View Full Version : Tesla Solar Panels



catch22
01-24-2021, 07:06 AM
Anyone on the board have used Tesla solar panels at your house?

I have to give credit to Elon, the simplicity of their website makes it very tempting to pull the trigger on getting solar. Seems very turn-key and low pressure, unlike these other companies that won't give you any kind of number without sending someone out to give an estimate or hassle you with calls.

I had to block another company last year because I input some info on their website. They called me every single day for close to a month, even after I told the salesman I wasn't interested in anything right away. Just doing hypothetical planning.

I live in Colorado and we get insane amounts of sun, and my house faces south. Pretty good solar potential.

I generally don't use a ton of electricity as I am not home very much. I work evenings so I am usually gone during the hottest part of the day. I am getting central AC installed in a few weeks, so my bill will likely go up significantly. I am torn between their smallest, cheapest option 4.08kW which comes in around $40-60/mo, and can generate up to 14-17 kwH per day. My average use is 11kwH/day in the winter, and 16kwH in the summer. The next option produces double, at about double the price.

If I do this, I like the idea of a smaller system that can be paid off sooner, even if it only covers my electric use for most of the year. Seems I would be a net producer for most of the year, except for the two hottest months of the summer.

The more expensive option would likely cover 100% of my needs and then some, but at a higher price and using up more and more roof.

Thoughts and opinions please!
Happy Sunday!

okccowan
01-24-2021, 10:50 AM
I reserved the Telsa Solar Roof and had a company representing Tesla call me about a year ago ready to do an install. At the time, we decided not to pull the trigger, but may do so in the future... I believe the company that we talked to were out of Colorado

jccouger
01-24-2021, 11:33 AM
They do price match so just make sure you shop around a bit to get a better deal from Tesla.

Teo9969
01-24-2021, 08:36 PM
Catch, how does your utility company approach over-production of power? That should play a large part in your decision to go to the next size up or not.

catch22
01-24-2021, 08:54 PM
Net metering. anything going into their grid is added as a kwH credit. On months you use more than you produce, you tap into those credits, or if you have none pay your normal rate for the difference.

My only motivation to go bigger is the fact that I am adding AC. But, I may produce enough the rest of the year to have some decent credits built up for the summer. Although paying the difference a few times a year wouldn't be terrible either.

Teo9969
01-24-2021, 09:20 PM
Net metering. anything going into their grid is added as a kwH credit. On months you use more than you produce, you tap into those credits, or if you have none pay your normal rate for the difference.

My only motivation to go bigger is the fact that I am adding AC. But, I may produce enough the rest of the year to have some decent credits built up for the summer. Although paying the difference a few times a year wouldn't be terrible either.

So the next 2 questions would be:

1. Do you intend on being in the house for a long time?

2. If you don't already have one, have you factored in potentially having an electric vehicle with a home charging station within the next 5-10 years?

catch22
01-24-2021, 09:39 PM
1) More than likely. But who knows really. While it may not be a dollar for dollar return, I have been told solar power does increase the value of the house. Especially in a state with a population that values green initiatives more than say, Oklahoma,

2) It's on the radar, but probably a long ways to go for me, Range really needs to increase as my commute is 184 miles round trip. While that is within the published range of a lot of cars, that is under ideal conditions. I have plenty of hills and high speed interstates to travel on, which would reduce the range.I think if that were something I purchased I would have to just deal with paying for the power outright or upgrade the system, It's far enough out that it would be like buying baby clothes before I am even dating someone.

--

I posted this same question on another forum, and one response that got me thinking was insurance. That poster indicated insurance companies are becoming hesitant to insure systems that exceed your normal usage by a specific percent. For example up to 125%. After that they consider it equipment that should be insured under a different policy as why should your homeowners insurance cover your for profit energy plant on the roof? Something else to consider I guess.

Teo9969
01-24-2021, 10:48 PM
I think you could argue it with your insurance company if you wanted to and could get grace on insurance for a specified amount of time, but that only make sense if you really are expanding your usage. Even if they say no, they should insure at least the part of the system that meets your needs and you could provide proof for them to increase the coverage as your consumption increases.

