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I'm So Pissed Off Right Now! [Update: Issue Resolved!]

Long story short (well kind of)... I have been working with Tesla Energy over the last several months, to get solar panels and Powerwalls installed at my house. Unfortunately, I was not in a market not currently serviced by Tesla, but after months of work with Tesla, they were going to open the market in my area. Basically, Tesla serviced areas just miles from my house, it was due to the utility provider (200,000+ customers). Eventually, Tesla approved the market after vetting my utility provider, I approved the layout, uploaded the required pictures and utility bill, signed the Sales and Use Tax Exemption on 7/21/20, approved for Mosaic financing on 7/21/20, and signed the Tesla Solar Loan Agreement on 07/27/20. It was my understanding, and everyone else’s, that everything was approved and moving forward.

Since all was well, signed and moving forward, in preparation for new solar panels and their 25-year life expectancy, I decided to replace my roof, which didn’t need replacing for at least the next decade, probably more, for over $15,000. Definitely something that I did not need to do unless I was getting solar panels.

The $15,000 reroof was expensive for me, but necessary if I were to have 25-year solar panels installed. I want to invest in Tesla and Tesla’s environmental initiative.

Today, I called Tesla for an update and I received some unfortunate news.. I was told that my order would not be moving forward because I am in an area not currently serviced by Tesla. Really Tesla, you are going to waste my time for the three months, cause me to spend $15k and then just like that, cancel my order! Absolutely horrible!

Now I know why some of the reviews are so bad! Looks like I just got hit for $15k.
 
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holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,612
1,961
East Bay NorCal
Yeah Tesla has been in the news about taking people's solar deposits for years and just cancelling orders since they were out of the service area.

I don't think it's too late for you to find a local installer though. Powerwalls may be tough to find now but you can at least get the PV up while the federal solar investment credit is 26%.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,123
1,840
Wildomar, CA
Ooof. Man that hurts. 15k for a roof you didn't need but for solar panels you cannot get (for now). On the bright side, you're ready for those solar panels when they do service your area. They will be servicing more areas (not fewer) in the future. You still have a new roof. You won't need to take on that financing now (assuming you can get out of it). Good luck with this and hopefully you can get those panels in the near future!
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,155
2,570
Orlando, FL
If you already signed the contract is there anything in there that commits them to the install? I think normally that when they cancel orders and refund the deposit it happens before the contract is signed.

Just to follow up on this, I’m no lawyer, but I took a quick look through my contract and I certainly didn’t see anything that suggested that tesla has any option to cancel the contract once it’s been signed. There was a clause giving the buyer three days to cancel after the contract was signed, but that was about it and even that specifically said buyer and not tesla or seller.

Assuming you have a signed contract and you’re willing to try to push it, in my non-lawyer opinion I think you have a good chance at getting them to honor the contract. It might at least be willing to let a lawyer read over the contract and see what he thinks.
 

SoCal Dave

Member
Jul 30, 2020
421
317
California
Did Telsa sign anything agreeing to install the panels? For example, during my process we signed a Solar Purchasing Agreement which had the following:

upload_2020-8-18_18-25-20.png


IANAL, but if you have something like this signed by Tesla, you potentially could go after them for detrimental reliance.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,281
10,147
SF Bay Area
I thought there was something in there that was a two-way cancellation. There have been cases that have come up on here where for various reasons Tesla, after layout design, permitting reasons, service area didn’t materialize, etc. that caused a cancellation on their part. As a purchaser you can pretty much cancel from your end up to install I think. Haven’t looked again at our agreement in sometime. Given you are so close to install, I’m sure Tesla has invested a considerable amount of design and advisors time and probably permitting fees already on your project so doubt cancelling was something they wanted to do.

OP I would contact someone else at Energy to verify, explaining you’ve gone this far in the process and even had your roof redone for the panels to go up. It’s certainly possible someone had misinformation that was passed on. I see re-reading your post that you only found this out by you calling in for a status. I can see someone looking at some of the notes in your file and reading you weren’t in an approved install area (notes from before vetting happened).

