Tesla Solar Panels Review: Costs, Financing, & Reviews (2022)

By Britt Olizarowicz

Tesla Solar Panels came to the market as no surprise to most fans of the Tesla brand. If you are a fan of renewable energy and sustainability, you likely know all about Tesla. The solar panel system and powerwall battery that Tesla offers undoubtedly stands out as something unique on the market. This company makes ordering solar panels simple, straightforward, and quite affordable. In our Tesla Solar panels review, we will help you understand all aspects of this solar installation and whether or not it’s a good fit for your home.

Our Tesla Solar Panels Review

Tesla has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it is still not accredited. Sometimes companies choose not to go for the BBB accreditation, and that seems like it may be the case for Tesla energy products. Tesla solar panel earned a 4.3/5 rating in our review as they made this product incredibly easy to work with.

So many solar companies require you to have a visit with a sales representative before you can get a quote on a solar system or solar panel installation. With the Tesla solar system, you simply go to the website, put in your address and your electric bill, and you get an instant quote.

The Tesla solar panels mixed with the Tesla Powerwall form a great energy storage option. If you have been looking for ways to get your electric bill down, this will certainly do it.

Tesla Solar Panels Company Profile

Tesla was started by Elon Musk 17 years ago. It is a publically traded company that is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. Still, there are locations throughout the world where they work on its products, from cars to home energy solutions for homeowners.

Tesla Solar Panels Summary
Company name Tesla Solar Panels
Year founded 2003
Headquarters Palo Alto, CA
Services Solar Energy Products, Vehicles
Certifications
# of Employees 100,000
BBB rating: A+
Our Rating: 4.3/5
Average Cost: $15,000

Pros & Cons of Tesla Solar Panels

Pros Cons
Predesigned systems for easy purchasing Locations in 50 states
Friendly customer service Long wait times for installation
Car and home solutions that can work together
Fair overall pricing, help with incentives and rebates

Solar Services & Cost

One of the first things that come to mind with some homeowners is that Tesla panels will be expensive. Tesla has sort of a high-end look to almost everything they do, and the solar services and costs can scare some people away. However, we were conducting our solar reviews; we found that the Tesla products are no more expensive than many of the others on the market.

One of the things to remember here is that the size of your home and current energy needs will significantly play into your total out-of-pocket expense. The larger the home you have, the more you use energy, and the more electric vehicles you have, the higher your Tesla solar installation will be.

With the Tesla solar panels, you also get a Tesla Powerwall Backup. This will store extra energy so that during a power outage, you still have backup power to control the home. Think of this almost as having a home generator installed at the same time as your roof system.

Tesla Solar Roof

The Tesla Solar Roof is a completely new roof that has solar shingles. Instead of putting solar panels on the roof, you would get a new roof with the panels built into the shingles. This is the highest price point from Tesla for a solar energy package for a home.

Tesla Solar Panels

Tesla Solar panels are sold in 12, 24, 36, and 48-panel packages. Depending on the size of your home, you will be able to choose the low-profile package that fits your energy needs and your budget.

Tesla Powerwall

The Tesla Powerwall allows you to save excess energy for when you need it the most. This will allow for much less reliance on the utility company and can help ensure that you are truly living that off-grid life you are looking for. The only downside here is that the Tesla Powerwall is not available for purchase outside of the Tesla solar panels; instead, they work together and are sold together.

How Much Does Tesla Solar Panels Cost?

One of the best features of the Tesla solar panels is that you can get a very easy quote for the approximate price of the system directly from the website. Of course, if you want to talk to Tesla’s customer service team, they are also available to walk you through the process and get your initial quote.

We wanted to give you a better idea of how much a solar panel installation from Tesla would cost you, so we got a quote for a home in Savannah, GA, with an average electric bill of $200 per month. When determining the average, we looked at peak energy needs in the summer and balanced that out with low energy needs in the winter months, as the Savannah winter is quite mild.

Tesla determined, based on our energy needs, that a 14.40 kWh panel system was necessary. This panel system has a starting price of $28,941. However, there is also the need for the Tesla Powerwall, which is an additional $11,500.

The total price of the system came in at $40,441. However, one of the unique things about the Tesla calculation is that it will also help you determine how much you can save based on the federal tax incentive. The total savings for our system was $12,132, bringing the total cash price to $28,309.

In addition to the cash price, there was also an option for a loan. The loan required $4,044 down and a 120-month loan term. The current percentage on this loan was 5.4% from Tesla. This loan can be customized based on your preferences. Many homeowners choose the loan as they use their energy savings to offset the electric bill and pay their solar loan with that money.

Warranty

All great solar energy companies understand the importance of a warranty on the equipment and the installation. Since these renewable energy solutions are so expensive, this warranty is extremely important to consider. Most solar providers offer a standard 25-year warranty on solar panels. These panels are expected to hold up in extreme cold and warm conditions, and they can take a beating with the weather in some areas.

