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Tesla approved installers taking us for a ride?

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,381
5,901
Surrey, UK
Or just maximising their profits on supply and demand, or just blinkered, or...?

I've wasted a month on two Tesla approved installers in getting a quote. Not sure what they are both playing at, but one was just over £1200 and the other just under £1400. Both excluding the wall charger, another £460. Now, this was not a standard install as I wanted an isolation switch, a meter, a commando socket and a 13A socket also fitted, about £100-150 extra in parts.

The first quote from a local approved installer came in with many ambiguities so I asked them to clarify. No mention of the DC RCD protection previously mentioned, just 'type A', might need an earth rod, might have an isolation switch etc etc. And clearly meters and sockets clad in gold leaf. Never heard back from them. At that point in time, had they clarified, I probably had gone with them because type A-EV or Type B RCD's were quite expensive and/or not so easy to come by. But that has changed now, and type B RCD are available for a little over £100.

The second quote came through last night. Only a week later than promised. This time I followed up the survey with an email, listing exactly my requirements. Same as before but specifically mentioning a Type B RCD and linking to a nice little garage consumer at under £180 from a online shop specialising in EV chargers. So a jaw dropping moment when the quote came back with 8 way consumer unit and an even higher price tag than the first quote. Surveyor said it was a pretty standard install, all in same physical garage building and 2 no. 4" walls needing to be drilled.

So a bit of man maths, being generous to the installers, £400-£500 worth of parts including a reasonable markup, we have £700-£1000 worth of labour and paperwork for a 'mornings work' - their estimate on amount of time not mine.

Now, the advantage of a Tesla approved installer over any other capable sparkie is that you get 4 years warranty on the Tesla wall connector instead of one. Well, for that price, I could afford to buy a spare.

Even had one sparkie quote me £250 including parts to install a garage consumer unit. Shame they had not followed my link to the Type B one mentioned above, but I asked them to requote using the link but nothing heard back (seems to be a regular story) although tbh, their quote showed little attention to detail so probably would not have used.

Just get a regular qualified sparkie who can self certify to do the work? Am I missing something here?

Just not sure what DNO needs - Installation requires "prior approval by DNO where the calculated maximum demand of the property is likely to exceed 60 amps." which it wont exceed as prior to EV, transient peak power over 5 years recorded every 5 minute 24/7 readings never exceeded even 6kWh, so 25A (existing) + 32A (EV) = 57A.
 

phillcom3

Member
Jul 27, 2019
582
124
preston
Or just maximising their profits on supply and demand, or just blinkered, or...?

I've wasted a month on two Tesla approved installers in getting a quote. Not sure what they are both playing at, but one was just over £1200 and the other just under £1400. Both excluding the wall charger, another £460. Now, this was not a standard install as I wanted an isolation switch, a meter, a commando socket and a 13A socket also fitted, about £100-150 extra in parts.

The first quote from a local approved installer came in with many ambiguities so I asked them to clarify. No mention of the DC RCD protection previously mentioned, just 'type A', might need an earth rod, might have an isolation switch etc etc. And clearly meters and sockets clad in gold leaf. Never heard back from them. At that point in time, had they clarified, I probably had gone with them because type A-EV or Type B RCD's were quite expensive and/or not so easy to come by. But that has changed now, and type B RCD are available for a little over £100.

The second quote came through last night. Only a week later than promised. This time I followed up the survey with an email, listing exactly my requirements. Same as before but specifically mentioning a Type B RCD and linking to a nice little garage consumer at under £180 from a online shop specialising in EV chargers. So a jaw dropping moment when the quote came back with 8 way consumer unit and an even higher price tag than the first quote. Surveyor said it was a pretty standard install, all in same physical garage building and 2 no. 4" walls needing to be drilled.

So a bit of man maths, being generous to the installers, £400-£500 worth of parts including a reasonable markup, we have £700-£1000 worth of labour and paperwork for a 'mornings work' - their estimate on amount of time not mine.

Now, the advantage of a Tesla approved installer over any other capable sparkie is that you get 4 years warranty on the Tesla wall connector instead of one. Well, for that price, I could afford to buy a spare.

Even had one sparkie quote me £250 including parts to install a garage consumer unit. Shame they had not followed my link to the Type B one mentioned above, but I asked them to requote using the link but nothing heard back (seems to be a regular story) although tbh, their quote showed little attention to detail so probably would not have used.

