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Independent Powerwall installers

jkoya

NA2 NSX
Nov 21, 2018
3,626
1,555
Northern CA
Is there any advantage of purchasing a Powerwall from Tesla as opposed to a certified independent installer company ?

I can't seem to get a hold of Tesla for a consult and was wondering if an independent installer is equivalent.

Thanks in advance.
 

gpez

Member
Apr 25, 2019
686
564
USA
Used a Tesla certified installer locally, happy I did. Contract terms were way better, much more responsive, price was competitive, and ultimately Tesla probably would have hired them or the other local installer since Solar City is not in my area.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,517
10,698
Riverside Co. CA
Is there any advantage of purchasing a Powerwall from Tesla as opposed to a certified independent installer company ?

I can't seem to get a hold of Tesla for a consult and was wondering if an independent installer is equivalent.

Thanks in advance.
In my area, the independent certified installers are significantly more expensive for the same thing. I was calling around yesterday as I decided to get serious about powerwall(s). I called 2 certified independent installers in my area, and both told me the SGIP was fully subscribed for my utility (SCE) this year (negating that benefit) and their costs were "13.5k for one powerwall, 20k for 2, including permits and basic installation" (the other certified installer was 21.5k for 2 powerwalls)

Note, they both had around this price, and on one of their websites it specifically calls out that "they can not do it for the price tesla charges as that leaves no profit for the installer". This pricing was before they even specced out my install which admittedly should be very simple, as the powerwalls should be able to be placed within 20 feet or so of the panel, on the inside of my garage.

Both basically intimated that the pricing above was sort of the "basic" all in price, and it wouldnt get cheaper than that, only more expensive.

I put in a request for info on tesla's websit yesterday evening, Tesla called me back very quickly, (today, at lunch time), and told me they are doing installs in my area. They quoted me the basic prices on their website which dont include install. 6,500 per powerwall, 1100 for the gateway, they quoted me 500 for a permit, and then told me the variable was installation costs, but expected those to be somewhere between 1-2k depending on my setup, if not extensive. So, somewhere between 15.7 and 16.7, give or take, where the certified installers were 20-21.5k for the same basic quote.

So, significant in my case. Will let you know how it goes.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,517
10,698
Riverside Co. CA
Thanks for the info everyone !! I'll try Tesla again.

This is the article that has sped up my timeline :
Challenges for batteries in the California fire code

I read that San Francisco is already adopting the new code standards for current installs....

They (tesla) have been very responsive for me. Not only did they call me the next day after I submitted my online request for information, after my conversation with them and the desire to move forward, I placed the online order yesterday... got called today from my new "energy advisor", and after a fairly quick discussion (in which he was surprised that i knew as much about them as I did), I decided to move forward with 2 powerwalls.

He sent me the survey information yesterday afternoon, I submitted the self survey back yesterday evening, and he assigned it to a designer who already looked at it and approved my "whole home backup" request. they are now sending out for permits.

Might help that my solar system is a solar city one, so they have all the pictures etc of that install, and know all they need to know about my electrical system.

They also mentioned that it was "area dependent" and that there was a "huge huge spike in call / purchase demand in northern california right now".. so I suspect anyone in northern cali may wait a while for tesla to get back to them on a powerwall.

The power outage issue from PGE is really bringing this home for people, so there will likely be a huge spike in requests / orders as people say "I am not going through this again!" and want a powerwall.
 
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jkoya

NA2 NSX
Nov 21, 2018
3,626
1,555
Northern CA
Might help that my solar system is a solar city one, so they have all the pictures etc of that install, and know all they need to know about my electrical system.

They also mentioned that it was "area dependent" and that there was a "huge huge spike in call / purchase demand in northern california right now".. so I suspect anyone in northern cali may wait a while for tesla to get back to them on a powerwall.

Thanks for the updated information and congrats on your new Powerwalls !!!

