How Realistic Is Tesla’s “Lowest Price” Solar

Lowest Price Solar
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Via a blog post on June 19th, Tesla announced “the lowest-ever cost to go solar in the United States”. Claiming that it is a third of the cost of the industry average.

According to SEIA residential solar prices were around $2.83/Watt in the US. Whereas Tesla is claiming they are able to provide solar between $1.36/Watt [Large System] to $$1.89/Watt [Small System].

The reasoning provided by Tesla is because their sales & marketing costs have reduced by 64%. Their fixed size system & single click approach to solar have enabled this.

Tesla is killing their solar business and over promising

Solar is not a “one size fits all” type business. As is with anything in the construction/home improvement space every single project is different – which is why it is impossible to quote a single price for all homes.

This results in a few common issues reported by certified Tesla installers we spoke with:

  1. Their quoting tool never considers shading or roof related issues
  2. Doesn’t factor for electrical upgrades
  3. System may be egregiously over-sized resulting in failed permit applications

The common occurrence is that a customer will sign up expecting one price and after engineering is done will receive a price change that is 50% to double the price they originally signed up for. Resulting the rapid loss of market share by Tesla’s solar business. Which is why we have seen the domination in the market by Sunrun. Solar isn’t an easy business to play in. Many companies have tried to provide similar “one-click” tools to drive in low cost leads, but solar is a relationship business not an online e-commerce business.

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