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Tech writer reviews Tesla’s Powerwall home battery

Tech writer reviews Tesla’s Powerwall home battery

(3:59) Elon Musk recently unveiled the Powerwall home battery system. Tech writer Brent Rose discusses the product.

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (934 days ago)

"Peak energy consumption happens at night when there's no potential for solar energy." False. A little research shows the most energy is consumed between 8am and 6pm. The usage consistently goes down from 6pm until about 5am when it slowly rises again. LINK

"All that energy we generate during the day essentially goes to waste." False. Most electric companies have systems that allow you to put any excessive energy produced back on the grid and get credit for it. Some use one meter for net usage and other systems use two meters where they have a price for what you use from the grid and a lower rate for what you sell back.

This guy did some better math than Elon Musk. 8.5 years payback for the battery pack is more reasonible of a figure if you don't get any money back from your electric company (unrealistic in most cases). Note that this still does not count the price of the solar panels, the maintenance required, and other items such as the inverters and installation.

One thing I need to take into consideration is that I will need to replace shingles on my roof every 20 years or so. When that happens, I need to hire a company to remove the panels and reinstall them when the new shingles are replaced. The current price to do that from the largest solar installation company in my area is $3,000. If you want your solar panels insurred, you need to pay a premium on your home owners insurance policy.

Still, even after all these costs, I'm still interested in going solar but all the companies are lying to me about there being a 30% tax credit. That tax credit makes the payback sooner and then more practical. According to an IRS agent, that tax credit expired in 2014 but all the solar companies claim it's still available until 2016. All the IRS forms for the tax credit mentions it expires in 2014. The Dsire (not an official government site) website which lists tax benefits for installing solar also shows 2016 but doesn't have the IRS as it's reference, instead it uses the energy star website for reference.

My installation company promises me that the tax credit is there and no customers have ever had a problem with their tax credit. What they don't realize is those customers will not know about the problem until they file their taxes in April of 2016.

The IRS agent confirmed that the bill actually expired December 2013 and congress extended it to December 2014 on December 22, 2014 so that was a last minute modification and it was retroactive to anyone that had their solar installed at any time in 2014. Congress has not yet signed an extention into law for 2015 and it is unknown if they will do that until the very last moment (probably). This tax credit is a deal breaker if it doesn't exist.

ReplyVote up (159)down (156)
Original comment

"Peak energy consumption happens at night when there's no potential for solar energy." False. A little research shows the most energy is consumed between 8am and 6pm. The usage consistently goes down from 6pm until about 5am when it slowly rises again. LINK

"All that energy we generate during the day essentially goes to waste." False. Most electric companies have systems that allow you to put any excessive energy produced back on the grid and get credit for it. Some use one meter for net usage and other systems use two meters where they have a price for what you use from the grid and a lower rate for what you sell back.

This guy did some better math than Elon Musk. 8.5 years payback for the battery pack is more reasonible of a figure if you don't get any money back from your electric company (unrealistic in most cases). Note that this still does not count the price of the solar panels, the maintenance required, and other items such as the inverters and installation.

One thing I need to take into consideration is that I will need to replace shingles on my roof every 20 years or so. When that happens, I need to hire a company to remove the panels and reinstall them when the new shingles are replaced. The current price to do that from the largest solar installation company in my area is $3,000. If you want your solar panels insurred, you need to pay a premium on your home owners insurance policy.

Still, even after all these costs, I'm still interested in going solar but all the companies are lying to me about there being a 30% tax credit. That tax credit makes the payback sooner and then more practical. According to an IRS agent, that tax credit expired in 2014 but all the solar companies claim it's still available until 2016. All the IRS forms for the tax credit mentions it expires in 2014. The Dsire (not an official government site) website which lists tax benefits for installing solar also shows 2016 but doesn't have the IRS as it's reference, instead it uses the energy star website for reference.