Our 2 solar arrays are not Solar City. We've had solar since 2009 or 2010, long before Solar City was even in our area. When we got solar, there was only 2 companies doing solar installs in our area at the time and we went with the one our local utility company recommended. Haven't paid for electricity since then, despite charging two EVs daily.

I agree with your "area dependent" assessment. I spoke to a couple of independent certified installers and they told me there is such a backlog in Northern CA, I'm looking at a first or second quarter 2020 install.

I guess it's a 2020 install for me with just one powerwall. It's better than nothing though ....

Thanks again !
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,517
10,698
Riverside Co. CA
In my area, the independent certified installers are significantly more expensive for the same thing. I was calling around yesterday as I decided to get serious about powerwall(s). I called 2 certified independent installers in my area, and both told me the SGIP was fully subscribed for my utility (SCE) this year (negating that benefit) and their costs were "13.5k for one powerwall, 20k for 2, including permits and basic installation" (the other certified installer was 21.5k for 2 powerwalls)

Note, they both had around this price, and on one of their websites it specifically calls out that "they can not do it for the price tesla charges as that leaves no profit for the installer". This pricing was before they even specced out my install which admittedly should be very simple, as the powerwalls should be able to be placed within 20 feet or so of the panel, on the inside of my garage.

Both basically intimated that the pricing above was sort of the "basic" all in price, and it wouldnt get cheaper than that, only more expensive.

I put in a request for info on tesla's websit yesterday evening, Tesla called me back very quickly, (today, at lunch time), and told me they are doing installs in my area. They quoted me the basic prices on their website which dont include install. 6,500 per powerwall, 1100 for the gateway, they quoted me 500 for a permit, and then told me the variable was installation costs, but expected those to be somewhere between 1-2k depending on my setup, if not extensive. So, somewhere between 15.7 and 16.7, give or take, where the certified installers were 20-21.5k for the same basic quote.

So, significant in my case. Will let you know how it goes.


To update the price on this tesla quoted me, the total is 18,234.75 including taxes.. thats the "out the door" price. Neither of the third party installers in my area, in our initial conversation, were breaking down the pricing into the components. Had I moved forward with them, I would have required an itemized accounting before signing anything.

The labor from tesla for my install ended up being quoted as 2500, so total costs from tesla are:

(2) Powerwalls @6500 each, = 13,000
(1) backup gateway = 1100
Installation = 2500
Permitting fees = 500
Taxes

The third parties were as i mentioned quoting between 20k and 21.5k and telling me the SGIP was fully subscribed so I could get onto a waitlist for them. I doubt those figures included taxes either, but these were verbal quotes. My installation should be very simple (also evidenced by how quickly tesla looked at it and approved I would think). The powerwalls will be in my garage on the wall, on the inside wall that is the same wall my outside main breaker panel is. Hoping that they get it in before I have to worry about those new rules, because I dont want the powerwall if I can only have 1, I want 2.. and I want them on my wall.

The only reason I was considering going with a certified installer was to get them "faster", but it appears to me that its going to be the same turn around time as the certified installers were quoting me "around thanksgiving, or the first week of december". I suspect that I will have the same turn around from tesla, seeing as how I am already at the "submitting for permits" stage. We will see, but I am strangely excited for what is basically a battery, lol.
 
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jkoya

NA2 NSX
Nov 21, 2018
3,626
1,555
Northern CA
Thanks for the price breakdown - much appreciated !! I hope you can get the two before the end of the year.

I guess I'll more than likely have to settle for one powerwall. As long as the two refrigerators and some lights work, I will be happy....
 
Sep 24, 2015
832
696
San Diego (Oceanside)
To update the price on this tesla quoted me, the total is 18,234.75 including taxes.. thats the "out the door" price. Neither of the third party installers in my area, in our initial conversation, were breaking down the pricing into the components. Had I moved forward with them, I would have required an itemized accounting before signing anything.

