Tesla Solar Review: The Truth about Tesla’s Nightmare Solar Panels

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Solar panels are a good option for introducing a renewable energy system to your home. However, if you’re looking for the best solar panels on the market, you may want to take a look at this Tesla solar panels review.

Tesla, Inc. is the world’s most valuable automaker, and is also a strong proponent for renewable energy. In fact, you could say that renewable energy is Tesla’s mission. Because of that, Tesla offers its own solar panels and energy storage solutions for homeowners to purchase.

Take a look at any particular Tesla solar panels review, however, and you might [find customers] who are less than happy about their experience with the Elon Musk-founded business.

Here’s what you should know.

Cost of Tesla Solar Panels

  • Tesla solar panels range in price from $8,200 to $32,800, depending on the size of the system
  • Listed pricing is before any incentives
  • Some customers, however, claim that Tesla hiked up the price of their solar systems by tens of thousands of dollars
  • In addition, Tesla solar panels are not the most efficient out there, meaning they’re not the best bang for your buck

Like the company’s electric vehicles, Tesla solar panels are generally considered luxury or high-end products. That’s certainly reflected in their pricing, but it may not be in the quality.

Although pricing can range depending on the size of the solar system, customers can generally expect to pay around $8,200 for a 12-panel system. That includes installation, but is still on the higher side. Then on top of that, some may need to add in the cost of a new roof if their current one is not in relatively good condition. A majority of people may not realize they need to have new roofs in good condition before they can install solar panels. Re-doing the roof after adding solar panels is impossible and the excessive cost of a new roof will need to be accounted for when budgeting for this.

If you’re trying to work out a cost-benefit analysis of Tesla solar panels, then you’ll need to account for the panel’s efficiency, too. Tesla also falls short here.

Tesla’s solar panels have a 19.6% solar panel efficiency rating, according to Solar Reviews. Not only is that on the lower side, but it falls short of competitors like SunPower, which maintains 22% panel efficiency across its lineup of products.

In other words, Tesla solar panels are fairly expensive and may not even deliver the same efficiency as cheaper or similarly priced options.

Tesla Solar Complaints

Although their vehicles are known for being of the highest quality, Tesla Solar might be a different story.  In recent years, the company has begun racking up complaints from customers dissatisfied with the installation, reliability, and customer service — especially after the company’s acquisition of SolarCity.

Just look at review pages for Tesla Energy Solar in any particular city. The company’s Yelp page in Sacramento, for example, is littered with complaints about the reliability of the service.

“Powerwall broke down after 6 months, took 2 months for service team to come and replace it,” said one customer.”

Another customer said that their Tesla solar power system failed in mid-July 2021. It took until September 2021 for a technician to identify the problem. The customer said that, as of December, Tesla still hasn’t fixed it.

Other customers complain about Tesla’s customer service. In a recent piece for Insider, as an example, multiple consumers describe running into weeks of “radio silence” when attempting to contact Tesla customer support.

Tesla has made other questionable moves, as well. For example, when it acquired SolarCity, it removed an app feature that allowed users to view their historical energy usage.

Other complaints detail mystery “loans” that appear on customer bills. At least three customers have filed lawsuits against Tesla for the loans, alleging that they ruined their credit scores.

Tesla Solar Installation

It’s not just problems with Tesla’s solar panel reliability or customer service — there could also be dangerous issues with the company’s installation process and the quality of its products.

According to CNN, for example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation into whistleblower complaints about defects in Tesla’s solar panels.

Those defects, the whistleblower claimed, could cause fires or present other risks of injury to customers. Additionally, the complaint focused on the fact that Tesla didn’t disclose the risk of fire.

For example, Tesla advised consumers that it needed to perform repairs on solar panel systems to avoid them shutting down. It did not warn of fire risks — and the company didn’t disclose the risks to regulators.

All of this isn’t even taking into account the fact that customers are reporting Tesla jacking up the prices of solar panel contracts right before installation.

At least one other customer told Insider that Tesla failed to carry out the administrative steps necessary to get his system up and running after the installation problem.

Additionally, some customers report damaged gutters during the installation process, as well as other problems resulting from the installation. One person said that their roof was damaged and started leaking after Tesla installed a solar panel setup.

Tesla Customer Service

As we mentioned, Tesla’s customer service has seemingly taken a nose-dive in quality since the company’s acquisition of SolarCity. That, combined with fire risks and reliability issues, could be enough to dissuade potential consumers.

However, it’s still a useful exercise to go over some of the pros and cons of Tesla’s solar panels and its customer support options.


  • Solar panels are a good way to be more eco-friendly
  • Tesla offers sleek, stylish solar panel options
  • National network of installation professionals
  • Integration with Tesla vehicles and energy storage options
  • 25-year performance warranty


  • Tesla is expensive among solar brands
  • Solar panel efficiency is below industry standards
  • Mediocre customer support, long wait times for service
  • Customers have reported random price hikes in the past
  • Installation process can be long and complicated
  • Reliability problems with many solar systems
  • Risk of fire or personal injury to customers

Unless you’re a Tesla fan or place a high emphasis on stylish solar panels, Tesla’s cons outweigh the pros. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the alternatives to Tesla solar panels available on the market.

The Best Alternative to Tesla Solar Panels

If you’re looking at alternatives to Tesla solar panels, you could consider options from similar solar panel manufacturers like Sunpower or Sunrun. Those companies don’t have the same number of complaints that Tesla does.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something even better than solar, you can consider other options for sustainable and renewable energy production, like the groundbreaking products made by Alternative Sustainability.

The ECap Rack, for example, is a self-contained unit that can produce much more energy than a solar panel array without taking up any roof space. Better yet, they fit in an overall smaller footprint, saving you space.

Using the same general principle as giant wind turbines, the ECap Rack is an air-powered turbine that can be fitted on top, inside, or near a residential home, taking up just 7.5 square feet of floor space. Once it’s there, it uses the power of air to generate clean energy. It’s like a giant wind turbine, just on a much smaller scale.

The ECap Rack has the key benefit of solar panels: namely, the ability to generate renewable energy using an existing resource that you already have access to. However, it comes with none of the downsides.

For one, the ECap Rack works whether there’s sunlight or not. A single ECap Rack can produce up to 3,000 watts. To match that with solar energy in a year, you would need at least 40 solar panels rated at 300 watts. Think of the space that you can save.

Compared to Tesla solar panels, the ECap Rack is a breeze to install and won’t take up the roof space that a solar energy system does. The system only takes up about 7.5 square feet of floor space. Combined with its efficiency, it’s an energy-producing device like you’ve never seen before. You also won’t need to retrofit or modify your home’s roof.

Alternative Sustainability also makes other products aimed at generating renewable energy or reducing energy consumption, such as the highly efficient Low Carbon PTAC that can cut gas use by up to 70%. Visit Alternative Sustainability to learn more.

Final Thoughts On Tesla Solar Panels

As we mentioned, there are certainly consumers out there who like Tesla as a brand and want the company’s solar panels on their own homes. However, if you’re simply looking to reduce your carbon footprint and save some money in the process, there are better options.

If you’re set on solar, pretty much any solar panel manufacturer will be a better bet than Tesla. However, the ECap Rack from Alternative Sustainability is really a much better option all-around – it’s the lowest-cost energy producing device in the U.S.
Interested in an option better than Tesla or solar in general? You can set up a free consultation with Alternative Sustainability.