Using Tesla’s battery technology, the Tesla Powerwall is a charging system that stores low cost and solar energy for later use or as a backup in emergencies. Taking advantage of excess solar power or low energy rates, the Powerwall can be used to generate money or drive utility costs down for your business. It is ready for use during peak energy periods and power outages.
Using a Tesla Powerwall for your business is most effective in helping cut operating expenses associated with energy usage. You can also make money from utility companies by taking advantage of the time of use rates or charging customers to use your stored energy, but these may not be as profitable.
Keep reading to see the different ways you can use a Tesla Powerwall for business as a cost-saving measure or an additional stream of income. Especially if you already use a Powerwall for your own use, you can help pay off the unit’s cost and eventually convert that into an income source or drive your own energy costs down in the future.
How to Use A Tesla Powerwall for Business
Tesla Powerwalls are large backup chargers that will store energy generated by solar power or by your electrical system when costs are low. These units take advantage of energy storage at discounted rates so you can avoid higher utility bills. You can then gain benefits from utility companies or charge others to use your stored energy.
Tesla Powerwalls can run both on and off solar power, but you will gain better financial returns if you are using solar energy (as it is free energy after panel costs are paid for) with your Powerwall. If you do not already have solar energy panels or do not have an existing need for this system, you may find that a Powerwall business venture will not yield worthwhile returns.
It is important to note that Tesla Powerwalls are designed and configured to work with home energy systems. This means they may not always be compatible with a very large commercial space.
There are three key ways in which you can financially benefit from your Tesla Powerwall:
- Use a Powerwall to cut business costs
- Charge customers to use your extra energy
- Store energy to sell back to utility companies
Using A Tesla Powerwall to Run Your Business
Because Powerwalls are expensive and more challenging to turn a profit as a standalone business, using a Powerwall for your existing business is our recommendation. Especially if you already have existing infrastructure in place or will use it for other purposes, a Tesla Powerwall may be a good investment for any business that uses electricity for daily operations.
These are some essential reasons why you may want to use a Powerwall for your business:
- Natural disasters/power outages: Because Powerwalls serve as an energy backup, they may be necessary if there is an extended power outage in your area. To keep the lights on and remain connected to the Internet, having a Powerwall can be very beneficial. Consider this solution if power outages or extreme weather is common in your region.
- Lowering utility costs: Keep reading to the “time of use rates” section to see how beneficial taking advantage of varying energy rates throughout the day can be. When using energy in low-demand hours and seasons, your energy bill can dramatically decrease. The Powerwall will store energy to use during high-demand periods.
- Renewable energy use: Using a Powerwall is not only financially savvy in the long run but using renewable energy as your power source is beneficial as well. Solar power technology reduces your carbon footprint and helps fulfill the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives of many companies.
While the Powerwall is designed as a home charger, it still provides similar benefits for your business use. Tesla Powerpacks are commercial-grade versions that can provide needed energy on a much larger scale. For most small to medium-sized businesses, both operated from home and in stores, the Powerwall will provide you with up to 14kWh of energy.
Multiple Powerwalls may need to be installed in your business or store depending on the size of the space and your energy consumption needs. You can receive an estimate from Tesla about how many Powerwalls your home will need based on your address and expected consumption.
Charge Customers for Power Usage with Powerwall
To make money with a Powerwall as its own business, the best strategy is charging customers to use your power. While there are multiple directions you can go in choosing what types of services to offer, charging electrical vehicles (EV) is one of the greatest necessities. Charging is a frequent concern for EV owners, especially when they are not near a home charging station.
If you can take advantage of this need and offer a way for them to charge their cars, it can be lucrative. If you have access to placing a Powerwall in a popular location with easy access, it will help drive business. This may be a little challenging if you use the Powerwall at home, especially if you do not want customers charging at your residence.
A feasible alternative is using a brick and mortar business that can support this infrastructure. Partnering with an existing company that already has solar technology in place can drive higher profit margins and lower your initial costs. Powerwalls can be used with most standard electrical outlets, making them versatile. For EVs, investment in charging ports is necessary.
You can use the Powerwall’s stored energy specifically for charging vehicles or offer electricity to those who need it for other uses (including power outages). Keep in mind that the rates you set should be on par with local electricity rates or below to incentivize customers to use your power. EVs also use lots of energy which will require multiple Powerwalls and solar panels.
Take Advantage of Time of Use Rates for Powerwall
Time of use rates set by utility companies charge consumers for electricity usage based on demand. High-demand energy periods cost you more money and encourage customers to change their usage habits to off-hours. With a Tesla Powerwall, the system kicks on during off-hours to store inexpensive energy if you have this plan set up with the utility company.
You will need to check state regulations and with your utility company, but many states offer opportunities for you to sell back stored renewable energy to be used on the electrical grid. When energy is stored by the Powerwall using solar energy, nearly any rate that the power is bought at will be profitable. But selling your energy may not always be paid back in cash.
To take advantage of the time use rates, these are some important considerations to make:
- Do you already have solar installed? Solar power will allow you to generate “free” energy that can be sold back to the grid at peak prices. We emphasize free because the most considerable cost to solar power is installing panels, which may take time to pay off.
- Does your utility company offer credits or payouts for energy? To see real financial gains, you must make sure that the utility company can pay you directly for the usage instead of offering credits on your account for future energy use. If the latter is true, this will not be a worthwhile business opportunity but a helpful cost-saving measure.
- Does your lifestyle allow for off-hours use? If you need to use electricity frequently in peak hours, you may also want to consider using a Powerwall and solar energy to keep costs down in these expensive periods. You can set the hours you want the system to pull from the electrical grid or solar energy for both consumption and storage.
