13th July 2024

It’s been three years since Tesla rocked the trade with shockingly low photo voltaic costs, and loads has modified available in the market. I’m starting a quest to get photo voltaic on Four properties, and documenting it right here.

The Problem Of Purchasing For Photo voltaic

I’m looking for photo voltaic for Four completely different properties proper now.

  1. My spouse and I’ve a townhouse in Tampa. I didn’t purchase photo voltaic earlier than for three causes. First, I needed to dwell in the home a yr and ensure the roof was good earlier than I modified something. Second, my owners affiliation was in opposition to it and I didn’t really feel like preventing them (I understand they will’t cease me from putting in photo voltaic, however they might make my life depressing). Third, I used to be getting my electrical energy for about eight cents a kWh (it was particularly low since there was a 2 cent a kWh discount resulting from Covid-19 for a brief time period) and that makes the payback (even for aggressively priced photo voltaic) not so nice. The value for electrical energy in Tampa has roughly doubled to 16 cents a kWh.
  2. My daughter in Colorado simply constructed a home and desires to get photo voltaic on it to save cash.  She doesn’t have any points, so this may most likely be the primary one to be ordered within the subsequent month or two.
  3. My daughter in Tampa simply purchased a home and desires to get photo voltaic to assist the atmosphere. She has shade points and we’ve got to examine the standard of her roof, so these points shall be must be dealt. It doesn’t make sense to me to place photo voltaic on a roof that can have be to changed quickly as a result of that provides loads to the prices. And it doesn’t make sense to interchange the roof 5 years early whether it is nonetheless good. I don’t assume Tesla’s Photo voltaic Roof is sort of prepared for primetime (though I’m all for the product as soon as they get all the issues labored out).
  4. My sister in Raleigh has a house and is serious about shopping for photo voltaic to save cash and assist the atmosphere. She doesn’t just like the issues Elon says on Twitter, so she may be biased in opposition to Tesla Vitality.

The Superb Print In All Photo voltaic Gross sales Pitches That No person Warns You About

In each presentation, the salesperson calculates your financial savings, and to do this, they must make an assumption on the speed of worth improve your utility will cost yearly over the subsequent 25 years. In two latest shows, the charges of improve predicted for Colorado for the subsequent 25 years have been 5% in a single case and 5.5% in one other. This was justified as the speed costs had elevated traditionally. That sounds a bit excessive, and with a background in finance, I knew this one variable had a huge effect on the enterprise case of putting in photo voltaic. Growing the speed of improve a number of factors may enable a photo voltaic firm to double their costs and vastly improve their earnings, but nonetheless present good financial savings, whether or not or not this was a legitimate assumption.

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-300068" data-attachment-id="300068" data-permalink="https://cleantechnica.com/2023/07/09/comparing-tesla-solar-to-local-solar-companies-a-deep-financial-dive/electricity-prices/" data-orig-file="https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Electrical energy-Costs.png" data-orig-size="1000,676" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit score":"","digital camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Electrical energy Costs" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Picture Credit score: eia.gov

” data-medium-file=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Electrical energy-Costs-400×270.png” data-large-file=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Electrical energy-Costs-800×541.png” decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” class=”wp-image-300068 size-full” src=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Electrical energy-Costs.png” alt width=”1000″ top=”676″ srcset=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Electrical energy-Costs.png 1000w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Electrical energy-Costs-400×270.png 400w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Electrical energy-Costs-800×541.png 800w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Electrical energy-Costs-768×519.png 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px”>

Picture credit score: eia.gov

Doing my very own analysis, I discovered the US Vitality Data Administration (EIA) has been monitoring this for years, and though there may be some variation, the charges have been flat when adjusting for inflation for the final 10 years. Taking a look at costs for an extended time period, the value of electrical energy has gone up 1.61% a yr over 110 years versus a common inflation fee of three.16%. So electrical energy costs have risen about half as quick as common inflation over the long run. That does appear to be primarily as a result of from 1913 to 1950, electrical energy costs plummeted because the expertise superior (Wright’s regulation). Since 1990, electrical energy charges have gone about the identical as inflation because the trade has develop into extra politically highly effective and charges in lots of locations are set by boards which are populated by people that may be influenced by political donations. Tesla makes use of an assumption of two% improve in electrical energy charges for the subsequent 25 years, which looks as if a greater assumption than 5%. Though charges have elevated rapidly during the last three years, I don’t assume utilities will have the ability to get important will increase sooner or later for the next causes:

  1. Utilities used excessive gas costs to justify the will increase. Pure fuel costs have retreated, and subsequent time they rise (they at all times appear to rise each few years), a lot of the grid shall be powered by wind and photo voltaic, so it gained’t have a big impact.
  2. Utilities know they will’t increase charges way more or they’ll simply speed up the transfer to photo voltaic by owners.
  3. Political opposition will develop if charges proceed to rise.

