The innovative Tesla corporation, backed by its CEO, Elon Musk, has revolutionized the energy industry to bring their products to your home at an affordable rate. Their groundbreaking Powerwall is aimed to fit the budget of the average consumer. Still, the costs associated with their product may seem intimidating at first glance without considering the factors that make this a cost-benefit investment in the long run.
The Tesla Powerwall could become cheaper as new generations of the technology are released, and secondhand models become available on the market. Additionally, a Powerwall will eventually pay for itself regardless of when you decide to purchase it.
For many consumers, the cost is the first obstacle in transitioning to a Tesla Powerwall home battery. Keep reading to find out why the price tag associated with this technology is not as scary as it seems.
Will the Tesla Powerwall Become Cheaper?
As a corporation, Tesla has been around for nearly 20 years, but the products featured in its developing stages were highly marketed as luxury items that were not widely accessible to general consumer budgets.
The excellent news for the working class hoping to own a Powerwall or other Tesla product is that Tesla’s prices have followed either a declining trend in cost or an increased potential in technology with each generation of products they have released—meaning the idea of owning something from this company is becoming more and more economically feasible annually.
The rapid growth Tesla has had means that new products—like the future launch of the Powerwall 3—will have a relative cost of previous models but with better specs. This also encourages competition in the industry to follow suit if they want to stay afloat, leading to comparable products and eventually lower costs as the market begins to saturate.
How Much Are Current Powerwall Models?
Since the initial launch of the Tesla Powerwall back in 2015, Tesla has released the second generation of their home energy product. While both existing products achieve the same end goal, they vary in cost and specs. Let’s dive into the logistics and costs of the current Tesla Powerwall series.
- The latest model of the Tesla Powerwall was launched in 2016. The Powerwall 2 is superior to its predecessor but has made consumers cringe at the thought of paying more than double the original price. You can expect to pay $6,500 for the Powerwall 2.
- With the cost mentioned above, you also have to factor in the price of installation. Unfortunately, installing your Powerwall is something only a certified technician is authorized to do and will vary in price from $1,300 to $3,900, depending on the available technicians in your area.
- A total of $1,500 may be added to the cost for supporting hardware; this brings the final average for the Powerwall 2 to $9,250.
While this total may be unsettling, you can find some relief when analyzing this product’s specs. The Powerwall 2 has double the energy storage capacity of the first Powerwall, giving it a 13.5 kW usable capacity and a 5kW continuous power output that can reach a 7kW peak.
This product’s price has undoubtedly risen, but the return on performance has balanced out the cost and made it an investment that results in a lower energy bill. The 10-year warranty that came with the original Powerwall has not changed for this new model as well—offering a sense of security and reliability in the longevity of its use.
Will Older Models Be Cheaper?
The original Tesla Powerwall cost $3,000 and had a 6.4kW energy capacity. This cost can be lowered when purchasing a used Powerwall.
While the original Powerwall has less storage capacity, its price tag is favorable to the budget consumer. If you are looking to lower your monthly energy bill, the original Powerwall may be the perfect choice for you. However, keep in mind that the installation costs will be roughly the same as the current model.
An excellent way to approach the costs and practicality of the Tesla Powerwall is to observe the rise of technological products in the past. When we look back at cell phones as they first appeared on the scene, they were bulky, heavy, and above all, expensive. Much is the same with the Tesla Powerwall.
The prospect of a cheaper Powerwall is not only inevitable due to the trend of technology but also based on the values that Tesla as a corporation holds and the legacy it aims to achieve, which is to make this technology within reach of every single person—regardless of where you live or what your paycheck is. The ball is in motion; it’s just a matter of time before it gets here.
Factors that Determine the Powerwall’s Cost
When purchasing a Powerwall with cost consideration, the key thing to remember is that this is a long-term investment.
There are some crucial factors at play that will amount to your investment seeing a return. Understanding them can make all the difference in how much you will actually save at the end of the day.