Just get a regular qualified sparkie who can self certify to do the work? Am I missing something here?

Just not sure what DNO needs - Installation requires "prior approval by DNO where the calculated maximum demand of the property is likely to exceed 60 amps." which it wont exceed as prior to EV, transient peak power over 5 years recorded every 5 minute 24/7 readings never exceeded even 6kWh, so 25A (existing) + 32A (EV) = 57A.
Go to rolec. I preciously posted a email or Web link in another charging thread.

Came to the quote they gave online at 295 got a smart black rolec wall charger wi h needed 2 earthing rods an offshoot from my meter and never went near my main fuse box. They installed their own upgraded rcd and now I have a 32 amp charger just waiting to be used.

If you need extra like a post outing in or whatever its going to be more obviously but worth chrking. If you must have the tesla charger then fine but outing it in is easy you don't need a certified installer from tesla just any old electrician that will certify the install.

The 295 was after 500 from olev.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,381
5,901
Surrey, UK
Only interested in getting Tesla wall connector thankyou. Need a long tethered connection with charge port open. Plus I would much rather write my own smart controls should the need arise rather than using a third party one which I can do with the Tesla unit.
 

rotor2k

Member
Sep 16, 2019
519
290
London
Only interested in getting Tesla wall connector thankyou. Need a long tethered connection with charge port open. Plus I would much rather write my own smart controls rather than using a third party one.
It sounds like getting a Rolec installed and then retrofitting it with the Tesla wall connector could end up being a lot cheaper!
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,381
5,901
Surrey, UK
It sounds like getting a Rolec installed and then retrofitting it with the Tesla wall connector could end up being a lot cheaper!
But missing the important safety devices that Rolec say they do not need but Tesla still needs external ones. Plus you would be in breach of the OLEV grant iirc which requires you to keep it working for a period of time.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,536
2,525
Bath, UK
Even had one sparkie quote me £250 including parts to install a garage consumer unit. Shame they had not followed my link to the Type B one mentioned above, but I asked them to requote using the link but nothing heard back (seems to be a regular story) although tbh, their quote showed little attention to detail so probably would not have used.
Going to play Devils Advocate very mildly but..

Would you pitch up to a restaurant with a bag of ingredients and ask them to discount the cost of the meal accordingly?

Like it or not tradespeople build margin into the parts as well. You are going to rub them up the wrong way sending them links to things you've found online for £X unless it is a specific part with functionality you need rather than something they would ordinarily source themselves through whoever they use. A CU would obviously be something a sparky doesn't need to be pointed in the direction of. That's probably why they ignored your email as they figured "this guy is going to make the job not worthwhile to do".

That being said from the numbers you've given it seems obvious that you are in fact correct. There are probably installers that think "this guy has just bought a Tesla, he's not short of a bob or two" and add on a suitable premium for it. They will also know the value of the 4 year warranty to you vs 1 year without an approved installation, so will factor that in too. I don't know how much it costs them to train up to become approved, though.

There are some sparkies (and tradespeople in general) who will lose interest as soon as it becomes apparent that you're price savvy. Such is the way of things unfortunately.

So yeah - it looks like you're paying a Tesla premium for a Tesla charger, simply because they know you will want that 4 year warranty and have a commensurately expensive car so why is paying over the odds for installation a problem too?
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,381
5,901
Surrey, UK
Going to play Devils Advocate very mildly but..

Would you pitch up to a restaurant with a bag of ingredients and ask them to discount the cost of the meal accordingly?

Like it or not tradespeople build margin into the parts as well. You are going to rub them up the wrong way sending them links to things you've found online for £X unless it is a specific part with functionality you need rather than something they would ordinarily source themselves through whoever they use. A CU would obviously be something a sparky doesn't need to be pointed in the direction of. That's probably why they ignored your email as they figured "this guy is going to make the job not worthwhile to do".

I disagree. It was effectively a tender and I gave an example of a unit that met my requirements, but it did hint that these things are now under £120 and not £600 that some sources are selling Type A-EV or Type B RCD's. It was up to them how they priced up the quote. The issue was that the quote came back completely disregarding by requirements and for the price could not have met current regulations.

For the second Tesla installer, again, he disregarded my requirements, space being a consideration to his 8 way consumer unit would have been too large and total overkill.

