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Tesla Energy/Solar City idiots

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by brucet999, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    I Rated them one star on solar reviews.com because that is the lowest possible.

    I drive a Model S, so I was predisposed to trust Tesla Energy, but two minutes on the line blew that.

    I received a prompt call back from a Las Vegas phone number, even though I live in Orange county. When I told the young woman that my new house was not yet built, she told me that they can't quote a system without my already living in the house and able to provide electricity bills for the house. Pointing out that every other provider can work with a not-yet-built house was of no use.

    These people are idiots, driving a motivated buyer elsewhere.

    Elon, are you listening?
     
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  2. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    Are you supposed to live in the house without shingles until you have some electric bills?
     
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  3. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    #3 miimura, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    Solar City has a long history with this kind of problem. They would not do anything with my new construction project until I had certificate of occupancy. In 2012, they would not even tell me how they were going to design the system. I wound up going with a local installer that installed the racking supports and electrical roof penetrations before the roofing and the AC circuits in the walls while they were still open. I could not be happier with my super clean installation.

    [​IMG]

    Also, make sure to tell your contractors where the "keep out" area is for any roof penetrations. Otherwise, they will stick plumbing vents and other stuff wherever it is most convenient for them, but will undoubtedly interfere with an optimal solar installation.
     
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  4. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    You are better off that you canned them from the start and didn't waste your time. SS was one of 6 companies I interviewed. I quickly saw all kinds of issues. The biggest ones being their 37 page contract with all kinds of restrictions and double the cost of local companies which actually had more efficient modules. Then they would keep my federal credit of $7,000. I decided to just go with a local company and buy the system so I get the credits. Also the sales people weren't smart at all.
     
  5. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Member

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    Similar Solar City / Tesla Energy problem since they reject any existing roof with Spanish clay tile roofs... even though many other solar companies install solar panels on these roofs all the time. Crazy
     
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  6. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    I guess your local code is more flexible in that area. Where I lived in CA, local code needed more clearance around the modules for potential fireman access. That installation would not have been approved in my area. Your installation gives more effective use of roof space for modules.
     
  7. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    That policy I can understand. Spanish tile is notoriously difficult to walk on without breakage and expensive to repair. SC is out for high volume, so they install only on easy roofs like asphalt composition and concrete tile, but nothing could be easier than new construction with flat concrete tiles scheduled to install AFTER the roof racks and conduits are in place.
     
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  8. Brovane

    Brovane Member

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    I will bite, how would they keep your Federal Solar Tax Credit if you are paying cash for the system?
     
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  9. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    Oh great question. At that time, they only offered a lease system. Thus, they would own the system, get the credits. It did not make economic sense to me.
     
  10. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    I had nothing but a 100% positive experience with SC installing my solar system.

    All their offerings are leases, but with different terms. I don't think they offer the opportunity to buy the system outright. At least not here.

    My system has a 4.5 year break even point, which I'm halfway through already. Couldn't be happier.
     
  11. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    Glad to hear you had a good experience. I can't imagine an under 5 year break-even. You must have something special going on. I would have had a 16 year break-even with them and that is considering perfect roof pitch, perfect orientation, and really expensive Northern CA energy rates.
     
  12. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

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    Nope. They are only cash on the barrel head . No lease ,ppo or loan access. I would love to have seen a 30 page contract. All I saw was a page and a half on my computer. Agree their sales people are incompetent mine couldn't even run the presentation. My grandkids would be dead before it paid off.
     
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  13. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    "Nope" what?

    Like I said, it must vary state by state. HERE, there was no opportunity to buy a system, you could only lease it. I know, because that's what I have.

    I have no idea about where you are or what the regulations are there.
     
  14. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    In the past, Solar City was strongly pushing PPAs, but since Tesla took over, they have recently been going for cash sales. They have securitized, if that's the right term, or sold off the prior PPA income streams for cash. My experience in NorCal in 2012 was that the PPA price was a little high, but the cash purchase was ridiculous. The most interesting offer at the time that wasn't straight purchase was a prepaid lease from Sunpower through Cobalt Power that had a very low buyout after about 7 years.
     
