Poll - Solar Panels Installed?

Poll - Solar Panels Installed?

Since I've just installed solar I thought I'd do a poll to see the numbers of Tesla owners (or reservation holders) that have installed solar panels.

Please answer in the link below:


btw: mine is a 5kW system (in SoCal)

Tesla-David | December 12, 2013

I have 13.2 kW system (Edmonds, WA)

sia | December 12, 2013

I have a 9 kW (DC)/ 8 kW (AC) system (San Diego, CA).

This system is more or less sufficient for our household use + charging the model S (driven ~ 1300 miles/month).

dahtye | December 12, 2013

I got my MS in October last year and Solar is being installed as I type. It will be a 6KW AC system, San Francisco Peninsula. But I rarely charge at home - mostly at work. But I anticipate that I'll start charging at home more in the future.

dahtye | December 12, 2013

I just voted in your poll.

Tesla-David | December 12, 2013

I meant to add our PV system provides 115%+ of our electrical needs for all electric home + MS use, so we are net energy producers.

GeekEV | December 12, 2013

9.6kW for me...

JPPTM | December 12, 2013

16kW SolarCity PV system (SF Bay Area)

SCCRENDO | December 12, 2013

18000 miles in 8 months. $400 per month (Tesla charging $150 per month) electricity. Contracted for a 13kW system but city of Anaheim has a lottery system for rebate. Waiting to hear if I got the rebate. This year's rebate is $1.50/watt down from $2.50/watt. If I don't get the rebate will probably not do it.

hammy16 | December 12, 2013

12 Kw System installed 6 years ago.
SF Bay Area

Sudre_ | December 12, 2013

Just got my 12kW system installed. Half the panels are under a city street light at night. My utility company hasn't installed the reversing meter yet but I am curious if the street light will actually produces a watt or two for me at night.... that would be funny.

Carefree | December 12, 2013

22kw - the roof is plastered with panels:-)

tezzla.SoCal | December 12, 2013

wow, a lot of big systems. The numbers look a bit skewed towards solar so far, people without solar; we need your votes also.

I'd like to get a "true" representation (well, as true as a poll can be).

mkh1437 | December 12, 2013

Having solar installed next week. 5.3 kW (DC)/4.5 kW (AC) in Chicago area.

robert | December 12, 2013

17'000 kWh/year at home from cells. Plus the insulation of all time.
15'000 kWh/year in hot water and heat for floor heating from solar panels (not cells).
4'000 kWh/year from open, water-mantled fireplace with a big fire/week during winter half-year.

35'000 kWh/year from cells at the office.

To just give a kW figure only tells a bit of the truth, latitude, angle etc tell the other part. I'm on the 60th latitude.


RAM_Eh | December 12, 2013

I have a 8kw system in Toronto and selling all the power back to the utility. Get over $0.80 per kw to sell. Good deal!

RBats | December 12, 2013

@mkh1437 - I am in the Chicago area as well. Thinking about doing the same but don't know much about process or installers in the area. Who are you using? Thnx.

mvannah | December 12, 2013

17.5kw system in Vegas (needed to run air conditioners)

jagtapl | December 12, 2013

@mkh1437 - I am in Chicago lake county as well. It will be good if you can share more details to help us decide about solar. Enjoying our MS Red last few weeks. Thanks

dlake | December 12, 2013

16kW solar city-installed system in AZ. After installation, it is taking forever for city and electric utility to inspect. My PV panels have been sitting on my roof for over a month NOT providing electricity!

tezzla.SoCal | December 12, 2013

@dlake - wow, that would drive me crazy! (of course I'm waiting also, 1 whole day so far)

Please take the poll below whether you have solar or not. Thanks.

kback | December 12, 2013

17 kW system in Connecticut.

deeptesla | December 12, 2013

6 KW system in SF Bay Area

bjm | December 12, 2013

We have a 5kW system in SF Bay area that we installed in 2005. We have a favorable TOU rate structure (we sell back to PGE at $0.35/kWh at peak times) - and while not quite as good as Toronto, we might have a smidgen more sun than our northern neighbors!

Since the kids left home two years ago, we have had a net negative true up bill at the end of the year. We have had the Model S for 9 months/ 8000 miles, and we are still selling more to PGE than we are using.

I cannot tell you how nice it is to feel that the electricity you are using everyday is "free." Would recommend getting a system that is large enough to meet all of your electricity needs - including the Model S. Once the system has paid for itself, you will not regret the extra expense up front.

rodhoffman | December 12, 2013

3.9 kW system for 2.5 years in Colorado with no power bills from Xcel and 66% of capital paid by Feds and utility. 4 cents a kWh for production. Payback 7% annually so far. I added 1.9 kW capacity yesterday with 22% payback as the utility upped the rate to 7 cents a kWh for production and cost of solar panels/inverters halved. I also just extended the racks and used same UG conduit. Still 33% tax credit from feds but lost the utility capital rebate.

