Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Just turned on my Solar panel installation...

droidment

Member
Dec 4, 2018
36
24
Houston, TX
XL installation in West Houston, TX. Received PTO (Permission To Operate) mail from Centerpoint and so, turned on the breakers, switched the disconnect panel to ON and turned on both the inverters. I hooked up my gateway to the router, switched on, can see white light on the router.

What next? My app, (i have a model 3) does not show me anything yet. There was some sunlight on my west panel array and did not see any indication in the smart meter that it is generating something.

Tried uninstalling my app, logging out too, no mas. Still cannot see my solar panels in my roof.

Droidment
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,188
10,056
SF Bay Area
XL installation in West Houston, TX. Received PTO (Permission To Operate) mail from Centerpoint and so, turned on the breakers, switched the disconnect panel to ON and turned on both the inverters. I hooked up my gateway to the router, switched on, can see white light on the router.

What next? My app, (i have a model 3) does not show me anything yet. There was some sunlight on my west panel array and did not see any indication in the smart meter that it is generating something.

Tried uninstalling my app, logging out too, no mas. Still cannot see my solar panels in my roof.

Droidment

Have you had Tesla send you email/text yet saying "Congrats you can turn on now"? If not I think that could be why. The Advisor I spoke with today said PG&E would email us first and it would take a day or two before Tesla would send us that communication. I'm guessing there might be account info that they have to change or add to the computer system to activate something, but that's just my guess. Not there yet. Tesla just remitted our Interconnect Agreement.

BTW once you get up and running after PTO if you want to be able to have your spouse have monitoring of it on their phone too, you can call and get them included. Something we already asked about.
 

droidment

Member
Dec 4, 2018
36
24
Houston, TX
I did get an email from Tesla which started with "You are one step away from enjoying all the benefits of your Solar Panels. We have received permission from your utility company to turn on your system. You can do it in a few simple steps." with a link to a video.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,795
12,504
Riverside Co. CA
I did get an email from Tesla which started with "You are one step away from enjoying all the benefits of your Solar Panels. We have received permission from your utility company to turn on your system. You can do it in a few simple steps." with a link to a video.

I would wait until tomorrow morning and see if you see anything in the app, and if not, call tesla energy support and let them know. They may have to do something on the back end on your account. If you dont have the number for tesla energy support, let us know and one of us can post it for you (tesla energy support for "after PTO" support).
 

TC_HTX

Member
Feb 27, 2020
62
41
TX
Side question: what was the timeline for PTO from Centerpoint? We had an install last week and are impatiently waiting :p
 

bob_p

Active Member
Apr 5, 2012
3,725
2,922
We had our 15.4 KW/4 PW system installed in Sugar Land late last year.

PTO took about a week - and was done without a site inspection, only based on the installers plans and photos. Centerpoint rejected the original submission and the installers had to come out to take additional photos before Centerpoint would complete the PTO process. This was done in late December, when Centerpoint was trying to quickly process many systems being installed before the 30% rebate expired - s the process could take longer now, especially due to COVID.

Even if the TEG (Tesla Energy Gateway) isn't showing in the Tesla app, you should be able to access the TEG using it's built-in web interface, and check on the system.

If the TEG isn't showing up in your app, this is a Tesla issue - and you may need to contact Tesla Energy support to get your system connected to your Tesla account.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,132
2,566
Orlando, FL
Even if the TEG (Tesla Energy Gateway) isn't showing in the Tesla app, you should be able to access the TEG using it's built-in web interface, and check on the system.

If the TEG isn't showing up in your app, this is a Tesla issue - and you may need to contact Tesla Energy support to get your system connected to your Tesla account.

I believe the OP has a solar only install, so they don’t have a TEG. For solar only installs it seems like Tesla typically won’t activate the app until after PTO. Sometimes it takes a call to Tesla support to get it activated once PTO has happened.
 

willow_hiller

Active Member
Apr 3, 2019
3,244
16,380
Maryland
I believe the OP has a solar only install, so they don’t have a TEG. For solar only installs it seems like Tesla typically won’t activate the app until after PTO. Sometimes it takes a call to Tesla support to get it activated once PTO has happened.

This is correct. Send your advisor an email/text message saying you got PTO. You should receive an email back from Tesla saying to officially "Turn on" your system in a few days (no need to actually turn off/turn on your system, you can keep it producing). And a few days after that you should have full monitoring in the Tesla app.
 

droidment

Member
Dec 4, 2018
36
24
Houston, TX
Has been 2 weeks now. Still no production. :-(. Turns out that one of the inverters is not working. Blinking green lights instead of steady green lights. The Gateway router also does not seem to work either. Tesla sent me an replacement but that is still showing 'no signal'. I thought, with one invertor working, atleast I should be getting some production and a signal. Frustrating experience.
 

KNON2000

New Member
Oct 23, 2020
3
0
Houston TX
Centerpoint came through within a week. Is your installation up and running.
I am really happy to hear that Centerpoint came thru that quickly. I have install set up for Nov30th-Dec1st - and was a bit worried about the PTO taking past the end of December...
Also, does anyone know if qualification for the tax credit is based on when the install is complete or when the PTO is granted? I have honestly been told both ways by Tesla CSR's
Kevin
 

Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
330
231
South SF Bay, California
I am really happy to hear that Centerpoint came thru that quickly. I have install set up for Nov30th-Dec1st - and was a bit worried about the PTO taking past the end of December...
Also, does anyone know if qualification for the tax credit is based on when the install is complete or when the PTO is granted? I have honestly been told both ways by Tesla CSR's
Kevin
The consensus here and on other sites is that it is installation complete to claimbthe tax credit and that the PTO approval isn't required.
 