My installation company promises me that the tax credit is there and no customers have ever had a problem with their tax credit. What they don't realize is those customers will not know about the problem until they file their taxes in April of 2016.

The IRS agent confirmed that the bill actually expired December 2013 and congress extended it to December 2014 on December 22, 2014 so that was a last minute modification and it was retroactive to anyone that had their solar installed at any time in 2014. Congress has not yet signed an extention into law for 2015 and it is unknown if they will do that until the very last moment (probably). This tax credit is a deal breaker if it doesn't exist.

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Ace7 Ace7 (934 days ago)

Not false: His peak energy reference was for a typical house. Your link showed a graph representing an entire grid which includes industry.

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Not false: His peak energy reference was for a typical house. Your link showed a graph representing an entire grid which includes industry.

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WalterEgo WalterEgo (934 days ago)

You said, "Still, even after all these costs, I'm still interested in going solar..."

Why? It can't be for environmental reasons as you don't believe in AGW.

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You said, "Still, even after all these costs, I'm still interested in going solar..."

Why? It can't be for environmental reasons as you don't believe in AGW.

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (934 days ago)

Because it can ultimately save me money. If I can get 30% back from taxes, I will break even in 12 years and anything I produce after that is pure profit. My electric company will even mail checks out to me if I have a net credt at the end of the year so this could actually earn me money.

The problem is that I don't have much life left so I don't want to invest in something with a 20 year payback or my personal benefit may not be worth it.

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Original comment

Because it can ultimately save me money. If I can get 30% back from taxes, I will break even in 12 years and anything I produce after that is pure profit. My electric company will even mail checks out to me if I have a net credt at the end of the year so this could actually earn me money.

The problem is that I don't have much life left so I don't want to invest in something with a 20 year payback or my personal benefit may not be worth it.

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Guest: (933 days ago)

we already know you're a troll codger cengfu*k, and a retarded goat

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we already know you're a troll codger cengfu*k, and a retarded goat

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ReligiousNut ReligiousNut (933 days ago)
Latest comment:

You should seek professional help. If you cannot afford a psychiatrist, go to a church and confess your sins and it might help you.

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Latest comment:

You should seek professional help. If you cannot afford a psychiatrist, go to a church and confess your sins and it might help you.

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Guest: (934 days ago)

So, in short, you won't be buying a Power Wall or solar panels then. Just say so and stop being a Cengland0 about it.

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So, in short, you won't be buying a Power Wall or solar panels then. Just say so and stop being a Cengland0 about it.

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guest123456789 guest123456789 (934 days ago)

I will not be buying the power wall but I'm still trying to buy a 8.1KW solar array. I have made the installation company prove to me that their advertisement is correct about the tax credit and they have been unable to do so. That is the only step left before I invest in solar.

The power wall, on the other hand, is completely worthless in my situation. I would be paying thousands for absolutely no benefit.

Here's a little trivia for you. Did you know if the power from the grid goes out that you are not allowed to use your solar power to electrify your house? It's a safety issue because technicians may be working on the power lines and you could be putting electricity on the grid and could electrocute a technician. The systems are designed to completely disconnect the array if the grid power is lost. At least this is the way it is installed in my geographic area and your country may have different regulations.

ReplyVote up (173)down (161)
Original comment

I will not be buying the power wall but I'm still trying to buy a 8.1KW solar array. I have made the installation company prove to me that their advertisement is correct about the tax credit and they have been unable to do so. That is the only step left before I invest in solar.

The power wall, on the other hand, is completely worthless in my situation. I would be paying thousands for absolutely no benefit.

Here's a little trivia for you. Did you know if the power from the grid goes out that you are not allowed to use your solar power to electrify your house? It's a safety issue because technicians may be working on the power lines and you could be putting electricity on the grid and could electrocute a technician. The systems are designed to completely disconnect the array if the grid power is lost. At least this is the way it is installed in my geographic area and your country may have different regulations.

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