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How to Solar: Cheap Tesla Powerwall 2.0 + Quotes Without Sales Calls – Sustainable Homestead Ep 1



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A goal of mine this year is to build a sustainable homestead with solar, a Tesla Powerwall 2.0, and two EVs (Model S and Model 3). I’m just beginning this journey and in this episode share what how I decided on solar as well as a way to get quotes without sharing your personal contact informaion (eg. no sales calls). Enjoy!

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EnergySage has agreed to help our community decide on solar here by answering your questions below. If you use our link above and have any questions you can leave them below and they’ll monitor this video, responding to your questions for a limited time.

Each week I share videos like this breaking down the economics behind Tesla and related industries like Solar, Electric Vehicles, Home Batteries, and Tunnels (I guess?)

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// Sources
Solar to the People
EnergySage
Solar Roof Tiles aren’t New
Can DC power an entire home

// What is Solar Energy? (wikipedia.org)

Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis.[1][2]
It is an important source of renewable energy and its technologies are broadly characterized as either passive solar or active solar depending on how they capture and distribute solar energy or convert it into solar power. Active solar techniques include the use of photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power and solar water heating to harness the energy. Passive solar techniques include orienting a building to the Sun, selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light-dispersing properties, and designing spaces that naturally circulate air.

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48 comments

  1. It's a little funny that you own Tesla cars, you bought a Powerwall2, but you did not even consider getting a quote from Tesla Solar. I find that a little strange.
    I doubt that the company you went with would be competitive with Tesla prices (solarcity), especially since, as a Tesla owner, you can actually refer yourself to get Tesla solar panels.

    Also worth analyzing properly:

    1) Getting solar for Helping the planet vs Economic sense – I think people who live in countries like the USA and China, and are not poor people, should talk less about solar making economic sense, and think more about the fact that their societies generate the bulk of CO2 emissions that put people in other poorer societies at risk.
    Therefore it does not sound very fair that an American would be arguing that solar should make economic sense before they sign up. *If you believe in climate change*, and solar won't _actually make you broke_, then you should get it……especially now that you can OWN your system without paying huge upfront costs.

    I have a neighbour in El Cerrito, CA, who was paying an average of $180/month on electricity, but after getting her solar panels through financing, her payments came t0 $215/month. (for her, $35 extra per month is a small price to pay for the bigger picture) The clincher for her was that PG&E rates would increase over time and her $215/month would end up lower than what her electric bill would be in the next 3 years thereabouts.
    Also, she would eventually finish her payments for her solar system in 10 years. Which means that she pays next to nothing for electricity for the remaining life of those solar panels. (about 20+ more years)
    This is a more mature and responsible way to look at going solar, instead of thinking about what makes economic sense to you right now.

    2) Energy sage is great for keeping your phone number hidden, and protecting you from crazy sales calls. However, consultations are a huge game changer when it comes to getting accurate numbers.
    You simply cannot get the best bids without having a consultant go through your electric bills by themselves and in some cases, doing a site survey.
    Also, I doubt that some of the top solar companies (like Tesla, SunPower, SunRun, PetersenDean etc) would submit their bids on Energysage.
    They likely wouldn't have the time. And these are the companies that ACTUALLY manufacture solar panels in the USA. They do not have to buy their panels from Canada or China, and therefore incure more costs. Tesla for example, has Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo New York, where it can make solar panels in massive scale, and be much more flexible with its prices.

    But apart from that, I look at it this way:
    Say you are planning to buy a house in Calabasas, CA.
    Do you just sit in front of a computer in San Diego, and read through the literature and pictures of the house?
    Or do you get up and go view the house with your buyer's agent?
    Solar is a 35+ year home improvement/investment (regardless of warranties), so you don't want to make your decision barely in front of a computer looking at numbers alone.

    3) Finally, let's look at the fact that the numbers you read up on the screen do not account for many other problems that sometimes may and do occur.

    Is it likely that your solar company will still be in business in 12 years, 8 years, or even 5 years? A lot of people don't think about this before they sign up. And that could be tricky.

    This is a huge question.
    It is the reason why you would probably buy a Toyota Corolla or Ford Focus instead of some car company you never heard about.

    The good news though, is that I can foresee that some of the tinier solar companies will eventually be acquired and swallowed up by the larger ones, as consolidation begins to take place, when the world does away with subsidies for energy in general…….subsidies for fossil fuels and renewable sources ultimately have to go, and all forms of energy have to compete fairly for survival. It is very likely that solar will be the obvious victor in most parts of the world when that time comes.

    Data is great. I am a data guy too. But data cannot tell you everything.
    And as we say in the analytics world: "If you torture the data hard enough, it could confess to anything" 😉

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  2. So there is no link to the California rebate application! It might be nice if you could edit your description to include the rebate application link!

