Solar Panels

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Horrible experience with my Solar+Powerwall project

My solar + powerwall project in bay area started in mid 2019. Still has no ETA to finish.

And the even worse thing is:
I mentioned this yesterday in a post comment of this forum, the comment was deleted in the same day.
I thought I might made some mistake, so I retyped all the words and posted this in another comment today. It's get deleted within an hour again. (But this time I backed up the words and screenshot)

The following is my today's comment to, it looks not violating anything to me, not sure why it's deleted, or by whom.

I'm experiencing the same thing, more than a year since installation (which was already delayed by 3 months from promised date), missed 2 tax rebates which is degrading every year, and 2 summers to generate energy. still inactive without no clear ETA.

This is a solar + powerwall project.

Last time (sometime 2020 quarter 1) the city inspector suggested to move the Powerwall to garage. Then there's no significant activity thereafter, besides lots of time wasted to try tracking this project with Tesla custom service (which is really hard and mostly useless, with many unbearable misleading information and lies)

I can still remember in 2019 when I started the project, the first Tesla guy I spoke with was like: "You surely can enjoy the solar energy before summer comes", now I just wish all this mess can finish in 2021 summer.


  • Oh now I think I made the posting comment mistake. I clicked "next", then without clicking "post comment", there should be no one deleting my comments.
  • I'm sorry that your experience with Tesla has been a major challenge. FWIW, the vast majority of installations do go very smoothly, and once the dust settles, I'm sure you'll be happy too.
  • What does your project manager says? If it is just to move the Powerwalls to the garage, it should be a pretty simple thing to do. Tesla can probably send a contractor to handle it if they cannot service your location in time.

    My experience with Tesla has been a very good one. I placed my order in Aug 2020 and the entire system was commissioned and authorized by the local utility (Puget Sound Energy) in Dec 2020.

    Tesla worked with a local solar and electrical company, Northwest Solar and Electricity, who performed the actual installation and it was smooth and professional. The local guys even handled an unexpected issue, a small one, but the State of WA issued a new code stating that solar system installed after Oct 2020 has to have a label on the outside gateway saying "Service Disconnect / Emergency Disconnect". That was the only thing they had to deal with after the County inspector took a look at the system. Yup, a simple label and PSE came soon after and authorized the whole thing. 4 months, pretty good.
  • I live in bay area, have an advisor in Las Vegas office. And IIUC, everything was done by Tesla directly. I do feel everything would be much smoother if it's handled by a contractor.

    My time line:

    2019.9 Signed contract.

    2019.12 after a few rounds of delays, installation came and finished in one day. According to contract I paid 50% cost. The rest 50% should be paid after inspection is done.

    Then completely lost contact with my advisor for months, won't return email or phone. Calling the general custom service won't help either, no one in Tesla can tell why there's no inspection scheduled after the installation. I've scheduled inspection for other home improvement projects, it's used to be very easy and just a few days.

    Finally (some time in Feb or Mar) the inspection was scheduled. Inspector suggests to move the Powerwall (installed to my front wall), and felt solar panel is fine.

    Then again I had months of delay with no progress and without knowing what happened inside Tesla (To be fair, COVID hit at this time, but it's unbearable that no one in Tesla could give me a update). During that time, one Tesla guy asked me to draw a CAD diagram of the front wall and add a cover to the powerwall, so that they can submit to the city and hope city can let the permit pass. I did that but then felt it's a quite strange request, like why should I be involved in any permit drawing? Then city rejected the amended permit.

    Then after tons of emails/calls asking for updates, sometime 2020 summer, finally Tesla sent a guy to move the powerwall from front wall to side wall, and I got a new advisor, another Tesla guy from local bay area also texted me that he can help to actively track the project. The inspection still can't pass coz inspector thought the powerwall made the drive way narrower (my driveway is next to the side wall), and suggested: why don't you move the powerwall to garage?

    Then a few more months of inactivities and no update. Unlike my old advisor, my new contacts now do reply my emails sometimes, but for most of the times, it's like we don't know what's going on with your project, only thing we know it's in our permit team, but we can't see the detail.

    Oct 28, I was told the project actually fell out of the permitting team’s queue, new ETA is Nov. 11 for approval.

    Then no update again.

    Then I sent an email to ask about it on Nov 13, the reply (5 days later) was: "The permitting team got a hold of city and let them know the situation so are just waiting on a response. The permit has techincially been received but they are double checking to make sure nothing else is needed so that we don’t fail the inspection due to mismatched plans." I'm not sure what that mean so just called and asked, can we expect to finish this project in 2020 so that I can claim the tax rebate. The answers are: a. I don't see why this can't be finished this year b. as we understand, you can claim the tax rebate as long as the installation is done.
    a. turned out to be false and I highly doubt about b. (I only paid 50% cost so far anyway, and my tax advisor suggested I can only claim that after inspection and turning on the system)

    A few days later, when I emailed that I'd like to finish this project at all cost, including giving up the powerwall, I was told: In all honesty it, you will likely not have an inspection or receive PTO before the end of the year whether you move forward with or without the Powerwall system.