If this was something that came about because of your electrical utility at the last minute, I would call there too, I would be unhappy with them.

As others have said at least you have a new roof and there has to be other installers for solar that work with your utility. I would want a list so you don’t go through this again. I have to say I don’t understand the part about the utility needed to be vetted. What is it about them and working with Tesla that needs vetting?
 
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BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,155
2,570
Orlando, FL
What is it about them and working with Tesla that needs vetting?

This is just speculation, but it seems that each utility has their own interconnect agreements and requirements and I’m sure that tesla needs to make sure that they are willing and able to meet all of the requirements for a particular utility before they start accepting work in their service area.
 
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holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,612
1,961
East Bay NorCal
Did Telsa sign anything agreeing to install the panels? For example, during my process we signed a Solar Purchasing Agreement which had the following:

View attachment 578008

IANAL, but if you have something like this signed by Tesla, you potentially could go after them for detrimental reliance.


I think for detrimental reliance to attach, mstgkillr would need some communication from Tesla telling him that a new roof was recommended or necessary.

It sounds like OP decided to replace his roof on his own in anticipation of solar. This kind of dissociates the proximate cause of the roof investment to mstgkillr's desire to get solar in general. His actions were not necessarily any language or direction influenced by Tesla.

Basically OP would need to be able to claim that the new roof was installed because Tesla advisors cautioned him about the impact of a future roof replacement after the Tesla solar array was installed. And this concern would require him to pay extra to get the panels removed before the roof is repaired or replaced.
 
If you already signed the contract is there anything in there that commits them to the install? I think normally that when they cancel orders and refund the deposit it happens before the contract is signed.

I hope so. The contract committed me to the project with the expiration of the 3-day cooling off period, which is long gone. It seems only fair that it would be binding for Tesla as well.

Just to follow up on this, I’m no lawyer, but I took a quick look through my contract and I certainly didn’t see anything that suggested that tesla has any option to cancel the contract once it’s been signed. There was a clause giving the buyer three days to cancel after the contract was signed, but that was about it and even that specifically said buyer and not tesla or seller.

Assuming you have a signed contract and you’re willing to try to push it, in my non-lawyer opinion I think you have a good chance at getting them to honor the contract. It might at least be willing to let a lawyer read over the contract and see what he thinks.

Yep, signed. I hope that is the case.

Did Telsa sign anything agreeing to install the panels? For example, during my process we signed a Solar Purchasing Agreement which had the following:

View attachment 578008

IANAL, but if you have something like this signed by Tesla, you potentially could go after them for detrimental reliance.

Yes, my contract was the same.

I thought there was something in there that was a two-way cancellation. There have been cases that have come up on here where for various reasons Tesla, after layout design, permitting reasons, service area didn’t materialize, etc. that caused a cancellation on their part. As a purchaser you can pretty much cancel from your end up to install I think. Haven’t looked again at our agreement in sometime. Given you are so close to install, I’m sure Tesla has invested a considerable amount of design and advisors time and probably permitting fees already on your project so doubt cancelling was something they wanted to do.

OP I would contact someone else at Energy to verify, explaining you’ve gone this far in the process and even had your roof redone for the panels to go up. It’s certainly possible someone had misinformation that was passed on. I see re-reading your post that you only found this out by you calling in for a status. I can see someone looking at some of the notes in your file and reading you weren’t in an approved install area (notes from before vetting happened).

If this was something that came about because of your electrical utility at the last minute, I would call there too, I would be unhappy with them.

As others have said at least you have a new roof and there has to be other installers for solar that work with your utility. I would want a list so you don’t go through this again. I have to say I don’t understand the part about the utility needed to be vetted. What is it about them and working with Tesla that needs vetting?

Yes, Tesla and I both have a considerable amount of time and money involved. I was there step-by-step as things were approved, the installation office, utility provider, city code/permitting review, etc. It does not seem like there was much left other than permitting and installation and I was not given a reason for halting the project.

As the purchaser, I had a 3-day cooling off period.

