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Ordered my Tesla Solar and Powerwall System Today


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Cancelled ours recently. It was break even at best for us, but we were going to anyway. With CA changing rate structure soon (separate monthly fee for access, lower than current kWh rate), we would not be break even in the expected equipment life. 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, Payroll Person said:

Cancelled ours recently. It was break even at best for us, but we were going to anyway. With CA changing rate structure soon (separate monthly fee for access, lower than current kWh rate), we would not be break even in the expected equipment life. 

I will know that soon as Tesla gets the site survey done.

We spent $15k over ten years with two whole house backup gen-sets. The first claimed 15kW I ordered for Propane with the better enrgy density, It was 12.5kW with Naturqal Gas, and 15kW with Popane sop I actually bought a tank and had to fill it twice. It could not start the 5 ton A/C without stumbling so we went with a 25kW Nat Gas genset with a water cooled 4 cylinder engine. 

This like my Tesla car has no oil changes, filters, bi-annual starter battery replacements, radiators, oil and air filters, no muffler and exhaust pipes, no toxic exhaust near the house, and no noise!

I am not looking for ROI. There certainly was no ROI with our Air-cooled 15kW or water cooled 25kW Nat gas whole house auto switching generators. We had lots of power outages there in NW Louisiana. When the power went out and the genset kicked in 15-20 seconds later we would smile and say it was worth it. qGFcNi9.jpg

The electricity prices here are great, but after my solar is installed go to zero. No ROI needed - it is a lifestyle choice.

Edited by RV_
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49 minutes ago, durangodon said:

I ordered my whole house system with panels and powerwalls about four years ago.  Still waiting.

Sorry to hear that Don.

Hope they are right about being 3 months out from today. Most of the other companies are further out and $12k - 20k higher. Another company that uses Tesla Powerwalls just put in a solar panel/Powerwall system three doors down from me. They installed it in a day maybe two and did great job. But they got the Powerwalls.

My son had one of their early solar systems without Powerwalls in his old place in a Denver Suburb. They moved to Europe in 2021. Lynda told me he had issues with getting in touch when his inverter went out. I talked to him yesterday and he corrected her. He had not one but two inverters fail over the . He contacted them and they replaced it both times fast and  no stress. That was back in 2016 or 2018 when he had his installed.

Said he'd do it again, and add Powerwalls if they work out for me, when he returns to CONUS.  He's living in Europe now and they are working as Civil Service nurses, both he and his wife.

So we will see. I am going to try to do it You will be welcome to stop by and see it after. Should be August/September this year. I am covered because I don't pay until they deliver anyway.

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53 minutes ago, RV_ said:

The electricity prices are great but after my solar go to zero. No ROI needed - it is a lifestyle choice.

Understood. For us, we get a few outages a year. A small gen for the food, and the rv gen for the comforts get us through.  Just the vagaries of CA which will cause our new rate structure to lower our price more. Getting on the ev tou has lowered our bill $100 month, even adding ev charging kWh per month. Adding Solar would be a net loss of ~200 a month in our specific case. 

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, Payroll Person said:

Getting on the ev tou has lowered our bill $100 month, even adding ev charging kWh per month. Adding Solar would be a net loss of ~200 a month in our specific case. 

Payroll Person you lost me there. What is "Getting on the ev tou . . ." mean? I know it's a typo.

My Tesla vehicles are about performance and handling making driving fun again with the benefit they may drive me one day when I have to hang up my keys and let me still go where I want. If they ever get Full Self Driving or FSD out of Beta. And they will, Musk may be late or even early but he always executes.

My solar system and Powerwalls are all about not being at the mercy of the oil cartels and their price gouging for gas and diesel. As well to eliminate most of the cost of maintaining an ICE vehicle.and the cost of ownership.

Since you are Payroll Person I assume you are good at accounting so please feel free to offer any constructive criticism of my figures below. If you decide to read this long one. I always value other honest broker perspectives.

