Energy Products

Satisfaction with Tesla Solar?

Is anyone satisfied with their Tesla Solar install? Dissatisfied?

I've just got a bid and am looking at doing the install, but my HOA is pushing me not to do it because of how bad the reviews are of Tesla/SolarCity . . .

Input appreciated!


  • edited October 2018
    I love my system. I don't really understand where all the "bad" reviews are coming from. I think they're just coming from other installers. I got quotes from several installers and every single one of them literally trash talked Tesla, but everyone I've talked to who has a Tesla system is pretty happy with it.
  • edited October 2018
    Thanks @spockagain34. Nice to see some love for the system out there.
  • edited October 2018
    Some of the installers and Tesla partners here in FL have become disenchanted due to extended lead times. Hope this improves as more GF capacity comes online....
  • edited November 2018
    I just got mine installed today. We anticipate having the inspections done next week at which point we cant turn it on. They did a 104. Mw install in about 8 hours. The installers were very conscientious and worked very had to make sure we were satisfied. We did get delayed in the installation process, but that was only due to the intense demand for these systems. On the suggestion of our local PUD I got other bids. What I discovered was no one was offering the level of technology of the Tesla system and the competitors offered no price advantage. They also emphasized their guarantees, but being small local businesses, I am highly dubious that they will be around for the duration of their warranty. At any rate, we will soon be powering our Model 3 with sunshine!
  • edited November 2018
    That was supposed to be 10.4 Mw.
    edited November 2018
    Kw maybe?
  • edited November 2018
    I have a 10.5Kvh system with 2 Powerwalls installed by Tesla and I am very happy with it.
  • I also have a 10KW solar (installed by SolarCity, before the acquisition), but I am happy with the solar, and am currently planning to get a Powerwall, once my Model 3 arrives..
  • edited November 2018
    How is The solar installation priced?
    edited November 2018
    It is priced per installed watt. So I am putting up a 14.945kW system. We are using 49 of the black Hanwha (Chinese) made panels rated at 305 watts each. So 49 x 305w x $3.20/w = $47,824 After the a $4500 utility rebate and 30% tax credit, the final price of my supposed system will be $30,326.80.

    Now the 315w all black (no white lines) Panasonic/Tesla Panels made at the Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo are priced with a 15¢ premium per panel, so $3.35 per watt. So for the same $, I am putting up 3 more panels making more power.
    Of course all this is supposing that then can install it before the EOY as they have to for me to get the rebates from the utility. Plus I am supposed to get 2 PW. They are supposed to call me today to schedule the install......
  • edited November 2018
    Yeah, Kw, not Mw. Oops!
    edited November 2018
    ….AND FAIL. They called on the 7th to schedule my install.....went over a few things and "we can get you on the schedule for Tuesday....MARCH 5th......Ahhhhhh, NO. So they know I have to have it installed before EOY else the rebate from the Utility gets pulled. And that is the best they can do. They say they are booked solid. They have 3 crews to do the whole Dallas-Fort Worth Area. That is laughable.
    They say they are "TRAVELING" crews to Dallas soon to help out with the backlog and that may open a spot but I am not holding my breath.
    This combined with the silly delays in the paperwork process makes my quite apprehensive to use them. If they had told me upfront that they couldn't do it this year (they told me they could even tho the contract says 4-6 months), I would not have gone down this road on a flight of fancy.
    I really want to do this system. If they can pull it off this year, then I will do it, but probably not elsewise. The utility wont even announce rebates until February for 2019, if any as they detest solar.
  • edited November 2018
    Tesla is a mixed bag... amazing products, but once it leaves the factory its a gamble.

    If you are lucky you get assign to a stellar coordinator that cares, flip side as Elon would characterize it, you enter "customer hell"

    I would say for pure solar panel install, go third party. Tesla bring nothing but problems. Tesla hire third parties for electrician, uses third party equipment, and got a really bad pipeline. And if anything go off track, you better be a hands on person.

    I'm an investor so I'm being extra patient, but I cant imagine anyone else dealing with Tesla.