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  3. It’s totally not economical. Could you lay out how much more your paying. You aren’t saving anything on tesla. That’s hilarious

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  4. EnergySage please help bring Solar Power to third world countries like the Philippines. Pretty Please.

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  5. Thank you for your videos. You're helping a lot with the cause for the environment. More videos please. Can you make a video about how Tesla is comparing against it's competitors?

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  6. You can make it yourself, just loook and learn from InpliX .

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  7. why don't you make a video on chemical released (NF3) through solar panel which is highly responsible for greenhouse heat search u will know

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  8. What about the option of buying the parts and just hiring an electric company to do the permitting (a real pain with SDG&E who goes out of their way to make it difficult) and install. Panels typically cost much less than $1/watt. Microinverters (Power One) are around $150 to $200 depending on power. Sun Electronics sells pretty cheap (Google is your friend). And solar panels themselves are not rocket science.
    You're left with misc. rails, conduit, wiring, and disconnects. You still get the tax credit. You can even drive to Phoenix and pick up the system, thus saving shipping.
    I have a SolarCity leased system on the house. Definitely not s smart decision these days with the much lower cost of materials. But when I pulled the trigger, the 200 watt panels they installed were $1100/each. I did the search. Solar panel prices have fallen precipitously in the last 12 years. Buying outright is the only sensible answer.

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  9. one other reason is when the panels go to one inverter all the panel are ganged. when in that configuration, if one panel has less output, all the panels are limited to the weakest output.

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  10. Store != Produce

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  11. You might want to put the link in your comments: Go to Teslanomics.co/energysage

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  12. A kWh is energy over time (100 watt load in use for 10 hours is = 1kWh)
    A kW is 1000 watts.
    The reason the battery is rated in kWh is because it's a measure of how much the pack can discharge over time. With a 60kWh pack if you could pull 60kW in one hour without damaging the pack you'd have a dead battery. If you pulled 120 kW it would be dead in 30 minutes.

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  13. There's 1 optimizer per panel just like the micro inverters. The panels feed the optimizers, the optimizers feed the main inverter.

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  14. Is this works in Puerto Rico ?

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  15. Ben, thanks for your great video. I never heard of SGIP until I saw this video. After watching you video I immediately logged on to EnergySage and eventually settled on a 4 kw system with the Power Wall 2 from Solare. We were just able to submit an application on the opening day, which is good because the funds allocated to SDG&E users sold out immediately. I just received an email informing me that I was one of the lucky ones selected (via a lottery) for a Step 1 (full) rebate.
    Thanks again!

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  16. Keep in mind that Ben chose is not a "cheap" price by any means. In fact, he overpaid for his system compared to many better vendors out there. $5.92 a watt is super expensive, even for San Diego.

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  17. Make sure to post and let us know if you win the SGIP lottery Ben. I also checked on ordering a PowerWall 2 from Solare Energy. Not sure why there's so much of a difference, but my quote from them was $10500 for a PowerWall 2 installed with the subpanel and permits et al.

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  18. +Ben Sullins would there be any other benefits in purchasing the Powerwall without solar. The only examples, I can think of would be if you were on a Time Of Use plan (charge the battery during off peak and use it during on peak) and of course use it as a back-up system.

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  19. This is really useful. Thanks for posting.

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  20. omg

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  21. good video, thank you

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  22. Thanks for it! I needed to have an idea about how much we can reduce in the daily costs of use an EV. Then do a companion video comparing the energy consumption statistics of various brands against the perspective your home produces of energy, for a statistical comparison. What about you then make a video about the possible battery replacement by Solid State? The performance of these multiplies the performance of devices that use it, so I hope you can get in touch with some automotive engineer to give you the prospects. That's how I say: EV technology is only just beginning, and it's already overturning many of the barriers erected by fuel-producing companies stagnated at their limits of evolution.

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  23. Are you going to apply for the SGIP rebate once the application process opens for 2017? That’s almost a rhetorical question because I already know you will be. I looked into it just now, the paperwork looks a little daunting, but I think it would be worth going through the process if it meant getting a Tesla Powerwall at a steeply discounted price.

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  24. Hey, great video, I am in the process of buying a house, but the website asks for a postcode, is that US only or Canada too, because it says 5-digit zip code required?! #EnergySage

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  25. Here in the UK WIND ENERGY now makes more and cheaper energy than COAL.

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  26. Today is March 6th 2017 I live in Manchester UK and the north part of Manchester my location on the globe is much further North than say the North East US cities.
    I have 8 x JA SOLAR 315 watt panels with built in SOLAR EDGE optimising tech on each panel and a SOLAR EDGE inverter with on-line monitoring. After a dark & miserable Winter last week things starting looking up again. Today I made 8.9kWh's of energy. I wish I could afford a POWER WALL because I would love to be able to store and time shift good days like that. Bottom line from March 1st to Oct 1st I can expect many great days like that and I am pretty far North in terms of longitude and latitude on the globe. Any place south of me has no excuse. Also while I have a South facing rooftop my installer guy lives in an East/West facing home and has an East/West system and that works too.