The short, version is we get more usable sun than many hot places because of altitude, and our summers and winters are mild with low humidity. That is shocking to some folks. And if Nuclear war does happen we go first and fast no pain. At 71 I am not interested in fighting or starving or dealing with roving gangs in a post apocalyptic world. If that happens we have family in England and Spain, a son in Germany with two of our grand kids, a son and Lynn's brother in Louisiana with two of our grand kids another we claim, two brothers in California where I have never lived, dear cousins and a niece/nephew in Florida, and many more distant relatives all over the world. So our genes will survive if any people do. We have had a wonderful life and more wonderful life to come until we don't.

The chart for gas prices versus electric costs for the 2021-2022 is a few posts above.

If it is about figures here are mine. YMMV, as do all of our mileage. But using average miles driven and costs gives a great way to compare and just plug in yours. Our tools and lawn equipment are all battery electric. We will have a second Tesla and solar with two Powerwalls.

Our city gets more total sunny days and a higher percent of usable sunlight that hits the ground than all but one or two areas in the Sunshine State - Florida. See the charts at the bottom. They are from a great website that when you click on the state gives accurate info: https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Colorado/annual-days-of-sunshine.php

Neither of us can stand high heat and high humidity. Where we live in CO winters are mild and humidity is very low. The other sunny places get over 100, even 120 degrees some days in summer but dry in AZ, and over 100 but high humidity in Florida. Folks here think it is hot at 78 degrees F. I have not soaked my clothes with sweat once doing yard work here in summer. In Louisiana I would be soaked walking to the mailbox down our driveway. Here we need no more than a jacket most winter days except the few very cold days and they are few in winter here.

I have never had the Natural gas go off in Louisiana or here during power outages so to heat we only need the solar battery system to power the furnace fan, and we do have central A/C but use way less than in Louisiana or Texas where we lived. I don't even know if it can start the A/C yet but here can live fine without it summers. But we still can use the grid if it gets really hot.

We don't go by the month. We are buying it outright so no monthly payment effects except no cost for charging our EV, soon to be two EVs, no charge to power our home except a $15 per month gr4id connection charge if no grid power used.. So you would need to figure about 12 bucks per full charge here versus the cost of filling up an ICE vehicle.

I can go 300 miles on a Tesla charge. The Forester gets 25 mpg of regular gas with Lynn driving. 300 miles divided by 25 mpg is 12 gallons. Yesterday I went with her to fill up at COSTCO for $2.89/gallon.  12X $2.89= $34.68. So for every 300 miles I save about $22.68 in my high performance Tesla every 300 miles driving over the Subaru Forester. 

"The average annual miles driven in the U.S. is now 14,300 miles per year — even with work-from-home policies and virtual class time that swept the country in early 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration." Source:  https://www.autolist.com/guides/average-miles-driven-per-year

Here are my charging stats screenshot from June 2022 to today from my Tesla App, ~ half was charged during peak hours. It would have been $45.55 charging costs for the whole year had I only charged off-peak, versus $460 for gas the same range. My bad! Settings now charge only off-peak.


Figuring costs this way each of us can see how much we spend on fuel for our cars/trucks if we own one and most do. Many have one with their RV whether a toad or the tow vehicle.

I found out today in doing preliminary research on my requirements to put in the solar that my actual cost of electricity here is 5¢ per kWh between 7pm and 3pm or off peak hours and 18¢ per kWh between 3pm and 7pm. I now schedule my car to never charge during peak hours. So if I plug it in at 5 pm, when done for the day, it won't start charging until 7:30pm and it stops automatically at 85% a few hours later.

Forester Costs for fuel alone $34.68 per 300 miles not counting maintenance. 14,300/300 miles = 47.66 X $34.68= $1652.85 per year for fuel alone for the 25 mpg Forester. If we had two that would be $3305.70 in fuel alone. Not counting oil changes/filters/plugs coils, belts and pulleys, brakes exhaust  and on and on. $3305.70/12=$275.48 per month for two ICE gas vehicles with that mileage and cost per gallon of $2.89. We already know the oil companies are going to go up and down based on history and electric will not.