    I really hope Tesla is aware of the damage they are inflicting while trying to maximize profits... And that all the negative experience is worth it.
  • edited November 2018
    @PFP: you are right to be concerned. I ordered my Solar + PW system Sept 2017 from Tesla Energy with the idea to get the install done before the end of the year. Find out in December (too late to switch to someone else) that March 2018 was my install window. Kept Tesla Energy since I was being forced into a 2018 install. Ordered the 315W black on black panels for aesthetics. Crew showed up and installed the 325W white line panels (I got “upgraded” when my panels were out of stock, but no one asked me). Took another month for them to come out and replace the panels with what we ordered. Took yet another month for me to figure out that Tesla Energy hadn’t actually submitted my PTO to the utility despite their assurances they had.

    Finally got everything turned on and running, but my troubles didn’t end there. During install, they had not connected 6 panels on one of my arrays correctly. I could see the performance was not up to spec on the Powerguide. It took me over 4 MONTHS and many, many phone calls to get them to agree to even look at my system. I kept getting excuses that “we don’t worry about systems until they drop to 50% production”, or “you need to give it a full year first”. As soon as they finally agreed to send it over to the techs, I had the techs calling me saying something was wrong and they needed to come out. Lost 4 months of peak production on those 6 panels due to their poor customer service.

    I got suckered in due to the Tesla name (Model S and 3 owner), and figured they had fixed their Solar City woes. They haven’t yet, and I do not recommend them.
    edited November 2018
    @Az_Rael: I am sorry to hear of these troubles. I have a 3 as well and was thinking this was gonna be good. I still have my fingers crossed as I am stuck at the moment. That said, yesterday Tesla announced a price cut on Solar Panels. So I called and they reduced my upfront cost by 6.5%. Should have new contract today. Plus they are still hoping to bring crews in. More info I got 2 day ago is they are looking to bring the crews in from El Paso after Thanksgiving. Still doubtful this will get done tho
    edited November 2018
    @Az_Rael: I would be sticking it to them for the contract guaranteed production at the 2 year point then
  • edited November 2018
    Tesla uses third party products. panels, inverts, even electricians. I went with tesla because I was also getting a model X and I won shares... but the service is terrible, it make no sense to overpay for bad service.

    I'm going to try to end my contract since no work started yet and go with a local company and request the same HW.

    End result will most likely be lower cost, with identical performance... very sad to say from a Tesla investor and soon to be Model X owner.
  • edited November 2018
    The short answer to your question is: it depends. It depends on what part of the country you live. Some places have great experiences and other, not so great. It also depends to a large degree on your advisor.

    My install was in west central FL. It started out great, had some bumps in the road , and ended up going wonderfully at the end. I would say that I got lucky beacause my advisor was outstanding. He intervened several times to handle the bumps quickly and effectively. All in all, I am very glad I went with Tesla.

    So the take home message is: Ask some locals how their experiences went with Tesla. Also ask how good or bad their advisor was. Then decide.

    Good luck!
  • edited November -1
    Initially went with Solar City for my 17kw system. But delays, more delays and lack of updates I dropped
    SC/Tesla Energy and went with a local installer. Very happy I did.

    2 years later. System is providing power and my Sonnen battery is working in self consumption mode flawlessly.
    I wanted micoinverters. SC said no. I wanted panels different orientation on the roof. More in one sector less in other. Argued with SC about design. Went with local company who had no problem meeting my requirements
    and providing me with 370 watt panels and Enphase microinverters.

    Suggest you do your research. Get bids from multi sources. Check on local incentives beyond the federal 30 percent tax credit. Some states provide incentives. Some utilites do as well. Think of your shading, electric cars,
    a/c requirements. Try to build a system that's going to meet your future requirements. I have 2 EV cars Model S and 3. Live in TX (hot summers). My system is 17kw - 47 panels.

