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Solar inverter changed prior to install

juztmello

Member
Jan 14, 2019
5
0
California
Hi all, so I went with Tesla for our solar install and the contract/plan layout indicated that we were going to get the Solaredge inverter with power optimizers. The system was installed a few weeks ago and it seems they installed a Delta inverter instead. I was never notified that this was going to be changed, and did not get asked to authorize it. Has this happened with any other people, and what options did you take? My project advisor is telling me that Tesla is no longer installing Solaredge inverters but I have noticed on some forum threads that some customers are still receiving them. She offered to ask for the Tesla inverter but I am not sure I want to go with a new product with them. Final inspection will be in a few days and I am hoping to have some resolution before having to do the final payment for the system.
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,062
799
Silver Spring, MD
Had a moment of deja-vu there:


Tesla is phasing out the SolarEdge, so it is plausible that they have very few, if any left (and it may vary by location and inverter size.) The linked thread does offer thoughts on options and what the actual differences might be with the different inverters. (As of now, no resolution from the OP posted in that thread, however.)

While I would definitely be unhappy with them making a change like that without telling me (even if the effect is negligible,) it seems like the Tesla contract - at least the one I signed - does allow them to substitute equipment unilaterally as long as they don't increase the cost and "does not materially affect the System's performance." I am guessing that would mean that as long as you still produce the number Tesla estimated for year 1, they would say there is no material change.

One thing to note is that, depending on your jurisdiction, the change in inverter will require an update to the permit that could delay approvals. Whatever you decide, do make sure Tesla is pushing through all necessary changes as rapidly as possible once you make a final decision on the inverter.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,811
2,961
Northern California
Tesla is definitely dumping SolarEdge. I am not sure that is a bad thing. People are reporting monthly long delays in getting their SolarEdge inverters repaired.

I would jump on a Tesla Inverter for a Tesla install. You will probably get better support from Tesla with their inverter. I wish we had them.
 
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hungryjonjon

Member
Apr 12, 2019
53
83
Maryland
This happened to me as well. I only caught it by chance as I was speaking to one of the installers asking if he had been installing any Tesla inverters yet. He casually mentioned I was receiving Delta and Tesla inverters are mostly west coast for now. He saw my puzzled face and said "you're wondering why you're getting Delta." I said this isn't what was discussed with my project advisor and who had sent me documents on SolarEdge equipment.

He ultimately 'escalated' it and a few days later they came back and installed the whole solar system (delayed due to snow/ice on roof, not due to this).
I told two project advisors about this debacle and how it is wrong to come to install something different and not even inform the customer of a change. The installer literally said "I was updating the paperwork in the truck when I arrived" due to the inverter change.

That is not acceptable. I signed the original contract on 11/2020 and my system wasn't installed until 2/2021 and I had to sign three versions on the contract and they couldn't at any point let me know the equipment was changing? Tesla experience has been pretty bad, which I expected it to be worse than another vendor, but this has been very disappointing.

I also had to hound Tesla for weeks to finally get my interconnect paperwork submitted last week. Five weeks after inspection passing to finally get the paperwork submitted.

They also tried more than once to get me to sign SREC paperwork when I continually declined selling them to Tesla in my contract. I don't think it's intentional as if they're trying to trick me to sign them over but I wonder how many less informed consumers have signed those papers by accident and don't even understand what happened.

(moderator note: added spacing to post to improve readability. no other change made)
 

MCNE

Member
Mar 12, 2021
27
9
Texas
Tesla is definitely dumping SolarEdge. I am not sure that is a bad thing. People are reporting monthly long delays in getting their SolarEdge inverters repaired.

I would jump on a Tesla Inverter for a Tesla install. You will probably get better support from Tesla with their inverter. I wish we had them.
When they arrived to complete my install this month I wanted to confirm my SolarEdge inverter size because it wasn't listed on any of the documents. Well the lead installer said you have Tesla inverters and I was like...what! Apparently they made this move very fast and later came clean and told me that SolarEdge replacements were killing them. The process takes too long because of requirements SE has for warranty replacements. In the end I agreed and let them install the Tesla units but I now have two inverters instead of one. I would have selected Tesla anyway if presented with all the options.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,688
8,469
Riverside Co. CA
This happened to me as well. I only caught it by chance as I was speaking to one of the installers asking if he had been installing any Tesla inverters yet. He casually mentioned I was receiving Delta and Tesla inverters are mostly west coast for now. He saw my puzzled face and said "you're wondering why you're getting Delta." I said this isn't what was discussed with my project advisor and who had sent me documents on SolarEdge equipment. He ultimately 'escalated' it and a few days later they came back and installed the whole solar system (delayed due to snow/ice on roof, not due to this).
I told two project advisors about this debacle and how it is wrong to come to install something different and not even inform the customer of a change. The installer literally said "I was updating the paperwork in the truck when I arrived" due to the inverter change. That is not acceptable. I signed the original contract on 11/2020 and my system wasn't installed until 2/2021 and I had to sign three versions on the contract and they couldn't at any point let me know the equipment was changing? Tesla experience has been pretty bad, which I expected it to be worse than another vendor, but this has been very disappointing. I also had to hound Tesla for weeks to finally get my interconnect paperwork submitted last week. Five weeks after inspection passing to finally get the paperwork submitted. They also tried more than once to get me to sign SREC paperwork when I continually declined selling them to Tesla in my contract. I don't think it's intentional as if they're trying to trick me to sign them over but I wonder how many less informed consumers have signed those papers by accident and don't even understand what happened.