Size of Your Home
Your home’s size will determine how much energy you end up using, which results in more electricity costs and more strain on your Powerwall. This is often why many Powerwall users need to purchase 2 Powerwalls to support their energy use.
Most homeowners use roughly 28kW of energy per day, which demands two Powerwalls to keep you off the grid for a 24-hour cycle.
However, if you happen to own a smaller home, you can avoid the need to install a second Powerwall, which will result in saving you a substantial amount on your overall purchase.
Benefits of Investing in Two or More Powerwalls
The reason you may end up needing two or more Powerwalls is not due to the lack of energy stored in your battery. The amount of stored power in your Powerwall is well enough to supply your home for casual energy uses.
The energy distribution of the Powerwall is one of the drawbacks of this innovative technology. If you want to rely on your charged battery and want to use hefty energy dependent appliances, investing in a second Powerwall is highly recommended for having the full functionality of your home.
Having a second Powerwall in your home also means more stored energy. If you are receiving power to your Powerwall regularly, selling some of your excess stored energy back to your utility company is a great way to see a direct return on your investment. While this will require dishing out more money to Tesla, your expenditures will pay off in the long-run.
Where you live plays a significant role in benefiting from using a Powerwall and can determine whether the investment will save you money. The location factors that determine how much you will benefit from a Powerwall are how much sunlight your area gets, and your state’s energy costs.
Suppose you are living in a sunny state like California or Florida and already using solar. In that case, a Powerwall will significantly benefit your energy needs, with solar panels always having contact with their energy source, assuring a regular charge to your battery.
When considering the costs of a Powerwall, have a look at your local state’s power costs and weigh out whether they are high enough to invest in your home battery. At the moment, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire have incredibly high energy rates—making a Powerwall a wise investment whether using solar or staying on the grid.
If you live in certain mid-western states, such as Idaho, Wyoming, or Arkansas—most of which have some of the lowest energy rates in the country—you may want to hold off on buying a Powerwall until the investment becomes more cost-beneficial to you.
Time of Use
How and when you use your Powerwall will be vital to getting the most out of its stored energy and avoiding your energy provider’s costs.
For many Powerwall users staying on the grid, the best way to do so while making the most out of their Tesla is to allocate which times they are using each energy source. The cheapest time to be on the grid is at night. It is during this time that it is advantageous to utilize heavy energy consumption appliances. This technique is called peak shaving.
Here are some recommended strategies to implement at night to save yourself cash on your grid use:
- Charging Electric Cars: Charging your electric vehicle adds a high cost to your monthly bill and will drain your Powerwall’s battery. For that reason, charge at night to save yourself loads on your energy expenses.
- Dishwasher: Loading your dishwasher for a night cycle is a great way to avoid straining your Powerwall during the day while utilizing your utility company’s lower rates.
- Washing Machine: Doing your laundry during the day will require a lot of energy use from your Powerwall. Try to keep your washing cycle at night to save yourself money in the long run.
If you want to save money on your investment and get the most out of your Powerwall, rely on its use throughout the day and especially at peak hours—while transitioning to your energy provider at night.
The ability of Tesla’s Powerwall to store energy is a remarkable breakthrough in energy technology and is, without a doubt, a cost-saving investment in your home.
However, if you plan to avoid your energy provider’s costs, you have to approach the power output of your Powerwall carefully. The Powerwall has a limited amount of power distribution when using its stored energy. The 2kW power output of the Powerwall is cutting it razor-thin when it comes to providing your home with the energy it needs.
This means that to keep your home exclusively running on stored energy and eliminating costs from your energy provider, you should avoid using high energy-demanding appliances in your home when running on your Powerwall’s stored energy, such as:
- Electric water boilers
Finding a strategic approach in using appliances in your home will be a crucial factor in saving yourself money with your Powerwall. This leads many customers to invest in a second Powerwall, which we will cover in the next section.
How the Tesla Powerwall Lowers Overall Costs
Put the power of your home energy in your hands and mitigate reliance on your energy company or eliminate your dependency on them altogether.