Mine is a ground-mount system with micro-inverters - Suntech panels and no issues. Producing 1.43 of rated capacity because of sunny weather.

Rod in Evergreen, CO

rdalcanto | December 12, 2013

Installing 15KW system in the Spring. Unfortunately that isn't big enough for our needs, but should help. Don't have enough S or W facing roof to put more. Big house with 4 Radon mitigation fans that use 8kW/day total. Pool motor, running only 12 hrs/day, along with hot tube, is probably using another 20-30kw. I'm probably at 30-40kW/day before turning on a single light. :(

mdemetri | December 12, 2013

7.8Kw system for over 1.5 years. Love it. Covering all of my home and Model S charging with room to spare. This includes using a heat pump (i.e. electrical) for heating and cooling.

reitmanr | December 12, 2013

Nice to see so much solar. We have had solar for about ten years here in SF Bay area. Expanded a little to accommodate our MS which arrived just about a year ago. We are net producers over our true-up period. Very glad to have solar! As I recall, we have about a 7.5kW system, some on a central inverter, and recent additions on micro-inverters.

inverts | December 13, 2013

I have none, don't plan on it. Installation cost is high compared to potential pay-off. I also wonder whether solar is as ecologically un-sound as biodiesel. How much energy does it take to make solar panels? Aluminum production is extremely energy costly, pure silicon as well. But because industrial energy is cheaper than residential, the units can be offered relatively cheaply despite high energy input. Sterling engines may be better.

The other thing is maintenance. The cited kW are ideal ratings. Panels get dirty, units get old, so I wonder what the true wattage is over the course of a unit's life.

I think I will wait until cost is realistically recouped in 1 year, and system last at least 20 years. Current ideal break-even point is I think at 6-8 years, which is too long IMHO. Consider it from a business perspective: a business taking that long to become profitable is not a good idea.

Good on you idealists, but with solar I don't quite put hard money down. Plus, they are ugly.

LeeJ | December 13, 2013

2.58Kw system installed 2010 in northern England (yes, the sun does visit here sometimes ;-)) provides 40% annual electricity use OR about as much electricity as my recently ordered Model S will need.

We get around 70c for each KWh generated (wether we use it or not) index-linked and guaranteed for 25 years so payback in 8 years and 17 years annual income.

RonaldA | December 13, 2013

8kw currently, adding 20 more kw in the spring

tezzla.SoCal | December 13, 2013


With just federal tax credits alone, my payback should be around 4 years, of course I live in sunny SoCal and my house faces due south.

We're getting ready to install on my business also (since we own the building), this should save me around $15,000 a year, again around a 4 year return on investment (after tax credits/depreciation).

mkh1437 | December 13, 2013

@rbats and @jagtapl: I'm working with Renewable Energy Alternatives ( They have done solar installs for a number of Tesla owners in the area. They state that their panels will offset approximately 1000 miles of charging per year per panel. We're installing a 22 panel system, so should (in theory) generate enough to offset 22000 miles of charging. The specs state estimated annual production will be 6555 kWh.

So far, I have been very happy with their service (although, as I said, my install is not until next week). They have been very helpful in working with our HoA to get approval for the solar install, as well as managing all of the paperwork for the state and federal rebates.

dlake | December 13, 2013

Solar City will lease solar panels to you and install them on your house with inverters, etc. to generate electricity and connect to grid. For my 16kW system, I save ~$50 per month based on my last few years of usage. The nice thing is that it doesn't cost anything out of pocket, and because I am leasing the panels Solar City is responsible for any malfunctions. For example, if hail damages panels, Solar City will replace them; if an inverter fails, Solar city replaces the inverter. Saving $50 per month is a no-brainer for me, especially with $0 out of pocket and no maintenance costs. I'm sure Solar city makes some money from the lease and selling electricity back to utility, but that's OK with me- I want them to succeed because my electric utility has had a monopoly for too long.

simonrich | December 13, 2013

I just took delivery of my 85 last week and already have a 10 KW solar system, plan to add more!!
Simon in Edenton , NC

AmpedRealtor | December 13, 2013

14 kW Sunpower leased system here in Buckeye, Arizona! Already saved over $1,000 this year (including lease payment) versus doing nothing. I highly recommend Sunpower panels.

