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Solar Roof, big price increase

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
When I placed my order for a 6.02kW solar roof last Thanksgiving, the estimated price was $65K. For months there was no action on my order, in part because my roof has a projection over a bay window where the roof edge is angled other than 90°, which the PA said they could not do. Finally I did get a design proposal two weeks ago, so apparently they did implement a solution. Based on the experiences in this thread, I expected the actual price to be higher since my all-hip roof has a total of 21 ridge and valley line segments on an H-shaped house. And it was: $117K. I saw there was more space available on my roof so I asked the PA about the cost to increase the solar area and was told about $2K per kW. Therefore increasing the power by 2kW would reduce the cost per kW significantly, and since increasing the capacity of a solar roof later would be much harder than with panels, it makes sense to plan for future increased need due to conversion from gas to electric heat and appliances.

Imagine my (pleasant) surprise when the price of the revised design proposal for an 8.77kW system decreased to $107K, 9% less that the first design (these prices all before tax credit). Looking at where the cost reduction came from, I see that the non-solar roof material cost decreased more than the solar roof material cost increased -- are the metal tiles more expensive than the solar tiles? That seems unlikely. Similarly, the bulk of the reduced price came from the reduced non-solar roof labor cost. So I wonder if the calculations were incorrect in the earlier design (and I hope not in the new one).

Curiously, the new design includes a small line item for Alternative Roofing that the earlier design did not. I see in the Legend on the Your System Layout page that Alternative Roofing is indicated by areas in a light gray color. The only portion of the layout shown in that color is a triangle where we have a shade sail installed. I will take down the shade sail while this project is under construction, so it should not have any bearing on the cost. I just hope this line item does not imply that some alternative roofing method other than tiles will be used on some portion of my roof such as over the bay window. It would be nice if I could the newly assigned PA would answer the phone or email so I could find out.

My other concern is whether the larger PV size will be approved. The previous PA assured me that I could have any size my roof would support, but I've seen discussions in this forum regarding a limit of 120% of current usage. The 8.77kW design shows a 310% energy offset based on my utility bill, but that is not meaningful because I have an existing PV system that will be replaced. It would likely still be over 120%, though.
Why doesn’t someone from Tesla come out and review the job with the contractor or homeowner? I couldn’t talk to anyone that knew anything. This approach will never work.
 

slcasner

Active Member
Supporting Member
Feb 20, 2011
1,324
893
Sunnyvale, CA
Why doesn’t someone from Tesla come out and review the job with the contractor or homeowner? I couldn’t talk to anyone that knew anything. This approach will never work.
I finally broke through on the phone today to talk to "the next available agent" and also to my assigned project advisor. I learned that the reason my second design with more solar cost less than the first one is that the person doing the second design judged my roof to be "moderate" rather than "complex". Seems to me that the cost estimation should have a granularity of more than three levels. Fortunately they also arranged for a site visit so I will be able to ask about the things I see as issues.
 

Dmahone

Member
Apr 24, 2021
10
17
Santa Cruz CA
Due to the huge price increase, I canceled my contract, as they offered. I am awaiting the refund of my $1000 deposit. It has now been a couple of months with no action. Has anyone else has this problem?
 

rspray2000

Member
Apr 12, 2021
43
41
MA
Due to the huge price increase, I canceled my contract, as they offered. I am awaiting the refund of my $1000 deposit. It has now been a couple of months with no action. Has anyone else has this problem?
I actually got my deposit back the next day after cancelling. They apparently really didn’t want my business.
 
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Ormond

Active Member
Jul 10, 2016
1,072
1,614
Central Florida
Tesla Roof Cancellation.jpg

I received this email today, I didn't request a cancellation. I may have received it because I didn't proceed after the price increase, but don't you think that I would get an explanation? Did I have to make a deposit to place my order? Was it $100? I have to look back at all the paperwork.

I didn't want to spend over $100,000 on my roof when nobody responded to my questions or concerns, but it would be nice to get an explanation of the cancellation.
 
Apr 11, 2021
36
31
Socal
It seems that Tesla has removed the "complexity" factor in their new pricing model and lowered the price a bit. The estimator price is just a little higher than my original contract with two PW's, omitting a roof replacement cost they recently added in. Replacing the roof is quoted an additional 14k for me.. around the price I paid for re-roofing and new shingles. 😆

Might make more sense for new houses/construction or those with deep pockets. Otherwise I am content paying half the price of a Tesla roof with at least 50% more solar generation. :)
 

KKinNJ

Member
Oct 12, 2015
15
26
NJ
Got a voicemail today from someone at Tesla with "great news in regards to honoring your original pricing". Tried to call back at the extension provided, but looks like the person left for the day. Will follow up on Monday and update here.
 
