Tesla Solar | Timeline & Installation Steps
Are you considering switching to solar energy? If so, Tesla Solar is a great option. Here’s what you need to know about the cost, timeline, process, and installation of Tesla Solar from someone who just had it done. Overall, Tesla is fantastic with their communication. Over the course of the 6 month installation period, Tesla will text, email and call you when there are items that need your attention. From signing online documents, to taking pictures of your space, to approving designs – everything is done through your Tesla account. The key steps of a Tesla Solar Panel installation are outlined below.
Background on Tesla Solar
Tesla Solar is a solar panel company that is headquartered in Palo Alto, California. The company was founded in 2006 by two engineers, Lyndon and Peter Rive. Tesla Solar’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Solar City, another solar panel company, was acquired by Tesla in 2016. Tesla Solar is available in 27 states in the US: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina , Rhode Island , Texas , Utah , Virginia and Washington. Tesla Solar is one of the largest solar panel providers in the US.
Cost of Tesla Solar
The cost of Tesla Solar will vary depending on the size of your home and how much solar energy you want to generate. The average cost of a Tesla Solar system is $17,500. The average size of a Tesla Solar system, including backup batteries is 7kW. Systems range in price from $3,000 to $30,000.
1. Signing up for Tesla Solar
Tesla’s website is very user friendly – you simply need to enter your home address, your estimated electricity usage, and a few more details and you’ll have solar panel estimate within a minute or two. You’ll have the option to add the Tesla Powerwall (which they recommend). If you’re interested in getting started, Tesla will ask for a $250 deposit to start.
2. Home Assessment
Once you’ve signed up for Tesla Solar, a home assessment will be scheduled. A solar panel expert will come to your home and assess your roof, shading, and electricity usage. They’ll also answer any questions you have about Tesla Solar. You’ll also need to upload a copy of your electric bill so that Tesla can verify that the system size you selected will be sufficient for your home. Tesla is fantastic about updating you via email, text, and phone when there are items that need your attention. In order to address these items, you just need to login into your account on Tesla.com.
3. System Design and Installation
After your home assessment is complete, Tesla will design a solar system that is specific to your home. At this stage, you’ll see a drawing of your home’s roof along with the location of where the solar panels will be installed. If you want to change some panels around (for aesthetics, etc…), now is the time to do it. You can typically email or chat with the Tesla rep to figure out what works best. If you ask for a revision, they’ll typically make the change and get your approval before moving on. This step takes a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on the changes. Before the site assessment, Tesla will also ask you to take multiple pictures of the installation area, your electrical boxes. Note – if you are installing in your garage, you’ll need to clear the space for the pictures.
4. Homeowners’ Association Approval (if needed)
If you live in a community with a Homeowners’ Association, you’ll need to get approval from them before installation can begin. Tesla will reach out to the association on your behalf and keep you updated on the status.
5. Site Assessment
After you’ve approved the system design, a site assessment will be scheduled. This is when a Tesla technician comes to your home to make sure that everything is good to go for installation. They’ll take a final look at the roof and see if there are any changes that need to be made (which is rare). The site assessment usually takes 30-60 minutes. The technician will climb onto your roof to look at the areas where the panels will be installed in order to confirm that they’ll fit. The technician will also verify where your electrical panels are, etc… If you are getting the Tesla Powerwall, the tech will also verify the location. The site assessment is quick, but getting it scheduled can take several months since Tesla is concurrently securing the building permits.
6. Permit Acquisition
After the site assessment has been completed, Tesla will begin the process of securing the permits needed for installation. Depending on your municipality, this step can take a few weeks to a few months.
Tesla Solar installation typically takes 1-2 days. On the day of installation, a Tesla technician will come to your home and install the solar panels on your roof. They’ll also install the inverter (s) and any other pieces that are necessary for your system to function. Once the system is installed, the technician will test it to make sure that everything is working properly. When you talk to your technician, you’ll realize that they really know what they are doing. They are experts at their craft – they take alot of pride in making their systems perfect. They do so many of these jobs that they it all down to a science. They are also fantastic about the details – making sure that pipes are painted and that walls are patched up. Once they are done, your system will start generating power immediately – you’ll see it on the Tesla app.
8. City or County Inspection (if needed)
After your system is installed, the city or county may need to come out and inspect the work. This step is typically just a formality and doesn’t take long. You don’t need to do anything except to open the door for the Tesla technician and the city inspector.
9. Power On
After your system is installed and inspected (if needed), you’ll need to sign an interconnection agreement. This is a standard agreement that says that you will not overload the grid with the power that your system produces.
Net Metering Agreement
Once you’ve signed the interconnection agreement, you’ll also need to sign a net metering agreement. This is an agreement between you and your utility company that says that they will buy the excess power that your system produces at the same rate that they charge you for power.
Utility Bill Review
The last step in the process is to review your first utility bill. Tesla will go over the bill with you to make sure that everything looks correct. They’ll also explain how the bill credits work and how you can use them to offset the cost of your power.
Timeline for Tesla Solar
The timeline for Tesla Solar will vary depending on the size of your home and how much solar energy you want to generate. The average time it takes to install a Tesla Solar system is 4-8 weeks. However, with demand high, this could take much longer. It could take up to 6 months if you factor in the time you pay your $250 deposit to the time that your solar panels are generating power. Some factors that are out of Tesla’s control including building permits, HOA approvals, and supply chain issues.
Everyone’s experience will vary based on your location, time of the year and size of your home. However, it is clear that Tesla Solar has this installation process down to a science. Here are some other solar installers from our REALTORS. Good luck on your journey to help the environment.