The labor from tesla for my install ended up being quoted as 2500, so total costs from tesla are:

(2) Powerwalls @6500 each, = 13,000
(1) backup gateway = 1100
Installation = 2500
Permitting fees = 500
Taxes

The third parties were as i mentioned quoting between 20k and 21.5k and telling me the SGIP was fully subscribed so I could get onto a waitlist for them. I doubt those figures included taxes either, but these were verbal quotes. My installation should be very simple (also evidenced by how quickly tesla looked at it and approved I would think). The powerwalls will be in my garage on the wall, on the inside wall that is the same wall my outside main breaker panel is. Hoping that they get it in before I have to worry about those new rules, because I dont want the powerwall if I can only have 1, I want 2.. and I want them on my wall.

The only reason I was considering going with a certified installer was to get them "faster", but it appears to me that its going to be the same turn around time as the certified installers were quoting me "around thanksgiving, or the first week of december". I suspect that I will have the same turn around from tesla, seeing as how I am already at the "submitting for permits" stage. We will see, but I am strangely excited for what is basically a battery, lol.

Thanks for the info. I'm also considering and in your general area. I got a similar quote from a third party local installer - starting price $13,800 for a single PW2. Stated project are eligible for the 30% rebate but doesn't necessarily mean funds are available. I read Tesla was out of SGIP rebate slots. Is that still true?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,517
10,698
Riverside Co. CA
Thanks for the info. I'm also considering and in your general area. I got a similar quote from a third party local installer - starting price $13,800 for a single PW2. Stated project are eligible for the 30% rebate but doesn't necessarily mean funds are available. I read Tesla was out of SGIP rebate slots. Is that still true?

Hi!

The "30 % rebate" is actually the 30% tax credit. Its not a rebate (most "teslaites" know this but its important to call out... I had to explain it to my wife a couple different times). You have to have enough tax liability to take that credit.

Tesla is out of the SGIP, thats true. I thought some third parties might have availability, but both that I called told me that there was a waitlist for SCE and that SDGE (where you likely are) was also fully subscribed and on a wait list. They cant promise you would get it.. I believe it works off a lottery system. In any case, most third parties will likely charge enough that even if you get the SGIP, it will just come close to the tesla price... and tesla knows that.

For one powerwall, tesla quoted me an installation charge of 3k instead of 2500 for 2 (weird right?). My new energy advisor (who said he had been with tesla energy since it was solar city.. which by tesla standards is probably a long time, lol ) said:

"When we install just 1 powerwall, we actually have to charge more than when we install 2, because 1 powerwall is almost always a "critical loads only" situation, and requires more work and more connections than a whole home backup".

made sense to me, because it then has a critical loads panel, moving breakers to that sub panel, etc.

Anyway, for one powerwall it would be:

6500 = powerwall
1100= gateway
3000 = installation
500 = permit

11,100 + tax.

I never got to the "taxes" on the third parties I called, but I would be surprised if they were quoting me a price with tax. You could check though.
 
Sep 24, 2015
832
696
San Diego (Oceanside)
Hi!

The "30 % rebate" is actually the 30% tax credit. Its not a rebate (most "teslaites" know this but its important to call out... I had to explain it to my wife a couple different times). You have to have enough tax liability to take that credit.

Tesla is out of the SGIP, thats true. I thought some third parties might have availability, but both that I called told me that there was a waitlist for SCE and that SDGE (where you likely are) was also fully subscribed and on a wait list. They cant promise you would get it.. I believe it works off a lottery system. In any case, most third parties will likely charge enough that even if you get the SGIP, it will just come close to the tesla price... and tesla knows that.

For one powerwall, tesla quoted me an installation charge of 3k instead of 2500 for 2 (weird right?). My new energy advisor (who said he had been with tesla energy since it was solar city.. which by tesla standards is probably a long time, lol ) said:

"When we install just 1 powerwall, we actually have to charge more than when we install 2, because 1 powerwall is almost always a "critical loads only" situation, and requires more work and more connections than a whole home backup".

made sense to me, because it then has a critical loads panel, moving breakers to that sub panel, etc.