BrettS

Active Member
Mar 28, 2017
2,132
2,566
Orlando, FL
Also, does anyone know if qualification for the tax credit is based on when the install is complete or when the PTO is granted?

The problem is that the IRS wording is kind of ambiguous. I believe that it uses the phrase “put into service”. And some people define that as being installed and able to turn on and other people think that it means that you need to wait until after you get PTO and start actively using the system.

But in the end what it comes down to is what you (and/or your tax professional) feel comfortable defending in the event of an audit. You don’t need to submit any proof when you file your taxes. You could claim the tax credit this year even though your system is not scheduled to be installed until next June. And unless you get audited no one would ever catch it. Of course, if you did get audited then you wouldn’t be able to defend that and you would likely get hit with a large fine and need to pay back the tax credit.

So really, if you are in the situation where your system is installed before 12/31, but you don’t have PTO then you need to look at exactly what the IRS says and make the decision for yourself about whether you feel comfortable claiming the credit. If you do get audited then trying to say “well, a bunch of guys on the internet said it was OK” isn’t really going to fly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jboy210

KNON2000

New Member
Oct 23, 2020
3
0
Houston TX
The problem is that the IRS wording is kind of ambiguous. I believe that it uses the phrase “put into service”. And some people define that as being installed and able to turn on and other people think that it means that you need to wait until after you get PTO and start actively using the system.

But in the end what it comes down to is what you (and/or your tax professional) feel comfortable defending in the event of an audit. You don’t need to submit any proof when you file your taxes. You could claim the tax credit this year even though your system is not scheduled to be installed until next June. And unless you get audited no one would ever catch it. Of course, if you did get audited then you wouldn’t be able to defend that and you would likely get hit with a large fine and need to pay back the tax credit.

So really, if you are in the situation where your system is installed before 12/31, but you don’t have PTO then you need to look at exactly what the IRS says and make the decision for yourself about whether you feel comfortable claiming the credit. If you do get audited then trying to say “well, a bunch of guys on the internet said it was OK” isn’t really going to fly.

Thanks everyone - I am just hoping that basically the full month of December, even with the covid issues, should be plenty of time to get PTO. For now, I have my fingers crossed!
 

Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
330
231
South SF Bay, California
The problem is that the IRS wording is kind of ambiguous. I believe that it uses the phrase “put into service”. And some people define that as being installed and able to turn on and other people think that it means that you need to wait until after you get PTO and start actively using the system.

But in the end what it comes down to is what you (and/or your tax professional) feel comfortable defending in the event of an audit. You don’t need to submit any proof when you file your taxes. You could claim the tax credit this year even though your system is not scheduled to be installed until next June. And unless you get audited no one would ever catch it. Of course, if you did get audited then you wouldn’t be able to defend that and you would likely get hit with a large fine and need to pay back the tax credit.

So really, if you are in the situation where your system is installed before 12/31, but you don’t have PTO then you need to look at exactly what the IRS says and make the decision for yourself about whether you feel comfortable claiming the credit. If you do get audited then trying to say “well, a bunch of guys on the internet said it was OK” isn’t really going to fly.

From an energy.gov Homeowner's Guide to Federal Tax Credit:
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/f...20Credit%20for%20Residential%20Solar%20PV.pdf

"The system must be placed in service
during the tax year and generate
electricity for a home located in the
United States. There is no bright-line
test from the IRS on what constitutes
“placed in service,” but the IRS has
equated it with completed installation"
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: willow_hiller

jboy210

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,468
3,468
Northern California
From an energy.gov Homeowner's Guide to Federal Tax Credit:
https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2020/01/f70/Guide%20to%20Federal%20Tax%20Credit%20for%20Residential%20Solar%20PV.pdf

"The system must be placed in service
during the tax year and generate
electricity for a home located in the
United States. There is no bright-line
test from the IRS on what constitutes
“placed in service,” but the IRS has
equated it with completed installation"

That is what I have thought.

Of course, that brings up the question of "when the installation is complete?". I use when the installer commissions the system, pack up their tools, and goes home. Someone else might use passing final inspection. But given that our final inspection was delayed 4+ months due to Covid, there is a valid argument to be made for when the installer is done.
 

pdx_m3s

Active Member
May 18, 2019
1,371
1,242
Portland, OR
That is what I have thought.

Of course, that brings up the question of "when the installation is complete?". I use when the installer commissions the system, pack up their tools, and goes home. Someone else might use passing final inspection. But given that our final inspection was delayed 4+ months due to Covid, there is a valid argument to be made for when the installer is done.

The installer turns on the system and tests its output (generating electricity) as part of installation. As such, once this is complete, one would be eligible for the tax credit.

Generally, tax credits like this don't hinge on regulatory formalities (inspection, PTO), but rather rely on the timing of the substantive work related to the credit.

For example, delivery (taking ownership) drives the EV tax credit, not registration.
 

Redhill_qik

Member
Aug 16, 2020
330
231
South SF Bay, California
That is what I have thought.

Of course, that brings up the question of "when the installation is complete?". I use when the installer commissions the system, pack up their tools, and goes home. Someone else might use passing final inspection. But given that our final inspection was delayed 4+ months due to Covid, there is a valid argument to be made for when the installer is done.

Looking into this further the "in service" rule was replaced by "begin construction" in change to the Investment Tax Credit code in Feb 2018. The "begin construction" is defined by "starting physical work of a significant nature" or by have paid at least 5% of the total cost of the energy property.
Commence Construction Guidance | SEIA
https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-18-59.pdf

IANATP (I am not a tax professional), but I don't see how the IRS would disqualify a 2020 tax credit claim if the the solar panels are on your roof by 12/31/2020 as simply installing the racks for the PV panels is explicitly called out in Section 4.02.(2).a as meeting the test for "physical work of a significant nature".
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top