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  15. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Well, the deal I got was to pre-purchase 20 years of power from the solar panels for one upfront payment at 6.6c/kWh. It's still a lease, though. My monthly energy bills (grid) are 50% or less of what they were (with net metering), so that monthly savings difference divided into the single upfront cost is 4.5 years.

    Also early on (two years ago or so) there was a $1000 rebate available to Tesla owners for "home charging" or something like that.
     
  16. doubleohwhat

    doubleohwhat Supporting Member

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    Yes, they absolutely are.

    When I reserved my powerwalls last fall, I was told they would be installed in February. When I called in February, I was told March, When I called in March I was told April. When I called in April I was told May. When I called in May I was told that Tesla wouldn't be offering installation services in my area directly and that they would be certifying 3rd party installers. I asked what companies they were working with in my area and I was told by the phone rep that she didn't have access to that information. So I contacted the only company in town that is certified to install HPWCs. I was told that they had already submitted an application but had not heard back from Tesla Energy. They submitted another application that day (I think that was May 3rd). I called a dozen other companies in town and no one else was even remotely interested. So this one company is basically the best bet for getting powerwalls installed in my location. Today I found out that Tesla Energy still has not gotten back to them regarding powerwall certification and they can't get them (Tesla Energy) to return calls or emails. So basically it seems since I'm not in a Solar City area, you're SOL for the foreseeable future despite what I was told when I reserved the powerwalls. Although, apparently those lucky enough to be in a Solar City area don't have it much better. Apparently Tesla does not yet have the hardware ready for multiple powerwall installations. Also, the configuration options are apparently incredibly limited (as in there aren't any options) at the moment but Tesla has promised software updates "soon".

    So, after attempting (and failing) to get two of the original powerwalls and now this with the powerwall 2, I've had enough. I've canceled my powerwall reservations (two reserved, planned on installing 3-4). I have no doubt that the powerwall 2 will be a solid product when it's actually available (widely available, not just limited installs) but at this point I'd rather go with a solution that I can actually get installed sometime this year. I may just go with cheap AGM batteries for now. They'll last a few years and that should be enough time for either Tesla to get their act together or for another company to offer a comparable solution.
     
  17. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Have you looked at the LG Chem RESU batteries? 48V and 400V versions compatible with SMA, SolarEdge and other inverters and based on the same battery technology used by LG for EVs.
     
  18. doubleohwhat

    doubleohwhat Supporting Member

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    #18 doubleohwhat, Jun 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
    I was just looking at those. $7k for 9.8 kWh. Not a bad alternative.

    The SolarEdge solution is looking quite compelling at the moment.
     
  19. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    Solar has been evolving so rapidly that it's hard to keep up. SC offered primarily expensive PPAs in the past because it allowed consumers to access solar with zero down rather than shell out 40k. That product made sense at that time as evidenced by their market domination.

    Now that solar is cheap and a lot of local installers are scaled, the market doesn't need the expensive PPAs as much. Though I'm predicting a streamlined(cheap) zero-down car/solar purchase product coming soon. With no sales guy at your house.

    As for the powerwalls, this is typical Tesla. Get everyone excited, take reservations, and then string everyone along while ramping. I'm sure you'll have your powerwall in a year or so.
     
  20. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    I wonder if this is why Solar City seems to have quit issuing solar bonds. I own some, and was thinking of buying some more. I'm getting 5% on ten-year bonds, and that's good. But it seems like forever since they have had a new issue, so I phoned them just now. The lady I talked to said she had no information on when there would be a new issue. The Solar City web site says

    and the lady on the phone said the same. If they've quit the PPA model in favor of cash sales, that would explain why there are no more bond issues, but I wonder why they wouldn't just say it.
     

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