Before the wheels of the first Tesla electric car hit the road, Tesla has been surrounded by a veritable buzz of publicity and hype. These days, the name is a household word the world over. So now that they have moved from electric cars to electric houses (sort of) with Tesla Solar, you may be wondering if they can live up to it.
Now that the new generation of Tesla Solar has passed through its growing pains, Tesla Solar provides a seamless and straightforward experience from start to finish. With a lower cost on average and an extended warranty, Tesla is providing what not too long ago was science fiction as science fact.
From getting a quote to turning on your Tesla Solar system, you want to know what to expect before investing your time and money. Fortunately, we live in a time when documenting our lives is commonplace. By curating these reviews and blogs, we show the typical experience with Tesla Solar and what you can expect.
Why you Should Choose Tesla Solar
One of the reasons that Tesla Solar receives so much attention, apart from the James Bond-esque villain vibe of Elon Musk—sending a car into space and flame throwers, need I say more—is their defining cutting edge image and branding. From electric cars to their association with SpaceX, Tesla instills confidence and staying power.
It is this image and recognizable brand recognition that makes Tesla Solar so attractive and affordable. Not only do you get the confidence of buying from a company straight from a futuristic sci-fi movie, but at a price as cheap or cheaper than any other solar on the market. Furthermore, Tesla solar will price-match any offer on the market.
When asked about how Tesla Solar is so affordable, Elon Musk replied that Tesla does not need to hire salespeople or spend much money on advertising, thus passing the savings on to the consumer. While most companies spend a fortune on marketing, a simple tweet from Elon Musk results in sales.
Another way in which the company saves money, and therefore you the consumer, is by using their existing Telsa car website as a sales point for Tesla Solar. By allowing the process to be extensively automated and built on existing infrastructure, Tesla enables consumers to research and find solutions on their own.
Major Steps When Installing Tesla Solar
The efficiency of Tesla is a hallmark of the company. No need for pushy salespeople or numerous annoying appointments that inevitably lead to more questions. Based on the website and backed up by numerous anecdotes, the process of buying to installing Tesla Solar is straightforward and stress-free (as much as anything can be).
A key step when considering going with Tesla Solar is understanding the difference between Tesla Solar and the Tesla Roof. Tesla Solar are conventional solar panels that are mounted to your existing roof, while the Tesla Roof replaces your existing roof with Tesla shingles, which are indistinguishable from a normal shingle roof.
There is a considerable difference in price and installation may take a bit longer, however, aesthetically, the Tesla roof is hands-down the winner. If this option appeals to you, consider looking into both options.
In this article, we focus on Tesla Solar. To simplify the process, we have conveniently broken the entire process into four manageable sections.
- Getting Started: Ordering
- Home Assessment
- Inspection and Approval
What To Expect
Getting started with Tesla Solar is as easy as clicking a button. Well, almost.
Step 1: Getting Started with Tesla Solar
The first step in purchasing your Tesla Solar is to log onto the Telsa website (or click here to go directly to Tesla Solar). On the webpage, you are directed to type in your home address plus your monthly electric bill, or an estimate, if you have not lived there long, or are in the process of building a house.
The site then uses this information to suggest the appropriate package to fulfill your needs. Currently, there are four options available:
- 4 kW
- 8 kW
- 12 kW
- 16 kW
However, Tesla is in the process of adding more options for consumers to more precisely fit each need.
The recommended package is displayed with the cost of the solar package, with incentives factored in (many incentives are specific to state and city and therefore differ widely). In addition, the projected cost savings over a twenty-five-year period is included to better inform your decision.
After checking the recommendations (including the Tesla Powerwall), the overall price, including potential incentive discounts, is displayed. Fill in the details for the purchase with a small deposit and you are done. For those who do not want to pay upfront, there are various options available to accommodate all needs.
Step 2: Home Assessment and Roof Check
Now that you selected the right system to fit your needs, you will need to fill out a virtual home assessment. This assessment is done on your computer or mobile device and ensures that the design of the solar system is right for your house.
The assessment includes taking pictures of major electrical appliances, uploading a copy of your latest utility bill, and confirmation of your address. Using this information Tesla designs the ideal solar layout to maximize production. However, the option to avoid specific areas of the roof is available (for cosmetic reasons perhaps).
Options for expanding the solar output in the future can be included in the design. This may be an important consideration for people considering acquiring an electric vehicle in the future.
After the design has been finalized, it is submitted to the local authorities for approval and permitting. This process is handled entirely by Tesla and takes between one to five weeks, based on location.
Step 3: Installation
Once your permit has been approved by all the local authorities and Tesla, installation is ready to begin. Tesla will schedule the first available date possible for installation and at your convenience. However, factors such as bad weather may require the installation to be rescheduled. In this case, Tesla will contact you to determine a more suitable date.
On the day of the installation, it is important that someone 18 or older is present at the house for at least the first hour. If any of the equipment will be installed inside the house, someone 18 or older needs to be present for the duration.
Following an initial meeting and a confirmation that all is in order, the crew will be ready to start the installation.
In most cases, installation should take a day. However, if the design is especially complex or the solar array is especially large, the installation will take two to three days.
Step 4: Inspection and Final Check
After your Tesla Solar system has been installed, it needs to go through a final building inspection and receive approval from your local utility company before it can be turned on. This process will be handled by Tesla and can be monitored through the Tesla mobile app. This process takes between one to six weeks depending on where you live.
Once you have received permission, it is time to turn on your system and start to collect that solar goodness! Using your mobile app, you can monitor power production and start to get a sense for how what an average production day looks like in your specific setup.
As the available sunlight changes throughout the year and can change based on other factors (obstructions such as trees), the system will be more productive at different times of the year. These fluctuations are normal and expected. Therefore looking at the production of solar energy in a year gives a better idea of overall productivity.
Many customers highlight the ease of use of the website and the seamless flow of the installation process. Furthermore, as Tesla interacts with the local authorities and the utility on the customer’s behalf, this usually aggravating process is, well…forgotten.
Finally, the savings that result in choosing to go with Tesla, is one of the driving factors that sees sales of Tesla Solar increasing, even continuing through the current pandemic.
While there are reviews left by customers outlining difficulties experienced with Tesla, these deal primarily with the older generation and the nascent stages of the Tesla energy venture. All in all, the experience most customers have with Tesla Solar today is a positive one.