Realistically, though, it doesn't sound like there is anything in the pipeline that would justify you dropping twice the capital for a system that is likely to save you relatively little in the medium term (5-10). I don't know what we're talking about in terms of initial investment, but if your electric drops to $15/month on average, it'll be over a decade before you recoup $2k and I'm guessing the additional capital will be well north of $2k.

I also think it would be good to have half the system now and half the system later (10ish years, assuming you need it by then), that way if you stay in the house for 20 years and then sell, the buyers know at least part of the system is newer equipment - and who knows what kinds of advances in technology will happen in that time.

Plutonic Panda
01-24-2021, 11:13 PM
Also to be fully effective you need energy storage which Tesla has its battery wall and I’m not sure if that if is factored into the price of the package or not.

Some utility companies will now even pay you if you put energy back into the grid and others charge you for it. Not sure what the case is in Colorado.

SouthOfTheVillage
01-28-2021, 09:13 PM
I don’t really like Musk (for political reasons) or the Chinese (also for political reasons). Can I buy solar panels from anyone else?

Rover
01-29-2021, 07:18 AM
I don’t really like Musk (for political reasons) or the Chinese (also for political reasons). Can I buy solar panels from anyone else?

Lots of suppliers depending on how much you want to pay. Best are probably German.

soonermike81
01-29-2021, 10:00 AM
I donít really like Musk (for political reasons) or the Chinese (also for political reasons). Can I buy solar panels from anyone else?

I believe Sunrun is the largest provider of residential solar panels in the US. Don't know about their presence in Oklahoma, however.

catch22
03-05-2021, 09:29 AM
Reviving this. I had some time to go through all of my electric statements (almost 2 years, how long I have been in the house). I think their smallest system would provide the most value. Here are my average daily kwH use per month:
https://i.gyazo.com/01698b722d2fe8ecf257ac652db80de9.png

Earlier I didn't factor that last summer was an outlier: I was furloughed so was spending some of the highest use months at home, all day. I also took in a roommate who got furloughed and was at home all day, every day. I also did a ton of DIY projects at my house that used a lot of electricity and I bought 3 window ac units that I had to run a lot because of how brutal the summer was (and how much the house was occupied). Replacing those 3 window units and fans for central AC should be a wash as central AC will cool the home more efficiently. But not having 2 adults at home 24/7 all summer will probably return my numbers (minus AC) back to what they were the summer before in the 9-11 kwH/day range. Add in an AC unit that uses 5kwH per day should bring me up to the max that the solar system can provide at 12-18kwH per day. If you ignore the peak usage from the summer, I really don't use a lot of electricity the rest of the year. The minimum output of the small system can still cover my usage, while sunny days can probably provide enough credits to use in the peak of summer.

Still chewing on this. Looks like they are backed up 9-12 weeks for install, which would be early summer. I think the solar tax credits expire this year, so I need to factor that in with the install time. Now may be the time to do it, there's no guarantee the tax credits will be extended again especially with a polarized political landscape.

Hmmm..

KTB
03-05-2021, 03:58 PM
The financial feasibility of solar relies completely on your local energy costs. I don't know the costs in Colorado but Oklahoma has very low energy costs. I'd make your home as energy efficient as possible first before adding another layer of complexity and expense. If your house doesn't have central ac I'd start with that first then add insulation and good windows. This is a guaranteed positive return on investment and increased home equity immediately. My brother added new insulation to the attic in his old house and it became far more comfortable and his electric bill decreased dramatically.

My electric bill was $108 last month and the highest was around $300 last summer. 5,300 square ft., 3 AC's, swimming pool and spa, lights everywhere and nobody but me knows how to turn one off. I love the idea of solar but it's still too expensive for mainstream adaptation.