Tesla-David | December 13, 2013

I think my solar panels are beautiful, and well worth the investment. It makes me feel great to know that I am not taxing the electrical grid and actually overproducing. Climate change (carbon emissions)is real and my wife and I do not want to contribute to the problem but to the solution. These video links provides a strong reason for going with solar and moving away from ICE vehicles to the EV-Tesla MS.;

MacDaddyDude | December 13, 2013

I installed a small off grid system almost 3 years ago almost as a science experiment. It's severly limited by shade trees, but has already been used when the grid has gone down. We'll hit 2 megawatts of total generation in January. Pretty good for a diy experiment!

stuberman | December 13, 2013

5kW k system in the Bay Area. We installed it three years ago and it was designed to meet 75% of our electricity needs because that is what the installer recommended. Here in Palo Alto we don't get very good reimbursement for selling power back to the utility.

We have been very pleased with the system and thrilled with the installation compared to some installations that I have seen. If you are looking to do an installation in the bay area I suggest that you check out Cobalt Power Systems. I highly recommend it.

RBats | December 13, 2013

@mkh1437 - thanks for the info!

Pungoteague_Dave | December 13, 2013

27 kW system installed 5/10. Payback period was less than one year. 84 panels installed on barn roof on our farm. Cost $127k at the time, funded $45k by USDA agriculture grant, $39k by tax credit, and 15k in local grants. It was put in ur farm LLC and entire purchase price deducted in first year, saving about $25k in taxes. Our $800/mo electric bill went to zero, and we make about $500/mo selling electricity back to the local coop. We also receive a $1,600 check every quarter for selling the renewable energy credits. After 3.5 years, zero maintenance costs. Thirty year warranty, so no risks. Could not be a better deal.

Solar City business model is a ripoff. You lose all the tax credits, can't sell the RECs, can't sell back excess production. Worse, you encumber your house for 20 years with a note. You diminish your resale value dramatically, as the liability to Solar City goes with the house. People are sold on these things based on old cost per month vs new cost per month, not realizing that it costs plenty in lost opportunity and essentially a second mortgage on the house that impairs resale value. The solar City model is a creation of the Wall Street bond guys who brought you CDOs.

mrspaghetti | December 13, 2013

I got a quote for a solar system about a year ago, and it was not cost-effective - not even close. No tax breaks or other incentives in Houston.

I'll check again in a couple years. I'll be happy to do if if/when it makes financial sense for me.

mrspaghetti | December 13, 2013

@Pungoteague_Dave: Could not be a better deal.

From your perspective, I'd have to agree. From the taxpayer perspective, maybe not so much.

But good for you - might as well take it if they're throwing money around.

simplesolarinc | December 13, 2013

for Solar, it makes sense in some areas where electricity is expensive such as California and Hawaii where we can pay anywhere from $.34-$.46 per kwh in the top tiers. For areas such as Texas where electricity is as low as $0.11 it doesn't make as much sense.

What most people don't realize is with Solar City and all the big solar companies have inflated cost of installing solar so it makes the solar leasing look very attractive. I personally have a 5kw system and because of the Time of Use tier system with SCE and my peak usage is so low, it offsets approx 3,000 miles of driving a month. If we factor in the dollar amount of gas we save by going solar and offset with solar system the ROI is way better than 25-30%. In this market it is very hard to find something that provides that much return with very little risk.

For me personally going solar saves approx $600 a month on gas based on a 20mpg car and $4 gas.

Simple math

5kw system @ avg $4/watt cost $20,000 - $6,000 (30% tax rebate) - $800 (sce rebate) = $13,200
monthly saving in electricity $100+ gas saving $600 = $700

The equivalent payback is less than 19 Months.

I have done a lot of solar system for Tesla owners and there I've always found a way to make solar make sense. I say even financing at 16% with credit card purchasing still makes more sense than leasing.

JacksonB | December 14, 2013

8.1 kW system being installed now in Coronado,CA after taking delivery of my MS last week. Green boy here.

Got a Solar City quote out of loyalty to Elon and the fact I could afford the MS after investing in SCTY. Wound up going with local company due to better customer service and higher confidence level in personnel. Also 20% lower price.

rbgliny | December 14, 2013

10.7kWh/year. 2 Model S's

Tesla-David | December 14, 2013


We pay only $0.08/kwh in northwest Washington State (Edmonds/Seattle), and it still makes sense to me. I have paid no electric bills in all electric home since moving in 9/2012, and our system will be fully paid off in less than 7 years. Lot's of folks here are installing solar even though the rates are low.

djm12 | December 14, 2013

With solar, every situation is different and the business case can vary greatly. Our payback was only 4-5 yrs for a 4.5KW system. Getting a quote only takes a phone call and 30 minutes of your time to discuss options following a home inspection.

Araujor20 | December 15, 2013

5.28KW in California. just got S85 a month ago.

james babb | December 15, 2013

25 kW system in St. Louis, Missouri, plus a 16.8 kW system at Lake of the Ozarks lake home about 150 miles away. Already set up to charge my Model X at both locations. Can't wait.

Brian H | December 15, 2013

that's kWh. kW is the instantaneous energy rating or flow. Used or accumulated units require the time dimension!