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Considering Solar System from Tesla

Allistah

Member
Jul 6, 2019
214
165
Central Valley, CA
Hey all —

We had a 8kW system on a previous house that had Enphase micro inverters. Tesla spec’d out a 8.19kW system that uses a Delta inverter.

Inverter: Delta Solivia 7.6 TL
Panels: 26 Panels of Q.Peak Duo BLK-G5/SC 310-320

Does anyone have any experience that they would like to share with us before we pull the trigger on this? Is there anything that we should know before we jump in? We are not doing the power wall - out power just doesn’t go out much at all so having the power wall doesn’t appear to make any sense for us.

Has anyone financed one of these system through one of the companies that Tesla uses for financing?

Thanks for any info anyone might have!
 
Dec 2, 2017
358
339
Arizona
Hey all —

We had a 8kW system on a previous house that had Enphase micro inverters. Tesla spec’d out a 8.19kW system that uses a Delta inverter.

Inverter: Delta Solivia 7.6 TL
Panels: 26 Panels of Q.Peak Duo BLK-G5/SC 310-320

Does anyone have any experience that they would like to share with us before we pull the trigger on this? Is there anything that we should know before we jump in? We are not doing the power wall - out power just doesn’t go out much at all so having the power wall doesn’t appear to make any sense for us.

Has anyone financed one of these system through one of the companies that Tesla uses for financing?

Thanks for any info anyone might have!
I’m planning to get an 8kW Tesla system with 2 Powerwalls. We don’t have many outages either but in our area selling energy back to the utility is almost worthless, but reducing on-peak demand can be very worthwhile. So the Powerwalls should end up helping quite a bit in our case. Our utility also offers a $3600 rebate for a battery system, not to mention the 30% federal rebate that comes with solar.
 

Allistah

Member
Jul 6, 2019
214
165
Central Valley, CA
What power company do you use? We have Modesto Irrigation District. For my power costs, here are the rates:

Winter (Oct-Apr):
First 500 kWh: $0.1201 per kWh
Over 500 kWh: $0.1498 per kWh

Summer (May-Sept):
First 500 kWh: $0.1449 per kWh
Over 500 kWh: $0.1808 per kWh

I’m thankful that I don’t have any peak usage times or anything, what I posted above is all the rates my bills are based on.

I’m still contemplating whether to get the Tesla power walls or not.. I’m not seeing the value given our bill schedule but there may be something else I was missing.

For years I was on PG&E.. thankful we moved out of their area about a year and a half ago.
 

Odiemac

Member
Apr 19, 2016
110
190
Hayward
Are they cost competitive with other vendors in your area? Because without Powerwalls, the panels and inverter you mention is pretty ordinary. And their customer service isn’t exactly stellar in my experience.

They might have more premium panel and inverter options (like the aforementioned Enphase or SolarEdge, along with Panasonic panels). The temperature coefficient of those Q Cell’s looks just OK (-0.37% per degree F versus -0.25% for Panasonic). That might end up mattering somewhere hot like Modesto.

I really love the Powerwalls, am fine with their 325W Panasonic SC325 panels, and tolerate the Delta string inverters. But if I didn’t go Powerwall I might use a different solar company.
 
Dec 2, 2017
358
339
Arizona
What power company do you use?
I'm with SRP in AZ. In my case it's selling back to the utility that is poor. I would get anywhere from 3.6 (off-peak summer) to 6.2 (on-peak summer) cents per kWh. And that's on a plan that makes the most money selling electricity. Another plan pays only 2.81 cents. So I'm probably not going to retire on selling electricity here and think I'm better off just reducing cost by getting on a plan that favors low peak demand.
 
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Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,619
8,793
Palmdale, CA
Hey all —

We had a 8kW system on a previous house that had Enphase micro inverters. Tesla spec’d out a 8.19kW system that uses a Delta inverter.

Inverter: Delta Solivia 7.6 TL
Panels: 26 Panels of Q.Peak Duo BLK-G5/SC 310-320

Does anyone have any experience that they would like to share with us before we pull the trigger on this? Is there anything that we should know before we jump in? We are not doing the power wall - out power just doesn’t go out much at all so having the power wall doesn’t appear to make any sense for us.

Has anyone financed one of these system through one of the companies that Tesla uses for financing?

Thanks for any info anyone might have!


And their customer service isn’t exactly stellar in my experience.

This. Communication during install was terrible for me, to the point of them showing up and putting the wrong panels on my roof. They did fix their mistakes, but it was one after another after another and it got old.

Then, after the sale, getting customer support has been terrible. You have hour long hold times on the phone only to have to fight your way past the first line customer service reps to actually have your problem evaluated. For example, a bank of my panels were hooked up wrong on day one. I could see the reduced output in my data. It took me over 4 months to convince Tesla to send my case to 2nd tier support, at which point they realized I had a problem immediately and got someone out to fix it. But I lost 6 panels worth of production during the height of summer due to the B.S.