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phsoccer

Member
Mar 9, 2021
9
15
Arlington, Texas
Got a voicemail today from someone at Tesla with "great news in regards to honoring your original pricing". Tried to call back at the extension provided, but looks like the person left for the day. Will follow up on Monday and update here.
I got the voicemail, text, and email that they are honoring the original price. I logged in and it is back to the original price from before April. I wonder what has changed? Luckily, I had not yet installed a new composite roof, so I can still do this.
 
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ATXMD

Member
Feb 23, 2018
22
31
Austin
I have not received any email or text or call, but I'm wanting to hear who does and what the situation is with that.

Their estimator is clearly not working properly. I put in my address, and say my bill is $400 a month, and they say I need a 42kW roof with 4 powerwalls for ~ $170k. I am currently under contract (and the underlayment installed) for a 17kW system (the max they could shoe-horn on to my roof) with 6 powerwalls for around the same price. If I up my bill to $500, it says a 53kW system. up it to $1000 - 83kW system!! I tried a couple of other addresses around my house with the same results. If I set my electric bill at $163, I'm able to get the same size as mine, for about 148K (still much more than my original contract of 110, but less than the new contract).

Although I am noticing that the "loan" option is now 0.99% for 10 years - a far cry from the 6.99 they had when I signed my deal! I'm doing a whole house renovation, so I opted to pay "cash" and finance through my construction loan instead of using their offer. But if I can get 0.99%, that's a very different conversation.

I'll keep watching this space for updates...
 
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rspray2000

Member
Apr 12, 2021
43
41
MA
I got the voicemail, text, and email that they are honoring the original price. I logged in and it is back to the original price from before April. I wonder what has changed? Luckily, I had not yet installed a new composite roof, so I can still do this.
For all now re-considering, how do you reconcile trusting any other words in their agreement, warranty, etc? That’s where I ended up.
 

jk732

Member
Mar 15, 2021
13
2
New Jersey
I got the voicemail, text, and email that they are honoring the original price. I logged in and it is back to the original price from before April. I wonder what has changed? Luckily, I had not yet installed a new composite roof, so I can still do this.
Mine still showing increased price but will wait and hopefully they do the same for me as well :)
 

VaBob

Member
Apr 18, 2021
9
8
22101
View attachment 692098
I received this email today, I didn't request a cancellation. I may have received it because I didn't proceed after the price increase, but don't you think that I would get an explanation? Did I have to make a deposit to place my order? Was it $100? I have to look back at all the paperwork.

I didn't want to spend over $100,000 on my roof when nobody responded to my questions or concerns, but it would be nice to get an explanation of the cancellation.
Yeah, I got the same email just today and I did not request to cancel my order either. My order is no longer on the Tesla account online. Did this happen to anyone else?
 

navydoc001

Member
Jul 8, 2021
20
15
Loganville, PA
- Day 49: 11 Aug 2021

- Tesla not on site. System is functionally complete. Materials remain in the driveway, the porta potty is still here, the gutters have not been re-installed and we haven't even discussed the punch-out list yet. The cricket is a disaster that will require a complete removal and re-installation. There are several sections of siding where the J channel has been removed but the siding remains in place. There are a couple of sections of broken or missing siding that will need to be replaced. My easy-going, understanding attitude towards this project has been wasted. I am becoming very annoyed with the amount of project management time that I have had to spend on this. I am certain that the punch-out work will never be addressed. I have resigned myself to either having to chase this through the court system or do it my self.
 
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KKinNJ

Member
Oct 12, 2015
15
26
NJ
I finally was able to speak with the advisor that left me the message today. Looks like Tesla decided to honor the original pricing on some select contracts. He couldn't elaborate on what the selection criteria was, but I'm guessing it has a lot to do with how much of a price increase comes from the new pricing. In my case, the initial increase was almost $19K, but after the free powerwall offer and the upsize offer the difference went down to about $10K. Obviously, these offers go away with the original pricing, but I'm going to proceed with the project.

