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Need Advice in South Florida - go with Tesla or local company for Solar/Powerwall system?

Greetings from South Florida...Ready to pull the trigger on a rather large solar and Powerwall system. I have proposals from both Tesla and a reputable local company and looking for advice on whether it's better to go directly with Tesla vs. this local company that claims to be the largest authorized Tesla Powerwall installer in the Southeast. Any perspectives from those who have experiences with both would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
If you’re not doing a Solar Roof, there seems to be little reason to go with Tesla Energy. Their hardware these days is average (Hanwha panels & Delta inverters), and their customer service is generally below average depending on region.

If you have a trusted local installer with access to Powerwalls and high quality panels/inverters, that seems like a better package.
 
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Greetings from South Florida...Ready to pull the trigger on a rather large solar and Powerwall system. I have proposals from both Tesla and a reputable local company and looking for advice on whether it's better to go directly with Tesla vs. this local company that claims to be the largest authorized Tesla Powerwall installer in the Southeast. Any perspectives from those who have experiences with both would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Which company is the largest authorized installer in Southeast? Actually, I don't think they have any authorized installers. At least they didn't a month ago. They had installers in Tampa and Orlando, but not in Southeast. So I am a bit suspicious about these claims.

Than being said, installing Powerwalls is not rocket science, and they should be able to do it.

Dealing with Tesla is a bit of a nightmare, so if you have a local installer that you are comfortable with, I would go with the local installer.
 
I am in Tampa and interested in the solar panels with Powerwalls (the solar roof looks nice and I am in need of a new roof, but the cost is ridiculously high). What is the largest authorized installer? If you prefer not to post publicly, feel free to DM. My goal is to install a new roof and solar at the same time and hopefully have it set up where the Powerwalls will provide power when Teco (local power company) cuts off power or it goes down due to Hurricane's.
 

Rockster

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Oct 22, 2013
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After I signed a contract with Tesla I tried to get them to return my calls for months and months, to no avail. I finally canceled the contract and shopped around and found a local company who beat the pants off of Tesla. Local company was way more responsive and they put in a 10k system for $2/watt, which was way lower than Tesla's quote. From the time I signed the contract to system energized and working was about five weeks, which was way shorter than the amount of time that I had been trying just to get Tesla Energy to answer the phone.
 
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I am in Tampa and interested in the solar panels with Powerwalls (the solar roof looks nice and I am in need of a new roof, but the cost is ridiculously high). What is the largest authorized installer? If you prefer not to post publicly, feel free to DM. My goal is to install a new roof and solar at the same time and hopefully have it set up where the Powerwalls will provide power when Teco (local power company) cuts off power or it goes down due to Hurricane's.

I would echo the advice on this thread to get a local installer who is going to be around to support your system and is responsive. My installers answer emails quickly, they’ve given me their cell numbers, and are genuinely concerned with customer service. The company I used is North Carolina based, tho their footprint map does show a handful of FL installations. I am extremely pleased with them. The cheapest? Maybe not, but they have been in business 15 years and are there when I want or need them.

A plug for Southern Energy Management out of Raleigh.

Never A Better Time To Go Solar

-Joel
 
Went with local installer (Maximo Solar) who had plenty of Powerwalls on hand. Currently getting installed with two powerwalls in my possession. From contract signing to install time is the same as a normal solar installation. I could not imagine waiting forever on Tesla for an install, in my case we made it just in time for the 30% ITC credit.
 
I’m in south Florida (Broward) and went with Tesla to install a 9.2 kWh system with two powerwalls. My Experience so far has been pretty frustrating.

I started with the $99 deposit in June, system was installed in September. We are now in December and Tesla still can’t get the correct as built engineering drawings to the city for the final structural inspection to pass. The electrical final inspection was passed back in September. So I’m technically not supposed to have my system turned on yet.

Contacting Tesla is a nightmare they never answer or reply to my emails (with the exception of my old rep who was transitioned to a different position).

The one good thing I can say is the install team was excellent. The job was completed in a single day and everything looks and works great.
 
Went with local installer (Maximo Solar) who had plenty of Powerwalls on hand. Currently getting installed with two powerwalls in my possession. From contract signing to install time is the same as a normal solar installation. I could not imagine waiting forever on Tesla for an install, in my case we made it just in time for the 30% ITC credit.
how much do 3rd party installers charge for Powerwalls?
 
I’m in south Florida (Broward) and went with Tesla to install a 9.2 kWh system with two powerwalls. My Experience so far has been pretty frustrating.

I started with the $99 deposit in June, system was installed in September. We are now in December and Tesla still can’t get the correct as built engineering drawings to the city for the final structural inspection to pass. The electrical final inspection was passed back in September. So I’m technically not supposed to have my system turned on yet.

