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Go Solar Now To Get First Dibs On Battery Backup!

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by RobotGrease, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. RobotGrease

    RobotGrease Member

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    Just got this email from the Solar City sales person I had been in contact with recently (and had also recently told I was no longer interested). Not sure if the sales person was going rogue with this email or this is a more widespread and company condoned effort. Either way, I find this strange on many levels.


     
  2. ntam

    ntam Member

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    I was contacted by my SolarCity Sales Rep. about two months ago about whether I want to get a Tesla battery backup (I have a 8.4kW system installed by SolarCity back in 2011). I jumped on the offer and completed the paperwork a few weeks ago. I just had my on site audit this week and SolarCity is going to install a 10kWh system in my garage (10kWh system is the only one available now). The system is supposed to cost over $20K but with rebate and incentive, I will be paying $1500 upfront and 15/month for a 10 year lease. Currently, the only benefit is just to provide emergency power to critical circuits in my house during power outage. If I want to optimize my time-of-use delivery (run on battery during peak time), I would have to manually flip a switch. The SolarCity team that was doing the audit told me that in the future, they will be working on software that would enable such functionality. So I guess with after the Gigafactory announcement they are expanding the program.
     
  3. keithz

    keithz Member

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    Definitely not a professional email from my point of view. Seriously hope this is not company condoned.
     
  4. RobotGrease

    RobotGrease Member

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    Exactly.... Using a SA article as a source in a sales email?!? yuk!
     
  5. nvsblman

    nvsblman Member

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    And in "a few short months"...?
     
  6. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    FWIW, I signed up on a waiting list with SC about 2 months ago for the battery backup to my 16kW system (East Bay SF)--no callback yet. No spam calls like the OP either.
     
  7. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead Active Member

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    Wow, that price for battery storage is ridiculous.

    We know that Tesla makes battery packs for about $250/kWh, so a 10kWh system should cost about $2500 to make. Even if they do a 100% markup that is still $5000. And you are saying that Solar City claims that the system is worth over $20k?

    You will pay $1500 + $15*120 months = $3,300.

    So I assume that Solar City will collect the other $17,000 from the government?

    For those that don't know, the state of California put a mandate to install something like 1.3GW of battery storage by 2020, so I imagine that there are incentives to do so.

    Solar City is selling these systems at $2,000/kWh when it costs Tesla 1/8th of that to make the battery pack.

    Something doesn't sound right here. I have read many articles about Solar City jacking up the price of solar systems to screw the governments out of tax credits and other rebates. I think that there might have been a lawsuit against them for doing this.

    Either they are jacking up the price to abuse government incentives or they are misleading customers that the system is worth over $20k: "but because you have installed our panels we will give you a special incentive to get the system for less."

    Either way, it sounds like something unethical is going on.

    We need to seriously get rid of these government tax credits and other rebates for installing clean energy products, because they are not benefiting the customer like they were intended to. Instead the installation companies are the ones that get all of the benefit. The higher they price the system, the more tax credits they will get.
     
  8. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    That only applies to Leases or PPA setups. If you buy your system outright you get the credit. The 30% rebate made out system much more affordable. I hope they don't go away any time soon.
     
  9. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead Active Member

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    I agree, and that is why I tell everyone to buy a system and not lease it. I am buying a system myself, which will be installed next week. Here is a post I made on this topic:

    Alternative Energy Investor Discussions (formerly SCTY thread) - Page 320


    But the US should get rid of the 30% tax credit and instead replace it with a Feed In Tariff (FIT), like one that Germany uses or now China and Japan have. That is the best way. The consumer will then collect the government incentive and installers can compete on price and quality of service to get your business.

    A FIT is the better way to go. No net-metering necessary.
     
  10. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    I don't agree with your last sentence at all on this one Sleepy. We as installers don't see one dime of the tax credit, it is all the customer that is seeing it. The only way it goes to someone other than the end customer is if it's a leased system, then it goes to the leasing company (which is usually not the installation company). In the case of SCTY and SPWR, they would see the tax credit but SPWR uses installation partners so the installers do not see that tax credit money in that case either.
     