Anyway, for one powerwall it would be:

6500 = powerwall
1100= gateway
3000 = installation
500 = permit

11,100 + tax.

I never got to the "taxes" on the third parties I called, but I would be surprised if they were quoting me a price with tax. You could check though.

I appreciate the quick response! Yes, I'm in SDG&E service area.

So there's the SGIP and the ITC? Even though SGIP is unavailable, you'll still be able to claim ITC (30%) on Fed taxes since you're connecting to solar, right?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,517
10,698
Riverside Co. CA
I appreciate the quick response! Yes, I'm in SDG&E service area.

So there's the SGIP and the ITC? Even though SGIP is unavailable, you'll still be able to claim ITC (30%) on Fed taxes since you're connecting to solar, right?

Correct, I will still be able to claim the Income Tax Credit (ITC) on Federal taxes, because I am connecting to solar, even though its already existing solar. The stipulation there is to connect to already existing solar, and perform XX number of discharge cycles a year, which I believe is a easy target to hit (cant remember how many XX was, would have to look it up again).

The way powerwalls connected to solar are normally configured it will automatically hit the target needed for the ITC... and there is supposedly tracking you can check to make sure you are on track for it.

Current owners could confirm but thats what I read anyway. Im in SCE territory because I actually live in Temecula, but work in Oceanside. On message boards., most people know where about in the US "San Diego" is. and Temecula is close enough for someone in New York to basically get where in the US I am. For us locals though it makes a difference.
 

who177e

Member
Sep 29, 2018
54
18
Union City, CA
I just met with a third party installer.

He claims that he just got word that there was additional funds for the SGIP but it still wasn’t guaranteed and people were still on the waitlist.

He was quoting about $23k for two PWs with 30% tax rebate and possible $5,800 SGIP. So total about $16k confirmed with another possible $5,800 unconfirmed SGIP.

GET THIS...
then he says if I get 3 PWs, that would now be in a different category in the SGIP (large scale storage) which they still do have available and we’re in step 2 and can guarantee. He SAYs 3 PWs for $35k with 30% tax rebate AND and confirmed SGIP of $10,092 ($3,364 each). So total about $14k for 3 PW. It sounds too good to be true but I don’t know enough info about the SGIP.

He says to qualify for the large scale storage we would just have to verify that we can use the batteries fully 1 day. This doesn’t sound right.

Can anyone verify this “story”?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,517
10,698
Riverside Co. CA
I just met with a third party installer.

He claims that he just got word that there was additional funds for the SGIP but it still wasn’t guaranteed and people were still on the waitlist.

He was quoting about $23k for two PWs with 30% tax rebate and possible $5,800 SGIP. So total about $16k confirmed with another possible $5,800 unconfirmed SGIP.

GET THIS...
then he says if I get 3 PWs, that would now be in a different category in the SGIP (large scale storage) which they still do have available and we’re in step 2 and can guarantee. He SAYs 3 PWs for $35k with 30% tax rebate AND and confirmed SGIP of $10,092 ($3,364 each). So total about $14k for 3 PW. It sounds too good to be true but I don’t know enough info about the SGIP.

He says to qualify for the large scale storage we would just have to verify that we can use the batteries fully 1 day. This doesn’t sound right.

Can anyone verify this “story”?

You should ask why another powerwall would bump the price from 23-35k since they are only 6500 each. I also would wonder about doing "commercial" for your home. You can read about the SGIP program here:

Self-Generation Incentive Program

BTW, the third party installer I contacted told me "if anyone tells you they can promise you the SGIP, I would watch out....."

So there is that.
 

who177e

Member
Sep 29, 2018
54
18
Union City, CA
You should ask why another powerwall would bump the price from 23-35k since they are only 6500 each. I also would wonder about doing "commercial" for your home. You can read about the SGIP program here:

Self-Generation Incentive Program

BTW, the third party installer I contacted told me "if anyone tells you they can promise you the SGIP, I would watch out....."