I don't mind trades making a reasonable markup, I use to be 'trade' too at one point so have first hand experience, but over speccing a unit and using parts from expensive sources when there are equally good if not better (the company specialises in EV charge equipment) alternative sources does not fit into my definition of using due care especially when the client has given them a source of a component that meets the clients requirements on a plate - up to the installer how he marked it up. He disregarded my requirements and came in at too high a price, I declined his quote.

I wish my old sparkie had not given up on his Niceic membership so cannot self certify. He prefers to play in a band now and avoid price conscious clients like me!
 

Smiddy

Member
Jun 7, 2019
129
60
South West UK
My Tesla charger cost about £470 to install, that includes all the hardware (garage box for the RCD, RCD and armoured cable) I ordered the charger from the SC and contacted a local electrician that installs EV chargers, they were happy to do it. It was slightly more than their original quote because it needs a particular RCD which was £140.

I started looking at their approved installers around me and two of them were out of business.
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,928
Suffolk, UK
It sounds like getting a Rolec installed and then retrofitting it with the Tesla wall connector could end up being a lot cheaper!

I'm doing that 'coz the Rolecs I have at Home and Work have been pretty useless. Its an acknowledged fault with early models, fixed by fitting a different breaker, but we've had that changed and the one at home still trips now and again, and my Wife would far rather have "the button" than have to dig the key fob out of her handbag, or fiddle about with the phone APP ... or climb into the car to unlock and then back out again to unplug. (Other solutions to that problem are available ... )

but one was just over £1200 and the other just under £1400

If I was installing non-OLEV I'd just have my local Sparky do it. But that said my Tesla Approved installer has been brilliant, but he's nowhere near you, sorry.

He prefers to play in a band now

... well that's a sang for sure! You need to find a nice local sparky. Didn't Old Sparky sell his business and clientele to Young Whippersnapper Sparky? :(

you would be in breach of the OLEV grant iirc which requires you to keep it working for a period of time

I asked about that and the consensus was that the "phone home" stuff would still be logging the data, just swap Wall Charger "box", so i think that will be OK. maybe new OLEVs are all built into the one box? Mine, being stone-age, is separate Charger and Logger.
 

Christiez

Member
Aug 1, 2019
237
138
Lincoln
I initially went down the route in getting a Tesla Wall connector and got in touch with an approved installer. As part of sending across pictures of my current meter and consumer unit I was told that the CU was very old and needed replacing (he wasn't wrong). I was then quoted £900 to replace the CU...I thought this was a little expensive and thought I'd enquire with a local electrician to find out it could be done for £450! Due to this, I didn't bother going back to the Telsa approved installer as if he was putting that kind of mark up on the CU then I dread to think what the mark up would have been on the TWC.
 

Smiddy

Member
Jun 7, 2019
129
60
South West UK
I initially went down the route in getting a Tesla Wall connector and got in touch with an approved installer. As part of sending across pictures of my current meter and consumer unit I was told that the CU was very old and needed replacing (he wasn't wrong). I was then quoted £900 to replace the CU...I thought this was a little expensive and thought I'd enquire with a local electrician to find out it could be done for £450! Due to this, I didn't bother going back to the Telsa approved installer as if he was putting that kind of mark up on the CU then I dread to think what the mark up would have been on the TWC.

This is why I have a garage unit installed, our current CU is quite old as well but I didnt want to replace it yet because we are planning on doing an extension in the next couple of years so we'll rewire the whole house then.

They put the new RCD in a small CU they call a garage unit and upgrading the earthing, I forgot to mention above that price included adding an earthing rod and extra earth for the current CU.

The approved installer probably think they can add a mark up because there are some people that wont go looking anywhere else and because its Tesla you must have some money.

Its a bit like the OLEV grant, its pushing the prices of the chargers and the installs up.
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,928
Suffolk, UK
The approved installer probably think they can add a mark up because there are some people that wont go looking anywhere else and because its Tesla you must have some money.

I reckon their costs are so high because of the number of quotes they are having to prepare ... compared to the number of orders they are getting.
 
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booyaka76

Member
Aug 19, 2019
282
231
Ayrshire
I reckon their costs are so high because of the number of quotes they are having to prepare ... compared to the number of orders they are getting.

That's just a ridiculous thing to do if they are taking that route.

I can only imagine if I took that route with every potential client, the ones that do become clients would be paying a fortune!

Speculate to accumulate is the way I look at it.