Purchasing For Denver Photo voltaic

I seen that the native quotes have been a lot larger than Tesla photo voltaic quotes (and in addition may solely be obtained with a go to, whereas Tesla affords quotes on-line), however I additionally seen that the installers supplied decrease rate of interest financing. I assumed, “That’s odd. How can these small installers get higher mortgage charges that one of many largest firms on the planet?” The reply is that they pay an enormous  “supplier price” or “finance cost” of 25% to 50% to decrease the rate of interest, as described on this article. I’m positive that is to simplify the choice, however I want to know the actual costs and charges and make my very own choices on finance the product. Tesla used to have nationwide pricing at $1.50 a kWh (after a 30% tax credit score), however it seems to have raised that to $2 in some markets (like Colorado) and stored it at $1.50 kWh in different markets (like Florida). North Carolina was about midway between these costs at $1.70 a kWh.

All of the examples in the remainder of this text are within the Denver space. I’ll embody Florida and North Carolina quotes in a future article.

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-300278" data-attachment-id="300278" data-permalink="https://cleantechnica.com/2023/07/09/comparing-tesla-solar-to-local-solar-companies-a-deep-financial-dive/tesla-solar-4/" data-orig-file="https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic.png" data-orig-size="726,610" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit score":"","digital camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Tesla Photo voltaic" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Tesla Colorado Photo voltaic

” data-medium-file=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-400×336.png” data-large-file=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic.png” decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” class=”wp-image-300278 size-full” src=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic.png” alt width=”726″ top=”610″ srcset=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic.png 726w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-400×336.png 400w” sizes=”(max-width: 726px) 100vw, 726px”>

Tesla Colorado Photo voltaic

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-300279" data-attachment-id="300279" data-permalink="https://cleantechnica.com/2023/07/09/comparing-tesla-solar-to-local-solar-companies-a-deep-financial-dive/apollo-solar/" data-orig-file="https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Apollo-Photo voltaic.png" data-orig-size="793,456" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit score":"","digital camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Apollo Photo voltaic" data-image-description data-image-caption="

Apollo Colorado Photo voltaic

” data-medium-file=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Apollo-Photo voltaic-400×230.png” data-large-file=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Apollo-Photo voltaic.png” decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” class=”wp-image-300279 size-full” src=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Apollo-Photo voltaic.png” alt width=”793″ top=”456″ srcset=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Apollo-Photo voltaic.png 793w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Apollo-Photo voltaic-400×230.png 400w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Apollo-Photo voltaic-768×442.png 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 793px) 100vw, 793px”>

Apollo Colorado Photo voltaic

Paying Money Assuming Annual 5% Utility Value Will increase (Unlikely Utility Will increase IMHO)

Tesla Money Assuming 5% Annual Utility Will increase

Apollo Money assuming 5% Annual Utility Will increase

On this instance, you’ll be able to see the ~$12,000 cheaper quote of Tesla makes it the higher monetary resolution for an individual who has the cash to put money into photo voltaic. The 12% fee of return for Tesla is healthier than the 7% fee for the native installer.

Paying Money Assuming Annual 2% Utility Value Will increase (Most Possible Utility Will increase IMHO)

Tesla Money Assuming 2% Annual Utility Will increase

Apollo Money Assuming 2% Annual Utility Will increase

On this instance, you’ll be able to see the ~$12,000 cheaper quote of Tesla makes it the higher monetary resolution for an individual who has the cash to put money into photo voltaic. The 9% fee of return for Tesla is healthier than the 4% fee for the native installer. Trying on the web current worth of the funding with a 5% low cost fee, the native installer turns unfavourable, for the reason that 4% fee of return is lower than the low cost fee. This state of affairs additionally doesn’t give an excellent consequence if we’ve got a number of outages. When you’ve gotten an outage, you find yourself making funds to each the photo voltaic firm and the utility firm.

Getting A Mortgage To Vastly Cut back Impression To Your Finances In The Early Years Assuming Annual 5% Utility Value Will increase (Unlikely Utility Will increase IMHO)

Tesla Mortgage Assuming 5% Annual Utility Will increase

Apollo Mortgage Assuming 5% Annual Utility Will increase

On this instance, you’ll be able to see the ~$12,000 cheaper quote of Tesla makes it the higher monetary resolution wanting on the web current worth, however the native installer’s provide of no down fee (versus Tesla Photo voltaic’s insistence on a minimal 10% down fee) means the native installer affords the next fee of return. This is because of two elements. The very low funding (for just some years the mortgage fee is barely larger than the utility financial savings) together with the low rate of interest on the mortgage.

Getting A Mortgage To Vastly Cut back Impression To Your Finances In The Early Years Assuming Annual 2% Utility Value Will increase (Most Possible Utility Will increase IMHO)

Tesla Mortgage assuming 2% Annual Utility Will increase

Apollo Mortgage assuming 2% Annual Utility Will increase

On this instance, you’ll be able to see the ~$12,000 cheaper quote of Tesla greater than makes up for the higher native financing when wanting on the web current worth and inside fee of return. The variations usually are not enormous. Going wtih Tesla would require a down fee that isn’t required with the native installer. The financials are shut sufficient that you possibly can go both means based mostly on different elements (mentioned beneath) or private desire.

