Tesla Solar Panels

I made the decision to purchase solar. With a pool pump and solar pool heating and A/C my electric bill has climbed substantially.

There is a world where I may plan to move in about 12 months so debated whether to move forward with solar. There are some studies that suggest owned solar will increase the value of a home. https://www.zillow.com/research/solar-panels-house-sell-more-23798/ I’d only need the value to increase by 1-2% to recoup the costs. I went for it.

My usage

Average Electric Usage per month over the last 12 months – 714 kWh with average total electric charges of $214 (includes delivery, generation, bonds, taxes and fees).

Bill PeriodTotal Electric UsageAvg. kWh/dayTotal Electric ChargesAvg. $/DayAverage Cost
11/9/2080025$251.77$7.87$0.31
10/8/2086829.93$277.77$9.58$0.32
9/9/20101032.58$293.00$9.45$0.29
8/9/2085427.55$238.76$7.70$0.28
7/9/2073024.33$228.79$7.63$0.31
6/9/2072424.13$219.85$7.33$0.30
5/10/2066020.63$193.64$6.05$0.29
4/8/2053718.52$159.90$5.51$0.30
3/10/2054818.27$164.71$5.49$0.30
2/9/2057518.55$168.56$5.44$0.29
1/9/2059819.29$178.46$5.76$0.30
12/9/1966320.72$202.45$6.33$0.31
Average714$214.81

Using the Tesla Solar calculator for my home address and an average electricity bill of $214 Tesla indicates I need 8.16 kW panels but that will only cover $184 of my bill.

This doesn’t compute with other solar quotes or Project Sunroof. Project Sunroof indicates for a $200 average electric bill a 4.8 kW system will cover 100% of my electric bill.

Using EnergySage solar companies are quoting 5 – 6 kW systems to cover my energy usage.

Using pvwatts default settings for my location suggests a 5.3 kW system will cover my annual electric needs.

However, since Tesla solar was price competitive I decided to proceed and figure it out late.

Sunday Nov 1st – Order online

I initiated the process and complete the process of taking photos of my roof, electrical panel etc. this included reviewing a design that showed the 24 panels (340W each). Sixteen panels on the south-facing roof slope and 4 panels each on west and east facing slopes. These are mounted below my solar pool heating. I’m unsure if it is wise to install electric solar below a water solar system.

Friday Nov 6th – Checking in

Texted to ask what next steps are. Rep indicated permits were submitted on November 2nd with an estimated timeline of 5-7 business days. I was given a number to call to schedule a home assessment, which I did although my earliest availability was November 19th.

Wednesday Nov 11th – Received update

Rep texted me to indicate permits were received. Meanwhile… I wanted to query the system sizing.

Texting with customer support person she indicated the 8.16 kW system for my house would generate an average of 1023 kWh per month. This is 43% more than what I actually need.

The only thing I can think is that their calculator is using a cost per kWh much lower than my actual costs. Do they consider baseline usage? Summer versus winter charges? TOU costs?

By my calculations I can cover 100% of my electric needs on average with 16.5 panels. Since I can get 16 panels on the south-facing portion of my roof that seems like a sensible approach.

Thursday Nov 19th 2020 – Home Assessment

Spoke to the assessor and queried the system sizing and the location of the panels. I indicated I’d prefer to simply have 16 panels on the south-facing portion of my roof and forgo the other 8 panels on the east and west portions. He agreed to record this on his assessment.

I know my electrical panel will need upgrading. It is original to the 1979 portion of the house, is 100 amp and totally full. I asked about that and he said engineers would review.

Saturday Nov 21 – Check in

The status had not changed on my account, so I queried my customer support rep to ask for next steps. She indicated waiting on permitting (although I thought that was done?). Did not indicate anything about the electrical panel.

I also mentioned my HOA Architectural Review Board. As part of the intiail process they asked for the name of the HOA but did not ask for any contact details. Not sure at this point if I’m going to have to submit plans or Tesla will?

Rep did not respond.

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