In 2018, Tesla SolarCity installed solar panels on Ben Kulia’s home roof, and since then, he has been waiting for it to generate power and savings for him. Unfortunately, from 2018 to 2022, he hasn’t been able to get any benefit from the Tesla Solar Roof and showed his grief to KHNL/KGMB. He still waits for solar panels to be turned on and operates regularly.
“There’s no proper permit; I cannot turn it on,” Kulia told Hawaii News Now. “And, therefore, the system just sits on my roof. And I feel really mental anguish every time I come home.”
Manao told Hawaii News Now; He thought this project would save him some money while saving the environment at the same time. Kulia said he invested more than $50,000 in roof repairs, installation costs, and lawyers’ fees to get the solar panel to be installed. Still, due to massing paperwork on the permit, he has not been able to get any energy from the solar panels and feels abandoned. This surely shocked the bearing of the Tesla solar roof.
The City Department of Planning and Permitting told HNN it’s been waiting on paperwork from Tesla since October 2019 before it can approve the permit for Kulia’s Project. Tesla told kulia, they are working on it, He said. But in March, communication between kulia and the company stopped, and all the customer service inquiries were routed to a call center. Kulia then tried to reach out to Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, through tweeter but all in vain.
“The system is just sitting there waste away, you know because the solar cell gets degraded over time,” Kulia said. “I don’t have that much resources to take Tesla to court.”
For him, the situation got worse over time. Since the installation of his solar system, the cost of electricity has risen by 60% in Hawaii, and he has lost approximately $30,000 in potential energy savings as the system is wasting away.
HNN also said they couldn’t reach anybody from Tesla to report the issue, but they contacted Hawaii Solar Energy Association; their spokesperson told HNN his case is an anomaly.
“We enforce that code of ethics for our members, and part of that is being forthright and honest and transparent in all dealings with customers,” Mould said, the Executive director of the association.
After the association discussed Kulia’s case with Tesla, kulia said he now has received an email from the company. Mould said the accumulation of customer permit applications and supply chain issues means the company’s systems may take a year to get online.
“Good installers are doing their best to get those permits and interconnection applications through. And it’s not their fault. A lot of that, you know, it’s a mix of things,” He said.
Though Tesla has opened, it’s communicating with Kulia again, but he is still waiting to contact his contractor. People are convincing Kulia to hire another contractor to get his work done, but he doesn’t want to do that.
“I try my best to be the best human being I could be,” he said. “And I would just hope that Tesla will see that and help me back.”
More About Tesla Solar Roof:
In October 2016, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s solar roof as an invention to produce clean energy. The company claims installing tesla solar roof tiles generates and powers your home with an integrated energy storage system.
The solar glass tiles of Tesla solar roofs are more effective than traditional solar panels, but the backlog of their permit applications and supply chain issues is seriously triggering the customers now.