I am virtually positive that the contract you signed also states that tesla can substitute equipment as long as production is not materially impacted, and they dont charge you any more money.

I am not defending tesla, just sure that it says that because of other reports here. They can substitute inverters and even panel manufacturer etc as long as it meets at least the specs they promised you.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
117
53
California
This happened to me as well. I only caught it by chance as I was speaking to one of the installers asking if he had been installing any Tesla inverters yet. He casually mentioned I was receiving Delta and Tesla inverters are mostly west coast for now. He saw my puzzled face and said "you're wondering why you're getting Delta." I said this isn't what was discussed with my project advisor and who had sent me documents on SolarEdge equipment.

He ultimately 'escalated' it and a few days later they came back and installed the whole solar system (delayed due to snow/ice on roof, not due to this).
I told two project advisors about this debacle and how it is wrong to come to install something different and not even inform the customer of a change. The installer literally said "I was updating the paperwork in the truck when I arrived" due to the inverter change.

That is not acceptable. I signed the original contract on 11/2020 and my system wasn't installed until 2/2021 and I had to sign three versions on the contract and they couldn't at any point let me know the equipment was changing? Tesla experience has been pretty bad, which I expected it to be worse than another vendor, but this has been very disappointing.

I also had to hound Tesla for weeks to finally get my interconnect paperwork submitted last week. Five weeks after inspection passing to finally get the paperwork submitted.

They also tried more than once to get me to sign SREC paperwork when I continually declined selling them to Tesla in my contract. I don't think it's intentional as if they're trying to trick me to sign them over but I wonder how many less informed consumers have signed those papers by accident and don't even understand what happened.

(moderator note: added spacing to post to improve readability. no other change made)

It's clear that customer service is not Tesla's strength. Did you at least get significantly lower cost compared to other solar vendors? Otherwise, I don't understand why people put up with it.
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,811
2,961
Northern California
It's clear that customer service is not Tesla's strength. Did you at least get significantly lower cost compared to other solar vendors? Otherwise, I don't understand why people put up with it.
Cost is Tesla's strength. You hear stories of them being many thousand less than the competition. So it becomes go with a volume installer and know you are just another customer and save thousands, or go with someone else where they may deal with you every whim, but charge you thousands more.

I would also add that we felt Tesla was more likely to be in business where a some other solar installers might not be. We originally went with one of the largest, PetersenDean, the guys that we on TV throughout the West Coast. They became unresponsive and finally went bankrupt 6 months into us starting to work with them. That turned out to be a several thousand dollar wrong choice on our part, and I don't think we will recover much, if any, of the that money.
 
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darhall993

Member
Jan 24, 2019
126
109
Sandy Springs, GA
Cost is Tesla's strength. You hear stories of them being many thousand less than the competition. So it becomes go with a volume installer and know you are just another customer and save thousands, or go with someone else where they may deal with you every whim, but charge you thousands more.

I would also add that we felt Tesla was more likely to be in business where a some other solar installers might not be. We originally went with one of the largest, PetersenDean, the guys that we on TV throughout the West Coast. They became unresponsive and finally went bankrupt 6 months into us starting to work with them. That turned out to be a several thousand dollar wrong choice on our part, and I don't think we will recover much, if any, of the that money.
Agree with @jboy210 here, Tesla is streamlining the supply chain and lowering costs. I had a SolarEdge inverter go bad 2 yrs ago, it took a total of 10 days from reporting the issue until replacement was complete, but I have a local and very responsive installer.

From all accounts on this forum Tesla’s after install service is not stellar and adding in the complexities of an RMA with another vendor like SolarEdge doesn’t help. I hope their inverters perform well and are durable that will make it easier to satisfy Tesla Energy customers.
 

hungryjonjon

Member
Apr 12, 2019
53
83
Maryland
I am virtually positive that the contract you signed also states that tesla can substitute equipment as long as production is not materially impacted, and they dont charge you any more money.