So there is that.
Totally makes sense. He was quote each PW was 11,600 inclusive of install and hardware. So that just means they make more profit when you buy more PWs since the work is about the same. Good point. Just not sure if there is any truth about the "large scale energy storage". I was reading through the SGIP handbook and it didn't see any requirements other than it being more than a 10kw system.
Not sure if anyone has some more insight to this.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
9,517
10,698
Riverside Co. CA
Totally makes sense. He was quote each PW was 11,600 inclusive of install and hardware. So that just means they make more profit when you buy more PWs since the work is about the same. Good point. Just not sure if there is any truth about the "large scale energy storage". I was reading through the SGIP handbook and it didn't see any requirements other than it being more than a 10kw system.
Not sure if anyone has some more insight to this.

This is where I would demand an "itemized breakdown" not a "11,600 per powerwall, inclusive of hardware and labor".


I would say, "sorry I need to see how much each thing is broken down. Tesla told me the third parties pay the same for the PW as we do, and the more powerwalls you have the less likely you would have to split anything off, so would be a whole home backup situation (thus no critical loads panel, easier install).

For what its worth, I asked tesla how much it would be if I wanted a third powerwall, just for info. My rep said:

"the additional powerwall itself is 6500 of course, then the install goes from 2500 to 4k, and the increase in taxes of course. The tesla energy advisor said "SGIP is a pain... I helped a lot of people with it, but its seriously a pain to deal with".

I didnt want to pay that much money and figured 2 PWs was fine so thats what I ordered.
 

MikeW

Member
Dec 4, 2012
33
25
Cupertino, CA
SGIP has categories with rebate money allocated separately for each. There is little or no money left for the Small Residential category, less than or equal to 10 kW. But there is $25 million left for Large Scale storage, which is anything over 10 kW. This is the power output, not the energy storage capacity. Each Powerwall can output 5 kW, so two Powerwalls is 10 kW which is right at the limit for Small Residential. Three Powerwalls is 15 kW which is considered Large Scale storage. I was told this by a reputable local installer. But their price including the SGIP rebate was higher than Tesla without SGIP.

The rebate has "steps", the amount of rebate per kWh goes down with each step. You can see the current step for all the categories at this link (updated daily)

SGIP |
 
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who177e

Member
Sep 29, 2018
54
18
Union City, CA
This is where I would demand an "itemized breakdown" not a "11,600 per powerwall, inclusive of hardware and labor".


I would say, "sorry I need to see how much each thing is broken down. Tesla told me the third parties pay the same for the PW as we do, and the more powerwalls you have the less likely you would have to split anything off, so would be a whole home backup situation (thus no critical loads panel, easier install).

For what its worth, I asked tesla how much it would be if I wanted a third powerwall, just for info. My rep said:

"the additional powerwall itself is 6500 of course, then the install goes from 2500 to 4k, and the increase in taxes of course. The tesla energy advisor said "SGIP is a pain... I helped a lot of people with it, but its seriously a pain to deal with".

I didnt want to pay that much money and figured 2 PWs was fine so thats what I ordered.

I also contacted Tesla early this week about adding 2 PWs to my Tesla PV system too.
They quoted me exactly what they quoted you $17,100 plus tax.
I submitted my photos through their web portal as well and now just waiting for a design. My advisor said they are pretty backlogged and will circle back with me in 2 weeks.
 
Sep 24, 2015
832
696
San Diego (Oceanside)
I also contacted Tesla early this week about adding 2 PWs to my Tesla PV system too.
They quoted me exactly what they quoted you $17,100 plus tax.
I submitted my photos through their web portal as well and now just waiting for a design. My advisor said they are pretty backlogged and will circle back with me in 2 weeks.
Did they give you any kind of ETA? This year or next?
 

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