Networking & Cables

Is Tesla Powerwall a Good Investment?

Total costs for Elon Musk’s Tesla Powerwall with solar panels can run between $14K and $23K fully installed. Is it worth it for your clients?

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5 Comments
Posted by automatedhome on October 10, 2017

Hi - thanks for taking a look at the Tesla Powerwall.  Couple of points.

1. You twice refer to 10,000kWh / month as the average home consumption. That can’t be right, I’d guess more like 1,000kWh ?

2. You refer to a “5,000 kWh solar panel array”. Do you mean a 5kW array?

3. Domestic batteries should also be considered to enable home owners to buy electricity at cheap rates (night time) to use at a time when it’s more expensive.

4. Because of 1 & 2 I think your calculations are a bit meaningless. Although the spirit of your piece (ie domestic batteries probably aren’t going to save you any money yet) is correct.

Thanks

Posted by Jason Knott on October 10, 2017

@automated home—Thanks. I had some extra zeros in there. I have corrected.

Posted by pat ultramedia.biz on October 10, 2017

I had SolarCity (another Elon Musk company) give me two different estimates for a 2100 sg ft home in Texas. I pay .09 per kWh. With a Powerwall it would have been 22 years to break even. At the end of twenty years the lease would have ended with old tech on my roof that I would not own and did not include having to replace the Powerwall twice which would increase the payoff to about thirty years if electricity costs remained constant. However maintenance on the system was included throughout the lease period. Also the estimate they gave me did not replace the connection from the electrical grid, no far from it. It only ‘supplemented’ my having to pay for power from the utility company. It also did not include a proper disconnect so if the grid needed service or went down, like in the hurricane in Florida, I could not use my solar panels as a standalone system.
When they said ‘so when would you like us to start? Just sign the online contract and we should get you done in the next five months give or take two months’ I just laughed out loud and said ‘I don’t feel that guilty about existing on this planet’ and ‘does the fact this makes no financial sense mean anything to you in your sales pitch?’ The sales guy said many tell him that this would be helping the planet so they do it anyway.

So selling to emotional, not a reasoning, client is their play. Wow.

Posted by Harald Steindl on October 11, 2017

Indeed it is partly an emotional sell as is EVERYTHING we buy these days.
Or do you really buy the cheapest roof chingles you can find? Or the cheapest of all available chairs or the cheapest house you can find? Dont even let me get started about clothing, food and cars.
It constantly amazes me, that still the majority of people go 100% rational with energy related investments whereas the very same people act very emotional on almost every other purchase.

And btw, NO, I am no Musk fanboy at all.as there are countless better systeme out there; at least over here in Europe..

Posted by Graham on October 12, 2017

Automatedhome is correct regarding figures. They do not make sense either for energy or $ .

Electrical energy is measured in Watthours (Wh) or kWH (kiloWatt hours) which is work. Work is Power over time.

Power is measured in Watts (W) or kW(kiloWatts) or MW (MegaWatts) and is an instant reading.

It’s not hard to differentiate Power and Energy terms. They are distinctive terms thus avoiding confusion when one talks about it. But many people use it in the wrong sense and will not make sense when the numbers are blabbed out.

Anyway, in Australia, the Powerwall 2 will make financial sense because in my case, I pay $0.48/kWh for peak energy between 1pm-8pm. Shoulder rates are at $0.27/kWh and Off peak rates at $0.19/kWh.

Aussies have one of the highest electricity rates in the world. Tesla is right to ship Powerwalls to Aussie markets because there is an immediate financial rationale to do. The payback period can be as short as less than 5 years, shorter if the trend that electricity rates will increase 20% per year.

In the US markets where electricity is cheap, it is very hard to justify the payback period. It really is an environmental decision more than financial. But in Australia, it will be both finanical and environmental that favours the Powerwall purchase.

Some argue that there better systems. Sure, but you will pay more for them. Lithium based chemistry at the moment is the best way to do it and Tesla’s Powerwall has the best value for kWh storage and overall specs. I’ve looked at 4 already - Tesla’s, Sonnen, Enphase and Redflow. Tesla’s pricing in Australia hits the sweetspot with its specs in Australia.