I just wish trades would either say, they don't want the job, too small, too busy etc and just be honest rather than sending ridiculous quotes out that clearly show they don't want the work in the first place!
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,928
Suffolk, UK
I just wish trades would either say, they don't want the job, too small, too busy etc

^^ THIS !!

I bought Double Glazing for a house donkeys years ago. Asked 3 companies for a quote, the Anglian Windows bloke phoned to say he wanted to be the last person to call, noone else had asked so I agreed.

First two came, measured up, and went away to send me a quote.

Anglian Windows bloke shows up. Walks round, measures everything, gets his calculator out, and works out a price. Says he will only offer me that price if I sign there and then. Of course I had already expected Hard Sell and decided no way on this earth was I going to do that ...

"Who else has been to quote?"

"A and B"

"OK, A will quote more than us. When did they come?"

"Couple of days ago"

"OK, you'll have their quote tomorrow or next day, they are efficient. But B won't send you a quote at all"

"What?"

"Too big a job for them ..."

"But he spent an hour going round and measuring, just like you did"

"Yeah, but he won't quote. You've got 7 days to cancel, I don't want to have the cost of coming back for a second visit, so just sign here"

Quote from A came a day or two later, quite a bit more.

Never heard from B !!
 
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pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,468
1,305
mid wales
Local sparks installed mine..too far out in the sticks for any chaps that deal with EV payments. It involved a new spur from the utility room via overhead armoured cable 60-70 odd feet to the barn and then a secondary consumer unit, through the wall and mount the tesla charger (I had bought) along with dual external waterproof 13A sockets and a light switch. Inside barn supply and mount 4 x 13A sockets and tie in the current ceiling lights all that wiring in conduit. And also run a network cable from round the house and also overhead with the main cable. It did cost circa £1500 and took them almost 2 days.
 
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WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,928
Suffolk, UK
And also run a network cable from round the house and also overhead with the main cable.

And chance that could catch lightning? When I did that at a previous house I put Fibre in to avoid that risk, and since then with no concrete/tarmac in the way I've got by digging trenches to outbuildings.
 

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,468
1,305
mid wales
And chance that could catch lightning? When I did that at a previous house I put Fibre in to avoid that risk, and since then with no concrete/tarmac in the way I've got by digging trenches to outbuildings.

Probably not - the house is taller, tthere's a set of 240v pole supplies from the transformer and HT stuff 200yds away and anyway the barn is below the hill which is covered in woodland - much more likely to get a huge oak crashing down from lightning and the ones in range of hitting house and barn have been felled after one did come down and just brushed the wife's car a few years back. And the network cable is tied to the armoured 60a supply (ya can't run that in fibre:D)
Digging a trench across the barnyard would also get involved in the piping that diverts a small stream under there - a right mare to solve.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,381
5,901
Surrey, UK
This is why I have a garage unit installed, our current CU is quite old as well but I didnt want to replace it yet because we are planning on doing an extension in the next couple of years so we'll rewire the whole house then.

They put the new RCD in a small CU they call a garage unit and upgrading the earthing, I forgot to mention above that price included adding an earthing rod and extra earth for the current CU.

The approved installer probably think they can add a mark up because there are some people that wont go looking anywhere else and because its Tesla you must have some money.

Yes. Thats what I want a separate garage consumer unit - not because our old unit is particularly clunky, but it just keeps the main garage/EV electrics totally separate.

As for must have money because you have Tesla, they are alienating the people who have money to buy Tesla because they are careful with their money.

I just wish trades would either say, they don't want the job, too small, too busy etc and just be honest rather than sending ridiculous quotes out that clearly show they don't want the work in the first place!

Yes. what pissed me off about the latest quote if this was the case was last week when I chased they said their quote was delayed because they were pretty busy and couldn't install for a few more weeks (fine as we have free supercharger) - ample opportunity to simply say no to the job there and then.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,596
Canyon Lake,CA
It is not unusual, that when a government is subsidizing an installation installers want part of the subsidy for themselves. See it all the time with Solar installations.
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,381
5,901
Surrey, UK
No subsidy going on here. Its independent Tesla approved installers seemingly bumping price hugely by more than the extra hardware costs involved in a Tesla wall connector install because it does not have built in functionality needed to meet current regulations. Whats worse is that some have existing form for apparently not installed this extra hardware - you would have expected them to know better.
 

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