Tesla costs to charge was $12 per 300 miles 14,300/300 miles = 47.66 X $12 = $571.92 cost to charge per year each. X2 = $1143.84 or ~ $95.32 cost to charge two EVs per month going the average amount per year. That was charging during peak and off peak hours. It will be about 1/3 of that if I make sure it is during off peak hours from now on.

$275.48 per month for two Ice versus ~$95.32 for two EVs per month during peak hours is a savings of $180.16/month in my fuel/charging costs per month. This EV figure was, until today, charging during Peak hours and off peak or whenever I got home. The savings are significant with two EVs so both will be programmed to never charge during peak hours. No issue as it charges

I have had no mechanical or wear costs in owning my EV from June 2020 to now not even wipers or tires except one tire that got a screw in the sidewall. So Ice owners need to tally costs of engine/oil/transmission/cooling/brake/exhaust/ignition/fuel systems repair & maintenance. Then do the math.

In the case of solar/storage cost savings we have not added in the costs of electric per month and those savings because the system also will be 120% of what the house needs to run daily. 

I am told I will save my average $117/mo. electric bill, no matter how much it goes up that is saved too. Warranties are 20-25 years but I trust Tesla to be in business 20 years from now more than I trust the smaller installation companies to be there for warranty periods of 20-25 years.

And we have not even started talking incentives. Both state and federal. Solar and EV outlets also enhance the price of our home when we or family sells it. Last I checked the insurance actuarial tables put the life expectancy of a white male in the US at 75 and I am 71. In 20 years or so when the Warranties for this system expire I will be 91 if still alive. 

Every decision we make to spend money we look at the quantitative and he qualitative. The figures above showing the quantitative side makes a lot of sense.

Our two boys are 47 and 50 now and they have the lives they chose. We earned a retirement that has most things covered and that is what we planned for - to be able to live in our retirement, on our pension alone which covers medical. That required not having any debt at all. Many folks never have enough. We have enough. So we are not saving for them or their kids. We are spending it on us from now on.

The qualitative is the quality of life, lifestyle enhancing through stress relief and stability. We won't worry about price gouging gas prices as we have seen in the last 5 years or so. Fun is also involved. And on cold days we charge at home not in rain/snow/hail/cold/heat.

So my math, unproven until I get and use our solar/storage system is simple.

We save our whole electric bill that averages $117/mo. For overcast days we willuse the credits we earned letting the power comany keepthe excess we do not need.

And no payments for the Solar system so it does not reduce or affect our quantitative or qualitative budget. Quite the opposite.

Tax credits of about 20-30k for the solar and the second Tesla lets us take the tax hit with our tax credits and liquidate our remaining 401k that neither loses nor earns any money. We have $3k a year in carry over deductions from capital losses last year getting out of Rivian, NBEV, and ACB none too soon. I have a great tax person who advises me.

If we are hit with an EMP attack or MAD nuclear exchange no amount of money or investments will make any difference to any but the super rich with their underground luxury shelters in New Zealand. I think they picked New Zealand because it is furthest from any nuclear targets or some such. Not being in that wealth category I have no clue.

One advantage of living here is it is major target with NORAD/Carson/USAF Academy/Schriever SFB/Space Command so far,  all here and local. If there is a final WW III we do not want to live in the aftermath - we go fast here and likely not even know it. We are not preppers and only have two weeks of emergency food and water for natural disasters or short term disturbances.  https://www.amazon.com/One-Second-After-audiobook/dp/B001WYVAJ8/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2U2KP6WR0DEYA&keywords=on+second+after&qid=1684260306&sprefix=on+second+after%2Caps%2C125&sr=8-1

A big reason we chose to move here.