    Nov 30, I asked why? Answer: the delay is due to the fact that we don’t have any crews available before that date to come fix the issues.

    Today (Dec 8), I emailed to ask is there any update from the permit submitted on Oct 28. Answer: It appears that everything outstanding with the permit has been resolved and we are just waiting on the work to be done. The crew manager just sent the scope of work to our maintenance scheduling team so they can review and get you on the schedule for the next available date. (I hope this is true but frankly can't trust it)

    My latest wish: this thing can be finished in the next 3 months. I know this is a very "high" expectation to Tesla given my previous experience, but please Tesla, have someone seriously working on this 15 months long project, or at least actively updating the progress. I'm just so tried from emailing, calling and telling the real/misleading informations in the last 1+ years,

    To be fair, I had another coworker living close by installed Tesla solar panel, which was quite a smooth process. And for my project, if I didn't choose powerwall, it'd be also an acceptable experience (still would have months delay on installation, then months of delay on inspection). My feeling (also from owning a model 3, as well as reading from other posts in this forum) is Tesla has very good products, competitive price and unbelievable bad service.
  • After another month of inactivity and no update I sent out an email to ask for the update, and my advisor simply replied "I transitioned into a new role and your project has been reassigned to a new project advisor familiar with your area. Please review your Tesla account to see your new advisor's contact information".

    OK, Tesla maybe you can do better to actively let me me know my project was reassigned and what's the new contact info? Instead of until I query for the update, and ask me to login and find out the new contact?

    As for the project itself, I was told a Tesla technician would come on Dec 31 for "maintenance" without any detail. And he just came and left without doing anything since he didn't understand why he was sent or what the maintainence was about either!

    What a poor customer service and management!
  • This is outrageous!! I'm really sorry you are experiencing this terrible level of service. As many of us know...with Tesla YOU must be your own project manager. The BIG issue is Tesla does not have any construction project managers for the residential installations. Customers must rely on 'advisors' in vegas. I am a General engineering Contractor who works with many Tesla certified installers. This really sounds like someone dropped the ball. At this point I suggest you get your attorney involved. Tesla should be compensating you for those missed rebates or take the system back with full refund and repairs to roof. If you need an attorney let me know. Tesla's legal team is easy to work with. Good luck
  • It took 4 month from installing to get started with Solar panels 15 KW and 4 power walls. Now our self powered output is between 6 and 22 %, mostly about 10 % even we live in the sunshine state Florida and have a lot of sun. I wrote an email to the so called energy customer support, got a standard answer that they received my e-mail on Jan. 19. Today we have Jan. 26 and no answer. I sent the questionnaire to other departments - no direct answer either (just basic mail cfm) I called and got on a automated answer of the customer representative we had, but there was no possibility to leave a message. We experienced during the 4 month a poor customer service and management and disorganisation. Our local building dept. had to come out several times before Tesla got it according the paperwork. But in reality now - it is a lousy service they provide. We regret, that we have chosen TESLA for such an project.
  • > @guydude said:
    > If you need an attorney let me know. Tesla's legal team is easy to work with. Good luck

    I need an attorney to deal with Tesla - they are stonewalling me on fixing damage they caused to my roof (open pilot holes):

    Can you please refer me to an attorney?
  • update

    Good things are we finally got city/PGE inspections passed. What city requested was really a small change but it took Tesla 1+ years to address that.

    Bad thing is I still cannot turn on the system, "the solar panel didn't work and it shouldn't be too hard to fix" as I heard from last Tesla technician. And I lost contact to my 3rd advisors from Tesla. Her Email address is no longer valid, no one told me who is my new contact, and I tried to call the general custom service number at noon time, waited for 10 mins, but no one can answer the phone.

    Tesla scheduled a "maintenance" to April couple months ago, not sure is it for fixing my installation, anyone from Tesla I can talk with was not sure what the "maintenance" was about.

    In the meantime, I received the invoice to pay the rest 50% (I fully paid it to collect the tax credit, even tho I disagree the installation really finished), received all the congratulations mails and instructions to turn on the system despite I can't, and what I really need is a contact to solve my problem.

    Will try the customer service number tomorrow...
  • From all this time, you could actually use the solar power. You just need to be careful not to let the generated electricity be fed back to the grid. This practice violates the rule, but nobody really cares. One trick is when the powerwall is fully charged, shut off solar panel system so that the powerwall will serve as the electric source. And the powerwall can be charged fully during the day and used when sun goes down.
  • For the tax credit, The rule for when the tax credit can be claimed is rather vague. It basically says that once the system can be operated, the tax credit can be claimed. That can mean the completion of the installation because then the system can be turned on. The Energy Department website has quite length explanation on the this issue. I myself was trying to beat the end of year time for the tax credit last year and I made it, even though very close. The system was installed on Dec 21st of last year and inspected before Christmas.

    Also after the installation, the Tesla technician in charge of installation must have shown you that the system is ready to operate. He/She must have shown you the on/off switch on the converter box for turning on/off the panel system. If you had turned on the system, you could have had the solar power go into your house. In my installation, the technician just left the switch on after they finished the work and departed the house.
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