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Any experiences leasing a Powerwall system?

Hello! I am looking into adding a Powerwall to my solar system, and a vendor offered the option of a 20 year lease rather than buying. I was planning on just getting a single Powerwall to back up select circuits and pay it outright, but the option of leasing is intriguing for the following reasons:

-Getting 2 Powerwalls would not be insanely expensive with a lease, and this would allow me to backup the entire home.

-Also, with 2 Powerwalls my understanding is that you can get more savings on your power bill, since you would never use power from the grid during peak time. With just one battery the savings are more limited, if any, since things like the AC would still use power from the grid.

-The Powerwall system would be under warranty during the full duration of the lease, rather than just the 10 years of a regular purchase. Meaning, if the performance of a battery falls below 70% at any time during those 20 years, it would be replaced.

The negatives are of course the cost of the entire lease vs. just buying (although I don't know if the power savings of having 2 Powerwalls would offset this in any significant way), and losing access to federal and state rebates.

I know that leasing a solar system is usually discouraged, but the battery is only supposed to last for about 10 years and a lease might effectively double its life. Yes, with the lease you end up spending about double also, but then it kind of becomes a cheap loan.

Anybody has any experience leasing a Powerwall system? Could there be any fine print that I am not factoring in yet?

Thanks!
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
17,606
23,682
Riverside Co. CA
If you do not expect to stay in that house for the next 20 years, don't do it. You may find it difficult and/or expensive to get out of, if the buyer doesn't want it...

One of the reasons people tell others not to get into a solar lease is because of how hard they can be to get out, and the fact that any buy out options are unreasonable (ask me how I know).

I also doubt VERY VERY seriously that if the battery fell below teslas 70% threshhold, it would be "replaced" since that is not under teslas warranty, its under the warranty of whatever company is issuing that.

OP also would be depending on a solar company to be actually in business for 20 years to perform on that battery warranty. No one else is going to pick up that part of it if they go out of business, even if someone else buys the company.

I am sorry I ever got into a PPA for my solar (in 2015) even though back then that was the only way I would have been able to get it. After seeing what it looks like to try to buy it out, I would tell you simply "dont do it, dont even consider it" with a lease on something for 20 years.

OP would be much better trying to get a home equity loan, or some other type of financing to do this, not doing a lease through a company who is offering something that no one else is to try to get additional business.
 
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Reactions: Vinc
That is a terrible idea for all the reasons mentioned here. Having someone else own part of your home is crazy. Losing all of the financial incentives is terrible. And I have not heard that PWs generally need to be replaced at 10 years- do they have an expiration date? 🤣 Could you imagine a company saying they would replace both your walls for say $20k in year 11- yeah, not happening...
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,676
3,192
East Bay NorCal
If your credit is good check out First Republic. They offer a low interest unsecured line of credit that amortizes as a fixed rate loan after the draw period. This means you can finance the purchase and not have a lien or issue with the debt messing with who owns fixtures on your house.

 
  • Informative
Reactions: Vinc and jjrandorin

patrick40363

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
1,285
683
Cali
Hello! I am looking into adding a Powerwall to my solar system, and a vendor offered the option of a 20 year lease rather than buying. I was planning on just getting a single Powerwall to back up select circuits and pay it outright, but the option of leasing is intriguing for the following reasons:

-Getting 2 Powerwalls would not be insanely expensive with a lease, and this would allow me to backup the entire home.

-Also, with 2 Powerwalls my understanding is that you can get more savings on your power bill, since you would never use power from the grid during peak time. With just one battery the savings are more limited, if any, since things like the AC would still use power from the grid.

-The Powerwall system would be under warranty during the full duration of the lease, rather than just the 10 years of a regular purchase. Meaning, if the performance of a battery falls below 70% at any time during those 20 years, it would be replaced.

The negatives are of course the cost of the entire lease vs. just buying (although I don't know if the power savings of having 2 Powerwalls would offset this in any significant way), and losing access to federal and state rebates.

I know that leasing a solar system is usually discouraged, but the battery is only supposed to last for about 10 years and a lease might effectively double its life. Yes, with the lease you end up spending about double also, but then it kind of becomes a cheap loan.

Anybody has any experience leasing a Powerwall system? Could there be any fine print that I am not factoring in yet?

Thanks!
What would the lease amount be? Zero down?
 

jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
7,414
5,037
Northern California
If your credit is good check out First Republic. They offer a low interest unsecured line of credit that amortizes as a fixed rate loan after the draw period. This means you can finance the purchase and not have a lien or issue with the debt messing with who owns fixtures on your house.

We love the people at First Republic. Old time personal banking where they remember your name and you can call them up and get any issue resolved right now.
 
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Reactions: Vinc
As someone who recently got solar/storage and not being a part of the rich folks that people pushing NEM3.0 talk about, we held off for years until we actually had $$ to pay for it.

As mentioned by everyone else, just save enough, take out a loan or home equity loan if you can. We did a refi with how home prices have sky rocketed and locked in an even lower rate and pulled cash out to pay for it.

Someone else here can confirm, but I think the tax credit for batteries only apply if you charge it with solar (didn't sound like you have solar yet) and are your power rates that bad? 1 battery doesn't last that long at all (depends on usage of course).

Also, installers might not want to do a battery only install and there are long wait times for solar installs/Powerwalls already so even if you wanted to pay for it, a lot of installers might not want to bother with your job. Installing 1 powerwall is not that much cheaper than installing multiple due to the minimal/basic equipment/time/permits needed.

Also, another thing to think about is doing a single install means you might have a tough time getting someone else to come in after the fact to install more stuff. It's pretty clear from posts here that no other installer wants to touch anyone else's work so think carefully before making any move since you might complicate your situation if you want to add to it or change it.
 
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