As well almost no earthquakes, volcanoes nearby (Yellowstone Caldera gets us all west of the Mississippi and the rest of the world blocking the sun for an undetermined period, so not counting it,) almost no tornadoes, no Hurricanes, or rising seawater, and no floods right here. I had not counted on climate change wildfires and drought.

I have no control over future wars. But assuming we don't have a nuclear exchange, we are good for our foreseeable remaining life and the EVs and solar are a large part of that.

We already save from our retirement and that is what we are using for these two more things, a new Tesla later this year and a solar system. None of our capital or investments are needed. With the Subaru trade in we will only be out $57k out of pocket for the new Model Y and the Solar/storage system BEFORE incentives and tax savings which could be as much as $30k.

We heard a lot of the same kind of naysaying from others here about EVs and solar systems, as we got when first going full time when we sold everything and took off full time RVing for seven years at ages 45/43 years old from some folks we knew and some family. Most were thrilled for us and wished they could join us.


Annual days of sunshine Florida
City Sunny
Partly Sunny
Total Days
With Sun
Apalachicola 128 113 241
Daytona Beach 97 132 229
Fort Myers 98 168 266
Jacksonville 94 127 221
Key West 104 155 259
Miami 74 175 249
Orlando 89 147 236
Pensacola 105 123 228
Tallahassee 102 129 231
Tampa 101 143 244
West Palm Beach 75 159 234


Annual days of sunshine
City Sunny Partly Sunny Total Days
With Sun
Alamosa 148 137 285
Colorado Springs 127 120 247
Denver 115 130 245
Grand Junction 136 106 242
Pueblo 139 119 258
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Time of use rate from the utility. 85% of our usage is now at off peak rates. Our electric, before having an ev, was about 400 a month averaged over a year. With the ev charging added, but lower rates off peak (.17 vs .26) we are down to 200 to 250 a month. We keep the ac at 72 year round for medical reasons. We have evening pot smoking neighbors, so the windows are usually closed, so as I type this, it is 66 outside, but the ac is on (to cool once in the part peak to get to the start of off peak). Once we get a bit better at timing, we should be more at the 200 a month.

Have not bought gasoline in 3 months, although we will need to do. For safety.

to get Solar will be about 40k before credits. (Almost a must go get batts flyover our rate structure.) probably another 5k for panel and other upgrades to make it as useful as possible for us.

we are 2 years or less from another rate structure change which will likely lower our kWh rate at least 20%.

we can and do use free chargers which cover our about town usage, charging while at the gym.

For us, Solar, with our current utility system, is a money loser. It is not always a magic money saver for all. In our case, just being eligible for the ev time of use plan and the r wilting savings, is covering the Tesla payments (after healthy down) as we had planned.

with the CA net meter change, and the not widely talked about structure change coming, CA Solar is likely now a “because I want to” versus a money saver.


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Wow! Those are some high rates. Mine were low enough (5¢ per kWh) to be slack in paying attention to rates. But our utility company here is a city utility and lowers prices as they get lower prices.

I may have to put my solar on hold for at leat a few months to allow me to see if I want to buy the Tesla now or later.I talked with the Solar folks yesterday and they may require a bill of sale with my new Tesla before they allow more kWh capacity.

I am trying to get the max capacity they allow but their figure is 120% of the amount of electric used in the last 12 months, no more, and use the last year's average use to arrive at that. So to bump it up to max I need to own the car first and show a bill of sale to qualify for the higher capacity system, and that is a timing issue for us, no more. See we set up for living on our small pension and our taxes are low and we normally pay much less than the credits are and want to use them to recoup some of the investment.

Tesla is rumored to be coming out with a better battery pack called the M3P and I want to wait for it to decide one way or the other and it may be next year before they battery up! We have a 401k we want to just liquidate and take the tax hit with the credits from the Solar and EV.

Then my system batteries will take up the slack for peak hours running the house. We should be able to get 100% of house use from solar as well as charging during peak hours if not 24/7.