After Set up Help

It’s fairly clear that Tesla is the best choice from a purchase order standpoint. Its costs are as much as 50% cheaper than the opposite quotes I acquired, and it’s a way more financially safe firm than the opposite corporations putting in photo voltaic. Its panel guarantee of 25 years is just like the opposite merchandise, whereas its 10-year guarantee on the remainder of the system was somewhat shorter than some others that supplied 25 yr warranties on every thing (however one wonders if the businesses shall be round greater than 10 years to honor the warranties).

The native firms declare Tesla doesn’t have nearly as good of service as they do. Is there any reality to that declare? I’ve checked with three individuals who have put in Tesla photo voltaic panels they usually mentioned it went superb. However I understand that’s means too small a pattern to be legitimate. I discovered this knowledgeable overview by Photo voltaic Evaluations that appears to do an excellent job of explaining Tesla Vitality picture issues.

“Previous to September 2020, Tesla had a opinions rating on our web site of lower than 2 out of 5. Nevertheless, since then, there was a powerful inflow of constructive opinions for the corporate and their total opinions rating has improved considerably. Nearly all of those opinions have been from clients who had not too long ago bought a system, so it stays unclear if Tesla has solely improved their gross sales and set up course of, or whether or not their total customer support to older clients has improved, as properly.”

So, it seems Tesla is doing significantly better on the set up, however the jury remains to be out as as to if it is going to be good for long-term assist. Though among the work of Tesla Vitality is nationwide (like its web site), it does have native folks within the main markets who you’ll be able to discuss to, and the service facilities in main markets have folks you possibly can go to if you happen to wanted to talk to somebody in individual. That being mentioned, I do know from coping with Tesla for automobile service that it’s generally exhausting to come up with Tesla, for the reason that firm makes an attempt to automate a lot of its processes.

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-300079" data-attachment-id="300079" data-permalink="https://cleantechnica.com/2023/07/09/comparing-tesla-solar-to-local-solar-companies-a-deep-financial-dive/tesla-solar-reviews/" data-orig-file="https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-Evaluations.png" data-orig-size="928,1348" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit score":"","digital camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="Tesla Photo voltaic Evaluations" data-image-description="

Picture Credit score: www.solarreviews.com/installers/tesla-energy-reviews

” data-image-caption data-medium-file=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-Evaluations-275×400.png” data-large-file=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-Evaluations-551×800.png” decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” class=”wp-image-300079 size-full” src=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-Evaluations.png” alt width=”928″ top=”1348″ srcset=”https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-Evaluations.png 928w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-Evaluations-275×400.png 275w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-Evaluations-551×800.png 551w, https://cleantechnica.com/information/2023/07/Tesla-Photo voltaic-Evaluations-768×1116.png 768w” sizes=”(max-width: 928px) 100vw, 928px”>

Picture Credit score: Photo voltaic Evaluations

As you’ll be able to see, Tesla actually has a variety of 1-star opinions from the time when SolarCity (what Tesla Vitality was known as previously) leased a variety of programs. Studying the 1-star opinions, the most important criticism was the home-owner was attempting to promote their dwelling and Tesla had a lien on the house to safe its leased photo voltaic panels, and Tesla was slowing up closings as a result of it wanted to overview the credit score of the patrons of the property. Tesla doesn’t do these secured leases anymore, and this appears to be much less troublesome. Photo voltaic costs have gone down a lot in relation to the value of properties that, normally, there may be loads of fairness in a house sale to repay any photo voltaic mortgage. For instance, 10 years in the past, you might need $50,000 in photo voltaic panels on a $200,000 dwelling. Now, you might need $30,000 in photo voltaic panels on a $600,000 dwelling. On this hypothetical instance, the photo voltaic panels was once 25% of the value of the house, and now they’re 5%.


My daughter hasn’t made her last resolution on which solution to go. I ought to point out she received a number of different native quotes that have been larger than Apollo and no higher high quality for my part. There are undoubtedly some unhealthy photo voltaic offers on the market. It’s clear to me that Tesla is the only option if you wish to pay money, and going with a neighborhood installer is the only option if you need a $0-down possibility (which Tesla doesn’t provide). Regardless that the charges of return on photo voltaic seem like lower than a high-flying inventory funding guarantees, it has three benefits over inventory investments:

  1. It ought to have decrease dangers. Though a number of issues can go unsuitable with photo voltaic, much more issues can go unsuitable with shares.
  2. You understand you might be doing all your half to cut back your carbon footprint and never ready for another person to do it for you.
  3. As battery costs proceed to go down, you might be setting your self as much as develop into impartial and perhaps even be part of a program the place you’ll be able to promote energy again to the grid when it wants it probably the most!

If you wish to reap the benefits of my Tesla referral hyperlink to $500 off Tesla Photo voltaic: https://ts.la/paul92237.

Disclosure: I’m a shareholder in Tesla [TSLA], BYD [BYDDY], Nio [NIO], XPeng [XPEV], Hertz [HTZ], and a number of other ARK ETFs. However I provide no funding recommendation of any kind right here.


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