The amount of credit you can generate will be dependent on your energy usage. Often, this strategy is most beneficial for covering costs but not typically a stable stream of income. If you have low energy usage and can consistently sell back a large portion of the unused power, this can return a profit over time.
Start-Up and Operation Costs of Tesla Powerwall
Looking at the financial obligations of using a Tesla Powerwall will significantly influence whether or not you choose to purchase one. While they will often be worth the investment in the long run, they are best paired with solar power systems, which present additional costs. Let’s break down all related expenses so you can decide whether or not this is a wise investment.
These costs are estimates and are given in general ranges as these costs may change or vary by region.
The startup costs for purchasing a Tesla Powerwall system include:
- Solar panels: Total installation costs can range from $10,000 to 25,000 depending on the system’s size and power capacity. Typically 5-8kWh solar panels will be necessary to provide enough energy to store in the Powerwall. This cost does not consider potential tax benefits.
- Unit price: Tesla sells its Powerwalls and its auxiliary hardware for around $10,000 per unit. Some homes or businesses may need more than one Powerwall to adequately provide power throughout the space.
Installation costs: This cost will range based on the company installing and services provided. You can expect to pay upwards of $3,000 for installation.
These are relatively expensive, especially without preexisting solar panels. Tesla offers a 10-year warranty on the Powerwall in which it will maintain at least 70% of its capabilities. Operating costs will arise from any maintenance you need to do on your equipment or infrastructure, as well as monthly utility costs, which will likely be lower with the new system.
We recommend allocating a few extra thousand dollars per year for maintenance, especially if you are offering a charging service that requires the use of additional equipment. These may wear out or damage with extended use. The overall utility cost will be highly specific to your business and the solar/electrical used in conjunction with the Powerwall.
Maximizing Use of a Tesla Powerwall for Business
Using a Tesla Powerwall for your business as a cost-saving tool is often more beneficial than using it to function as an independent business. With all business methods in mind, similar strategies can be applied to maximize energy efficiency and cut costs.
Net metering, which is sending power back to the electrical grid for credit, is one of the best ways for you to eliminate unnecessary energy usage costs with your Powerwall. You can do this by adhering to these general guidelines:
- Set up a plan with a utility company: You won’t be automatically enrolled in a program for net metering or time of use rates with most companies. This is something you will need to negotiate with your utility company to receive the best opportunities for potential positive cash flow.
- Research utility company demand hours: While specifics will vary by region and company, the lowest energy demand is in the early mornings and overnight. Mid-day to evening time sees the highest demand and therefore produce the most expensive energy. Reserving grid usage to low-demand times will lower utility costs.
- Manage usage trends from smartphone application: A Tesla Powerwall will require the Internet and allow you to set up activations periods from an app. This will allow for energy storage on solar power during the day or low price energy consumption. You can use this power at peak times or for storing to sell and charging others.
- Consider costs per kWh: Compare how much it costs to store energy in low demand periods and the opportunity to sell it back or charge for it at peak levels. This also applies to giving solar energy back to the grid. Making these calculations based on local rates will determine if this is a potential business opportunity or a cost-saving measure.
You may need to make specific considerations for your individual business needs. If you plan to use a Powerwall as its own business, calculating the potential return on investment, adhering to specific regulations in your region, and performing an analysis of your business competition and the environment will maximize your success in the energy space.
When You Should Consider Buying Tesla Powerwall
Tesla Powerwalls can be useful tools for maximizing your energy usage for both personal and professional use. If you decide to invest in one, it should be for cost-saving measures compatible with your current system. This means utilizing solar power or taking advantage of the low-demand energy rates from the electrical grid.
Our main emphasis in using a Tesla Powerwall for business is to cut your operating expenses. We firmly believe this is the best way to use a Tesla Powerwall commercially. Just as you would hope to cut costs at home, the same strategies can be applied for business expenses.
We recommend investing in this product if you fall into the following categories:
- Want grid independence: You will not have to be as concerned with power outages or issues related to the electrical grid when taking advantage of a Powerwall. The system automatically detects power outages and kicks the backup energy into gear with little interruption.
- Use solar energy: Many people power their homes and businesses with solar energy for cost savings and the positive impact on the environment. When panels are already installed, the Powerwall can make the most of the renewable energy for storage or selling back to utility companies.
- Need energy during peak hours: If your business consumes considerable energy throughout the day and evening, you may want to use stored energy to avoid high demand electricity costs. Once the sun goes down, using your day’s solar energy can eliminate most utility costs.
- Charging company vehicles: If you have company EVs, using a Powerwall to charge them can help generate solar power. You can also consider charging the cars overnight as energy rates are often the lowest at this time.
Because of the high upfront costs in installation, making sure you will actually make use of the stored energy efficiently is important. If you do not see your business benefitting or using the Powerwall frequently, it may be best to simply abide by the time of use strategy and avoid consumption during peak hours.
Should You Use A Tesla Powerwall for Business?
Based on the potential earnings from a Tesla Powerwall as compared to the investment required, we do not recommend using a Tesla Powerwall for business unless you already have solar panels, need one for personal use, or require backups. These systems are much more beneficial for minimizing utility costs than they will be for running a profitable business by itself.
Running businesses related to energy storage and charging stations require a considerable amount of expensive infrastructure to generate real profits. If you have the means to do so, this can be a lucrative opportunity at scale. For small businesses and most individuals, considering a cost-saving route and emergency backup Powerwall may make the best use of your resources.