    In June I'm making 83 - 90 kw of power a day. Winter solar blues (short day and lower angle) 26 - 29 kw.
    When leaves are gone. My production will go up.
  • edited November 2018
    @nwfan, I am totally envious of your solar production being only 26-29 kWh/day. Yesterday with massive rain storm, we only produced 1.7 kWh, and are only averaging around 14 kWh/day for November up here in Edmonds, WA. Not enough solar from our 13.2 kWh solar system to fully charge our two PW2's, and even on a good day can only charge up to 50 percent right now. I would love to have your solar production up here right now. It is going to be an interesting challenge to see how much I can get out of our PW2's until the solar starts ticking back up in February, especially with our two Tesla's also needing juice from our limited solar. We will be down to single digit production next month. Can't wait to get back to more solar, but have no regrets about the PW2 install and our solar installation. I agree with your position to go with microinverters with trees and shading issues, which we also have.
  • edited November -1
    @Tesla-David, Happy Holidays.
    My battery usually charges to 60 to 70 percent.
    Have started charging my Model S at local Supercharger
    once a week. Reduces my dependence on the grid.
    My Model 3 is 100 percent solar powered.

    Also doing some maint. Limb trimming on my trees and
    panel cleaning the bird droppings. I'm starting to
    notice electric production beginning to push 32 kw a day.
    My north facing panels are about useless this time of the year.
    They are roughly putting out 10 percent of the power of my
    more efficient south facing panels. I have panels pointed all
    4 directions and monitor output daily.
  • edited December 2018
    I don't know if anyone at Tesla reads these comments but I am a Tesla Solar customer (originally Solar City) and I have an issue and have reached out to Tesla's consumer service many times as well as other management in the company and no one returns my calls or emails. I'm at a loss and beyond frustrated.
  • edited December 2018
    I signed papers 11/4 and install was last Tuesday. They forgot to load the siding and 1 panel, and I live aways from a major city, so siding should arrive/be installed by end of next week. Install otherwise took a day plus an additional day for the last panel. 8 kWh system.
  • edited December 2018
    My system has been down for nearly 2 months. I call customer service about every 3-4 days. Each time I receive about the same answer: emails have been sent to the warehouse. I find these answers unsatisfactory. I question how serious Tesla is about providing service to its customers. I question how a supplier can remain a supplier if it cannot supply products. If asked whether I would recommend Tesla (formerly Solar City in my area), I would say, NO, emphatically. I would like to hear from someone who has actually received service for an inverter that has stopped working. I would like to hear from Tesla, itself, with something other than that they have sent an email to the warehouse. I see that Testa just launched a Space X rocket into space carrying a satellite. Hurray! How about getting on with business back here on earth.
  • edited December 2018
    I’ve been up and running for 13 months. I live in Southern California through SDGE where rates are the highest in the US outside of Hawaii. I’m extremely happy with my Tesla system. I have a 8.775kw system which is the max panel configuration for my roof size and layout. The estimated production for the system was calculated at 13,521kwh. My roof layout also limited south exposed panel install so 1/3 of my panels are north facing. With all that I was skeptical based on my past energy usage that the configuration would offset my usage even up to the 88% offset that Tesla estimated. A lot had to do with the dry summer and continued CA drought but my annual production came in at 14,767kwh and I was an overgenerator for the year with SDGE. Those in southern CA know it doesn’t “pay” to overgenerate as the peak rates can be as high as .54kwh and SDGE only rebates over generation at a rate of .03kwh. I’d like to think the efficiency of the Tesla panels were the biggest contributor to my system’s Production success. After interviewing 5 other providers I’m happy I went with Tesla and I enjoy the integration with my X and S. My friends and neighbors are happy I referred them as well since my grandfathered referral rate saved them $1,000’s. I haven’t experienced any system issues thus far. My production dipped slightly from June to July and customer service said they wouldn’t send anyone out to look at it because I was still over producing the estimate. I attributed it to slot being blown in from some fires so I got up on the roof and hosed the panels off and I got a slight uptick from there. There were some cosmetic issues with the roof that happened after install but with one call to customer service they had a team out within a few days to fix it. I think the energy advisor you get means a ton as well. My guy was awesome and he still keeps in touch to check in on my system. For those still doing research on companies I agree with comments about the inverter and this is something you need to be comfortable with Tesla. The other company I was strongly considering was Petersen Dean because they were selling hard their micro inverters vs Tesla’s inverter. If Tesla’s inverter goes down the system goes down. If a micro inverter goes down a panel or two goes down and the system still functions.
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