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Need help - is it worth it?

Need help - is it worth it?

Hi All,

I hoping you can help me decide if I should go ahead with the SolarCity contract. I am aware that I will not be saving money, but I am willing to pay some extra amount to 1) be a part of the Tesla revolution and support the company, 2) have a backup for power outages (my alternative choice is a whole house generator) 3) generate some of my own energy

My house is in a very wooded area. I am willing to take down some trees (we have a ton of them and I need some firewood). The Tesla rep is proposing a 6.5kw system with an estimated production of 4,129 kWh (i guess that's yearly?) with usage offset of 25%. I may be able to up this with the removal of a few key trees.

The system cost is $37K with two powerwalls. I am getting two because I want to be able to power my house for an extended period of time if the power goes down. We have had a few multi-day outages in my area.

My average utility cost before solar is $231. My average energy cost after color they estimate at $422/mo. Hardly seems worth it. I am paying $200/mo for the system. I also get a $11,100 tax credit.

I could also go with one powerwall bringing down the cost of the system to $31,700. the monthly cost after solar will be $384 with a $9700 tax credit. This is much better, but how will I fair in an extended blackout?

My ultimate goal will be to offset my electricity, power my Model 3 when I can finally get my hot little hands on it, and have power in a blackout.

Does anyone know what I should be trying for with cutting down trees? What would be a good system size? How well will the powerwall be as a generator alternative (with me being in conservation mode during a power outage)? I am hoping I can generate power during the day to run the house at night (weather depending). I am worried that the wall will be empty after a day or so and I will be in trouble.

I am clearly new to all this. I do appreciate any advice you can give me.

tkaiser | November 9, 2017

A usage offset of only 25% sounds alarming. Have they done the site survey of your home? Did they give new figures based on cutting down more trees? Is there room for more solar panels?

I would be cautious about the recharge rate of two powerwalls if you are only achieving a 25% offset.

ken | November 13, 2017

We are in the same boat. The electric Co-Op here has sized me for a 6.8KW system based on my past 3 years of use. Solar City factored in my new Model S, which doesn't show in all but one of the electric bills so far, and came up with 7.8KW. That would be a 24 panel system, outputting 15,000KW per year (in the Arizona desert). Cost with 1 power wall is $33K. I get $9K in credits, but it will take forever to claim all that. I have to deal with the Model S credit this year.
My calculations show that I won't have paid off that much electricity for 10 years. My KW cost won't be the same as the Co-Op's for 15 years. (Assuming rates stay the same and so does my usage).
It's a gamble with a very distant payoff. Do you think electric rates will go up or down? How likely are you to move? Are you OK with paying for 10 years worth of electric bills up front (with interest)?
I was all for it at the beginning, but the spreadsheet doesn't lie. I will probably stick with the PowerWall piece since I do want whole house (mostly) UPS and I can still leverage the Co-Op's Time of Use program and possibly get a faster ROI on my investment.
I'm all in favor of being green when it makes economical sense, but I think that 10-15 year gap is long enough for cheaper, more efficient PV technology to arrive and make anything I buy today a poor investment.
Roll the dice.

Tesla-David | November 14, 2017

Have you considered doing some weatherization repairs to reduce your energy footprint? My wife and I downsized in 2012 to 2000 sqft home. Our electric bills with gas furnace/water heater were initially $150/month. We replaced the gas furnace and water heater with heat pump/heat pump water heater so our house is now 100 percent electric, and after conducting weatherization repairs, our monthly electric bill is less than $15/month, living in Edmonds, WA. We added a 13.2 kWh solar system (55-Itek panels, and Bluefrog Microinverters), and we have been Net Positive for past five years including charging our MS, most recently 204% in 2016. Solar has worked exceptionally well for us even in Washington State. We also have shading issues, and had one tree removed on SW corner of home to open up our roof for south facing panels. I am also waiting for 2-Powerwall-2 installations, primarily for backup in case of power outages, but also to help regulate our power usage. With our 13.2 kWh solar system, we are producing about 13,000 kWh/year.

Moradbenayed | November 14, 2017

BEWARE of Solar City. IT SUCKS!!

I have ordered solar panels and 2 batteries from Tesla on Sep 30, unfortunately, I had the most horrific experience ever. It has been 6 weeks, and still no designs. First, Tesla told me that the surveyor did a bad job and had to redo it, then for 6 times, I got bad jobs from designers, and after 4 iterations, I still have nothing. The designers are sooooo bad that even my 10 years old daughter could have done a better job: 1st rendering had wrong number of panels, i.e. 6 instead of 9 - 2nd rendering had no panels at all - 3rd rendering had panels that are not centered - 4th rendering had panels layed out vertically instead of horizontall. It has been 10 days that I am waiting for 5th iteration and still nothing. Sales are not responding. Customer support takes 48 hours to respond. Escalations to CS manager on 2 occasions result in promises of "manager will call you back later today" but I get no calls. PLEASE HELP!!!!! By the way, Tesla is also now pulling back from commitment to deliver batteries by end of year as promised when contract was signed. Now they are saying "best effort", however, given they track record of operational incompetence, I can only think that they will not deliver. I have given them a deadline to commit or let me purchase my batteries from another supplier, but PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ME HANGING IN THE AIR BECAUSE OF YOUR INCOMPETENCE!!! Fix your problems Tesla!!! My account is moradbenayed @ gmail . com / dorraf @ yahoo . fr. My poor sales lady who seems frustrated by powerless is Erikka. The personal concierge who takes 48 hours to respond is Taylor Gurney. The CS manager who does not call back is Allen Compton. PLEASE FIX YOUR ISSUES. I have an order for a Tesla car, and I am really concerned about quality, service and ability to deliver.

DidierAubin87 | November 28, 2017

I think it is worth :))

eric.zucker | November 29, 2017

There is another benefit to powerwall.

I have 24 solar panels which produce up to 6kW, 8000 kWh annual projected.

Excess energy is fed back into the grid, I get virtually nothing for it: 8.5c.

Anytime my house uses more than I produce, I buy from the grid at 25.5c. If I’m correct, the powerwall charges or discharges as needed to have near zero grid usage if possible. This would mean the powerwall inverters provide extra power also during the day.

Whenever Tesla is able to provide three phase 400 VAC powerwall I will find out for sure.