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Permits Obtained, now what?

whydontwe

Member
Oct 27, 2018
185
36
Los Angeles
I received a text stating that Tesla obtained permits. Not sure for what though.

I have left four messages with my project advisor but no call-back.

What supposed to happen now?

I do need a MPU, so does that happen first before installation?

Also, I am now thinking of a batter, 1 PW. Will I further delay my turn-on if I request 1 PW right now?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,802
8,627
Riverside Co. CA
If you just got the text saying tesla obtained permits, the next step would normally be them contacting you to coordinate whatever has to happen before installation.

One thing you have to have when tesla is the one doing your installation is "patience". If you got the text yesterday, (for example), you likely need to give them a good week before bugging them, or, alternatively, be prepared to be annoyed as you repeatedly reach out to them and they dont get back to you because they "arent ready for you yet".

Requesting a powerwall will likely delay your project, yes, as they will need to pull additional permits for that etc. Also, what size PV (solar) are you purchasing, and what is the goal for considering the powerwall?

TL ; DR ... one powerwall basically only backs up "critical loads", not whole home. Not backing up your whole home means they will have to split circuits to a critical loads panel.
 

astrorob

stealth performance M3
Aug 27, 2014
397
73
oakland, ca
in my case the MPU happened months before the actual powerwall installation and was done by a subcontractor. this may or may not be normal - covid definitely slowed everything down.

in theory they can do the MPU and then the PW install back-to-back but they may have stopped doing this due to scheduling difficulties.

however it sounds like you're talking about a solar-only install, but the above probably still applies.
 

whydontwe

Member
Oct 27, 2018
185
36
Los Angeles
System size is 7.8 kW that gives me 102% offset. I think I'll pass on the PW, and it's not a cheap thing either. Maybe I'll get two next year when I have more funds. My overall goal is to not have to pay SCE a dime.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,661
271
auburn, ca
System size is 7.8 kW that gives me 102% offset. I think I'll pass on the PW, and it's not a cheap thing either. Maybe I'll get two next year when I have more funds. My overall goal is to not have to pay SCE a dime.
And by far the cheapest way to do that is add as much solar as possible. I am at 15K. Would love to add another 10K
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,802
8,627
Riverside Co. CA
System size is 7.8 kW that gives me 102% offset. I think I'll pass on the PW, and it's not a cheap thing either. Maybe I'll get two next year when I have more funds. My overall goal is to not have to pay SCE a dime.

if your system size is 7.8, in LA that will likely generate something like 11,000 kWh a year or something would be my guess. you dont want 1 powerwall imo, you want none, or two, based on your system size.

Keep in mind that, at least right now, tesla does not appear to be selling powerwalls separately, like many of us who had existing solar got. Demand for powerwalls is through the proverbial "roof", so they may just be doing that to slow down demand. Just be aware that if you change your mind or want to get them "next year" you may have a long wait to get them, and yes they are not cheap. buying one on its own, with permitting and installation and the gateway is going to run you approximately 12k (+ taxes) if you do it next year.

Adding 2 through tesla is going to cost you approximately 19.k (after taxes), provided they dont raise the price on them more. No idea what they would cost to bundle them now, but they used to give a discount on the labor charges (which used to be 2.5k for 2 powerwalls or 3.5k for 1, but was included in those approximate prices said earlier for getting powerwalls for people who already had solar.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,661
271
auburn, ca
if your system size is 7.8, in LA that will likely generate something like 11,000 kWh a year or something would be my guess. you dont want 1 powerwall imo, you want none, or two, based on your system size.

Keep in mind that, at least right now, tesla does not appear to be selling powerwalls separately, like many of us who had existing solar got. Demand for powerwalls is through the proverbial "roof", so they may just be doing that to slow down demand. Just be aware that if you change your mind or want to get them "next year" you may have a long wait to get them, and yes they are not cheap. buying one on its own, with permitting and installation and the gateway is going to run you approximately 12k (+ taxes) if you do it next year.

