This Is How to Force Powerwall to Charge From Grid

This is How to Force Powerwall to Charge from Grid

The Tesla Powerwall can be installed with or without solar power. If you decide to get your Powerwall without solar, you will be able to charge the grid only if it is under different modes, including the backup only, self-powered, and time-based modes.

If you have not hooked up your Powerwall to any external power source, you can force the Powerwall to charge from the power grid. It will need to be in backup-only and time-based control settings. You can easily customize when to use what power source if you have multiple.

The Tesla Powerwall is a large backup battery that can power your entire home, keep backup power stored, and save on electricity. If you do not have solar panels, you can use your Powerwall with the regular power grid.

» MORE: Tesla Powerwall and Charging from the Grid

How to Force Powerwall to Charge From Grid 

There are a few ways to force the Powerwall to charge from the grid. If you did not purchase solar panels or have your Powerwall hooked up to the generator, the Powerwall should automatically use the grid. Once charged, it will reserve power if on specific modes.

  • No solar panels: If you decide not to purchase solar panels, you will be able to customize when your Powerwall changes from drawing in power to using backup power.
  • Backup-only mode: This will force your Powerwall to conserve 100% of its stored energy in case of a power outage. It will only use the grid to charge if you do not have solar panels. Back-up only helps you store as much energy as you can while also giving back to the grid.
  • Self-powered mode: If you have solar panels, this mode will offset the amount of solar energy you are using to power your house. Your Powerwall will transfer some of this energy back to the grid. It will act conversely by sending power from the grid to your solar energy when there is not enough solar to be used.
  • Time-based control: Everyone’s energy usage varies day-to-day. You can use this setting to determine when you want to use your solar panels, when you want to use grid power, and when you want to use backup power.
  • Storm-watch mode: If you have this on your Powerwall and have it turned on during a storm so that it will help your Powerwall get some more charge before a storm. Doing this will combine panel and grid usage.

Depending on what you have purchased, solar panels or not, you are conserving energy using a Tesla Powerwall. Since you still want to use the grid and force some of the power to charge from the grid, you have to take a few customization steps in order to force your Powerwall to charge this way.

Keep in mind that if you have your Powerwall hooked up to solar panels, it cannot charge from the grid. It will default to charging from the solar panels. You will have to alter how your Powerwall is installed if you have both solar panels and a Powerwall. There is no reason you should only have one or the other, though, since there are options for forcing your Powerwall to charge from either the panels or the grid.

No Solar Panels

If you do not purchase solar panels, do not worry. You can still use your Powerwall through the power grid. The Powerwall is like a backup battery that generates power for your house and Tesla. The Powerwall is smart enough to sense when your energy costs are low based on your usability and area.

Without solar panels, your Powerwall will be able to adjust how much backup power is saved for use when it is fully charged, set how much ability to draw from the grid, or use during an outage.

  • Tap backup only mode and ensure the checkmark is turned on when you click the only way
  • Then you can toggle how much reserve for power outages you would like

Turning on the backup-only mode will force the Powerwall to charge from the grid. Having a Powerwall as a backup will save you money and a major headache when there is a power outage. When your Powerwall acts as a backup, it will provide power when your home is faced with a power outage or blackout.

» MORE: Using Tesla Powerwall Without Solar Panels

Self-Powered Mode

Self-powered mode is similar to backup-only mode but is a little more customizable. You can control how the stored energy you did not use during the day is used at night or during non-peak energy hours.

You can force power or charge from the grid if you are using more energy than the Powerwall or the solar panels can provide you. This mode will allow you to conserve as much energy as possible while also relying on the grid if you need to.

Time-Based Control

Your Powerwall is very smart. It can tell when you use the most energy throughout the day and saves that data to make decisions later about energy consumption. Time-based control mode can help save electricity by turning off charging at a particular time to conserve energy.

Two versions of the time-based control are available based on your energy usage and how you set up your Powerwall.

  • Balanced
  • Cost-savings

If time-based is on, your Powerwall will charge during the most energy-efficient and inexpensive (in terms of energy consumption) parts of the day. It will also stop charging during periods of high demand, like the hottest part of the day or the coldest at night.

Depending on if you have solar panels or not, your Powerwall will be forced to use some of the grid. If you install solar panels, they will not be able to charge from the grid.

Storm-Watch Mode

Storm-watch mode will protect you when there is severe weather in the area. If your geographical area is likely to have a power outage, your Powerwall can sense that and make sure to “fast charge” the battery so that you can use its reserves.

Sometimes, the Powerwall will use both the grid and another source to charge quickly. If that is the case, you can specify how much energy is being consumed and from where.

Does Tesla Powerwall Work Off-Grid?

You can have peace of mind that your Powerwall will work off the grid. You can install solar panels or a generator and hook up your Powerwall. By doing this, you can charge through solar panels or your backup or use your backup energy from your Powerwall during an outage. 

  • When you install solar panels, you store energy consumed by the sun.
  • If your house can run solely on the Powerwall, then you can go completely off the grid.
  • This will save you money on electricity.

This is also great for the environment. If there is an excess of energy stored from the sun, your Powerwall will transfer some of that energy back to the grid. This will give power back to the already so overworked grid and overused.

» MORE: Can a Tesla Powerwall Power My Whole Home?


If you have purchased a Tesla Powerwall, you have essentially bought a backup battery for your home and car. You should have it hooked up to or combined with a constant energy source like solar panels, a generator, or the power grid.

If the power grid is working and there are no outages, your Powerwall can be forced to charge using the grid’s energy or give some of that energy back to the grid. The Powerwall communicates with your home’s energy and your power grid to determine which needs more power and which needs to conserve power.

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The articles here on are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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