Solar Panels Pre-Installation

In order to make your solar panel system installation as safe and efficient as possible, it may be necessary for you to upgrade parts of your home. These necessary upgrades will be identified during the designing of your system. Tesla will help with this process every step of the way. Below are some frequently asked questions about the main types of Pre-Installation Work: Main Panel Upgrades and Re-Roofs.


Pre-Installation Electrical Upgrades

What is a Main Panel Upgrade?

A Main Panel Upgrade, or MPU, is the replacement of an existing main electrical panel with a new main electrical panel that is compatible with the National Electric Code, Utility Service Requirements, local code requirements and Tesla product requirements.

How long does a Main Panel Upgrade take to coordinate?

This varies by region and/or utility jurisdictions. Areas that require more city, county or utility involvement typically take longer to complete than areas that do not.

Timelines are also dependent on the  scope of work required to bring the electrical substructure to compliance. 

Will I be without power on the day of the Main Panel Upgrade? If so, for how long?

Yes. Typically, the Main Panel Upgrade installation is a 1-2 day event, and at some point in the installation, the electricity will be turned off for safety purposes. Power will typically be out for 8 hours on the day of the upgrade. Tesla suggests keeping refrigerator door(s) closed, and all surge sensitive electronics unplugged from outlets.

Do I need to be home on the day of the main panel upgrade?

A person 18 years of age or older must be home on the day of the upgrade. Work teams may need your help gaining access to electrical equipment and bonding locations, which are typically located in the garage, attic, basement/crawlspace or backyard. Access to electrical equipment and bonding locations is required at all times during the upgrade.

Is it possible to perform my own main panel upgrade?

Yes. All work performed must be permitted, inspected and meet minimum Tesla requirements. Tesla will require photo documentation of the main panel upgrade before scheduling the installation of your solar system. These photos can be sent to your Energy Project Coordinator. Tesla may also need to resurvey the home.


Pre-Installation Roofing

Which area of my home will Tesla re-roof?

The area to be re-roofed will be clearly stated in the scope of work (SOW) documentation, and color-coded on the solar design drawings shown in the re-roof proposal.

Why doesn’t Tesla re-roof my entire home?

In order to offer the lowest cost option to the homeowner for solar installation, Tesla first proposes re-roofing only the required portion of your roof. Our proposal document also includes an option for a complete re-roof, with the additional sections noted as an out-of-pocket cost to the homeowner.

Can the out-of-pocket expense or whole-home re-roofing costs be rolled into the total system installation cost?

Tesla can only roll in balances associated with re-roofing the solar mounting planes, per current tax code.

Can I use my own roofer, or do I have to use a Tesla roofing contractor?

You can use a contractor of your choosing, although Tesla cannot contribute to the cost. If work is done incorrectly Tesla will not be able to install. Please consult with Tesla to ensure your new roof type is compatible with the solar panel installation.

What kind of shingles will Tesla use to re-roof my home?

If re-roofing the mounting plane only (area of the roof where the solar panels will be installed), Tesla will match the existing roof material. If Tesla is re-roofing your entire home, you can choose the new material with applicable costs.

What kind of warranty comes with my new roof?

The Tesla warranty can be found within the solar agreement. You can learn more on the the warranty support page.

What else is required of me, the customer?

Certain  homeowner obligations must be completed before Tesla can begin any work, such as trimming trees from overhead service conductors, or clearing areas of the residence to achieve proper working clearances for electrical equipment.