Adding 2 through tesla is going to cost you approximately 19.k (after taxes), provided they dont raise the price on them more. No idea what they would cost to bundle them now, but they used to give a discount on the labor charges (which used to be 2.5k for 2 powerwalls or 3.5k for 1, but was included in those approximate prices said earlier for getting powerwalls for people who already had solar.
I have found "adding" stuff later is a big mistake! Cost is more. Codes may change and make it impossible. Etc. But, this stuff is not cheap.
 

jp925

Member
Mar 26, 2021
7
8
East Bay Area
Buy once, cry once. That applies to everything I do now. I went from considering 1 powerwall and quickly realized if I can't backup or power my 30amp breakers, it's almost pointless for me, at least.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,047
619
East Bay NorCal
I think people typically look into batteries in terms of what they can back up; but the value in them (in my opinion) is less about resiliency and more about being immune to the time of use BS that your power company tries to shove down your throat.

To that end, even even 1 PW could help someone who is facing a peak time charge that is significantly higher than their off-peak time charge. Even though the 1 PW isn't actually backing up the whole home, it is available to help bank some power from the solar, and supply some energy to the entire home during peak time while the power company service is active.

For example, if a household had daily usage from 4pm to midnight @ 11 kWh, then this home could use stored battery energy during that time and not have to wait until midnight to do the dishes or laundry. This is even if the dishwasher and dryer are not backed up. This is because the Gateway can meter loads that aren't backed up. Yes, if the power company goes completely offline at 12:01am, then this homeowner is kind of screwed because they used most of their battery to just offset time of use. But you get the idea... there's still daily value to be had through quality of life that isn't related to actually backing up a home.

One of my problems (out of many problems) is that PG&E doesn't seem to grasp the idea of a partial home backup solution, where there are CTs placed upstream of the gateway. The CTs allow the Gateway to see non-backup loads so the batteries can discharge to power the home's non-backup loads when the utility was operational. Of course if PG&E goes offline, then no power is making it upstream of the Gateway. Those upstream loads remain not-backed-up. But PG&E was like "what type of BS is this" and demanded Sunrun scrap my partial home backup solution with upstream metering (of my own loads; not my next door neighbor's loads).

But the concept of deploying clean energy upstream IN THE SAME HOME blows people's minds... and PG&E hated that idea so much. I dunno about SCE, but I'd imagine they have curmudgeons there that hate customers with PV+ESS as well.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,802
8,627
Riverside Co. CA
I think people typically look into batteries in terms of what they can back up; but the value in them (in my opinion) is less about resiliency and more about being immune to the time of use BS that your power company tries to shove down your throat.

To that end, even even 1 PW could help someone who is facing a peak time charge that is significantly higher than their off-peak time charge. Even though the 1 PW isn't actually backing up the whole home, it is available to help bank some power from the solar, and supply some energy to the entire home during peak time while the power company service is active.

For example, if a household had daily usage from 4pm to midnight @ 11 kWh, then this home could use stored battery energy during that time and not have to wait until midnight to do the dishes or laundry. This is even if the dishwasher and dryer are not backed up. This is because the Gateway can meter loads that aren't backed up. Yes, if the power company goes completely offline at 12:01am, then this homeowner is kind of screwed because they used most of their battery to just offset time of use. But you get the idea... there's still daily value to be had through quality of life that isn't related to actually backing up a home.

One of my problems (out of many problems) is that PG&E doesn't seem to grasp the idea of a partial home backup solution, where there are CTs placed upstream of the gateway. The CTs allow the Gateway to see non-backup loads so the batteries can discharge to power the home's non-backup loads when the utility was operational. Of course if PG&E goes offline, then no power is making it upstream of the Gateway. Those upstream loads remain not-backed-up. But PG&E was like "what type of BS is this" and demanded Sunrun scrap my partial home backup solution with upstream metering (of my own loads; not my next door neighbor's loads).