Contacting Tesla is a nightmare they never answer or reply to my emails (with the exception of my old rep who was transitioned to a different position).

The one good thing I can say is the install team was excellent. The job was completed in a single day and everything looks and works great.


This mirrors my experience.
 
This mirrors my experience.

Mirrors my experience also. I'm in Arizona, Tesla did our PV & PW install. Tesla definitely needs to shore up the whole process and support system - but experiences like this seem pretty consistent across the country. The install team was tidy, professional, and worked quickly, but after that the rest of the Tesla organization & staff were unusually unhelpful if not completely non-communicative. I love Teslas products, and overall strategy, but keeping the customer satisfied & happy once the money has been collected is absolutely horrendous.
 
how much do 3rd party installers charge for Powerwalls?
I am sure that may depend on the 3rd party but, I started with a 3rd party for a look, see and a quote for just the 2 PW installation as I have solar already. Then I contacted Tesla and so far going with them.
The 3rd party was 50% more for a 2 PW install including permitting.
Yes, it is frustrating to work with Tesla but just cannot afford a 50% premium. If it was a reasonable difference, I may already would have it installed.
 
Yes, it is frustrating to work with Tesla but just cannot afford a 50% premium. If it was a reasonable difference, I may already would have it installed.

Agreed, it's been frustrating at times, but because of their lower costs relative to other quotes I tried to get for Solar and PWs, and their original relatively quick response in getting the system install scheduled... in the end I would still go the route I did all things considered. System is up and running well now, after an original very frustrating 3 week outage due to a failed Solar Edge inverter.
 
... We are now in December and Tesla still can’t get the correct as built engineering drawings to the city for the final structural inspection to pass. ...
Not sure what structural inspection the city is waiting to do?
The roof capacity to support the solar panel weight on the roof?

I ask as the city wanted an engineering signature for the 2x4 trusses supporting the roof and now the panels when I installed my panels.
The structural engineers laughed for the city's lack of understanding. Roofs are designed for a 10 lbs work load plus whatever material is used on the roof. When the panels are place, that 10 lbs disappears as you will not stack workloads on the panels and replaced with only about 3 lbs. Cities usually have knowledgeable people in the plan check department, yet this simple idea escaped them.
 
Not sure what structural inspection the city is waiting to do?
The roof capacity to support the solar panel weight on the roof?

I ask as the city wanted an engineering signature for the 2x4 trusses supporting the roof and now the panels when I installed my panels.
The structural engineers laughed for the city's lack of understanding. Roofs are designed for a 10 lbs work load plus whatever material is used on the roof. When the panels are place, that 10 lbs disappears as you will not stack workloads on the panels and replaced with only about 3 lbs. Cities usually have knowledgeable people in the plan check department, yet this simple idea escaped them.

I received an email back today (first reply since I was transitioned to a new customer service person 3 weeks ago) stating we are waiting on the following:
“3rd party inspection report mentioning that the panels are attached with lag screws directly into the truss’” I replied for more details but who knows when I’ll hear back.
 
I received an email back today (first reply since I was transitioned to a new customer service person 3 weeks ago) stating we are waiting on the following:
“3rd party inspection report mentioning that the panels are attached with lag screws directly into the truss’” I replied for more details but who knows when I’ll hear back.
Wow. My local inspector didn't ask for that kind of detail. Perhaps because the inspector was the same person inspecting my work in the early 1990s when I built my home.
 
I had a third party installer sell me a PowerWall, since Tesla was unwilling to do so unless I also bought my solar system from them. Tesla sells very few system configurations, and the only way they could get theirs to fit on my roof was to put it in shadow, so I wanted a better solar setup along with a powerwall, and had to go with independent installers. I got three quotes.

Here in the bay area of CA, Tesla, charges $6500 for a powerwall, $1100 for the power gateway, and you will also pay for whatever additional wiring, junction boxes, circuit breakers, that you need. Call it about $9,000 for gear to install one powerwall. With labor and permits, you're looking about $15,000-$16,000. The incremental cost of a second powerwall is much lower, you can get two of them for about $22-23,000. My numbers aren't exact, since I didn't go through with the Tesla proposal, and there are some final costs they don't know until they get there.

Locally, the installers which still had SGIP credits charged $18,000 to install one powerwall, about $3k more than Tesla. Another installer was willing to install two powerwalls for $26,000, about $3,000 more than Tesla. Those were the lowest bids that I got for one powerwall versus two.

They don't mark up the powerwall much at all, where they get you is their labor costs.
 

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