Tesla Powerwall home batteries are in high demand whereas installers are struggling to lay hands on the systems, found a survey by EnergySage and North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCP).
Released February 19 as the largest business climate survey on US solar companies, the solar installer survey gathered responses from 871 residential and commercial solar installers across the US.
The study found that homeowners are not only asking for solar panels but want them delivered with batteries. Interestingly, Tesla batteries won a big percentage of the demand but the installers frequently do not have them. It also found that installers are in support that a permanent tax incentive should be include for clean electricity and storage – a proposal by Chuck Schumer.
Based on the report, solar-plus-storage installations soared in 2018 due to the fact that over 35% percent of solar buyers are also interested in home batteries. The findings also illustrated a gap between what the installers usually have and consumer preferred brands. While more than 55% of solar installers said that their customers specified Tesla batteries as their brand of choice, on 12% of the installers surveyed actually have the product.
Tesla was ranked the second-most requested solar brand, according to the survey, with LG leading the list. 42% of the installers surveyed reported that their customers had requested for Tesla Powerwall battery system, while forty-five percent said their customers had specified LG products.
During Tesla’s Q4 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk said the company’s attention to increase the Model 3 production contributed to a shortage of home batteries for energy. It had switched production lines in its Powerwall to vehicle battery production. However, Musk disclosed that he expects the company’s energy business to later grow twice the rate of its autonomous business.
“We are aiming to more than double energy storage deployments to over 2 GWh in 2019,” Tesla said in its Q4 earnings letter.
Meanwhile, Tesla is quite selective in choosing who makes Powerwall supplies. Only installers it has certified must supply them and it is moving away from using Home Depot and other partner companies to drive sales. Most of the company’s sales come from its website, not suppliers, Tesla disclosed in the Q4 letter.
Standards could be contributing to this shortage. The energy and electric car company recommends at least two Powerwalls (roughly at $14,500 before installation) for a 2,200-square-foot home. The Powerwalls are ordered separately from installers after reservations on Tesla’s website for $500.
Tesla solar roof tiles are also in short supply but the company has attributed its failure to meet demand in part of the tile’s safety and durability tests.