Tesla Solar Roof Tiles – System Activation – Part 3

My Permit to Operate (PTO) was approved at the end of September 2021. I have had my Tesla Solar Roof Tiles active for a few months now and wanted to share an update.

Following the install of the roof tiles, Southern California Edison (SCE) came in July 2021 to install a new power meter with higher amperage. At this time I took a photo of the new meter and sent it to Tesla to complete their Net Energy Metering (NEM) application with SCE. After this SCE rejected the new NEM application stating that the meter number was incorrect, this was strange to me since I sent all parties a photo of the brand new meter. SCE said it was no worry that Tesla just needed to submit a new application with the meter number blank and they would populate it later. SCE was not able to just go ahead and process it or remove the meter number themselves. After a few days of trying to track down Tesla they submitted the new change at the end of August 2021. 

SCE kept giving me the run around saying it would take weeks for the information in their system to be updated internally and that there was nothing that could be done to expedite it. Only when I reached out directly to the planners with SCE did they finally realize the crew that installed the meter did not capture all the information needed to move forward with the NEM application. In Mid-September they came back out and took some additional information from the meter and at the end of September 2021 I was issued my Permit to Operate (PTO). The sun was still out so I turned on my system on that same day. 

A little bit of a side story is that when we first moved into our home we noticed power surges, where if a high energy appliance like the dryer or garbage disposal would turn on the lights would dim. These lights often were not even on the same circuit or sub-panel which was strange. It was finally determined that the SCE power and neutral line to the transformer failed and was damaged. Interesting because nobody from SCE noticed this when they came to install the meter or during the second visit. Only after we called for a “trouble ticket” did SCE send a third crew out and determine the wires were in bad condition with exposed wire and immediately shut off all the power to the block to correct the issue in an urgent manner.

Months prior I had asked Tesla how I could monitor my power production and they had someone drop off an internet gateway to connect to my router via network cable in order to track my energy production online. If I hadn’t reached out I don’t know that anyone was going to provide me one of these units. Note: This is only needed if your inverter is manufactured by a third party, if you have a Tesla branded inverter or Powerwall you should not need this.

SCE will push you onto a Time of Use (TOU) plan when you start NEM 2.0, after July 2017 all solar users in California need to be on a TOU plan. It isn’t as simple as taking how much power you produce minus how much power you use and netting that out, they actually credit you and charge you different amounts depending on the time of day you are using and producing power. The most expensive time of day to use power on these plans (may vary depending on what you pick) is 4pm to 9pm. However, most of our power will be produced between 9am and 5pm, with peak production around noon/afternoon.

Peak solar production (in Southern California) is between March and September, with an estimated 65% of solar production happening during those six months. Since my system went active at the end of that, October was the first month I produced one megawatt hour.

October 2022 Energy Production

With TOU, you are charged different rates depending on when you use power. I am on the 4pm to 9pm for peak rates plan, there is also a 5pm to 8pm and another plan that is for people who have an Electric Vehicle (EV).

Rates as of Jan 2022
Rates as of Jan 2022

This is important because your energy production is only netted out depending on when it was produced. So it isn’t as simple as saying I use 40 kWh in a day and I produce 42 kWh in a day so I should not have to pay for power. When you use and when you produce comes into play, almost all of your production will take place during Super Off-Peak hours or Off-Peak hours and be worth less for energy offset if you are using a lot of power during Mid-Peak or On-Peak hours.

Most of your energy production will take place during Off-Peak hours.
Sample Usage Breakdown with SCE TOU
Sample Bill with NEM and TOU

As of February 2022, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) wants to further reduce the value of power generated by solar owners. This is currently being met with big pushback from solar owners and the installation companies, regardless of what happens, NEM 2.0 users will be grandfathered in for 20 years from their PTO date. However, this would make new solar installations must less attractive if this plan is adopted without major changes.

I hope to do a follow-up once Summer comes around and again after one full year to see how my system is producing compared to the estimates from Tesla.

If you want more information or are interested in ordering, please use my referral link to save $500. This link can also be used to order a Tesla car and you will receive free supercharger credits.