To those that ask how can one trust Tesla after this stunt I say this - I believe that Tesla didn't intentionally bait and switch. After all, they did quite a few installations at the original price before April, but were too slow to realize the real costs of these installations. So, I attribute the wrong pricing to poor management on the executive level of the solar roof product. Musk fired quite a few people from the solar division due to this. I have 2 Tesla cars and I bought my first model S in 2015 and so far my experience with both the products and the service has been great. This experience with the roof contract was an exception, but if they are going to honor the original contract then that's the signal that Tesla is trying to do the right thing when they can.
 
Last edited:

patrick40363

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
1,173
570
Cali
I finally was able to speak with the advisor that left me the message today. Looks like Tesla decided to honor the original pricing on some select contracts. He couldn't elaborate on what the selection criteria was, but I'm guessing it has a lot to do with how much of a price increase comes from the new pricing. In my case, the initial increase was almost $19K, but after the free powerwall offer and the upsize offer the difference went down to about $10K. Obviously, these offers go away with the original pricing, but I'm going to proceed with the project.

To those that ask how can one trust Tesla after this stunt I say this - I believe that Tesla didn't intentionally bait and switch. After all, they did quite a few installations at the original price before April, but were too slow to realize the real costs of these installations. So, I attribute the wrong pricing to poor management on the executive level of the solar roof product. Musk fired quite a few people from the solar division due to this. I have 2 Tesla cars and I bought my first model S in 2015 and so far my experience with both the products and the service has been great. This experience with the roof contract was an exception, but if they are going to honor the original contract then that's the signal that Tesla is trying to do the right thing when they can.
My original order was never cancelled and they just came back with a new price that is $20K more than the original. I am going forward with it because I need a new roof and need to increase my solar system size. The difference between a new roof and solar panels VS a solar roof was only a few thousand.
 

rspray2000

Member
Apr 12, 2021
43
41
MA
.
To those that ask how can one trust Tesla after this stunt I say this - I believe that Tesla didn't intentionally bait and switch. After all, they did quite a few installations at the original price before April, but were too slow to realize the real costs of these installations. So, I attribute the wrong pricing to poor management on the executive level of the solar roof product. Musk fired quite a few people from the solar division due to this. I have 2 Tesla cars and I bought my first model S in 2015 and so far my experience with both the products and the service has been great. This experience with the roof contract was an exception, but if they are going to honor the original contract then that's the signal that Tesla is trying to do the right thing when they can.
Do you have to sign a new contract? The terms in the newer contracts give them even more ways to back out or up-charge.

I’m glad it worked out for you. That said, too little too late for a lot of us. Whether they meant to or not, the arbitration’s and class actions are going to clear up Bait and Switch for them.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,937
564
auburn, ca
Glad to hear it worked out for you.

Do you have to sign a new contract? The terms in the newer contracts give them even more ways to back out or up-charge.

I’m glad it worked out for you. That said, too little too late for a lot of us. Whether they meant to or not, the arbitration’s and class actions are going to clear up Bait and Switch for them, whether they meant to or not.
I just continue to read about the install issues. And there will not be more within lets say 25 years? Sometimes doing things KISS is the best.
 

KKinNJ

Member
Oct 12, 2015
15
26
NJ
.

Do you have to sign a new contract? The terms in the newer contracts give them even more ways to back out or up-charge.

I’m glad it worked out for you. That said, too little too late for a lot of us. Whether they meant to or not, the arbitration’s and class actions are going to clear up Bait and Switch for them.
I don't know yet. Since I was no longer eligible for the upsize offer, I asked the project advisor to send my design to engineers for another review to see if there is any way to increase the solar portion of the roof (I was told initially that my roof is maxed out). He then told me that if they find a way to increase the solar portion then the new contract with original pricing will be posted into my account. I expect it to be the new form. If they say they cannot increase it then I don't see why they would ask me to sign the new contract, but we'll see.
 
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DoodleX

Member
Apr 25, 2021
47
42
San Jose
I don't know yet. Since I was no longer eligible for the upsize offer, I asked the project advisor to send my design to engineers for another review to see if there is any way to increase the solar portion of the roof (I was told initially that my roof is maxed out). He then told me that if they find a way to increase the solar portion then the new contract with original pricing will be posted into my account. I expect it to be the new form. If they say they cannot increase it then I don't see why they would ask me to sign the new contract, but we'll see.
Good to hear they are moving things in the right direction for you. In case of a new contract, please note that Section 2 will probably reflect an updated phrasing, to the effect of them changing the Contract price for "any unforeseen conditions" as opposed to the original contracts which had "any unforeseen conditions at installation location". That last portion "at installation location" is what is making their case really weak in defending the price increases.
 
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