But the concept of deploying clean energy upstream IN THE SAME HOME blows people's minds... and PG&E hated that idea so much. I dunno about SCE, but I'd imagine they have curmudgeons there that hate customers with PV+ESS as well.

I dont think they are quite as bad.... bad but not quite.

FWIW my tesla wall connector (what many people call "charger" but the charger is actually in the car, and the wall connector is basically a very fancy power plug), is connected in my regular panel, NOT backup panel. Its the only home load left in my "non backed up" panel.

Even though its not backed up, the powerwalls I have are able to see it (when the grid is up) and provide power to my car when the grid is up. I just did it today in fact. I waited to charge about 7kW worth of power in my car till about 12:30pm. My powerwalls were full, my solar was generating about 6.3kW of power, but my home was only using 1kW. I triggered my car charging manually, and drained my powerwalls down some, and when the car finished charging, the solar filled my powerwalls back up.

As I mentioned, the wall connector isnt in the backup loads panel, but It can be seen, and SCE had no issue with this setup for my home at least.
 
Last edited:
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,047
619
East Bay NorCal
I dont think they are quite as bad.... bad but not quite.

FWIW my tesla wall connector (what many people call "charger" but the charger is actually in the car, and the wall connector is basically a very fancy power plug), is connected in my regular panel, NOT backup panel. Its the only home load left in my "non backed up" panel.

Even though its not backed up, the powerwalls I have are able to see it (when the grid is up) and provide power to my car when the grid is up. I just did it today in fact. I waited to charge about 7kW worth of power in my car till about 12:30pm. My powerwalls were full, my solar was generating about 6.3kW of power, but my home was only using 1kW. I triggered my car charging manually, and drained my powerwalls down some, and when the car finished charging, the solar filled my powerwalls back up.

As I mentioned, the wall connector isnt in the backup loads panel, but It can be seen, and SCE had no issue with this setup for my home at least.



Yeah, you're lucky. PG&E was like "but what if your home draws 200 amps at the same time your power wall exports to the grid and it's high noon so your solar produces max amps??? huh buddy? what then?"

They figure 200amps going to home loads + 50 amps exporting from two Powerwalls + 28 amps from solar would FRY YOUR BUSBAR!!! YOU SUCKKKKKKK $#*!^(!!!

But I think we know this scenario that PG&E paints is dumb. Unfortunately it's PG&E's way of getting homeowners to to explain some stupid mythical BS fake scenario and ignoring the 99.999% good scenarios. What you described with your non-backup load getting the benefit of your clean energy when you feel like it without a time of use penalty is the true benefit of ESS (IMO). Turning on the stove at 6pm to bake some chicken without thinking "oh no PG&E said we should only eat cold sandwiches to save California from its energy crisis!"

A backup during a power outage is nice but much less relevant in the long run unless you're facing like 2 PSPS per year or something.
 
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ptdog

New Member
Apr 8, 2021
1
0
SanDiegoCounty
Regarding receiving Permit and the text message saying so, the next step was for Tesla to contact me. I waited 1 week exactly. My friend who ordered 2 weeks after me got a notification that he got his permit 7 days after me receiving my permit. Then , on the same day, he gets text message to about the automatic date they choose for him to install. What the hell! Here I am waiting, and he gets permit and scheduling text within 1 hour of each other. Mine has not moved for 7 days. I called my adviser, and he then sends me a text to call 877-525-7652 to schedule the install. I waited 30 minutes on hold, and they schedule me for the next week.

So, give that number a shot. If definitely worked for me. My experience is simple, I have to call and push. My friend, nope. His process just works and just goes to the next step. I am part of the unlucky few. He is part of group with a perfect process it seems.
 

jp925

Member
Mar 26, 2021
7
8
East Bay Area
I think people typically look into batteries in terms of what they can back up; but the value in them (in my opinion) is less about resiliency and more about being immune to the time of use BS that your power company tries to shove down your throat.

To that end, even even 1 PW could help someone who is facing a peak time charge that is significantly higher than their off-peak time charge. Even though the 1 PW isn't actually backing up the whole home, it is available to help bank some power from the solar, and supply some energy to the entire home during peak time while the power company service is active.