Here there are lots of houses with solar and we went from seeing few Teslas when I bought mine in 2020 to seeing Model Y and Model 3 Teslas everywhere today. Mostly Model Ys now. Stopped at a busy light there will be at least two others in sight near me. They seem to be the main choice here for a new car. I also see a few BMW EVs and one Jag EV I think.

The new federal tax credits and other incentives here with our state tax credits may not be here next year so we will figure out how to get everything done in the same year, this one.

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NorCal PGE. And we get a discount (CARES)…

our roof size limits us to about 60% of our usage for solar. With our net meter rules, it no longer makes sense to oversize. The state is changing to a monthly access fee and lower kWh in the next 24 months, further cutting Solar savings benefits. As many opine, utilities want us to use solar, but they don’t want us cutting into their generation business.

Looking at our ev charge stats, we are at about 175 in charging to date replacing about 950 in gasoline, since mid Feb. This ratio will get even better since we played with supercharging a few times when not needed.

our main charging is now free. If we take a second long trip in a week, we charge at home at just under .17kwh (year around). Super charge near us is about .45kwh. I can also L2 charge within a Segway ride for .04kwh.

our home main use is a swim spa, hot tub, and ac. The first two time shifted nicely to off peak. The latter as well, pre cool to 66 at the end of off peak.

Tesla M3 with the LFP batt is the easiest. The others currently available are ideally used at the 20-80% methods, making their higher range somewhat unusable. We have LFP in our MH which have shown little degradation after about 18months, and they are constantly plugged in. The LFP with a good bms seems ideal as charge and use with little thought. Tesla LFP is not eligible for the full federal credit any longer; but we bought within the window. 

We too would be paying cash for Solar, which means a loss of interest on the money or a present/future value calc. Our high interest savings is 3.75% at the moment, so our solar would also cost 125 a month in lost interest. Or another way, is getting Solar would have to save us at least 250 a month for the 20 year old expected life to just maybe break even. Just not possible in our situation, and likely not in many/most without a lopsided net meter system.

One other factor, given my profession, is the cost of waiting for the credit, unless one has enough withholding which could be lessened to get access to the “credit” sooner. On our example 40k system, credit is 12k. The time waiting to be the 12k costs another 37.50 a month in lost interest.

Point being, the value of ev and/or Solar is individual, and has many factors often ignored. 

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You have the model 3 with the LFP? Or what model?

How do you like it? I almost bought the Mod Y LFP they just introduced but I don't see them for sale now or missed them. The range is 180 miles as opposed to the 320 miles mine gets with Li-Ion. And they did not have AWD LFP versions for sale when I checked. THings change so that may not be true tomorrow.

They just came out with a study and found the battery I have has only 12% loss after 20 years!

I do charge correctly but for trips I charge to 100% and have only done that maybe ten times over three years. Our 50 amp setup here is pretty fast. I don't worry about using a Supercharger for trips but with your charges you save over gas by far but

I understand. I am not trying to talk you or anyone into one. But since there are some of us here and many folks with Stix n Brix part timers, I thought it might be helpful to post what it is like getting one and the costs. I had one guy tell me one thing that was wrong. So if there are problems with getting it or service after the sale I will let folks know here.

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23 M3 RWD. We drive it as primary now. 02 wrangler gets some action as top and doors off fun and flat tow. Covid deal 2020 grand Cherokee is great, flat tow and a bit more comfortable. Tesla rode a bit rough until I set tire pressure for load instead of for range.

About 3k mi on Tesla since mid feb.  No probs needing service. But, like many report, it needed an alignment - which I can and did do (string) at home.

Strongly considering an extended warranty. Not Tesla’s.  Xcelarate. There are about to add a batt and drive extension. Even if we don’t, that you can buy one speaks to the longevity.

I have my eye out for an enclosed trailer as we would use some extra space on the road and would like to bring the Tesla. That would mean ridding the grand Cherokee, at about what we paid for it (crazy times).

