Solar Panels FAQs



GENERAL QUESTIONS

What solar products does Tesla offer?
How does solar work?
How does going solar impact my utility bill?
Once I install solar, how do I know how much solar my home generates and uses?

GOING SOLAR

Is my home a good candidate for solar panels?
What happens after I request a custom quote from tesla.com/solarpanels?
How long does it take to go solar?
How do I get permits for solar panels?
How many solar panels do I need to power my house?
How do I decide between solar panels and a Solar Roof?
Are you installing solar panels in my area?
What are the components of a solar power system?

COST AND PAYMENT OPTIONS

How much do solar panels cost?
What payment options are available?
What’s the best payment option for me?
What tax credits and rebates am I eligible for when I go solar?
What happens if I want to sell my home and I have an ongoing solar panel lease?

SOLAR PANELS WITH POWERWALL

Is it better to store my solar energy or sell it back to the utility?
How do solar panels work during a utility outage?
Can I add a Powerwall to my existing solar panel system?




 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What solar products does Tesla offer?
Tesla offers two different solar products: solar panels and Solar Roof. Both produce clean power, integrate seamlessly with Powerwall, and help you control your energy costs.

 

How does solar power work?
Solar panels contain cells that convert light from the sun into usable electricity that you can immediately use in your home. When your home has both solar power and a Tesla Powerwall, you can store your excess energy and use it after the sun sets. In some areas, utilities will credit you for the excess energy your solar panels generate during the day. Whether you’re credited for your excess solar production or you store it in a battery, you can expect lower and more predictable utility costs.

 

How does going solar impact my utility bill?
When you generate your own solar power, you can reduce your electricity bill significantly. Your savings depends on the size of your solar power system and your home’s electricity usage. When your solar power system generates more electricity than your home can immediately use, excess energy flows back to the utility grid. Your local utility may pay you or credit you for this electricity.

 

Once I install solar, how do I know how much solar energy my home generates and uses?
In addition to your solar power equipment, we provide access to an app (available via smartphone, tablet, or desktop) that gives you real-time visibility into your solar production.

 

GOING SOLAR

Is my home a good candidate for solar panels?
If you own a single-family home with a roof that is in good condition and has access to sunlight, then your home is a good candidate for solar panels. While a fully exposed roof is ideal, many homes in cloudy or partially shaded areas can benefit from solar as well.

For those homes that are ready for a new roof or have difficulty finding a place for panels with exposure to sunlight, Solar Roof offers greater flexibility in the placement of solar cells. Learn if Solar Roof is the right solution for you here.

 

What happens after I request a custom quote from tesla.com/solarpanels?
A Tesla expert will reach out to you to confirm your home is right for solar panels. We will then gather additional information about your home to create a custom design and detailed quote. After you confirm the design, our team will come to your home and install your solar power system.

 

How long does it take to go solar?
Since every solar project is customized, the time varies. The typical solar project takes 2-3 months from order to installation.

 

How do I get permits for solar panels?
We are familiar with local and state requirements, and we will take the lead on all permitting before, during, and after solar installation.

 

How many solar panels do I need to power my house?
The answer depends on your household energy usage, your local climate, and the space available on your roof. We will review past utility bills, sunlight patterns, and weather data for your area and create a custom system design for your home.

 

How do I decide between Tesla-installed solar panels and Solar Roof?
We recommend choosing solar panels if you aren’t in need of a new roof. If you need a new roof or prefer the idea of integrating solar into your roof tiles, Solar Roof is a good option.

 

Are you installing solar panels in my area?
We currently install solar panels in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. and plan to expand into additional states soon.

 

What are the components of a solar panels system?
The solar panels are connected photovoltaic (PV) cells that capture sunlight hitting your roof and convert it into electricity. Tesla solar panels have a low-profile design with integrated front skirts and no visible mounting hardware.

The inverter converts the direct current (DC) output of solar panels into alternating current (AC) in order to power your home. The inverter is generally located in your garage or near your main electrical panel.

The Powerwall, though not required for solar panels to power your home, is a rechargeable home battery that stores the excess energy produced by your solar panels This stored energy can be used at any time, including after the sun sets or when there is a grid outage.

Solar panels, the solar inverter and Powerwall all connect to your home’s electrical panel and utility meter. The system will monitor your energy production and usage and collect real-time information you can view in your app.

 

COST AND PAYMENT OPTIONS

How much do solar panels cost?
The answer depends on the number of solar panels you install. When you request a custom quote, our team evaluates your energy usage patterns as well as sunlight and climate data for your region. This information also helps determine the availability of state and federal tax rebates, renewable energy credits, and utility incentives.

The initial cost of going solar also depends on whether you buy or lease solar panels. Buying solar panels is more expensive upfront compared to leasing, but maximizes the long-term financial benefits of going solar. Buying an average-size solar panel system generally costs $10,000 - $25,000 (including installation), before additional savings from rebates and tax incentives. Leasing a solar panel system is $0-down and has fixed monthly payments. Whether you buy or lease, the solar energy you produce will lower your utility bill.

Price and savings vary based on location, system size, government rebates and local utility rates. No security deposit required. A 3kW system starts at $25-$100 per month with an annual increase of 0-2.9% each year for 10-20 years, on approved credit. Tesla is not the lender and only the third-party lender may approve, offer, or make a loan.

 

What payment options are available?
With solar panels, we offer a few options for payment:

Cash Purchase your system outright and own your energy from day one.
Loan Similar to a car loan, you can finance your solar purchase through Tesla and pay in monthly installments. You’ll immediately benefit from tax credits and savings on your utility bill.
Lease With a lease, you’ll make low monthly payments with no money upfront.
 

What’s the best payment option for me?
The best option for paying for solar panels depends on your goals:

  Upfront Payment Monthly Cost Tax Incentives Do I own the system?
Buy Pay for everything upfront None Yes Yes
Loan Pay partial or nothing upfront Predictable Yes Yes
Lease Pay nothing upfront Predictable No No
 

What tax credits and rebates am I eligible for when I go solar?
The Federal investment tax credit (ITC) covers up to 30 percent of the solar power system cost. If you do not expect to owe taxes this year, you can roll over your federal solar tax credit to the following year. The amount of state tax credit or rebate varies by state and will be in included in your custom quote.

 

What happens if I want to sell my home and I have an ongoing solar panel lease?
If you move, we will help transfer your solar power system’s contract to the new owners. Our team takes care of everything while you focus on transitioning into your new home.

 

SOLAR PANELS WITH POWERWALL

Is it better to store my solar energy or sell it back to the utility?
The answer depends on personal preference and the amount your utility pays you for solar energy. Selling energy can help offset the cost of a solar installation, but at night your home will depend on the utility. Storing energy decreases your reliance on the utility and can allow you to go for days without using energy from the utility. Whether you store energy or send it back to the grid, installing solar can decrease your electricity bill.

 

How do solar panels work during a utility outage?
If you have both solar and Powerwall, you can power your home through an outage using the solar energy generated and the energy stored in Powerwall. Your home’s energy will operate as an independent unit, running on solar energy during the day and storing excess energy for later use.

If you don’t have a battery, your solar panels will not work during a utility outage due to grid safety requirements.

 

Can I add a Powerwall to my existing solar panel system?
Yes, Powerwall can be integrated with your existing solar system. Powerwall is compatible with solar inverters from SMA, SolarEdge, Fronius, Enphase micro inverter, Delta and ABB. We continue to explore compatibility with other inverter manufacturers. Visit www.tesla.com/powerwall to get started adding a Powerwall to your existing solar panel system.

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