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Financing vs cash for solar panels

Hi everyone,
I’ve heard horror stories of how difficult it is to get Tesla to fix system issues with solar panels once you pay off the system in full with cash payment. People recommended to finance the system instead so you can withhold payment until they fix the issue. I do prefer the cash payment method but is terrified once Tesla has my money, it will be impossible to get ahold of them. Does anyone have any suggestions how to best approach this? Thank you!
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
14,217
17,960
Riverside Co. CA
Financing it wont withhold cash payment. Not sure where you got that. Think of it like financing a car. If you finance a car, through a dealer, even though the dealer itself is not the one who is loaning you the money (unless you are in a buy here pay here place but I digress), they are arranging it.

The dealer arranges your financing, and gets a check from the finance company (without your direct intervention) after you qualify for, and sign for the loan.

If you finance solar panels, you are doing the same thing, which is getting pre approved, and having the money sent directly to tesla.

If you are talking about financing outside of tesla, that is the same thing to tesla as paying cash (just like at a car dealearship, if you bring your own financing).

TL ; DR, if you want to retain control on this, you should be looking at paying cash, Financing it does not provide you any additional control, it reduces it.
 

arnolddeleon

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
995
1,065
SF Bay Area
In the days of power purchase agreements with production guarantees and leases it was possible to have some control/leverage. @jjrandorin 's summary is spot on for the current situation. This is not different the warranties you have on anything. Life is full of probabilistic choices.

With the caveat that anecdote is not data, I've survived needing to deal with Solar City and Tesla Energy service.

Early in the life of a Solar City lease I had a defective inverter, they required it to be shutdown while waiting for a repair. They credited me for the down months.

The timeliness of getting a solar lease switched on a property I purchased was not as quick as I would like but I was in possession of the system and it was operational so my ability to pay was just delayed (impact was on them)

Then when I needed to remove the panels to make roof repairs (on the newly purchased property) they originally told me it was something like 4 month wait. I was pretty annoyed and I was resigned to waiting. To my surprise and delight, they ended up bringing it by 3 months (ended up subcontracting it I believe).

Currently on our house I have new (additional) solar and Powerwalls. They haven't scheduled inspection yet, so they can't invoice yet. I'm in possession of the system. The system may or may be operational.

I installed solar on a house about 20 years ago. The company that did the work for me went out of business a handful years later. I had to support for that system myself.

I'm willing to take some risks if there is a commensurate reward. Right now I like my odds on the bets I've made with Solar City/Tesla Energy.
 
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Develop a relationship with your installers, they also do repairs or warranty service, so if you have their contact info, you have a direct line to the people doing the work.

Fastest way I got a roof leak taken care of was calling the install lead, he got people out same day. I also tried calling teslas customer service line and it took half a day just to get a "site visit Authorization" form to sign, it was not efficient.
 
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MCNE

Member
Mar 12, 2021
183
38
Texas
Those suggesting withholding loan payment would squeeze Tesla are smoking or sniffing something good as the loan is with a 3rd party, you will only invite collectors to your door. Best you can do is pay by CC and open a dispute if there are issues within a few weeks of installation.
Exactly! Just make sure its a good card/service and go from there. Pre or post installation as well.
 

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