Edited by Payroll Person
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13 hours ago, Payroll Person said:

23 M3 RWD. We drive it as primary now. 02 wrangler gets some action as top and doors off fun and flat tow. Covid deal 2020 grand Cherokee is great, flat tow and a bit more comfortable. Tesla rode a bit rough until I set tire pressure for load instead of for range.

About 3k mi on Tesla since mid feb.  No probs needing service. But, like many report, it needed an alignment - which I can and did do (string) at home.

Strongly considering an extended warranty. Not Tesla’s.  Xcelarate. There are about to add a batt and drive extension. Even if we don’t, that you can buy one speaks to the longevity.

I have my eye out for an enclosed trailer as we would use some extra space on the road and would like to bring the Tesla. That would mean ridding the grand Cherokee, at about what we paid for it (crazy times).

Congrats! Yes with 50 amp outlets at parks and campgrounds it would be little to no hassle to charge on the road as an RVr.

The performance and handling is indescribable and can only be experienced to know. Here in the mountains AWD is a necessity to us but on the road we never had it. We followed 75°F.

I will look at that warranty company later as we have storms rolling in and I need to run some errands. We prefer not to risk the often experienced hail in rain here. We keep both in the Garage. If we have to we take the older car. Now the Forester for a few months.

My 2020 Y alignment is fine so must be a Model/year specific item.

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Rv parks seem to be ok with ev charge or not. Most seem not. Either ignorance of how ev charging works, not interested in figuring out how to monetize, or just laziness. Those with rivian trucks are the test subjects.

I have close knowledge of how out favorite local place was built. They have elected to have a no charging policy. They have transformer capacity, not yet tapped. If they expand as planned (more electric sites) I hope they will setup stand alone charging stations.

Other parks have a policy of one connection to your rv, and do what you want from there.

A few have stand alone ev stations, and at leas on will let ev’s charge when a site is not in use.

Many parks barely have enough power as is, so newer parks with enlightened management is the only likely charge ev at park possibility. Given the pedestals I have seen, I am always willing to tell the host it is generator for me while needing ac, based on visual inspection and volt/amp readings. Have not been denied yet as those types of parks know they have issues.

For my handle, I try to stay anonymous. I go back to the old BBS days, privacy less needed then as there were fewer issues with privacy, but today; privacy is a must for me. The one exception for me is a private professional group I still elect to participate in. 

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As an aside, I home charge using my tt30 outlet. Our small rv does not need a 14-50 outlet. There is an aftermarket tt30 adapter for the Tesla mobile evse which auto sets the amps correctly. This is what the park owners don’t get (at least for the Tesla branded evse) the evse properly sets the max draw to 80% of the outlet amps. And the user can set a lower draw as well. In my case, I charge at about half the max amps which is what I need for my usual driving needs.

This is where an enlightened park owner could offer ev charging. Add a pedestal on a new circuit, with their own evse so the park has control over the max draw. There are options where it requires a touch card to charge as sort of a lock. I suspect there are solutions like ChargePoint which can be installed at little or no cost (and generate a little revenue if desired) for the park owner.

My locality has elected ChargePoint for their solution. At a couple of places, it is free for the 4 hour parking limit. At another, is it .25 an hour.  The former are almost always in use (locals and tourists), the latter less so as it is a bit out of the way for tourists.

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Great info! Thanks!

Tesla pays location owners part of the revenues to let them install Superchargers. And the Shanghai plant built a dedicated small factory next door to build 10k Superchargers/year. https://electrek.co/2022/04/15/tesla-cost-deploy-superchargers-revealed-one-fifth-competition/#:~:text=Companies couldn’t apply for more than 70% of,they support non-Tesla cars got applications by Tesla.

When we were full time we had computers and printers but the RV offices back then in 1997-2003 did not believe the 800 dial-up Earthlink access was not going to cost them anything. I was shocked when in 1999 in Canada and Alaska we started to see some RV Park offices or TV rooms have dedicated phone connections with time limits and usually a small fee.

I will make sure to have the front end on the new Y get checked for alignment too.

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