Energy Products

Powerwall - Advanced Balanced vs Advanced Cost Savings?

I know this question has been asked a lot and I know what the difference is supposed to be according to the description, but is there really a difference?

I’ve used both Advanced Balanced and Advanced Cost Savings settings on my Powerwall for a while and there has been zero difference between either when it comes to when the house uses battery, solar, or grid, or when solar is sent to the house, battery or grid. Both have been exactly the same every single day.


  • When use The Balanced option, it will run off the powerwall during my super off peak time until it hits the reserve. Cost savings will use the grid always during super off peak times. I'm on Southern Cal Edison.
  • I'm on SoCal Edison too, the TOU-Prime. So here is what I found after doing each for a week. It took a while for the gateway to learn my energy use, then after that it made automatic adjustments. I only have it set to peak from 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM and the rest is off-peak.

    Balanced used less power from AND less power sent back to the grid. Cost savings used AND sent back more. The net difference was about the same for both.

    Cost Savings - When the solar kicked on in the morning all of the energy went to the battery first. Then only after the batteries were fully charged did the solar begin powering the house and sending excess back to the grid. All solar production went to the batteries until full. The house only began using solar once the batteries were full. Then excess solar production went back to the grid

    Balanced - When the solar first kicked on in the morning all the power first went to the house only, and any difference needed by the house was supplemented by the grid until there was enough to run the house. The batteries charged only on excess solar generation.

    Morning Energy Use Difference - Balanced used solely battery in the morning from 5:00am until solar kicked in in the morning, then it used battery and solar. This was due to what it learned from our energy habits. During the morning when our power consumption has a slight spike at 5:00 am when my wife gets up to get ready for work (Lights, toaster oven, hair drier, and coffee maker used.) Cost savings used only the grid during this morning period
  • So much like a Nest thermostat, the system actually learns habits and adjusts itself accordingly? If so that's a phenomenal capability.

    Which begs the question...Where are the "smarts" located? In the TEG, or on the Tesla servers?

    I strongly suspect it's on the Tesla servers, much like Alexa's voice recognition and AI reside on the Amazon servers. If that's the case, the Tesla AI and it's fancy adaptability would probably be lost with the grid (assuming access to the 'Net is cut too). Really not a big loss, as the house is on basic backup anyway.
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