Energy Support

Powerwall Modes

Powerwall is configured to meet your home’s specific energy needs. Use the Tesla app to monitor and manage your solar system’s performance with features and control modes such as Backup Reserve, Self-Powered and Time-Based Control.

After installation, Tesla solar systems with at least one Powerwall+ will be configured to Self-Consumption Only mode, producing only enough energy needed to power your home and charge your Powerwall. When temperatures are below freezing, Preconditioning is enabled, heating your Powerwall to improve operation and charging performance.

Learn more about the following modes for your Powerwall:

Backup Reserve

With Backup Reserve, your Powerwall provides you with energy security during a grid outage. Set your preferred reserve percentage by adjusting the slider at the top of the ‘Settings’ screen:

• If you prefer to reserve more energy during a grid outage, or if your area is more prone to outages, you can set a higher reserve percentage.

• If you prefer to optimize your Powerwall performance when Self-Powered or Time-Based Control mode is enabled, you can set a lower reserve percentage.

During an outage, your Powerwall may discharge below your reserve percentage. When the outage is resolved, your Powerwall may charge above your reserve percentage. To use your Powerwall as a backup-only appliance, select Self-Powered mode with a Backup Reserve of 100%.

Self-Powered

When Self-Powered mode is selected, your Powerwall stores solar energy not used during the day to power your home at night. Your Powerwall will charge when excess solar power is produced, and this stored energy will be used when your home requires more power than your solar system can provide.

When you produce enough solar energy to offset all consumption, and your Powerwall is fully charged, you will export excess energy to the grid. Similarly, when you consume more solar energy than is available from your solar system and Powerwall, you will import energy from the grid.

Self-Powered mode approximately doubles the amount of solar energy that powers your home and is the most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and gain energy independence. Learn more about energy data and impact cards in the Tesla app.

How to Set Up Self-Powered

Step 1: From the home screen, open the ‘Settings’ menu.

Step 2: Under ‘Set Control Mode,’ select ‘Self-Powered.’ 

Step 3: Set your preferred Backup Reserve by adjusting the slider at the top of the screen.

Note: Setting a higher reserve percentage saves more energy for protection during an outage, while setting a lower reserve percentage optimizes energy allocation for your Powerwall when Self-Powered mode is selected. Consider your personal economic needs and energy security outlook when setting Backup Reserve.

Time-Based Control

Time-Based Control (also referred to as load shifting) helps you maximize savings through smart charging and discharging of your Powerwall. If your electricity prices vary during the day, you are likely on a time-of-use plan, and Time-Based Control would present the best economic value for your system. Time-of-use plans are utility rate structures where electricity prices may vary depending on the time of day, the day itself or the season.

Utilities usually break time-of-use plans into three periods:

  • Peak: High energy demand hours with most expensive prices
  • Off-Peak: Low energy demand hours with least expensive prices
  • Partial Peak or Shoulder: All other times


Learn more about energy data and impact cards in the Tesla app.

How to Set Up Time-Based Control

Before setting up Time-Based Control mode, obtain your specific time-of-use plan, which is typically found on your electric utility website.

Step 1: From the home screen, open the ‘Settings’ menu.

Step 2: Under ‘Set Control Mode,’ select ‘Time-Based Control.’

Step 3: Set your preferred rate plan by tapping ‘Edit Custom Rate Plan.’ You can set custom rate plans for the week by switching between ‘Weekdays’ and ‘Weekends’ at the top of the screen.

Step 4: Tap the ‘Off-Peak’ section and select your ‘Start’ and ‘End’ times. Then, tap the back icon, and repeat this step for the ‘Peak’ section.

Step 5: Set your preferred Backup Reserve by adjusting the slider at the top of the screen.

Note: Consider your personal economic needs and energy security outlook when setting Backup Reserve. Setting a higher reserve percentage saves more energy for protection during an outage, while setting a lower reserve percentage optimizes energy allocation for your Powerwall when Self-Powered mode is selected. Consider your personal economic needs and energy security outlook when setting Backup Reserve.

Energy Forecast

Powerwall continuously runs an energy forecast, learning the patterns of your energy use and seasonal solar production. This energy forecast allows your Powerwall to optimize your energy usage. If the forecast shows that you are likely to use energy at a high-cost time, Powerwall prioritizes charging during low-cost periods and discharging during high-cost periods.

Note: Since this smart forecasting needs time to learn about your energy usage, Time-Based Control requires approximately a week before becoming a selectable control mode.

Self-Consumption Only

For Tesla solar systems with at least one Powerwall+:
After your system is installed, it is intelligently configured to Self-Consumption Only mode, producing only enough energy required to power your home and charge your Powerwall. In this mode, no energy flows to the grid until your utility grants your system Permission to Operate (PTO). After receiving PTO, your system is automatically configured to begin full production and allows energy to flow to the grid.

Preconditioning

When temperatures are low, all batteries have a reduced ability to charge. To help Powerwall counteract this, Powerwall uses Preconditioning. When temperatures are below freezing, Preconditioning turns on and heats your Powerwall to improve operation and charging performance. To heat itself, Powerwall draws a small amount of energy, which then allows high-power charging.

During a cold night, your Powerwall automatically preheats before sunrise so that maximum solar energy can be captured during the day. Preconditioning, in combination with Tesla’s unique liquid thermal management system, allows your Powerwall to operate at lower temperatures than any other home battery.

Additional considerations:

  • You cannot customize this mode because Powerwall can best detect its internal temperature and knows when to enable Preconditioning.
  • During Preconditioning, the Power Flow screen may show energy flowing to your Powerwall from solar or the grid. This is normal behavior, and the energy is only being used to heat, not to charge.
  • During winter months, a small amount of your Powerwall capacity is reserved to improve performance in cold weather. This may change your visible total capacity in the Tesla app. Rest assured, your total capacity has not changed — this small reserve is just set aside to improve performance.