Disappointed in Tesla - Guess it had to happen

Disappointed in Tesla - Guess it had to happen

My Model S experience has been nothing short of stellar and I felt going in that my Powerwall project would be the same. For a time it seemed to go well and now it has crashed and burned. The utility co which seemingly makes its own rules on the fly is dictating the project and has been adding extra cost items and really horrid installation requirements. One of these would involve wrapping the house in conduit to place a “utility cutoff” on the front of the house. Not only would this look horrid but it is unnecessary and just bad engineering as it would create a permanent line loss by running all of my energy through an additional 100+ feet of wire.

That’s on the utility but Tesla never pushed back against this and included it in their drawings which I had to get from the utility co, as Tesla never provided them.

At this point, I’m communicating with different T people in different cities, none of whom will take ownership of this project or even communicate with me other than to put me off and say, “let me (find someone who knows something) and get back to you.

Having to get the drawings from the utility is pretty bad because I consider them the enemy. T is not advocating on my behalf, just quietly and without consultation with me adding idiotic design attributes.

T people have been nice and polite but they don’t seem to know what they are doing and are content to let the utility make a pig’s breakfast of this project and five figures worth of my money.

Communication from T has ceased so I guess it is up to me to start pulling the plug on this job. The utility clearly won here and that’s not entirely Tesla’s fault but assuring me all was going well while hiding major changes from me has reduced my opinion of the company. If they can’t do this, they need to exit this market.

Full disclosure: The conduit wrap referenced would go through a water heater cabinet with water and gas lines which is a no-no. Tesla never bothered to contact me to learn of obstructions and simply added this to the drawings which again, I had to learn about from the utility. I am less than pleased.

Tesla-David | June 15, 2018

@johncrab, where are you located? Sorry to hear about your problems relative to communicating the requirements for your installation. I will ne getting a 2-PW2 installation on Monday (18 June) and as far as I can tell no onerous requirements are forthcoming from our electricity provider (Snohomish Public Utility District) in Edmonds, WA. In our particular case my solar installer (A&R Solar) now a Tesla Powerwall dealer will be doing the installation for Tesla-Energy, and they are local with a great working knowledge of requirements for solar and backup energy storage. In our case our utility has been great to work with.

lilbean | June 15, 2018

That sounds like a nightmare. Thanks for sharing.

johncrab | June 15, 2018

In response: I am in Arizona in an APS service area. They are known to be hostile to, well just about everyone and they own the state body that regulates them. They bought it for about $4M in the last election. I blame them for creating this mess but also Tesla for going along with it and playing with my home and my money while keeping me in the dark. I think this is a good product or I would not have been willing to commit $16k to it. In areas where utilities have their hands tied a lot better, it should do a fine job and work as advertised but I'm afraid it's just not going to happen for me.

mcdonalk | June 15, 2018

I am also in the APS area, and we had two Powerwall 2's installed several weeks ago. Tesla met APS' demand for a 100' backfeed suppression cable (my expression, not theirs) was met by installing a fused cutoff panel. APS and Tesla agreed on this. So, now I have two cutoff switches in series: the one non-fused one required by code, and the fused on required by APS. From the outside, they look identical with each other.
In my case, the system cost had been quoted before the negotiation with APS, and the subsequent addition of this panel did not affect the price that I paid.

johncrab | June 15, 2018

As this has developed I think Tesla’s real problem is just being naive and assuming that other companies are as honorable as they are. In my case, we are dealing with a profoundly, unabashedly and unashamedly EVIL electric company which is out to sabotage renewables in any form. It was naive on my part to think that without a solar component and buying 100% of my energy from them that they would be ok with this. They clearly are not and they have rigged the system for themselves. Tesla should work with markets where they can make a difference and let Arizona go to hell.

Magic 8 Ball | June 17, 2018

Do you think any other solar contractor will be able to achieve a better result in terms of pushing back on your utility?