For example, if a household had daily usage from 4pm to midnight @ 11 kWh, then this home could use stored battery energy during that time and not have to wait until midnight to do the dishes or laundry. This is even if the dishwasher and dryer are not backed up. This is because the Gateway can meter loads that aren't backed up. Yes, if the power company goes completely offline at 12:01am, then this homeowner is kind of screwed because they used most of their battery to just offset time of use. But you get the idea... there's still daily value to be had through quality of life that isn't related to actually backing up a home.

One of my problems (out of many problems) is that PG&E doesn't seem to grasp the idea of a partial home backup solution, where there are CTs placed upstream of the gateway. The CTs allow the Gateway to see non-backup loads so the batteries can discharge to power the home's non-backup loads when the utility was operational. Of course if PG&E goes offline, then no power is making it upstream of the Gateway. Those upstream loads remain not-backed-up. But PG&E was like "what type of BS is this" and demanded Sunrun scrap my partial home backup solution with upstream metering (of my own loads; not my next door neighbor's loads).

But the concept of deploying clean energy upstream IN THE SAME HOME blows people's minds... and PG&E hated that idea so much. I dunno about SCE, but I'd imagine they have curmudgeons there that hate customers with PV+ESS as well.
This is what I've been trying to get a clear answer on since I started down the PW research hole. For some reason I kept thinking that there is no way the PW can assist in loads that were not directly connected to the backup panel or the designated sub panel for backup. My Tesla rep kept telling me this was the case but I assumed he was trying to oversell the benefit of one Powerwall. Looks like he was right after all.

My example was, even with 1 Powerwall, if I were to be using my air conditioner during peak times, and since the AC unit is technically not backed up or connected directly(due to its 50amp breaker), would the PW still "assist" in producing power to the unit during discharge, or would it only focus on discharging from the power that it is wired to assist with, lights, refrigerators, etc. in backup. I kept getting a YES, but it didn't quite make sense. I am a total newb when it comes to this of course.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,802
8,627
Riverside Co. CA
This is what I've been trying to get a clear answer on since I started down the PW research hole. For some reason I kept thinking that there is no way the PW can assist in loads that were not directly connected to the backup panel or the designated sub panel for backup. My Tesla rep kept telling me this was the case but I assumed he was trying to oversell the benefit of one Powerwall. Looks like he was right after all.

My example was, even with 1 Powerwall, if I were to be using my air conditioner during peak times, and since the AC unit is technically not backed up or connected directly(due to its 50amp breaker), would the PW still "assist" in producing power to the unit during discharge, or would it only focus on discharging from the power that it is wired to assist with, lights, refrigerators, etc. in backup. I kept getting a YES, but it didn't quite make sense. I am a total newb when it comes to this of course.

It kind of depends on your home, if they can put CT (current transformers) in such a manner that the powerwall can see that load, etc. There are very few "cut and dried" answers to things powerwall, simply because these are construction projects (like redoing your kitchen) every home is different.

Its possible in some circumstances for powerwalls to assist with the home loads in the non backup panel, but in other cases its not (sub panels, etc).
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,661
271
auburn, ca
This is what I've been trying to get a clear answer on since I started down the PW research hole. For some reason I kept thinking that there is no way the PW can assist in loads that were not directly connected to the backup panel or the designated sub panel for backup. My Tesla rep kept telling me this was the case but I assumed he was trying to oversell the benefit of one Powerwall. Looks like he was right after all.