I would not install another Tesla Energy system again.
 

digitalFan

Member
Oct 22, 2018
56
52
California
Hey all —

We had a 8kW system on a previous house that had Enphase micro inverters. Tesla spec’d out a 8.19kW system that uses a Delta inverter.

Inverter: Delta Solivia 7.6 TL
Panels: 26 Panels of Q.Peak Duo BLK-G5/SC 310-320

Does anyone have any experience that they would like to share with us before we pull the trigger on this? Is there anything that we should know before we jump in? We are not doing the power wall - out power just doesn’t go out much at all so having the power wall doesn’t appear to make any sense for us.

Has anyone financed one of these system through one of the companies that Tesla uses for financing?

Thanks for any info anyone might have!

My system was recently installed and similar to yours except that my inverter is SolarEdge. SolarEdge inverters that Tesla installs has higher efficiency and better market reputation. Install the inverter inside your garage if you can. That way it will probably last longer.

Make sure that Tesla installs both side and bottom skirts around your Q.Peak panels. They look nice that way. If you don't ask then they will just install bottom skirts.

Also make sure Tesla installs powerblaster inside your panel. Without powerblaster, you will not be able to monitor your consumption.

I paid cash because I am a telecommuter and my employer will pay 33% of the cost. Then after 30% tax benefit, I will be paying only little over $8K.
 

TheTalkingMule

Distributed Energy Enthusiast
Oct 20, 2012
6,783
24,271
Philadelphia, PA
This. Communication during install was terrible for me, to the point of them showing up and putting the wrong panels on my roof. They did fix their mistakes, but it was one after another after another and it got old.

Then, after the sale, getting customer support has been terrible. You have hour long hold times on the phone only to have to fight your way past the first line customer service reps to actually have your problem evaluated.
This is what happens when sales runs your entire back office. Pretty much everyone in "customer service" is incentivized to simply get the contract signed. Whatever comes after that is your problem homeboy.

This was the old SolarCity model. Elon may have fired most of the door-to-door salespeople, but the structure remains the same as far as I can tell. They have gone to online sales, which is a phenomenal first step, but clearly there's a company-wide need for service overhaul.

It's such a huge glaring hole in Tesla's offering that they must be aware of it and actioning as a top priority. One would hope.
 
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digitalFan

Member
Oct 22, 2018
56
52
California
This. Communication during install was terrible for me, to the point of them showing up and putting the wrong panels on my roof. They did fix their mistakes, but it was one after another after another and it got old.

Then, after the sale, getting customer support has been terrible. You have hour long hold times on the phone only to have to fight your way past the first line customer service reps to actually have your problem evaluated. For example, a bank of my panels were hooked up wrong on day one. I could see the reduced output in my data. It took me over 4 months to convince Tesla to send my case to 2nd tier support, at which point they realized I had a problem immediately and got someone out to fix it. But I lost 6 panels worth of production during the height of summer due to the B.S.

I would not install another Tesla Energy system again.

My experience has been very different. My system was installed exactly a month after I submitted the signed contract online and then the system was turned on about two week later after receiving all the clearances from my city and PG&E. All my communications with Tesla has been very positive. I never had a long wait time during my 10~15 calls with Tesla.
 

dandrewk

Supporting Member
Jun 25, 2019
1,221
857
Marin County, CA
My experience has been very different. My system was installed exactly a month after I submitted the signed contract online and then the system was turned on about two week later after receiving all the clearances from my city and PG&E. All my communications with Tesla has been very positive. I never had a long wait time during my 10~15 calls with Tesla.

Same here, for a PW install and (a month later) a 4kW system. Communications, lead times etc. were never an issue. Perhaps it really depends on location (I live in SF Bay Area).

Or it could be that TE is in a state of transition. There are signs of hope with the new 24 hour goal between contract signing and installation. I even got a taste of the "new way". It took about three weeks to get our local bldg. dept. to issue a permit. That came through on a Thursday. The panels were installed and operating by the following afternoon.

I don't believe for an instant that Tesla Energy is going away, no matter how some here try and cherry pick financials. There's more to reading those results than parsing out the most recent quarter. TE still occupies a large portion of investor guidance and discussion every quarter coming from Tesla and Musk.

Then again, there are real issues that many have reported here and elsewhere. People with complaints are FAR more likely to post than those whose experience have been great. Take any discussion of such with a grain of salt.
 
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Az_Rael

Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,619
8,793
Palmdale, CA
My experience has been very different. My system was installed exactly a month after I submitted the signed contract online and then the system was turned on about two week later after receiving all the clearances from my city and PG&E. All my communications with Tesla has been very positive. I never had a long wait time during my 10~15 calls with Tesla.