5 Comments
Posted by Graham on October 12, 2017

Automatedhome is correct regarding figures. They do not make sense either for energy or $ .

Electrical energy is measured in Watthours (Wh) or kWH (kiloWatt hours) which is work. Work is Power over time.

Power is measured in Watts (W) or kW(kiloWatts) or MW (MegaWatts) and is an instant reading.

It’s not hard to differentiate Power and Energy terms. They are distinctive terms thus avoiding confusion when one talks about it. But many people use it in the wrong sense and will not make sense when the numbers are blabbed out.

Anyway, in Australia, the Powerwall 2 will make financial sense because in my case, I pay $0.48/kWh for peak energy between 1pm-8pm. Shoulder rates are at $0.27/kWh and Off peak rates at $0.19/kWh.

Aussies have one of the highest electricity rates in the world. Tesla is right to ship Powerwalls to Aussie markets because there is an immediate financial rationale to do. The payback period can be as short as less than 5 years, shorter if the trend that electricity rates will increase 20% per year.

In the US markets where electricity is cheap, it is very hard to justify the payback period. It really is an environmental decision more than financial. But in Australia, it will be both finanical and environmental that favours the Powerwall purchase.

Some argue that there better systems. Sure, but you will pay more for them. Lithium based chemistry at the moment is the best way to do it and Tesla’s Powerwall has the best value for kWh storage and overall specs. I’ve looked at 4 already - Tesla’s, Sonnen, Enphase and Redflow. Tesla’s pricing in Australia hits the sweetspot with its specs in Australia.

Posted by Harald Steindl on October 11, 2017

Indeed it is partly an emotional sell as is EVERYTHING we buy these days.
Or do you really buy the cheapest roof chingles you can find? Or the cheapest of all available chairs or the cheapest house you can find? Dont even let me get started about clothing, food and cars.
It constantly amazes me, that still the majority of people go 100% rational with energy related investments whereas the very same people act very emotional on almost every other purchase.

And btw, NO, I am no Musk fanboy at all.as there are countless better systeme out there; at least over here in Europe..

Posted by pat ultramedia.biz on October 10, 2017

I had SolarCity (another Elon Musk company) give me two different estimates for a 2100 sg ft home in Texas. I pay .09 per kWh. With a Powerwall it would have been 22 years to break even. At the end of twenty years the lease would have ended with old tech on my roof that I would not own and did not include having to replace the Powerwall twice which would increase the payoff to about thirty years if electricity costs remained constant. However maintenance on the system was included throughout the lease period. Also the estimate they gave me did not replace the connection from the electrical grid, no far from it. It only ‘supplemented’ my having to pay for power from the utility company. It also did not include a proper disconnect so if the grid needed service or went down, like in the hurricane in Florida, I could not use my solar panels as a standalone system.
When they said ‘so when would you like us to start? Just sign the online contract and we should get you done in the next five months give or take two months’ I just laughed out loud and said ‘I don’t feel that guilty about existing on this planet’ and ‘does the fact this makes no financial sense mean anything to you in your sales pitch?’ The sales guy said many tell him that this would be helping the planet so they do it anyway.

So selling to emotional, not a reasoning, client is their play. Wow.

Posted by Jason Knott on October 10, 2017

@automated home—Thanks. I had some extra zeros in there. I have corrected.

Posted by automatedhome on October 10, 2017

Hi - thanks for taking a look at the Tesla Powerwall.  Couple of points.

1. You twice refer to 10,000kWh / month as the average home consumption. That can’t be right, I’d guess more like 1,000kWh ?

2. You refer to a “5,000 kWh solar panel array”. Do you mean a 5kW array?

3. Domestic batteries should also be considered to enable home owners to buy electricity at cheap rates (night time) to use at a time when it’s more expensive.

4. Because of 1 & 2 I think your calculations are a bit meaningless. Although the spirit of your piece (ie domestic batteries probably aren’t going to save you any money yet) is correct.

Thanks