The utility provider was already contacted and approved by Tesla.

I already contacted a few supervisors at Tesla Energy and they are looking into it. The more that I think about it, the more I think my project got labeled as "out of service area" by one of the many people working on the account. That someone probably opened the project, saw the "out of service area" and shut things down without reading into the past project notes.

This is just speculation, but it seems that each utility has their own interconnect agreements and requirements and I’m sure that tesla needs to make sure that they are willing and able to meet all of the requirements for a particular utility before they start accepting work in their service area.

You are absolutely correct. My utility provider is very similar to most Florida providers, and was approved by Tesla.

I think for detrimental reliance to attach, mstgkillr would need some communication from Tesla telling him that a new roof was recommended or necessary.

It sounds like OP decided to replace his roof on his own in anticipation of solar. This kind of dissociates the proximate cause of the roof investment to mstgkillr's desire to get solar in general. His actions were not necessarily any language or direction influenced by Tesla.

Basically OP would need to be able to claim that the new roof was installed because Tesla advisors cautioned him about the impact of a future roof replacement after the Tesla solar array was installed. And this concern would require him to pay extra to get the panels removed before the roof is repaired or replaced.

I just want Tesla to honor the contract. However, the only reason that I installed the roof, was to match the life expectancy of the panels to that of the roof. I would make absolutely no sense to installed 25-year panels on a roof with 10-15 years of life remaining.
 
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SoCal Dave

Member
Jul 30, 2020
421
317
California
I think for detrimental reliance to attach, mstgkillr would need some communication from Tesla telling him that a new roof was recommended or necessary.

It sounds like OP decided to replace his roof on his own in anticipation of solar. This kind of dissociates the proximate cause of the roof investment to mstgkillr's desire to get solar in general. His actions were not necessarily any language or direction influenced by Tesla.

Basically OP would need to be able to claim that the new roof was installed because Tesla advisors cautioned him about the impact of a future roof replacement after the Tesla solar array was installed. And this concern would require him to pay extra to get the panels removed before the roof is repaired or replaced.

Again, IANAL. My understanding is there wouldn't need to be anything from Tesla stating the roof needed to be replaced. However, what would need to be shown is the roof had life in it yet and due to the reliance on the contract agreed to by Tesla the OP moved forward in preparing for the installation.

The text book example is someone is offered a job and the person moving to start working for the company. If the company ended up not hiring them, the company could be liable for the moving expenses. The company doesn't have to say go ahead and hire a moving company, but just enter into a contract for employment.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,612
1,961
East Bay NorCal
Again, IANAL. My understanding is there wouldn't need to be anything from Tesla stating the roof needed to be replaced. However, what would need to be shown is the roof had life in it yet and due to the reliance on the contract agreed to by Tesla the OP moved forward in preparing for the installation.

The text book example is someone is offered a job and the person moving to start working for the company. If the company ended up not hiring them, the company could be liable for the moving expenses. The company doesn't have to say go ahead and hire a moving company, but just enter into a contract for employment.



I don't think that analogy is the same... a new contract for employment typically includes language that the work will need to be provided at a particular office or on site. So the employee would 100% infer a need to move for that employment.

OP chose to re-do his roof early as an economic decision that was not 100% required. There wasn't guidance from Tesla or a request from Tesla for the repair.
 
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Good news! The project is moving forward again! It appears that one of two things happened, either I was provided bad information from a Telsa employee that was not familiar with the project and did not read far enough into the notes, or that after emailing a few Tesla supervisors and politely reminding them of the signed contract, they were able to get things rolling again.

Whatever the case, I am extremely pleased withe the customer support that I have received so far, and happy the project is making progress.
 
Well, congratulations from another member in Cape Coral. I made a deposit for a solar roof about a year ago, but the only information I got is that Cape Coral is currently not serviced by Tesla. Therefore it is good to hear that your project is going forward again.

Could you provide me with some email addresses from Energy supervisors, please? I need to push a little. My email address is [email protected]. SW Cape Coral. Thank you.
 

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