The Tesla Powerwall is the solution to escaping the schemes energy companies implement on their customers to squeeze as much out of your wallet as they can. That’s right, forget paying extra during peak hours and forget about fees when breaching your energy consumption threshold.
Let’s explore the strategies Tesla Powerwall users take to save themselves money to make this big investment worthwhile:
Use Sustainable Energy and Advanced Battery Technology
The best way to make the Tesla Powerwall a cheaper investment is to pair the technology with a home equipped with solar panels or an alternative sustainable energy source like wind power.
For decades sustainable energy has been on the rise and has been utilized by more and more consumers annually. The launch of the Tesla Powerwall has encouraged even more people to transition, with solar being the most practical and popular choice.
The reason Tesla’s Powerwall has created such a massive movement towards solar energy is its solution to the dilemma of relying on your power company when the sun goes down.
Before the Powerwall, homeowners with solar panels could count on their home having power throughout the day, but not enough to last them a 24-hour cycle, which results in a dependency on their utility company and paying more for electricity. The Powerwall enables solar energy users to store their excess power intake in a home battery that operates day and night.
The battery power of the Tesla Powerwall is the key reason this product is such a breakthrough.
The Powerwall’s capacity for energy storage allows you to power your home without the need to be on the grid at all.
The Powerwall’s 13.5kW of usable capacity is enough to power your home for half a day, which means that if you are charging your battery during the day and utilizing solar energy to power your home while the sun is up, you can depend on your home battery to take care of most of your energy needs at night.
Note: To assure guaranteed performance of the Powerwall, Tesla recommends having two units installed in your home.
A crucial element for the quality performance of a home battery is not just its energy storage capacity but its roundtrip efficiency. This implies how much energy is put into a battery compared to how much it actually stores. The Tesla Powerwall has 90% roundtrip efficiency, making it a reliable and powerful home battery.
Use Powerwall Rebates
A great way to save yourself cash on your Powerwall costs is to take full advantage of rebates.
The best way to utilize rebates for your Powerwall is to look at what incentives your current state offers for the clean energy you generate.
Each state offers different benefits for having a home battery, but as the trend of having a sustainable home grows, so do the incentives that come with it.
At the moment, California is leading the way when it comes to encouraging homeowners to transition to the use of a home battery, with energy companies offering up to $200 per kilowatt-hour. The rebate alone is nearly enough to pay for your entire Powerwall.
If you are on the fence about investing in a Powerwall, look at what incentives your local state offers for self-generated energy; this can be the calling card for getting a Powerwall in your home.
Avoid Utility Rates
The most significant way Powerwall users save themselves money is by avoiding the rates of their power provider by either switching over to sustainable energy entirely or strategically using their home battery during certain hours of the day.
It’s very common to see the implementation of TOU rates in power companies. As sustainable energy use has risen, the profits utility companies make have sunk.
To compensate for this deficit, power companies have raised energy costs during peak hours (4-9 pm)as homeowners switch over from solar. Powerwall users combat this scheme by utilizing their stored energy during this time, which significantly lowers their monthly energy bill.
The peak hour rates that energy companies enforce on their customers are a bullet you can easily dodge when using a Powerwall.
The use of demand charges is becoming popularized by energy providers, which enable them to charge you more depending on how much energy you use during peak hours and often put a cap on how much energy allowance you can use per month—with exceeding the threshold resulting in a fee.
The fees associated with demand charges can be hefty and put a dent in your wallet, especially for family households that often have rampant use of energy.
Look at your current energy provider’s demand charges and analyze whether they are significantly increasing your monthly bill. If so, installing a Powerwall may be an easy solution.
While the consensus for utilizing a Powerwall in your home tends to revolve around a sustainable energy platform that encourages off-grid use, the actuality is you can take full advantage of this technology while staying on the grid as well and save money while doing so.
The Tesla Powerwall enables you to charge your battery regardless of whether you are getting energy from a sustainable source or an energy provider.
So, while you are enjoying those low rates throughout the day, keep your battery charging and enjoy those rates always—regardless of peak pricing or energy source.
