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  • About to jump

    A recent storm ripped up my old roof so now I am in a position to get panels. I've been reading here as much as I can.

    My average electric bill is $420/month. I face SW with no obstructions or shade. According to tesla, panels that can produce 18kw will cost me $36k not including tax credits. So that would be more or less a 5 year pay off including credits.

    Obviously I have seen all the negativity on Tesla Energy and I am leery of moving forward with them. I am calling a recommended local company tomorrow to see pricing.

    I verified Tesla's numbers on the calculator recommended here- pnwatts? And it seemed to confirm the output.

    I am in Westchester, NY and plan on staying in this home at least 10 more years.

    The question is, does the whole thing make sense for me. Is Tesla so bad I should just forget them?

    interested to hear opinions..


  • #2
    If you're getting Tesla Roof Shingles, I'd look around the neighborhood and make sure you're not the first to do so. I looked at it a few months ago, and I've seen no local installs. There were installs on YouTube, but the people were waiting on city permission to go live.

    If possible, talk to neighbors and see what they are getting for solar savings even if they have regular PV panels. New York is not the ideal place for solar whereas where I'm at in Arizona it is ideal. There's websites you can look to get a good idea of what you'll get and go there.

    If I got solar and needed a new roof, I'd consider Tesla, but I would not be the first on my block. If I did not need a roof, I would get PV panels. Now, I don't know how long I'll be in my house so I have a decent RV fifth wheel solar pawer.

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    • #3
      $2/w is pretty unbelievable for a quote from Tesla. Are you sure this isn't after tax credits?
      BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2500kW installed

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      • #4
        Originally posted by solarix View Post
        $2/w is pretty unbelievable for a quote from Tesla. Are you sure this isn't after tax credits?
        18 kW under what conditions ? I bet that's Tesla marketing and/or the OP confusing kW with kWh. Still, NY does have some pretty hefty incentives so that $2.00, whatever it means, might be after all tax credits.

        OP: How much did you calc an 18 kW system will produce annually ? If it was me, I'd get several quotes on a new standard roof and an appropriately sized and more standard PV system, both from quality local, established vendors.

        That Tesla product is too new with too many big questions unanswered for my money - even if it was being marked by someone besides Tesla - which, by itself would be a deal killer for me. After what I've seen of their work both as Tesla and under their old guise of SolarCity, I wouldn't let them on my property. IMO only, you can do much better with licensed, local roofers and PV vendors.

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        • #5
          I've been confusing everyone.

          I looked at the Tesla shingles. I am definitely not getting those. Way too expensive and not really available. I'm talking the Tesla roof panels.

          The 18kwh comes from Tesla. It echoes what the Pwwatts calculator says and what is shown on my electric bill. I do have a large unobstructed roof and will need 50-60 panels.

          I am calling Liberty Solar today- a new york solar company.

          The actual final cost on the Tesla system will be $23k after state and national; incentives.

          I am scared about their terrible reputation though.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cshama View Post
            I'm talking the Tesla roof panels.......I am scared about their terrible reputation though.
            Why would you get panels from a place with a terrible reputation? Do you think these are the lesser of two bad choices?

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            • #7
              Good question. And I think it's why I came here.

              The initial process with Tesla is very streamlined and easy. The prices are excellent.

              I guess I want to know if they deserve their bad reviews or maybe they may have improved.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Cshama View Post
                Good question. And I think it's why I came here.

                The initial process with Tesla is very streamlined and easy. The prices are excellent.

                I guess I want to know if they deserve their bad reviews or maybe they may have improved.
                With so many other choices or local quality vendors and manufacturers with quality products, I'd wonder why you're even thinking about one of the bottom feeding outfits, except that you might be have the low price syndrome.

                If you're interested in opinion as to whether or not they deserve the bad reviews/opinions and, FWIW you want mine, root around here.

                If you're stuck with or caught in the low initial price syndrome, I've found that initial price and long term quality/satisfaction have something of an inverse relation. Sure folks can get screwed, but usually buyer ignorance has a lot to do with the screwing by not being better able to spot false quality and scams. You will get what you pay for (or less).

                Get educated. You'll wind up with a better system for the effort, or none.