Same here, for a PW install and (a month later) a 4kW system. Communications, lead times etc. were never an issue. Perhaps it really depends on location (I live in SF Bay Area).

The long hold times for me started after my system was installed and PTO complete. Then you are in a different phone queue.

It wasn't just the hold times that were frustrating after the PTO, it was all the various first level CS reps who would just dismiss my issue. One told me they don't consider a system as malfunctioning until it is down to 50% of production. I was down a measly 25% on a brand new system so that was fine. They also have a policy that they won't look at any production issues for the first 60 days after install. Several reps mentioned that timeline, so I had to wait past that before I could start calling again. At least 1 told me I should wait 1 year before calling back. o_O

Honestly, I was one phone interaction away from hiring another solar company to service my panels. I had a list of companies I was going to get bids from ready to go, but I thought I would give Tesla one more chance to address my problem first.

Luckily the rep agreed she could escalate my issue to tech review, but only after telling me that "whatever they say is the FINAL word so if they say your panels are fine, that is IT". Those guys called a few days later and said "oh, yeah, we can see something is very wrong, can we set up a site visit?" :rolleyes:

So I guess I learned that there is a secret tech review level and I will just request that up front next time instead of calling the 1st line folks for months.
 
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woferry

Member
Mar 4, 2019
400
471
San Jose, CA
Heh. I never even called Tesla with a problem, they texted me to say they were coming out due to a performance issue they detected. Now calling back to schedule a different time I got told by the system that the queue was over an hour, in reality I waited about 25 minutes before a scheduler picked-up. For me the only real frustration was the ~14 month period of absolute silence from when I put down my deposit on the roof until they finally called to do the site survey, after that I've been very happy with everyone I've worked with at Tesla.
 

Odiemac

Member
Apr 19, 2016
110
190
Hayward
I don’t think Tesla’s potentially hit or miss customer service is a dealbreaker, especially if you are using them to install something unique like Solar Roof or Powerwalls.

My point was just that their non solar roof / Powerwall offerings are decidedly average in terms of components. So hopefully they are competitive with others on price if that’s what you’re getting from them. We’re not talking SunPower 400W panels and Enphase microinverters here...
 

Zortech

New Member
Jul 31, 2019
3
0
Orlando
I just got a quote from Tesla for solar and it was not really competitive. I brought it up and they gave me a line about how its special and the lowest they can go because of a deal on the powerwall.

Doing the math it looks like I can save a few thousand by using another installer and buying the powerwalls at full price. I sent one final email to solar asking if they want to make a deal or give me back my $99 deposit.
 

Apollo267

Member
Apr 21, 2019
7
3
San Jose
I've been waiting for 4 weeks for permit and still have not heard back in 4 weeks. Any one have tried cancellation and how it works? they just are not responding to email or Text. I dread trying to call...not looking forward to it...
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,161
5,755
Los Altos, CA
I've been waiting for 4 weeks for permit and still have not heard back in 4 weeks. Any one have tried cancellation and how it works? they just are not responding to email or Text. I dread trying to call...not looking forward to it...
Go direct to the City or County (whoever handles permits for your location) and see if they have received the permit application and its status. It helps to know where the problem is first.
 

Dan123

Member
Jun 19, 2018
451
297
Miami
I've been waiting for 4 weeks for permit and still have not heard back in 4 weeks. Any one have tried cancellation and how it works? they just are not responding to email or Text. I dread trying to call...not looking forward to it...

For me, the filed the permit application with the wrong county. I had to call them and emails them several times for them to correct it.
 

player 1

Member
Aug 27, 2018
7
10
Orange County, CA
tldr; so far 5 Star positive experience, neither are PTO just yet, I'll explain that part...

I have done two 4kw systems on two different houses no PWs, one in Orange County, CA and LA County. Both installs were done with the teams from the Hawthorne office.

House 1: Deposit (June), design, contract approvals, permits and install all completed within 2 months. longest part was getting the city to get the permit approved (they closed Fridays). Also I had some design and placement changes that took a few extra days. Install and communication was very smooth, they always kept me in the loop of what to expect next and were pretty accurate as far as timelines go. Final city inspection was completed 5 days after install but not approved because they required a second ground rod that oddly wasn't required to be on the line drawing that was approved by the City (WTFo_O). TE came back out the next week and installed the second 8' rod and tied it in within an hour. Another 2 days later back with the City and TE, got everything approved. Separate TE quality control guy also came through during 2nd City inspection and checked all of the work, found a couple of holes I missed and had someone out the same day to patch the stucco nice and proper. SCE received the paper work 5 days later and replied back (in 2 days) with a denial. Initial request was denied because of a typo on the city permit (system size). TE got the permit corrected and resubmitted to the city (7 days), SCE called me 3 days ago with an update and stated they have a 10 day backlog...one more week, fingers crossed.

