I want to start by saying I haven't ever bothered to type a review for anything significant that I can remember. Please excuse any typos or whatever since I'm doing this from my phone from the comfort of my living room floor as my 2 year old and 7 month old crawl and bounce on me among other things.
A few years back I reached out to a few installers for "as many solar panels as my roof would hold" and I was adamant that I wanted more panels than a house of this size normally needed as I was going to be charging an electric car as well. I landed on an installer (NOT TAYCO) who promised the world during an initial consultation. The site review went well, but the PDFs that were sent back could only cover about 70% or my estimated energy usage if you counted charging the car. I was disappointed but if that's all the roof would handle I couldn't really ask for more right? So I had that installer go though with putting the system on the roof.
Fast forward a few years. Texas had a massive snowstorm and people there were without power for a while. A friend of mine was pretty cold for the better part of a week. Pandemic is going on. Supply chain issues are a thing. I didn't think I would ever see a grocery store that had toilet paper or french fries again. Things were just weird. Remember those 2 kids crawling on me? I don't want them to be cold, or hot, or without food. Ever. Maybe it's time to call around for batteries. I reached out to the previous installer. I watched a few videos and looked through some basic documentation on the various products. I was pretty much set on Tesla Powerwalls but open to others as long as a few boxes were checked. Without going into detail, it was obvious that the installer had not read the documentation provided by the different battery manufacturers.
I reached out to other installers in the area. Tayco came to my rescue. The process was simple and straightforward. I expressed my frustrations with the previous installer. Having been up on my roof for something unrelated it surely looked like I could have fit a lot more panels up there. Maybe there's something I didn't know about my roof, or how to install solar panels, but I'm sure it's not rocket science. I asked Tayco to take a look to see what else would fit on the roof while they were out looking at the electrical box and space for the batteries.
The guys came and crawled around the attic and got up on the roof. They took pictures of the electrical box and how the previous install was done. They took measurements and talked back and forth with me about what my goals were and if I was ok with a few quirky panels (rotated 90 degrees vs the others...) I eagerly awaiting the results of their site survey.
The results were in. Three Powerwalls would fit exactly where I wanted them with no issues. And they could install 40% more solar panels than the previous installer did. Thats insane. It also almost perfectly filled the gap between real world solar output and actual usage. I asked them to drop 1 of the panels because it would have been shaded for a good portion of the day and wouldn't have really benefited me. 35% more solar panels on the roof it is. At this point I dropped the bombshell... Please finish the install and have everything done by the end of 2021 for tax purposes. They said no promises but they would try to make magic happen.
The previous install was "odd" ... I don't think Tayco used this word, but a buddy of mine who knows a thing or two about electrical wiring did. It was all to code. But it could have been done simpler cheaper, and more future proof. Tayco had their work cut out for them. Undo the "odd" parts of the old install, redo it right, do it on time - during supply chain shortages - and win my trust back from the bad taste I had with the previous installer.
I got a call one day saying they had received shipment information from Tesla and they had some extra powerwalls they could install, but I needed to act fast (sign paperwork or whatever) or they would sell them to other people. Paperwork was signed immediately. The install date was set, and it was pushing it, but everything was going to be done before Christmas. Woohoo.
Actual install went smooth as butter. They didn't even ask to borrow any tools like the other installer did (I'm not joking - the previous installer needed some drill bits during the install that he didn't bring). It's amazing how detailed planning and just being prepared in general make things go more smoothly on the execution side of things. All of the oddities were undone and the new system was up and running in no time.
Here is where I am a few months later. Everything just works! The power went out for a few minutes on one day and other than the alert on my phone (from the Tesla app), I didn't even know. When this happens, the car automatically stops charging, batteries kick in powering everything, and when power is restored (or the sun comes out...) the batteries charge back up and are ready to save the day if that day comes. My solar production is spot on what it needs to be. The system isn't vastly undersized like it was before.
Cost savings - the math is going to be different for everyone, but everyone that I know that has really sat down and done the math all agrees the systems pay for themselves eventually. For me it's around 8 years... Maybe less if energy costs increase. Vastly less than 8 years if energy costs increase at the rate that gas and diesel have been. It also increases the value of your house. So even if you decide to sell it and move in 5 years, you'll probably get back more than what you've sunk into it. The warranty period is much much longer than the payback period for everyone I know.
Peace of mind - remember those 2 kids. I'm not worried about them ever being cold or hot, no matter what the rest of 2022 and beyond have in store for the world.
Go green - I don't actually care about this part. I try not to buy stuff from China and I feel like I'm doing more than my part on that front. Tesla's are just amazing cars, Solar Panels finally make financial sense for most people and Powerwalls for battery backup have zero maintenance vs a generator. I have had enough pull crank lawn mowers in my life to know when you need it most and a generator -might- need some tinkering to get up and running ... And it won't be on a beautiful spring day when it's 72 degrees out. It's gonna be 20 degrees in the middle of the night. And that's if you are lucky.
TLDR: Thank you Tayco. And special thanks to Whitney, you are amazing.
One last thing: I copy and posted this identical review on another solar website as well. I am not going to name and shame my 1st solar installer, but in an effort to direct people away from them (they really sucked...) I want to help people find a company that knows what they are doing. TayCo knows what they are doing.