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                • #9
                  Yes I somewhat agree. It really is a complex subject. The low price that Tesla is offering really is the main driver. Essentially $22k after rebates for a 18.5kwh system. That plus the Tesla strength behind the warranty. The negative is the seeming lack of customer service.

                  I contacted a local New York company Solar Liberty and they will give me a quote on Friday. But with Tesla, assuming their numbers are real, I would be getting a payback in around 4 years. Quite enticing

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cshama View Post
                    My average electric bill is $420/month.
                    Have you looked at how to reduce your bill? Taking steps to reduce your bill will be much more cost effective than a solar system.

                    5.775 kW System: 21 SolarWorld SW275 x 1 SMA 5000

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cshama View Post
                      Yes I somewhat agree. It really is a complex subject. The low price that Tesla is offering really is the main driver. Essentially $22k after rebates for a 18.5kwh system. That plus the Tesla strength behind the warranty. The negative is the seeming lack of customer service.

                      I contacted a local New York company Solar Liberty and they will give me a quote on Friday. But with Tesla, assuming their numbers are real, I would be getting a payback in around 4 years. Quite enticing
                      That would be an 18.5 kW (18 kilowatt) system, not an 18.5 kwh (sic) (18 kilowatt-hour) system. Your need of education is showing.

                      One way to begin clearing the complexity you write of is to consider downloading a free (but somewhat dated) pdf copy of "Solar Power Your Home for Dummies", or, get a revised hardcopy at bookstores or Amazon for ~ $25 before you deal with any vendors.

                      I'd also note that all qualified equipment installed by licensed vendors to proper codes is eligible for the same incentives. Buying based on low initial price is the errand of a fool.

                      Also, from what I've seen, based on their business ethics and ability, I'd put less faith in Tesla's product warranty performance than that of other vendors. If you're referring to a production warranty, they're all jokes and pretty much useless except as marketing tools to dupe the solar ignorant. Don't believe me ? Read one carefully.

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                      • #12
                        Based on the OP's confusion between kW and kWh, (don't feel bad - everybody except us solar nurds get that confused) you need to nail down what exactly Tesla is trying to sell you. I can't believe for $22k after credits, they are going to give you more than a 12kW system.
                        BSEE, R11, NABCEP, Chevy BoltEV, >2500kW installed

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                        • #13
                          At what point does this become an issue with the power company? Whether its 12kw or 18kw, may need some power company approval.

                          Locally, with APS, I believe 10 kw is a rather easy approval, 15 kw needs studies, and bigger, not sure. At some point, especially as more people get solar, those transformers that have been out there for a couple of decades can’t handle the power from houses being pushed back into them. In rare cases, the power company won’t say no, but could require a new transformer to be put in, and at whose cost, each company is different.

                          For me, as I teeter totter on getting solar for my house, I am starting to lean towards earlier than later.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chrisski View Post
                            At what point does this become an issue with the power company? Whether its 12kw or 18kw, may need some power company approval.

                            Locally, with APS, I believe 10 kw is a rather easy approval, 15 kw needs studies, and bigger, not sure. At some point, especially as more people get solar, those transformers that have been out there for a couple of decades can’t handle the power from houses being pushed back into them. In rare cases, the power company won’t say no, but could require a new transformer to be put in, and at whose cost, each company is different.

                            For me, as I teeter totter on getting solar for my house, I am starting to lean towards earlier than later.
                            The issue here isn't regulatory - that'll be needed regardless of system size - it's about which vendors to get quotes from.

                            While glitches can and do arise, the grid, the NYS Power Authority and the POCOs in NY are mostly capable of handling changes imposed by distributed generation. For one thing, there isn't the same type of expansion issues that seem to make grids more frail in states with burgeoning populations. Having grown up and lived in NYS and moved to CA yrs. ago, I was surprised at how flimsy the grid is and how mickey mouse the POCOS are out west, particularly w/respect to infrastructure.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by solarix View Post
                              ........ I can't believe for $22k after credits, they are going to give you more than a 12kW system.
                              I just got a similar quote, from their website by typing in my address. It is one of their cookie cutter systems. To be clear, the total price is $32,800 for a 16.32 kW system. Any way you look at it, it is $2.0098039 per Watt.
                              Last edited by Ampster; 01-04-2021, 02:48 PM.
                              9 kW solar. Driving EVs since 2012

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