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  27. where is the total price and the monthly savings and how does that translate into break even terms? Other shows talk about 6-8 years to pay off system often with NO monthly electric bills– But that is Australia not USA so please let us no- thanks in advance

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  28. @EnergySage work at comparing installers and utility rates in Canada?

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  29. Need more specifics on why the solar shingles aren't a good idea . You touched on it and then dropped it.

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  30. Hello Ben. What inverters did you end up getting? I am in socal and getting a quote from Solare right now as well, and the quote right now is for optimizers. I am trying to decide if I should look into micros from them. Also did you get the 320W LG panels? Thanks for the information!

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  31. great to see that… I made it too. Using inplix handbooks 🙂

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  32. Are you getting N-type monocrystalline IBC (Interdigitated Back Contact) cell technology, with your new panels?

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  33. Please do a program on cost's around different markets. Why is your cost 5-6 times the cost in Australia, someone is making a fortune out of you guys. As I have said earlier we are at $ 4,000- $6,000 AUD for the same size system, so $3,082-$ 4,620. US Panel prices are at an all time low. Also the Tesla powerwall has an inverter

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  34. One thing that was important to me on the inverter front was being able to run off solar during a power outage. The micro-inverters did allow for that. The inverter I bought does. I go out to the garage plug in an extension cord to an outlet attached to my inverter and flip a switch and I get 50% of my solar as AC. It's enough to run my computers, routers etc. so I can keep working during an outage as long as it's sunny. This has allowed me to not fire up the generator several times already.

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  35. That was good information. I tried out Energy Sage and got 4 quotes-so far. Two of the quotes had apparent discrepancies.
    The quotes show the wattage per panel, but don't specify if that is peak or average power. Also when I checked the manufacturers specs, the manufacturers do not advertise any panels with as high a capacity as is listed in the corresponding quotes (on 2 of the 4 quotes). One manufacturer listed average power and the other listed peak power but neither spec was as high a wattage/panel as was listed in the corresponding quotes.
    And the discrepancies were substantial (265W Max power/panel manufacturers spec vs 300W/panel in one quote). 11.7% off.
    And you also need to consider that the panels degrade over time so you will need more capacity in the panels later on to meet the same capacity that you need today, though that might be balanced out if you switch to more efficient devices (lights, appliances, etc) in the future.
    By the way why did you blur out the names of the other companies that supplied quotes to you?
    Did you find any similar discrepancies in the quotes that you received?

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  36. Ben, I freakin love your channel. I have a question about your mild disqualification of the tesla roofs: with the route you're going, you still have to have a roof to put the panels on, would you think there'd be a strong advantage to pay for a necessary item(a roof) that also produces energy? I'd love to see a video if you wanted to break this one down

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  37. another reason for micro inverters is if one panel goes into a shadow, it doesn't affect the rest.

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  38. Hey Martin from New Zealand here – yep looking at solar here.

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  39. Should you look for a good source of actual solar performance in your area, I can recommend pvoutput.org.
    I used it in the past to scale an off-grid sensor system, and it appears quite accurate.

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  40. Thanks for show EnergySage. It's a great way to find the best price on PV. Wanted the add two comments 1) your comment related to micro inverters and optimizers for off-grid uses was incorrect. An optimizer would be preferred as the DC could charger the battery directly. Micro inverters would charge the DC from the panel to AC (2% loss) then the battery inverter would switch it back to DC. (Another 2% loss) 2) you should mention that battery storage consumes electricity. With the extreme TOU pricing you mentioned this should not be a big deal but expect up to a 10% loss.

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  41. I am glad you mentioned this may not work everywhere, solar costs, local electricity costs but most important annual sunshine changes everything. What isnt being shown as far as I can see is the cost of money….the potential lost opportunity of say the same $20,000 invested, the payback time shown as less than 10 years from these quotes, it works where your electricity costs are high, not where its low and the sun doesnt' shine like in California. Yet people spendmillions with no chance of a payback ever, and the cradle to grave total energy in and out makes solar more often something that actually increases the carbon footprint of the world…

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  42. it's also key to have a few years of usage and what anticipated future EVs you might get.

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  43. I was jumping around, it is key to look at Time of Use (TOU) plan first. Charge late at night when energy costs the least. TOU also beneficial when charging. make more $$$ at peak. if going PowerWall then that also helps distribute the ebbs and flows with Net Metering

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  44. Love you Ben, please do vid on every renewable energy and how viable each one is! Solar, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, tidal, biomass, atmospheric…

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  45. The Video was excellent, & valuable information!

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  46. The SGIP program is not available in San Diego obviously as SDGE is a horrible power company!

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  47. Does this website give prices from SolarCity/tesla?

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  48. 1:30 you're welcome

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