Please keep us updated on Solar as I'd love to learn more.

catch22
03-05-2021, 04:26 PM
What is your cost per kwH? It must be way cheaper than here because I use very little electricity and my electric bill is about half of yours.

catch22
03-05-2021, 04:32 PM
I think people frame the argument against solar wrong. It’s not about electricity that is free, it is about bringing production on site and locking in your electricity costs. There will never be a free or ultra cheap way to make electricity on your property. I don’t want or need a check back from my utility company every month - as long as the cost is acceptable it shouldn’t just be about getting the cheapest price. The people holding out for the price to be pennies on the dollar are going to be waiting forever. I just look at it from a locking in resource perspective - for example buying a 25 year contract for gasoline at 2.55 a gallon. I can go down the street and buy it for 2.43 right now, but in 15 years I don’t think I will be able to buy it for less than 3. Some years it may be cheaper to just buy it from the gas station, but other years it may not. But if that cost is locked in at a price that is worth it, then I shouldn’t really care what they are charging at the pump.

I agree I don’t want to throw away money - but Tesla’s price is $41/mo and I pay $55 on average. I won’t be buying a yacht with the savings. But the price is so cheap I could probably pay it off in a year or two with a few extra large payments. Then my price is $0 a month.

mugofbeer
03-05-2021, 09:35 PM
Anyone on the board have used Tesla solar panels at your house?

I have to give credit to Elon, the simplicity of their website makes it very tempting to pull the trigger on getting solar. Seems very turn-key and low pressure, unlike these other companies that won't give you any kind of number without sending someone out to give an estimate or hassle you with calls.

I had to block another company last year because I input some info on their website. They called me every single day for close to a month, even after I told the salesman I wasn't interested in anything right away. Just doing hypothetical planning.

I live in Colorado and we get insane amounts of sun, and my house faces south. Pretty good solar potential.

I generally don't use a ton of electricity as I am not home very much. I work evenings so I am usually gone during the hottest part of the day. I am getting central AC installed in a few weeks, so my bill will likely go up significantly. I am torn between their smallest, cheapest option 4.08kW which comes in around $40-60/mo, and can generate up to 14-17 kwH per day. My average use is 11kwH/day in the winter, and 16kwH in the summer. The next option produces double, at about double the price.

If I do this, I like the idea of a smaller system that can be paid off sooner, even if it only covers my electric use for most of the year. Seems I would be a net producer for most of the year, except for the two hottest months of the summer.

The more expensive option would likely cover 100% of my needs and then some, but at a higher price and using up more and more roof.

Thoughts and opinions please!
Happy Sunday!

Did your decision take into account further power consumption down the road? For example, what if you have a couple of electric cars at some point?
I'm in CO, too, but extremely lucky to have large trees front and back. If l lose my west side Ash tree, l'd certainly think about such a system.

The whole cold snap in Texas - grid failure got me thinking more about it.

catch22
03-05-2021, 10:15 PM
Did your decision take into account further power consumption down the road? For example, what if you have a couple of electric cars at some point?
I'm in CO, too, but extremely lucky to have large trees front and back. If l lose my west side Ash tree, l'd certainly think about such a system.

The whole cold snap in Texas - grid failure got me thinking more about it.

Yes - but such things are several years down the road. I am hopelessly single at the moment, so not expecting any future additions to the household, my cars are in good shape and my commute is so long electric cars will also be several years away. At that point I could probably add another system if I wanted (since Tesla doesn't allow expansions - (which is dumb?)). All of my appliances are more than 10 years old, so any new appliances I buy will save even more energy than current usage. I would like to see a season of AC use, but it looks like if I do I may miss out on tax incentive savings.

Haven't made up my mind yet, although I think I am close. Basically waiting on someone to tell me it's a ****e idea. So far it seems to range from being a wash to being a good idea. There are few downsides really, it's just a matter of what kind of upside to expect? Reliability and locked in cost are the upsides to me; while it being a financial windfall is certainly not the case. Will save a few bucks a month at most with my current usage.

mugofbeer
03-05-2021, 10:26 PM
Yes - but such things are several years down the road. I am hopelessly single at the moment, so not expecting any future additions to the household, my cars are in good shape and my commute is so long electric cars will also be several years away. At that point I could probably add another system if I wanted (since Tesla doesn't allow expansions - (which is dumb?)). All of my appliances are more than 10 years old, so any new appliances I buy will save even more energy than current usage. I would like to see a season of AC use, but it looks like if I do I may miss out on tax incentive savings.

