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Looks like my experience is the same as most. I would have given zero stars if it was an option. DO NOT BUY A HOME WITH AN EXISTING LEASE OR HAVE THEM INSTALLED ON YOUR HOME FOR ANY REASON!!!! I moved into a home with an existing solar panel lease. I was assured everything was working and that I would have 24/7 web access to monitor my production. When I moved in I immediately found out that was false. The system was not working and there was no access to the system at all. I also learned they had not communicated with my system for two years - so there was no way they could have known if it worked. I spent close to 10 hours on the phone being passed around from department to department and each person told me it wasn't their problem and there's nothing I can do. It took them 9 months to order and ship the hardware that enables the web access monitoring - 4 months to simply order it.
I had to make 4 different appointments to get the system fixed. They were no-shows for two of them and they didn't even tell me they didn't make it. I learned that the system generated an average of 200 kwh per month during the 2 years before I moved in. That's over 80% less than promised. When I asked to speak with supervisors I was told "Ain't gonna happen" or that they would call me back - which never happened. I was told I am not guaranteed any minimum energy regardless of what my contract says. I was told it doesn't matter what the electric company claims on how much energy was created so the fact it isn't as much as it's supposed to be is irrelevant. They voided the performance promise during the time my system wasn't working. It's been 14 months now and my issues are unresolved. I did find contact info to the board of directors here: https://ir.tesla.com/corporate-governance/contact-the-board
I wrote them and have not heard back. There is also a forum on their website. I have requested access so I can post threads but I it has not been granted - it probably never will. There is also a department named "Executive Resolution" which I didn't learn until after 10 months of complaining. It wasn't because I had issues. They contacted me because I refused to pay. So next time ask for them. Maybe if everyone on here did it would make a difference? The level of incompetence and unethical behavior is beyond belief.
We were harassed into buying these solar panels 5 years ago and it does not save you on electricity. The solar amounts have gone up and up since we started it. We are calling several government places to find out what to do. SolarCity did not even tell us that they were leaving and all of a sudden Tesla is now who contacts us. We cannot find out any information now like we used to since Tesla took over. We are very disappointed with all of this solar stuff.
I am leasing their panels. SolarCity is the worst. Don't use them. I was told by the sales rep (who has since disappeared) that my monthly fee would be $85 if I paid direct with a 7% discount. Well that wasn't true. My Solar City bill keeps going up each month. I was told by someone from Solar City that I pay based on how much electricity I make. Didn't buy that explanation. Keep in mind that solar energy companies are not a public utility and are not regulated. So they can charge whatever they want and increase prices each month.
Right now through the summer I haven't paid anything to my power company. But I am paying Solar City what I would've been paying to my power company. This is not a saving of any type. I should have listened to my gut and just not done it. I have written to my Congressman. Don't really expect much action. Next step is to go to the local media. I was recently told that Solar City is looking for a new buyer.
Good day. I have an IMEON inverter that started, after 2 years of normal operation, showing a red light labeled “error” all the time thus going to the grid to get energy. The manufacturer says that there are leakages. But when I allow the inverter to feed-in the grid there are no more errors showing up. Any hint?
After two years Tesla decides to send me to collections for the solar panels that they installed. When the SolarCity rep came to speak with my dad they said that the panels would be free and they would just have to pay for the electricity. I did not agree to anything. They've used the social security and have a "signed contract" with a signature that is not mine. Also, the contract is signed on a Spanish version. I speak English and have trouble translating Spanish.
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I did not want to write a bad review for anyone ever, but since I have personally had to correct an uncountable number of SolarCity hack installs I felt compelled to get the word out. I am an Electrical Contractor in Sacramento, and I DO NOT do solar installs. I don't know where SolarCity finds their installers, but I can promise you, I have not seen one install that was done correctly. Not only is the workmanship bad, but the installers usually create half a dozen hazards with the original wiring that were not there before, which is ultimately is the reason I get called out to see what the issue is.
Smoke, Fire, Shock, these installers are not real Electricians. To be fair, I am sure there are a few good men out there doing things right; But when you hire a company who has a sales team that prides themselves on "Murdering Souls" with their sales tactics, you get what you pay for. An expensive lesson on how to just say NO. If anything I feel sorry for the installers, as I am sure they are all underpaid. 1099 contractors who have Mr. Bottom line cracking the whip to get as many hacked systems in as possible.
If you thought an electrical permit will save you, think again. The inspectors don't inspect anything here in Northern California. They just pass by your house and call it a PASS. A pass releases SolarCity from liability if your house burns down. As others have said here. IF you hire SolarCity, you better sure have your own independent Electrical inspector to pass the job before the City does. Or else good luck to you. Solar City: Did you know that the sun is a ball of fire? The name fits perfectly.
So after a lot of discussion on our massive energy bill, my husband and I decided to put some money into solar, arguing that once the loan is paid our energy costs will be next to nothing. Our rep, a nice guy, gave us this pitch about how when you buy solar the government gives you back $11,000 on your taxes as a solar energy credit. If this is put into the solar loan, our payment is only X amount and the loan only lasts 20 years. It sounded good. We went for it, fully intending to put all of that money into our solar loan. They worked it into the paperwork like there was no doubt that we'd be refunded that amount.