The Tesla Solar Panels warranty is a bit different than others on the market, and this has a lot to do with the Tesla app. The Tesla app is a way that you and Tesla can monitor the effectiveness of any of your Tesla products. You will find that you have easy access to all of your stats and information about your home battery and solar panels and how they are working.

Tesla guarantees that you will have a 25-year warranty on the solar panels as long as they are still outputting 80% of what they are intended to. Therefore if your system starts falling below 80% efficiency, then you can expect the warranty to kick in. However, at the end of 25 years, if your system is at 82%, there is nothing the warranty will do.

Tesla also offers a 10-year comprehensive warranty to ensure that your roof is not leaking or that any of the other external parts of the solar roof system are still functioning as they should. For solar roof tiles, if you choose that option, you can expect a 25-year warranty.

Financing Plans & Options

The financing rates from Tesla are a little higher than they are from other solar panel companies. However, you don’t need to finance your system with Tesla. There are some local incentives for homeowners, depending on the state they are in, that will allow for financing through other providers.

As we mentioned with our example pricing, the rate on the Tesla loans for solar panels is currently at 5.9%, and the loan term was 120 months. This is an excellent option for those with some money to put down but don’t want to spend it all on the cost of a system upfront.

Some solar panel providers like Sunrun and Sunpower will allow you to lease your solar products, making them even more affordable when it comes to upfront costs. In addition, there are some companies that will allow for a very low downpayment on the solar power system. Overall the pricing and purchase agreement for the Tesla solar panels is quite fair, but you must ensure the financing, and total pricing is cost-effective for your needs.

Specials or Incentives Offered

There are no special incentives besides Tesla’s warranty and the solar options they offer. One of the things that does help throughout this sales and installation process is using the transparent pricing from Tesla to compare all of your options. Some companies require you to have a consultation before you can decide if the product is right for you.

With Tesla, that won’t be a concern; you can simply shop on their webpage and then make a decision based on the square feet of your home and the energy needs that you have for your solar batteries.

Keep in mind that Tesla is not just a solar installation company. They make all of these panels, and they also make electric vehicles. For those that have an electric vehicle, if there is a power outage, you could be left without a car. However, with the Tesla Powerwall, you have a backup system in place that can help save a tremendous amount of money.

Net metering is an option in most states, and depending on your system size, it can help to offset the costs of your entire system. As always, the federal tax credit is also an option for Tesla customers, which can save thousands of dollars.

Keep in mind that the federal incentive is set to end at the end of 2023, and it could impact the solar industry and total pricing.

In-House or Contracted Installations

As you have likely heard, Tesla is a large company with a significant number of employees. These employees range from customer service representatives to a crew of installers that can help you with your home solar installation.

When talking with Tesla about solar installations, they will tell you that it will be a Tesla crew coming to your home to install your solar panels. Of course, ensuring your solar inverter and panels are properly installed is the most important factor. However, it’s also important to keep your roof from experiencing any damage.

Tesla is cautious about who they send to your home for an installation, and you can rest assured that the installations are going to be smooth and rather quick. Most customer reviews regarding installations were very positive, and the crews were neat, polite, and efficient.

What Solar Panels Does Tesla Solar Panels Use?

Many companies that simply install solar panels will partner with brands like LG or Panasonic to use their specific options on the roof of homes around the country. However, Tesla creates their own 425-watt panels that they use in specific grid patterns on customers’ homes.

Solar panels from Tesla are very sleek looking, and the visible grid is less obvious than it is with other providers. These panels weigh 47.4 pounds, and they have a black anodized aluminum frame. Each of the panels is 82.4” x 40.9” x 1.57” (including frame).

The operating temperature of a Tesla solar panel is between -40°F to +185°F. This ensures that energy usage will not be an issue regardless of your location. From New York to Alaska to Florida, Tesla solar panels are built to last.

Partnerships

Tesla is a company that many other companies want to partner with. With so many great technologies coming from the Tesla brand, it’s hard to complain about the performance and overall functionality of this provider. On the Tesla website, companies can apply to partner with Tesla.

One of the more interesting partnerships is the Sunrun and Tesla partnership. Sunrun is another solar power supplier and installer, and they have created a relationship with Tesla where they can install the Tesla Powerwall with their Sunrun system.

As we mentioned, the Tesla Powerwall cannot be purchased on its own, so this is a unique option to get a Tesla product without going directly through the Tesla company.

Service Area & Availability

One of the things that help Tesla stand out is the availability across the entire United States. There are options for Tesla across 50 different states. However, it is worth mentioning that within each state, there are some pockets where Tesla solar installation is not offered. You will be able to check this on the Tesla website.

If Tesla service and installation are not currently available in your area, you can submit your information, and they will let you know when it does become available.