Take Advantage of the Tesla App
After the installation of your Powerwall is complete, you will have full control and the ability to observe your unit’s functionality in real-time.
The perks of monitoring your Powerwall App not only provide you with the assurance your product is working correctly but also display certain features like graphs and statisticsof your home’s energy use and consumption.
Keeping an eye on your home’s energy use can be a significant insight on how to avoid costs and unnecessary energy consumption—saving you from grid dependency and paying more on your monthly bill.
The Tesla Powerwall App is also a great way to observe your excess energy stored and provide an opportunity to allocate how much energy you can afford to sell back to your utility company, as mentioned above.
How to Save on Tesla Powerwall Installation
Several factors play into the installation costs of your Powerwall: some are mandatory, and some can be avoided, which will result in an overall cheaper product. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to partake in the installation process of your Powerwall, you can find yourself saving a substantial dollar amount at the end of the day.
Let’s take a look at some DIY strategies Powerwall users have implemented to save themselves cash on installation:
Install Your Own Solar Panels
If you are planning on installing solar panels with your Powerwall, the installation costs for the solar panels alone can be a reason to opt-out of making the investment. Some Powerwall users have taken it upon themselves to handle the installation of their panels on their own, which has resulted in significant savings.
The typical price you can expect to pay for a 5kW solar panel system of about 15-25 panels is roughly $30,000, which doesn’t even cover the labor cost of installation. A typical solar technician will charge you about 10% of your installation’s overall cost—making your total $33,000. If you are handy around the house, climbing up on your roof and installing your own solar panels can save you thousands on your solar Powerwall integration.
Keep in mind: Solar panel installation costs even more if you are putting solar panels on a high-rise building or a building with architecture that hinders the process of installation.
Add a Concrete Slab
Before a certified Tesla Powerwall technician comes to your home to install your product, they will require you to send photos of your home’s specs to verify compatibility with their installation requirements.
If you plan on having your product set up outside of your home (as many customers tend to), one requirement is to have a concrete slab on which the Powerwall will be placed.
This can be done in several different ways:
- You can hire a construction worker to come to your home and make a molded slab in the designated location, which will require paying for the cost of the concrete and supplies and the worker’s labor time. (This charge will vary depending on the local rates of your worker.)
- Alternatively, you can roll up your sleeves and do the work yourself, but you may need a bit of experience working with concrete to get the job done.
- We have found the most practical and affordable approach to this matter is to simply buy a pre-molded slab and place it in the designated area of your Powerwall. You can expect to pay as little as $6 per square foot for a slab. (This approach also offers the versatility of easily moving your Powerwall without pouring more concrete on your property.)
Implementing these factors on your Powerwall installation can result in saving a fair deal on your overall costs. If you are on a tight budget, these may be the determining factors that enable you to have a Powerwall in your home.
Long-Term Economic Benefits of the Powerwall
The first intimidating factor about purchasing a Powerwall is the initial costs of investing in the product and paying for the installation costs.
If you are curious what plays into making this investment pay off economically, a Stanford study details a strategic formula to ensure you are making the most of your Powerwall. The study found that if you follow an optimized strategy with your Powerwall, your economic savings can amount to roughly $872 per year.
To seal the deal in this investment, the 10-year warranty included with the Powerwall is a great assurance to seeing these estimated savings play out for at least a decade—making your savings about $6,500 over ten years.
In this article, we have covered how purchasing a Tesla Powerwall can become cheaper. The implementation of a Powerwall combined with sustainable energy, the willingness to take part in the installation process, and a strategic approach to how and when you use your energy are vital factors that will result in a cost-beneficial investment.
Given that the Tesla Powerwall is still a relatively new product, we can expect more models to be released in years to come, which will result in the availability of used and cheaper models to hit the market to make the product more inexpensive overall.
If you are intimidated by the cost of the Tesla Powerwall, take a closer look at the long term savings possible with installing one in your home—while weighing in your current energy bill.