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Got a message today about the Solar Roof but is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Tanquen, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

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    "My name is Jeremy, and I'm an Energy Advisor at Tesla. I'd like to discuss your Solar Roof reservation and home energy goals. When you have 30 minutes available, please give me a call back..."

    I called back but no answer. :(

    I have a small roof (1000 square feet) and only use an average of $135 of electricity a month. I have a renter in a separate unit downstairs but they are really home so it could go up. Roof is also the wrong direction.

    I don’t know what the production would be but the online calculator suggests the roof will only make $110 a month. Looking at my bills $110 would buy me about 600kWh.

    I really want it but it’s so expensive and I know they will be much better in a year or two but my roof is leaking and needs to be replaced now. I guess I could tarp it for a few years.

    The site shows $34,500 including $7,400 for one Powerwall.

    The tax credit would make it $27,300, less the $1000 down ($26,300), less the $6000-ish I’d have to spend to redo the roof with asphalt shingles anyway, so about $20k.

    That would take me 15.5 years to break even??? Hmm…

    But:

    It would look cool.

    I’d be dead before I’d need a new roof.

    I’d have a low electric bill through the last bit of retirement.

    Hmm…
     
  2. trace

    trace Member

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    Not sure if it is required with Tesla installation, but you can forgo a powerwall and just use net metering to save money.
     
  3. Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

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    It’s not required and I could add one later but then I’d not be able to get a tax credit for it. I think???


    Also, it seems like we lose power about twice a year or so. More so with the fires being like every year now.


    I’ve gone back and forth on the whole thing and the Powerwall too.


    Also, the net metering here has tiers and the better one is gone now so you can’t make as much selling it back. As more people go solar it will only get worse. Like mandatory minimums just to be hooked up to the grid whether you use any power or not.
     
  4. trace

    trace Member

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    I don't think the idea of net metering is to make money at all, only a few dollars here and there. It's really a free storage system that you can use during night / no sun periods.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. gjunky

    gjunky Waiting for the Model ☰

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    It seems like an awefully long payback period (not arguing the math) for it to be worthwhile. There is this whole saving the planet thing of course....
    It might be easier if your electric company allows you to buy green energy.

    On the other hand, if you can afford it and can take advantage of it, even over a long period, you can feel good about it, help the planet and get you through the power outages.

    We are going on four years of solar now. Previous bill was $200, now $13 for the connection fee. Our payback period is 10 Years so we figured we get 10 years for free (prepaid 20 year lease). Love the feeling of driving on sunshine!
     
  6. Teslie

    Teslie Banned

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    You can invest the 20K+ in 10 year treasuries and can earn part of the electricity bill plus you have money at hand in case you need it plus no hassle with technology/lousy customer service etc. etc...
     
    • Like x 1
  7. alloverx

    alloverx Member

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    I am no expert but payback is too long. Average home stay is 7 years. Might be too much hassle dealing with renter share in the future too. Get several roof quotes and see if any friends have referrals.
     
  8. Johann Koeber

    Johann Koeber Active Member

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    Do you think the value of your home increases? If so, then it is an investment with more payback than just the saved electricity. As you said:

    - it looks good
    - probably lasts a lot longer than those asphalt roofs
    - if you are like me (we have solar for 4 years, powerwall almost 1 year) it is a joy to use your own electricity

    There is a lot of uncertainty in the calculations:
    - how accurate is the online calculator
    - how will the energy prices change in the next 30 years
    - how much do you value being less dependent from the grid
    - ...

    Personally, I let my gut decide - took a leap of faith and am enjoying it every day.

    (P.S. I am an accountant. So for me it was really difficult not to rely on numbers alone).
     
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  9. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    You can add the PW at any time and get the credit as long as the credit still exists and they are charged only from solar. See the IRS tax opinion thread elsewhere here.

    Why is your ITC credit so low? Is it because the whole roof isn’t solar generating?

    His ‘I want to talk to you about your solar roof’ may be to tell you it’s not coming out anytime soon and to say ‘we have a great deal in panels’ which is true.

    I’m getting the solid black 315 W panels over my new roof for a total cost of 3.25 a W (before ITC). Also have two PWs on separate order since they will take longer. (End of year? Who knows.)
     
  10. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Distributed Energy Enthusiast

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    If you need a new roof don't forget you can take the 30% tax credit on that as well if you're doing it as part of a solar install. Do the roof, get normal panels, save a ton immediately.

    Powerwall and solar roof are for people who have a specific need like medical equipment running in the house. Or for people who don't mind paying a premiu for new toys. Use net metering and get a Powerwall when they hit $4k installed.
     
    • Informative x 1
  11. jsimon7777

    jsimon7777 Member

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    Probably wiser to reroof and then put up lots of solar panels. In the future, I'm sure solar shingles will be a great way to go. Or a metal roof with solar panels over it.
     
  12. Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

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    ITC credit? They say only about 50% of the roof will have cells and can generate electricity. My roof is very simple and I maybe able to have more.

    I spoke with him today and he is calling people to get the ball rolling on the next 100 installs.
    Image1.jpg
     
    • Informative x 4
  13. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    #13 boaterva, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
    It’s known as the Investment Tax Credit. Seems like they are actually starting installs perhaps then!

    Be interesting to see what their schedule is. Like panels (2-4 months?) or what.
     
  14. Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

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    They have been doing them for some time now, it’s all about how long is it going to take them to ramp up. I’m sure there is another group before me that was contacted months ago. Unfortunately it currently looks like 3-9 months from the time of first contact to getting them installed. He just gave a range of Fall through Spring.

    They are coming on Thursday to do the site survey and after that I’ll have a better idea about the real cost. He did say that the online calculator is just a guesstimate but that is already too high so I’m guessing they will be even higher. :(

    So in 15+ years I’ll break even if the system can make enough electricity. But I could make about $6k after taxes on a 15 year savings bond. But I’d have to pay about $6k now to replace the roof anyway. Also, if Tesla or others are still doing this kind of roof in 3 years I know they’ll be a little more efficient and a good deal cheaper but then the tax credit will be gone by then if not sooner.

    Arghhhhh!
     
  15. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Love to hear they have been doing them, and we'd all love to see where. Let us know how the site survey goes. About the only real install anyone knows about is the one that Electrek (and others) had details on. And, yeah, it will probably cost a lot more than a new roof (shingles) and panels. <sigh>

    The ITC does start to phase out (like the car one, in stages) in a couple of years. I read something recently about a decision saying if the project is started, the whole thing is covered, but I need to look up the details.

    Do let us know how it all goes, as you might the first 'roof on TMC' :D .
     
  16. Tanquen

    Tanquen Member

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    Had my survey and they don’t mess around. He was on site about 4 ½ hours and even did a drone flyover.

    He said they had not done that many installs and that they were on version 3 of the solar shingles. Something about the layers, how they are attached and also how they are connected. Now they can do smaller areas or runs? Makes me wonder about the inverters and how many sections there are, micro or string?

     
    • Informative x 1
  17. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Interesting. Keep us filled on the process since again not much has been explored! I’ve got permits in on my panel project, but that has been done to death on YouTube.
     

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