Solar system on house rooftop

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Tesla Solar Panels Reviews From Actual Customers

Most of the reviews that we read about Tesla Solar panels were quite positive. The only negatives we came across were some issues with wait times. As you may know, there are some people that are very brand loyal to Tesla. After they have invested in the cars and seen the quality of the product, they have become more interested in the Tesla solar panels, creating a high demand. In addition, the federal incentive is set to expire, and many people are trying to take advantage of this while they can. The more negative reviews dealt with wait times.

“A neighbor referred me to this firm as I had no idea where to start. Being retired, I was concerned about saving money in the now. The system that was built for me was able to save me 50% on my monthly electricity costs. Every dollar counts at my age, so I am more than happy to accept those savings.”- Amirit R

“My experience with Tesla Solar is that they were the easiest, most honest Solar company I had the pleasure of doing business with. After a simple phone call and a $100 deposit, we swapped paperwork over the phone. I bought an 8,000-watt system and 2 Powerwall+ batteries. I paid $33,300, which came to $25,000 after my tax credit. Took 2 months for installation. I live in Florida, and for 6 months, from October through March, my $130 bill was only about $30 each month. April and May, I only pay the $10 service fee that you have to pay each month. The best part is I’ve already sent about half a megawatt back to the grid and have used zero from the grid the last 2 months. Let’s say it’s far exceeded my expectations. Simplicity for buying A+ Energy production A++ Keep in mind without the power wall or battery storage, you can’t run your solar system. Because if your electric company’s grid goes down, your solar panels would back feed the grid and electrocute the workers trying to fix it. I’m happy with Tesla, and I’m pretty sure they’ll be around if there’s a problem with the warranty. Also, keep in mind smaller companies go out of business and open up under a new name, and your warranty is useless.”- Patrick D

“I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had been doing my due diligence on solar companies here in Southern Nevada. I had been courted by a well-known company and sought another company’s information on my own accord. My best friend recently discovered yet another solar company here in Las Vegas. For me, that was a third business, data that I could compare with the first 2 I had been considering. This third organization, TESLA ENERGY SOLAR, had the statistics and details for me to negotiate the deal ultimately. Once I decided, the professional workmanship and wonderful customer service have been second to none. The install team really takes pride in their craft, and communication has been the first rate. I wholly recommend Tesla Energy Solar.”- AH

Bottom Line: Is Tesla Solar Panels a Good Company?

Tesla Solar Panels has a very strong reputation. Whether they got this reputation through their car or solar panel business doesn’t matter. They stand behind their products, are transparent about pricing and financing, and offer a decent warranty. Keep in mind that the Tesla app also makes the ease of maintaining and using these products considerably better than other companies. Most customers were very happy with their Tesla solar panels, and even though there were some complaints about wait times, most are pretty happy with their system.

Tesla Solar Panels FAQs

How long have Tesla Solar Panels been in business?

Tesla Solar Panels has been in business since 2005. The company has an A+ rating with the BBB, but it is not accredited.

Where is the Tesla Solar Panels headquarters?

Tesla Solar Panels is located in California, but there are locations throughout the country where they build, service, and install solar panels.

What inverter do Tesla Solar Panels use?

Tesla Solar Panels used Delta and Solar Edge inverters in the past; now, they use their own.

Who owns Tesla Solar Panels?

Elon Musk owns Tesla.

Will Tesla Solar Panels design my solar panel system?

Tesla makes the installation and setup of your solar panels incredibly easy. Simply go to their website and put your information about your home’s location and the amount of electricity you need. They will help you find the system that will cover all or part of your electrical needs and ensure you get all the necessary incentives on that purchase.

House Method’s Solar Companies Rating Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each solar energy company/service according to our methodology.

Our research team dug deep into the fine print of contracts, combed through more than one hundred customer reviews, and thoroughly investigated all of each solar energy company’s services, costs, and products. We’ve done the homework for you by researching nearly all of the solar energy companies on the market so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home.

We developed a formula to objectively determine the best solar energy companies and give each a score out of 100 based on the following criteria:

  • Plan Options (30): Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each solar energy company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
  • Services offered (20): How many services are offered in each plan? We looked at whether the company manufactures its own solar panels, whether it contracts out installation, and what additional products each company offers.
  • Trust (10): What do customers say after their solar panels are installed? Does this company offer a guarantee? We considered how satisfied customers are post-service if the company does what it says it will, BBB accreditation, and service guarantees.
  • Prices (10): How reasonable are the costs of the plan or service in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors that offer the same solar energy services.
  • Unique perks (10): Does the company offer discounts or special services such as financial incentives, rebates, or a useful mobile app? We looked for extras each company offers that set them apart from the competition.
  • Customer Service (10): How is the customer experience when contacting the company? We considered the speed of response, weekend/holiday availability, and ease of communication through phone calls, email, and online chat functions.
  • Nationwide availability (10): How many states does the company offer its services? Companies that operate nationally and in all zip codes are favored over those with limited availability.

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