From SolarReviews: In late 2019, Tesla launched its solar panels rental program. Initially, the program allowed consumers to install solar panels on their homes with less overall commitment than otherwise purchasing or financing a solar system. While Tesla reserved the right to change monthly subscription fees at any time, a consumer could terminate their subscription by paying Tesla $1,500 to remove the solar panels from their home.
In the latest version of Tesla’s Solar Subscription, it states:
“If you want your system removed, Tesla will provide you with a competitive quote.”
There’s no telling what a competitive quote would be, as other qualified solar companies would likely charge a hefty fee to remove another company’s solar installation.
The combination of uncapped monthly subscription fees with uncapped removal fees has the potential to put consumers in a tough spot. With vague language around reasons for removal of the system, consumers wanting to cancel their subscription could be stuck with an unforeseeably large charge. Therefore, SolarReviews is cautioning consumers to not sign Tesla’s rental contract in its current form unless all risks are fully understood. Should Tesla update their rental contract to address these concerns, SolarReviews will update their recommendation.
“With our core values in mind, we believe it is our responsibility to update the public on recent changes to the Tesla solar rental program,” Andrew Sendy, president, SolarReviews. “We want a competitive solar rental industry where people can have panels removed if they need to for a known cost. At the same time, we have to protect solar rental companies from consumers who will abuse these programs and rent solar panels for particularly short periods. Our suggestion is to cap the removal fee at a rate that reduces with the length of time that the panels have been on the roof.”
Home to over 30,000 reviews, SolarReviews.com is the largest consumer reviews website in the solar industry, dedicated to ensuring homeowners have access to accurate, up-to-date, and unbiased information to help them make informed decisions.
— Solar Builder magazine