Tesla Energy is the renewable energy division of Tesla. Within it are two business units;
It competes closely with its rival Sunrun for the mantle of being the largest installer of residential solar power systems. It is the manufacturer of the Tesla Powerwall 2, arguably the leading residential energy storage solar battery solution on the market.
With its renewable energy solutions and its pioneering electric cars, Tesla has done more to fight climate change than any other company in the world. We here at SolarReviews have a positive bias towards supporting Tesla because of the alignment of their goals and ours to fight climate change on all fronts.
However, SolarReviews exists to provide neutral advice to homeowners considering solar and so the question we must restrict ourselves to is whether consumers should buy their solar panels from Tesla as opposed to other local solar companies.
There are several pro's to buying solar panels from Tesla namely:
Tesla solar panel prices are published online and you can sign up online; In July 2020 Tesla reduced their system prices and Tesla prices for residential solar systems are now really competitive. In fact, they are now cheaper than the market average; and Tesla makes the Powerwall 2 solar battery so if you decide to buy a hybrid system with battery storage there may be some comfort to know you are buying it directly from the manufacturer.
However, there is one major downfall to buying solar panels from Tesla. If you look at the reviews score of Tesla on ours and other reviews websites you will note that they are significantly lower than the average reviews score of local family-owned solar companies.
Solar panels are a unique consumer product in that they are designed to last 25-30 years and interact with the utility grid and the other electrical infrastructure within your home.
Although solar is very reliable, things do go wrong and where Tesla and other large corporate solar installation companies have fallen down is in a lack of after-sales service.
You only need to read through the reviews of companies like Tesla, Sunrun and Vivint to see that residential solar is really a business much better handled by smaller, local solar companies who are able to offer better after-sales technical support.
We remain hopeful that Tesla will find a way to improve this facet of their business but until such time as this is reflected in their consumer reviews, our advice remains that you should look for a well established local solar company when buying solar panels for your home.
I had to take over a Solar City lease in order to buy my home. Then Tesla took over. Every year I get a tiny check saying that the system didn't meet up to their own expectations and here's a refund. No where near what I pay. I don't see a big change in my electric bill. One of the panels caused a hole in the roof causing a leak. They have never addressed that. No one has time for this entire story so I'll move it along. A "misunderstanding" cost me an additional $2,000. I asked for some compensation and was basically told there isn't every any. First I asked for the $499 they charge to remove and reinstall the panels. No. We don't do that. What about the payment for the 3 months my system has been down. No. We don't do that. I've been waiting over 2 months to get the reinstall going. There have been problems with that. They won't let you out of your contract unless you buy the system. My contract does not have that option. They won't let you out of your lease. And if you turn the system off they will still charge you monthly. Plenty of nice people to help but no one can do anything. I hate it and wish I could get rid of it.
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