Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #27 is available now with topics time-stamped. We discussed: Consolidation in LiDAR manufacturers; Volvo EX90 shipping with LiDAR; FSD Beta Full Release in N.A.; FSD detecting autopilot cheats, Gwen Shotwell directly overseeing SpaceX Starship; and more. You can watch it now on YouTube. We should have it published to podcast networks shortly.

Buying a house - school me on Tesla solar and Powerwall, TOU, SDGE, best inverters, etc.

What's up everyone. Am I okay going with Tesla for solar and PowerWall and what pitfalls, equipment, and installation issues should I know about?

I'm closing on a house in 10 days and I'm starting from zero on the original electrical panel and a roof that I'm replacing on the seller's dime. I put a downpayment on a 7.2kw Tesla solar panel/powerwall combo, but maybe I could do better. I live in San Diego so SDGE loves to empty my pockets and anything I can do to pay them less I'm all for.

If I go Tesla for solar and powerwall am I missing out on cool inverters or tech that would let me do things like leaving my Tesla plugged in but the house only charging when I have excess solar? Their prices are crazy low compared to a couple bids I got. I really like set it and forget it tech where I'm home and my car charges when the sun is out and I don't need the extra juice or if it's super smart and knows how to arbitrage the power company.

Thanks for any help you can give!
 
I don't think Tesla does microinverters anymore so you can't pick the tech you want if you cared to. What price/W are you getting now? There are both good/bad comments on Tesla service and good/bad timing with PTO. Seems pretty random based on location.

If you have a cookie cutter install, Tesla will probably save you $$. Tesla doesn't seem to have SGIP rebates anymore so that could be worth a few thousand if you were lucky/unlucky enough to qualify. I'm still waiting. CSE has very little funds left and the process is very long/painful/stressful.

I think Tesla uses their own inverters now, but I've read enough posts about SolarEdge inverters dying that I personally would never go that route. The $$ in savings that people talk about were non-existent when I price shopped and having DC closer seems worst in terms of safety.

If you charge/drive a lot, EV-5 is probably worth it, but I didn't since I don't charge the EV much actually. You're forced on TOU with solar.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjrandorin

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
16,689
21,995
Riverside Co. CA
I don't think Tesla does microinverters anymore so you can't pick the tech you want if you cared to. What price/W are you getting now? There are both good/bad comments on Tesla service and good/bad timing with PTO. Seems pretty random based on location.

If you have a cookie cutter install, Tesla will probably save you $$. Tesla doesn't seem to have SGIP rebates anymore so that could be worth a few thousand if you were lucky/unlucky enough to qualify. I'm still waiting. CSE has very little funds left and the process is very long/painful/stressful.

I think Tesla uses their own inverters now, but I've read enough posts about SolarEdge inverters dying that I personally would never go that route. The $$ in savings that people talk about were non-existent when I price shopped and having DC closer seems worst in terms of safety.

If you charge/drive a lot, EV-5 is probably worth it, but I didn't since I don't charge the EV much actually. You're forced on TOU with solar.

Tesla doesnt do micro inverters, and they use their own branded inverter, thats correct. There also is no choice of panels brands etc, like you might get with a smaller solar company. Tesla attempts to drive down cost a few ways, and one of those is "standardization" (also known as lack of choices).

OP there is sort of a lot to address there in your post, but in a general sense, Tesla tends to be the cheapest on a cost per watt basis, but also has the least amount of choice in product(s). There also is no "charge your car with excess solar" setup directly from tesla, at least not that I am aware of currently.

If a hands off approach to the install, and "low touch" from a customer service perspective, and a low price works for you, Tesla can be a good option. If you are a person who likes to choose your tech, or research "the best", etc. or think you will have a lot of questions, then you should consider going with another company (and being prepared for paying the increase in cost).

Speaking in general terms, for some reason, many people think they can get "tesla's price, but with high customer service" from either Tesla, or some other company, and it doesnt work that way.

With that being said, just like other construction projects (which these are) simply "paying more" doesnt necessarily get you a better product or service. Once any solar install is working, it sort of "just works", but I would encourage you to really examine how much solar you are looking at getting, and consider getting more than the number you mentioned, especially if you expect to charge your car with it.

Teslas app has time of use settings etc to help with the "arbitage the power company" statement, and has some more flexibility than it used to in that regard, but it also does not have "just used excess solar to charge my house set and forget" setup (at least not unless you are in a power outage situation) currently.

You are going to want to charge during off peak time for the most part, because you will be forced on a time of use program from the utility.

Anyway, good luck on your decision and congratulations on your home purchase.
 
I'm happy we went with Sunrun. Yes, it cost us more, but the tax credit was nice. We put a chunk of it onto the loan. We had a panel go bad, (surprised it did), and Sunrun came out and replaced it. Because we have microinverters it didn't affect the rest of the system and they were able to isolate it immediately.
 
While Tesla doesn't support charging an EV from solar themselves, there is a third party app called Charge HQ that does it. Discussion here: Possible to charge Tesla (car) with excess solar generation?

The drawback with third parties is that there's no guarantee how long they'll be around and they may choose to charge for the feature in the future. It works pretty well with a Tesla car using the Tesla Powerwall's energy measurements.
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top