  11. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    Someone beat me to it.

    Another reason for your pro FIT comment is low income households. They can't usually take advantage of the tax credit so the ones who need to reduce their energy costs the most are blocked from doing it (along with municipalities and non-profits).
     
  12. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead Active Member

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    No, of course I agree with you. When I said installation company, I was using that term loosely to describe Solar City. I used the wrong term.

    What I was trying to say is that the benefit goes to the companies that sell these leases like Solar City, SunPower, SunRun, Real Goods Solar, etc. instead of the end consumer.

    The banks know that this is a great return, so the Goldman Sachs of the world are throwing $500m at SolarCity or $220m from BofA to SunPower. The banks and the leasing companies are making all of the money from these credits, when they should be going to the end user. That is why I recommend finding a local reputable installer, like Theshadows, and have them install the system for you to own and not lease. That way the end consumer gets to keep all of the tax benefits and other rebates, while the installer earns a fair wage.

    That is why we should replace the tax credit with a FIT, and we need to do it ASAP.

    Also, as Elon says implementing a carbon tax is such an obvious thing to do. Such a simple solution and nobody in Washington cares about it.

    And since this is an investment forum, this is also one of the reasons why I like panel manufacturers more than leasing companies. If you take away the tax credit and instead go to a FIT, then I think that companies like SCTY or RSOL could suffer; whereas panel manufacturers can move on to the next profitable area.

    Of course I am going to be wrong on this one as usual and SCTY will win out as it always does. I just like to point out risks that I can find. The main risk to panel manufacturers, such as SPWR especially, is if there is overcapacity once again, or poly prices go up too high, or someone like TSL who announced a 24.4% efficient cell (which is SPWR level stuff) can mass produce it a lot cheaper than SPWR. There are many risks in solar, no matter which side you choose. The reason that I prefer the panel manufacturers over SCTY is solely based on valuation. Its the classic value vs. growth dilemma. I already have half of my money in a high flying growth stock in TSLA. I don't need SCTY in my portfolio, so I diversify with the solar stocks with very low valuations. Eventually they will catch up.
     
  13. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    #13 Robert.Boston, Mar 2, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
    I strongly agree with replacing the tax credit with a FIT. There are two issues that would need to be addressed, however:
    1. Dual meters. There needs to be a revenue-quality meter measuring your solar output. That's an extra expense, both up front for installation and on-going for reading/billing.
    2. National v. State: The federal government can implement a tax credit, but the FIT is necessarily a state-level program. I'm thinking that the solar industry finds the federal subsidies easier and safer than trying to run a state-by-state lobbying effort, especially when you realize that the state utility commissions (which would be tasked with implementing a FIT) are often very cozy with the state's electric utilities.
     
  14. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead Active Member

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    You are already required dual meters for net metering anyway. And without net metering it really doesn't make much sense to install solar unless you spend most of the time at home during the day and/or have battery storage.
     
  15. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    Pacific Gas & Electric does not require dual meters for net metering. I have a Model S, solar PV, a single meter, PG&E's EV-A TOU rate plan, and net metering. EV-B is a dual meter alternative plan.
     
  16. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Like CalDreamin, I have single TOU meter on EV-A plan/Net metering with 16 kW SolarCity PV system and 1 Model S in the SF Bay Area.
     
  17. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead Active Member

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    You guys are both correct. I was confusing the dual meter with one that spins in two directions.
     
  18. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    Yes, you're right about that. PG&E had to replace my power meter when I got solar PV.
     
  19. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    It depends on the utility, some utilities pony up the cash for a bi-directional net meter, others want a dual meter setup because they don't want to spend the money on it. The second ends up costing the homeowner or the installer (if they were unaware that the utility would want this) more money because of the extra expense of redoing the service entrance to install a dual meter base and the extra landings.
     

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