I am not defending tesla, just sure that it says that because of other reports here. They can substitute inverters and even panel manufacturer etc as long as it meets at least the specs they promised you.
It does allow them to substitute if it doesn’t materially affect performance. However, I would argue Delta can materially affect performance versus SolarEdge with power optimizers in regards to shading issues or panels failing and reducing performance. Perhaps Tesla doesn’t see it that way and I’m sure they’d argue against that. I’d suspect part of the issue is I ordered three months before they were able to install and things changed in that period of time. There was constant confusion on their end and poor communication requiring me to email and call multiple times before getting responses. As I think about it more it would have been a miracle for them to communicate any change to me.
 
Last edited:

hungryjonjon

Member
Apr 12, 2019
53
83
Maryland
It's clear that customer service is not Tesla's strength. Did you at least get significantly lower cost compared to other solar vendors? Otherwise, I don't understand why people put up with it.
I absolutely knew the customer service would not be great and I was accepting lower monetary cost at a higher cost of my time. But they still surprised me with how difficult it has been.
 

hungryjonjon

Member
Apr 12, 2019
53
83
Maryland
Cost is Tesla's strength. You hear stories of them being many thousand less than the competition. So it becomes go with a volume installer and know you are just another customer and save thousands, or go with someone else where they may deal with you every whim, but charge you thousands more.

I would also add that we felt Tesla was more likely to be in business where a some other solar installers might not be. We originally went with one of the largest, PetersenDean, the guys that we on TV throughout the West Coast. They became unresponsive and finally went bankrupt 6 months into us starting to work with them. That turned out to be a several thousand dollar wrong choice on our part, and I don't think we will recover much, if any, of the that money.
That was certainly one of my concerns too, I felt Tesla wouldn’t disappear overnight versus some of these smaller local companies. If they did I guess I’d be double boned with solar and car.

Sorry to hear that.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
7,688
8,469
Riverside Co. CA
It does allow them to substitute if it doesn’t materially affect performance. However, I would argue Delta can materially affect performance versus SolarEdge with power optimizers in regards to shading issues or panels failing and reducing performance. Perhaps Tesla doesn’t see it that way and I’m sure they’d argue against that. I’d suspect part of the issue is I ordered three months before they were able to install and things changed in that period of time. There was constant confusion on their end and poor communication requiring me to email and call multiple times before getting responses. As I think about it more it would have been a miracle for them to communicate any change to me.

One of our members here is a solar installer, and has strong feelings that optimizers dont really make enough difference for the additional cost of the product (and he does not work for tesla) :


I dont have the knowledge to agree or disagree with him, but since this is something you are concerned with (optimizers vs not), maybe this thread is of interest to you.
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,062
799
Silver Spring, MD
It does allow them to substitute if it doesn’t materially affect performance. However, I would argue Delta can materially affect performance versus SolarEdge with power optimizers in regards to shading issues or panels failing and reducing performance. Perhaps Tesla doesn’t see it that way and I’m sure they’d argue against that. I’d suspect part of the issue is I ordered three months before they were able to install and things changed in that period of time. There was constant confusion on their end and poor communication requiring me to email and call multiple times before getting responses. As I think about it more it would have been a miracle for them to communicate any change to me.
My guess is that Tesla would say the change is not material as long as you hit your first year's estimate that Tesla provided. And, in the end, arguably the core of what you are paying for is x kWh of electricity per year (with some degradation as noted in the contract.) Since it seems Tesla tends to be conservative in their estimates, it may be that even if the change in inverter does reduce production, as long as it still reaches the promised amount for the year, you got what you were promised. I would watch to see it Tesla does try to provide an updated agreement where that number went down.

All of that said, even if the change is immaterial I think it is a bad business practice for Tesla to be making these kinds of changes without informing the customer, particularly when there is a change in the type of technology between the SolarEdge and Tesla/Delta inverters. Whether or not it makes a difference in performance, if Tesla sold you with one type of install, they should inform you of the change. And really, most people (recognizing this forum is not most people) probably won't care or will be happy to be told they are getting the latest product.
 

bozer

Member
Jul 13, 2020
86
35
NJ
I had same thing happened but they gave me Telsa inverters. They said that Tesla is only installing those now
 

jboy210

Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
4,811
2,961
Northern California
I had same thing happened but they gave me Telsa inverters. They said that Tesla is only installing those now
I think you came out ahead. The Tesla inverters have liquid cooling that makes them less likely to have to clip production as we get into summer. My Delta inverters start derating at 113F which can be achieved pretty easily by a metal box exposed to summer sun. Then there is the question of which inverters will get better support from Tesla on a Telsa installed system.
 

jat255

Member
Sep 11, 2017
104
80
Boulder, CO
They did the same to me (install in Jan. 2021). Quoted SE, and they installed a Delta M4. Pretty annoyed that they didn't think to mention it to me, the person paying for it...
 

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