My example was, even with 1 Powerwall, if I were to be using my air conditioner during peak times, and since the AC unit is technically not backed up or connected directly(due to its 50amp breaker), would the PW still "assist" in producing power to the unit during discharge, or would it only focus on discharging from the power that it is wired to assist with, lights, refrigerators, etc. in backup. I kept getting a YES, but it didn't quite make sense. I am a total newb when it comes to this of course.
When the grid is on, everything is all connected together and sharing loads. This is not load panel or non backed panel, etc. Its just one big connected network. So yep, depending on how you setup the PW, it can be used to power anything, same as solar, etc. It is only if grid power goes out that how things are connected matter, based on how the switches engage.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,047
619
East Bay NorCal
When the grid is on, everything is all connected together and sharing loads. This is not load panel or non backed panel, etc. Its just one big connected network. So yep, depending on how you setup the PW, it can be used to power anything, same as solar, etc. It is only if grid power goes out that how things are connected matter, based on how the switches engage.

I just want to clarify that this cleverness with CTs metering non-backup loads is something that seems "common" with Tesla Powerwalls and people on TMC ... but is much less common in the real world . I cannot stress enough how much of a pain it was trying to explain this topic to the dozen or so installers I was getting quotes from back in early 2020 (even before COVID struck). I even struggled with this concept while speaking with my Tesla sales rep.

I'm just cautioning any lurkers here or the OP that it could be a hard struggle to get batteries for anything other than resiliency since "backup" is how ESS are traditionally viewed.

No joke, the Tesla rep I was able to get on the phone said that even with the utility operational, the only way I was going to send clean energy from the ESS to all home loads in my entire home "microgrid" was if I did 3 or 4 Powerwalls for whole home backup. I remember a conversation ending in a pissed off sales rep, and a pissed off holeydonut.

I kept pushing the idea of a partial home backup solution with a critical loads panel for backup, but metered upstream loads that could get clean energy when the utility was up. I even directed him to the Tesla Powerwall manual showing this configuration. He said that was a BS design proposal, and he'd never heard of it actually being implemented even though it's in the manual. After a lot of back and forth he said:

"I've wasted 45 minutes talking to you, and it doesn't look like I'm going to get a sale. Take your goddamn $100 back and leave me alone".

My wife was like "why are you yelling at someone about solar again? Maybe you are wrong since all these sales people you talk to end up getting mad at you... it sounds like you're the problem not them since they're all telling you the same thing".

If TMC or @Vines didn't exist to show me that it was indeed possible, my home PV+ESS solution would only have a backup critical loads panel with 4 breakers in it. No stored ESS energy was making to any loads except what was fed by those 4 backed-up breakers. PV could make it anywhere when it was being spot-generated and consumed before it hit the line side of the MPU. But that's it for green energy making it upstream.

Everyone was telling me the same thing... Tesla, Sunrun, Semper, Sunpower, and 5 local solar installers who were pushing LG Chem, Generac PWRcell, Panasonic Evervolt, etc. My wife felt there was zero chance so many "experts" were wrong and I was "right." I had a Zoom call with a local installer that devolved into an accusation that I was a competitor trying to screw with him to see if they'd violate code resulting in their ability to permit being suspended. But, I was eventually able to brute force my way through Sunrun's sales team and they said they'd "try to make me the first customer with ESS and metered upstream loads that weren't backed up."

And of course when PG&E saw Sunrun's first design, they CRAPPED all over it for all sorts of code and NEM violations. At one point PG&E accused Sunrun of just making a bogus design and thought Sunrun would put a load-side tap for the ESS. They basically thought the CT in the line diagram was a #6 AWG Romex or something. And Sunrun didn't know how to combat PG&E since I was the first customer they've had with a partial home backup and metered non-backup loads. So I needed to get a 3rd battery (thanks to SGIP) in order to do a whole home backup and get rid of the metered-nonsense. Basically PG&E was going to ban me from getting 1 or 2 Powerwall installation for anything but a partial home backup.

So bottom line, the greatness of using ESS to bypass time of use is real; but it was definitely not easy to get in my experience.
 
Last edited:

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
1,661
271
auburn, ca
I just want to clarify that this cleverness with CTs metering non-backup loads is something that seems "common" with Tesla Powerwalls and people on TMC ... but is much less common in the real world . I cannot stress enough how much of a pain it was trying to explain this topic to the dozen or so installers I was getting quotes from back in early 2020 (even before COVID struck). I even struggled with this concept while speaking with my Tesla sales rep.