Joke was on us. The government won't refund you a solar credit more than your tax return amount. Our actual tax return was only 3k, so we only got a 3k solar credit, nowhere near the 11,000 that the loan required be put down within the first 18 months. The loan amortized and we were, of course, $8k short of the lump sum they wanted. Our payment has gone up $50 a month. (Of course, this came at a time when my husband was out of work due to massive illness, so the timing couldn't have hit us harder) Yeah, I'm mad. Should have done my homework, but honestly didn't think a big company like Tesla would pull a fast one like this on us. I emailed the rep about it and he never responded, so here I am.
Before solar our energy costs averaged $200 a month. Now we're paying $288 a month. Is the product working? Yes, the panels seem to be doing their job well so far. We've only had them for a couple of years. No leaks on the roof. We've had heavy snow and two layers of shingles on our roof with the panels, and no structural problems yet. After all of these reviews, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the panels continue to function well. It sounds like it would take an act of Zeus to get someone to fix them if they malfunctioned. Yikes. I just can't get that bad taste out of my mouth every time I look at the panels and think about the misleading financial burden.
I had a horrible experience with Tesla SolarCity. I also have all of my fax phone calls, and emails all documented to prove their lack of communication and deceitfulness. There are so many things from the beginning that I have to caution you about this product. First it offers expire or change I was never notified. Second my sales rep left, I had no clue until the day of installation that I had a new representative and my old one left three months ago. I sent all of my information and pictures to Tesla and initially their design team stated that they would be able to come in through my electrical panel and sub panel and connect it on the inside. But on the day of installation they stated that it couldn't be done and they had to put in a Hoffmann tap.
Now I have an extra box on the outside of my house drilled into my brick home, that no one contacted me about or got my approval to continue with the job to make sure that this was okay with the homeowner/buyer. Then my next representative up and quit Tesla and I had no one to contact. I had to reach out to three or four individuals before someone got back to me and then they passed me on to someone else. Each time I had to speak to a new person I had to give the new information all over again because no one either documented it or chose to read the documentation. Tesla's resolution for being on what I feel deceitful, is offering me $200 for a nest offer that expired before I signed with them but I was never made aware of by my rep.
I just feel that because in the beginning I specifically told them that they would not be able to use the electrical box or the sub panel because it was full that they just thought because I was a woman I had no clue of what I was talking about. It's a shame you can't trust people these days and you have to read the entire small print. Now I really question how good their warranty is going to be for the next 25 years supposedly that I have my warranty for.
Tesla/SolarCity installed panels on our house in 2013. The panels turned out to be defective and stopped working in June 2018. Since June 2018 through mid-March 2019, we have had no solar (9.5 months!), and we were still expected to pay the monthly fee for nothing. Anyway, during the whole time of no service, we were regularly paying our monthly fee. After multiple rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, offering new lease contract that was actually worse than our current PPA contract, we got the new panels installed on March 15, 2019.
So, according to contract, we expected that we would be refunded for the time when we did not get any solar production - which is just for 2018 more than $700. Not to mention that we had to pay to grid company (SCE) additional $300 because we fell into higher tiers, which supposed to be covered by solar. But, Tesla/SolarCity does not accept any issues, and - after multiple calls - only sent us the small check covering just 1/5 of what we paid to them. So saying that customer service is the worst - is not making enough emphasize. Their customer service is based on ignorance, lie, denial, and staffed with people fully embracing such a tenet. So right now, we are looking into our legal options.
They make money on the sale of your house by adding a 20 yr leasing term and if the new owner(s) decide not to continue the lease, you're muscled into paying 20k or more to terminate the lease. It's extremely difficult to sell a home with what they claim is not a lien on your house, but when you sign with Tesla (formerly Solar City) a UCC1 financing agreement is attached which inhibits the title company from releasing any proceeds to the seller until Tesla's financial obligations are met. The contract states that they will give you discount but fail to mention the amount. Therefore, you're at the mercy of Tesla. My "discount" is a 25k, which basically means this multi-billion dollar corporation just had me give them this money.
Also, prior to installing, I advised the salesperson that I was planning to sell the house and would it pose an issue upon sale, she stated no it wouldn't, there's no problem transferring to the new owner, and it also adds value to the house. This is not entirely true, she did not mention that if the owner did not agree to continue the lease, that it is costly to discontinue the lease. Also, when you pay the lease off, you're gifting the new owners solar panels and practically free electricity. Please stay away from Tesla and do research on terms with other companies.
SolarCity expert review by Zachary Shahan
Perhaps the largest residential solar installation company, this California-based subsidiary of Tesla manufactures and installs solar panels, servicing about 275,000 residential and commercial customers in 19 states and Washington, D.C.
Solar panels: Called Zep solar panels, the panels have smooth skirts that adapt to the contour of the roof to protect it from harsh weather. They have no jagged edges and mounting hardware is hidden.ers.
Installation: Supervisors of the installing team are NABCEP-certified. The process begins with a consultation where an in-house team discusses whether solar is right for you based on your energy usage and house. The team also takes up warranties, guarantees and costing, followed by the agreement signing. Most solar panel installations only take a day. After inspection and permit approval, the team then turns on the system.
Various financing options: Homeowners, businesses, or organizations can get solar leases, PPAs, loans, or pay for their systems in cash with SolarCity.
Leasing: SolarCity has a strong preference for solar leasing and PPAs, as it makes more money from these options. SolarCity may try to steer customers towards leasing or PPAs when it would actually be in the customer's best interest to use a loan to purchase a system.
Acquisition: SolarCity reportedly has relatively high customer acquisition costs, which could result in higher costs for consumers.
SolarCity Company Information
- Company Name:
- 3055 Clearview Way
- San Mateo
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (888) 765-2489