large system order. I already got approved for my loan!

Assuming you are already under contract I cannot see them changing the price. But it never hurts to check.
 
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willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
4,076
23,785
Maryland
I see the change logging in from Los Angeles, I did order under the old prices though so we will see what happens.

Rereading my purchase agreement, it says they can only adjust the price for unforeseen circumstances. I'm not sure if this across-the-board price change would qualify as unforeseen, but in the event of a price change we'll be notified and given the opportunity to cancel.

Still, this is an amazing development for folks who wanted a small system. Just about $2.01/watt.

Actually, doing the math all of the systems are now $2.01/watt.
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
4,076
23,785
Maryland
Agreed; I'd love to know what their margins are. My suspicion is that they're operating at cost or possibly below cost to recover market share.

I got my Large system bill itemized before the price increase, and here was the breakdown:
  • 12.24 kW DC Solar Panels $6,580
  • Inverter(s) & Balance of System $3,290
  • Mounting Hardware $1,175
  • Installation, Permitting, and Other Fees $12,455
So my guess is that Tesla's negotiated some bulk discounts for the hardware, and cut as much human labor out of the sales/acquisition side of the equation as possible.
 
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Assuming you are already under contract I cannot see them changing the price. But it never hurts to check.

Actually just got off Tesla chat. I screen capped my conversation. The rep put in a rebate for me for the price difference. She advised not to mess with the order since permits were already pulled and install date was set. She said I should expect about $2,100 back after install. Sweet! It's slightly higher than the price difference because I had ordered 2 extra panels to fill out my south roof.

And this after my Tesla MY advisor told me he put in a rebate request for my model Y. I took delivery less than 24 hours before they dropped the price by $3k.
 

Mardak

Active Member
Oct 13, 2018
1,916
4,271
USA
The design and permitting costs are pretty much fixed regardless of system size, so the $/W should be lower for the larger systems.
Yeah, when we were shopping around based on last September's price of $10,017 for 3780W with exact multiples for larger sizes, other installers were saying Tesla must be subsidizing the Small installation because it makes sense for larger installations to be more cost efficient.

We chose to go with the Small $10,017 last year, but these recent price changes kinda makes me want to add more panels although people seem to say it's more complicated to add to an existing installation…
 
I had the same experience today. Decided to upgrade my order and add a 2nd powerwall. I would have missed the price increase if it wasn't for me keeping good notes with screenshots. I immediately called out the price change and the had to get a supervisor to edit and honor my original quote. All is back to pre-July 15th pricing.

Has anyone noticed that the tax (at least for Texas) is only applied to the PW and nothing else? Found that interested. Not complaining why they didn't tax all the other hardware including panels, but interesting observation.
 
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Just sent an email to my advisor... fingers crossed I can get the reduced pricing for my small system.

$8,200 seems insanely cheap. I had other installers quoting close to double this just months ago. Man I hope I can get this new pricing! :eek:

Was able to call in and get the price changed. Approved the new price on the portal, done! Cannot believe the small system price. What a deal!
 
I’m in an interesting situation. I know the price went into effect last week and I did not notice and paid my $10k on Friday 7/17 for the small system. Had my panels installed about a couple weeks ago but not everything is through with my utility company so the solar system isn’t fully deployed yet. Called in for the price change but feel I’ve lost all leverage since I made the payment already (dumb me for not noticing the price had already changed online). They put in a request to the contracting department but I won’t hear back for a few days I’m told. What are my chances for a rebate on the price difference here?
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
4,076
23,785
Maryland
I’m in an interesting situation. I know the price went into effect last week and I did not notice and paid my $10k on Friday 7/17 for the small system. Had my panels installed about a couple weeks ago but not everything is through with my utility company so the solar system isn’t fully deployed yet. Called in for the price change but feel I’ve lost all leverage since I made the payment already (dumb me for not noticing the price had already changed online). They put in a request to the contracting department but I won’t hear back for a few days I’m told. What are my chances for a rebate on the price difference here?

If it works like their vehicles, I think you have a pretty good chance. You're still within the return period.

The order page states "If you’re unhappy with your order for any reason, we will uninstall the system for a full refund within 7 days of power on"
 
If it works like their vehicles, I think you have a pretty good chance. You're still within the return period.

The order page states "If you’re unhappy with your order for any reason, we will uninstall the system for a full refund within 7 days of power on"
Wow how did I not realize that! Thanks for this—I guess I had signed myself up blindly.
 

TheTalkingMule

Distributed Energy Enthusiast
Oct 20, 2012
10,178
52,046
Philadelphia, PA
I found the prior pricing to be more logical. The design and permitting costs are pretty much fixed regardless of system size, so the $/W should be lower for the larger systems.
They seems to be pivoting on price quite a bit, but always for the better IMO. This most recent change simplifies the menu and assigns a very large amount of value to word-of-mouth.

Tesla figured out a while back that one-to-one sales is the major obstacle to scaling residential solar, so they eliminated it. Through the first few iterations of set online-only pricing they fiddled with creating incentive for sizing larger, or overcoming lack of state incentives, etc. Now they're realizing it's just about getting systems installed. Installing a 4kW system at a loss has just as much word-of-mouth value as installing a 16kW at a major profit. They're realizing how important a foothold is to their organic growth business model. That's a good sign.

It all seems counter-intuitive until you think about what used to go on. Previously sales cost on that small array was something like 30-40% of the final pricetag. At least now they're not paying that huge sales commission or lead cost.

Tesla has levers to ratchet down non-labor soft costs organically, literally no one else does. That's their moat. Better service and they'll dominate and scale at a rate no one will believe.
 
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