I'm just cautioning any lurkers here or the OP that it could be a hard struggle to get batteries for anything other than resiliency since "backup" is how ESS are traditionally viewed.

No joke, the Tesla rep I was able to get on the phone said that even with the utility operational, the only way I was going to send clean energy from the ESS to all home loads in my entire home "microgrid" was if I did 3 or 4 Powerwalls for whole home backup. I remember a conversation ending in a pissed off sales rep, and a pissed off holeydonut.

I kept pushing the idea of a partial home backup solution with a critical loads panel for backup, but metered upstream loads that could get clean energy when the utility was up. I even directed him to the Tesla Powerwall manual showing this configuration. He said that was a BS design proposal, and he'd never heard of it actually being implemented even though it's in the manual. After a lot of back and forth he said:

"I've wasted 45 minutes talking to you, and it doesn't look like I'm going to get a sale. Take your goddamn $100 back and leave me alone".

My wife was like "why are you yelling at someone about solar again? Maybe you are wrong since all these sales people you talk to end up getting mad at you... it sounds like you're the problem not them since they're all telling you the same thing".

If TMC or @Vines didn't exist to show me that it was indeed possible, my home PV+ESS solution would only have a backup critical loads panel with 4 breakers in it. No stored ESS energy was making to any loads except what was fed by those 4 backed-up breakers. PV could make it anywhere when it was being spot-generated and consumed before it hit the line side of the MPU. But that's it for green energy making it upstream.

Everyone was telling me the same thing... Tesla, Sunrun, Semper, Sunpower, and 5 local solar installers who were pushing LG Chem, Generac PWRcell, Panasonic Evervolt, etc. My wife felt there was zero chance so many "experts" were wrong and I was "right." I had a Zoom call with a local installer that devolved into an accusation that I was a competitor trying to screw with him to see if they'd violate code resulting in their ability to permit being suspended. But, I was eventually able to brute force my way through Sunrun's sales team and they said they'd "try to make me the first customer with ESS and metered upstream loads that weren't backed up."

And of course when PG&E saw Sunrun's first design, they CRAPPED all over it for all sorts of code and NEM violations. At one point PG&E accused Sunrun of just making a bogus design and thought Sunrun would put a load-side tap for the ESS. They basically thought the CT in the line diagram was a #6 AWG Romex or something. And Sunrun didn't know how to combat PG&E since I was the first customer they've had with a partial home backup and metered non-backup loads. So I needed to get a 3rd battery (thanks to SGIP) in order to do a whole home backup and get rid of the metered-nonsense. Basically PG&E was going to ban me from getting 1 or 2 Powerwall installation for anything but a partial home backup.

So bottom line, the greatness of using ESS to bypass time of use is real; but it was definitely not easy to get in my experience.
I still am not understanding. I have my batteries on my 200 amp subpanels. Whole house. I have not non backed up panel stuff.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
1,047
619
East Bay NorCal
I still am not understanding. I have my batteries on my 200 amp subpanels. Whole house. I have not non backed up panel stuff.


Yeah, but if you did a partial home backup, you can have a CT going from your Tesla Energy Gateway to the MPU. This allows the Gateway to sense activity even if it's not backed up, so the batteries can discharge extra energy and backfeed those upstream loads. Of course if the PoCo goes offline, the Gateway will trigger the relay to block any energy from going upstream. So the non-backup-loads could only get power from the Powerwalls when the utility was up.

While Tesla's engineers have made this "easy", getting it was not "easy".

As I mentioned, PG&E thought the line diagram for this CT was actually Romex that was going to result in a line-side tap of my ESS to the MPU (no breaker).

And the various sales people who deal with ESS from non-Tesla suppliers were slack jawed at this concept. "why would you think stored energy could make it to any load that wasn't backed up? are you stooooopid???? Batteries do backup, you're asking for a battery to power something that isn't backed up!!! DUMMYYYY"
 

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