Haven't made up my mind yet, although I think I am close. Basically waiting on someone to tell me it's a ****e idea. So far it seems to range from being a wash to being a good idea. There are few downsides really, it's just a matter of what kind of upside to expect? Reliability and locked in cost are the upsides to me; while it being a financial windfall is certainly not the case. Will save a few bucks a month at most with my current usage.

FYI, I have A/C and grew up with it in OK so l'm used to it. Now that we are in CO, we use an attic fan and find we really don't use the a/c at night. A/c stops around 9 and then we Just use the attic fan, ceiling fans or room fans and it's plenty cool. Maybe only 10 nights a summer does it stay warm enough out to need a/c. There have been cooler summers we've used a/c much less, even during the day.

I'd still put in a/c for resale purposes.

mugofbeer
03-05-2021, 10:40 PM
Dupe

catch22
03-05-2021, 10:44 PM
FYI, I have A/C and grew up with it in OK so l'm used to it. Now that we are in CO, we use an attic fan and find we really don't use the a/c at night. A/c stops around 9 and then we Just use the attic fan, ceiling fans or room fans and it's plenty cool. Maybe only 10 nights a summer does it stay warm enough out to need a/c. There have been cooler summers we've used a/c much less, even during the day.

I'd still put in a/c for resale purposes.

Just had it installed this past weekend. I have an attic fan, and I just can’t handle the daytime heat being in the upper 80’s and 90’s in my house. Evenings cool off quick as you know. But my house gets an intense morning sun which warms the house up very quick, and then little shade until about 7pm in the summer when my neighbors trees finally hit my roof. It is an absolute torture to be in my house in the day without AC. Very much looking forward to having it this summer.

SouthOfTheVillage
03-06-2021, 05:37 AM
How does the npv of rooftop solar compare to putting the same amount of cash in the s&p?

Solar return is obviously more or less guaranteed, but would be an interesting comparison.

mugofbeer
03-06-2021, 11:03 AM
Lol. Maybe there is a business opportunity for an investor to pay to put Tesla roofs on homes and pocket the excess power sold back to the utility?

SouthOfTheVillage
03-06-2021, 11:46 AM
Lol. Maybe there is a business opportunity for an investor to pay to put Tesla roofs on homes and pocket the excess power sold back to the utility?

Point is, a lot of homeowners view solar in terms of years for the initial investment to break even. But I’d think it preferable to compare the discounted cash flows from electricity savings + sales to the grid + any home appreciation vs. alternative uses of the initial investment.

Richard at Remax
03-09-2021, 10:07 AM
I couldn't tell from the posts or not if you have one, but in the terms of adding value to a house, adding a central HVAC will bring way more value vs a solar powered roof. Depending on size that will run you $3000-5000 installed (if you use ACS that number is $15K)

Energy efficient windows and adding extra insulation in the attic goes a long way as well.

Rover
03-09-2021, 11:18 AM
Point is, a lot of homeowners view solar in terms of years for the initial investment to break even. But I’d think it preferable to compare the discounted cash flows from electricity savings + sales to the grid + any home appreciation vs. alternative uses of the initial investment.

ROI for them is pretty easy to figure out. The manufacturers publish electrical output data (reputable onew with 3rd party verification). Life of the panels and degradation patterns are predictable. Solar data for every location is published data. We know the cost of electricity and trend of escalation. NPR can be calculated.

Plutonic Panda
04-14-2021, 09:56 AM
Whoa

https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-is-putting-up-prices-on-solar-roof-tiles-2021-4

Jersey Boss
04-14-2021, 12:00 PM
Some "contract". I wonder why the consumer can't hold them to the terms.