House 2: Deposit (July), design, contract approvals, permit and install all completed within 9 DAYS! This also included a redesign as they didn't notice one of the trees that cause lots of shade on original design. Install was last Thursday and city inspection was today.

What blew my mind today was that the city inspector asked to look inside the house to check for fire and carbon monoxide detectors, TE inspector didn't even know how to respond (luckily we were home). As he's looking he states that the fire detectors are out of code and that battery powered ones are no longer legal in CA and need to be 10 year sealed ones (sounds like a money maker to me). So without new fire detectors he wouldn't approve the solar install. I turn to the smiling TE inspector and he's standing there holding a box that is full of brand new fire detectors and said "I'll trade you the old ones for these new ones." Mind blown again! He said it's the first time he's seen that but he knew that it's a part of the city code and always kept them in the car just incase. We swapped a total of 7 detectors, and I'm giving a look of o_O (how much is this going to cost me) he says "it's ok, Elon has it covered." The city inspector saw the new detectors and promptly approved the install and went on his merry way.

I had a couple of the same guys do the install on both houses and I must say all of them have been 100% professional and courteous with us, even took off his shoes to come in the house. The Admin team in the Las Vegas office has also been top notch, they don't necessary reply immediately but usually within a day or so they get back with good answers.

keeping my fingers crossed that after PTO there won't be any issues but I guess thats for a different update. Compared the dickhead SunRun sale guy who just would't stop texting me nasty stuff about all the other competitors and trying to sell me stuff I didn't need, this has been as smooth as a wet slip and slide.

Both systems were installed using the SolarEdge HD Wave string inverter with optimizers and the 315w German Solar panels (don't remember the brand)

if anyone has questions maybe I'll have answers. :D
 

NuShrike

Member
Nov 13, 2017
459
193
SoCal
tldr; so far 5 Star positive experience, neither are PTO just yet, I'll explain that part...

I have done two 4kw systems on two different houses no PWs, one in Orange County, CA and LA County. Both installs were done with the teams from the Hawthorne office.

House 1: Deposit (June), design, contract approvals, permits and install all completed within 2 months. longest part was getting the city to get the permit approved (they closed Fridays). Also I had some design and placement changes that took a few extra days. Install and communication was very smooth, they always kept me in the loop of what to expect next and were pretty accurate as far as timelines go. Final city inspection was completed 5 days after install but not approved because they required a second ground rod that oddly wasn't required to be on the line drawing that was approved by the City (WTFo_O). TE came back out the next week and installed the second 8' rod and tied it in within an hour. Another 2 days later back with the City and TE, got everything approved. Separate TE quality control guy also came through during 2nd City inspection and checked all of the work, found a couple of holes I missed and had someone out the same day to patch the stucco nice and proper. SCE received the paper work 5 days later and replied back (in 2 days) with a denial. Initial request was denied because of a typo on the city permit (system size). TE got the permit corrected and resubmitted to the city (7 days), SCE called me 3 days ago with an update and stated they have a 10 day backlog...one more week, fingers crossed.

House 2: Deposit (July), design, contract approvals, permit and install all completed within 9 DAYS! This also included a redesign as they didn't notice one of the trees that cause lots of shade on original design. Install was last Thursday and city inspection was today.

What blew my mind today was that the city inspector asked to look inside the house to check for fire and carbon monoxide detectors, TE inspector didn't even know how to respond (luckily we were home). As he's looking he states that the fire detectors are out of code and that battery powered ones are no longer legal in CA and need to be 10 year sealed ones (sounds like a money maker to me). So without new fire detectors he wouldn't approve the solar install. I turn to the smiling TE inspector and he's standing there holding a box that is full of brand new fire detectors and said "I'll trade you the old ones for these new ones." Mind blown again! He said it's the first time he's seen that but he knew that it's a part of the city code and always kept them in the car just incase. We swapped a total of 7 detectors, and I'm giving a look of o_O (how much is this going to cost me) he says "it's ok, Elon has it covered." The city inspector saw the new detectors and promptly approved the install and went on his merry way.

I had a couple of the same guys do the install on both houses and I must say all of them have been 100% professional and courteous with us, even took off his shoes to come in the house. The Admin team in the Las Vegas office has also been top notch, they don't necessary reply immediately but usually within a day or so they get back with good answers.

keeping my fingers crossed that after PTO there won't be any issues but I guess thats for a different update. Compared the dickhead SunRun sale guy who just would't stop texting me nasty stuff about all the other competitors and trying to sell me stuff I didn't need, this has been as smooth as a wet slip and slide.

Both systems were installed using the SolarEdge HD Wave string inverter with optimizers and the 315w German Solar panels (don't remember the brand)

if anyone has questions maybe I'll have answers. :D
I don't know what city of OC you're in, but I've never experienced nor heard of city inspectors needing to go inside the house for solar or powerwall inspection.
 

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