Here’s Proof From A Tesla Owner That Switching To Solar Is A Win
Oct 1, 2017  EVANNEX

Tesla Solar Roof – Tuscan Tile
Tesla Model S powered by solar panels at home (Image: Alba Energy)
Getting your home’s power from the sun (Image: Ecowatch)
Tesla Model S powered by sunlight (Image: Florida Solar Design Group)


Electric cars and solar panels are like peanuts and beer: the one increases
your appetite for the other. A survey by CleanTechnica of 2,000 EV drivers
in 28 countries found that 28-40% of respondents had installed home solar

As is the case with electric vehicles, solar panels are a more attractive
purchase in certain regions, where generous local incentives can offset a
large chunk of the up-front cost.

Tesla Model S owner Shiva Singh told Green Car Reports about his very
lucrative experience with solar panels. Shiva owns no less than five
electric cars, including two Model S, and has three 240-volt Level 2
charging stations in his garage. He lives in Fremont, California, home of
Tesla’s assembly plant, and the city with the highest concentration of
electric-car ownership in California (and almost certainly in the US).

He had been thinking about solar for some time, but what really convinced
him to take the plunge was the fact that the city of Fremont now requires
all new homes to have solar panels and EV charging stations. He figured
that, when it came time to sell, solar would make his house more competitive
in the market.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket
Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

Shiva’s local utility, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), offers a time-of-use
plan, which means that electric rates are lower during off-peak hours. Deals
like this, which are available in a growing number of areas around the
country, are tailor-made for EV drivers, who can set their vehicles to
charge during the cheapest rate period (for Shiva, that’s 11 pm to 7 am on
weekdays, when the rate drops to $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, half the maximum

That’s not the only local incentive in solar-friendly Fremont. Several
regions in California offer a program called PACE (Property Assessed Clean
Energy), which allows homeowners to finance renewable energy projects by
attaching the debt to the property and paying it back through their property
tax bills. The interest portion can be taken as an itemized deduction on the
homeowner’s federal tax return.

And of course, taxpayers in any state can take advantage of the 30% federal
tax credit for solar energy systems. Unlike the EV purchase tax credit, the
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit carries over to future years, so you
eventually get the full amount of the credit, no matter how high or low your
tax bill.

Shiva ended up buying a system with an output of 7.26 kW, consisting of 22
330-Watt LG panels, placed on the west and south sides of his roof. The
after-tax cost worked out to $2.45 per Watt. The system covers his family’s
monthly usage of about 1,500 kWh, and even produces a small excess, which
PG&E refunds at the end of each year.

The most critical number for anyone considering solar (or any other
money-saving home improvement) is the payback period – how long it takes for
the monthly savings to equal the up-front cost. Shiva has calculated his at
less than six years.

Shiva’s experience is basically a best-case scenario – not only does he live
in what is probably the most solar-friendly locality in the US, but he has a
large house (5,000 square feet) and high electric usage. Your author, in
sunny but solar-averse Florida, has a much smaller home, and the local
utility offers no time-of-use program. Estimates from several solar
installers have worked out to a payback period more like ten years. The only
way to know if solar is a good deal for you (financially) is to do some

[image]  With solar, you can charge your Tesla to drive on sunshine (Image:

However, Shiva does have some good advice for anyone who’s thinking about
going solar: get estimates from several companies, including local outfits,
not just the national chains. Read the fine print, and be particularly
careful about financing. In general, home improvement companies don’t make
loans themselves – they partner with finance companies, which are expert at
making the deals sound better than they are.

Of course, saving money isn’t the only reason to go solar, any more than
it’s the only reason to drive electric. Elon Musk has had several
opportunities to sell out and retire a multi-millionaire, but that’s not
where his interests lie. The philosophy behind Tesla, SolarCity and SpaceX
has never been about making money – it’s about changing the world. If you’ve
got the money to invest, why not change your little corner of it for the
Tesla Powering Ahead On Projects
100MW/129MWh Battery System On Schedule ... Powerwall 2 Waiting List ...
superchargers can provide the Model S& X EVs with 270km of range with just
30 minutes …

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