Tesla Electric Utility Service Launches in Texas, Powerwall Customers to Sell Energy Back to the Grid
Tesla has announced its launch of Tesla Electric, a utility service provided for homes that have the Tesla Powerwall installed. The service is first launching in Texas and will be available via invite-only for select customers.
For customers with the Tesla Powerwall and Tesla Electric, the Powerwall will autonomously select when to charge and when to sell energy back to the grid, according to the Tesla Electric website. Excess energy is sold when prices are high to give consumers more credits toward their utility bill, and energy is stored in the Powerwall when prices are lower. The stored energy is used when prices are high. Homeowners can generate their own power with solar panels, and Tesla Electric will supplement power with renewable energy or offsets.
As Tech Crunch reported, this service is only available via invitation to Powerwall customers in deregulated parts of Texas. For such customers, they will receive a Tesla Electric notification banner on the Powerwall page of their Tesla app.
Tesla Electric will be provided through a membership. Billing, available only via ACH, is done through the app. While electricity prices will vary, and there will be additional Transmission Distribution Service Provider (TDSP) charges via local utility providers, current electricity prices range from about 10.3 to 11 cents/kWh from 7 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 19.1 to 19.3 cents/kWh from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in various regions of Texas.
While the service could help provide more grid stability, especially in Texas, potential customers may experience some challenges in getting started if the program expands. Tesla Powerwalls cost $11,500 each, and they can only be purchased directly through Tesla with the purchase of a Tesla solar roof for another $21.85 per square foot unless purchased through an approved third-party retailer. Supply chain issues have also lead to delays in installations for homeowners.
On top of that, Tesla has recently been closing its solar offerings in some U.S. markets. As Electrek reported in November, Tesla has canceled many solar projects across the U.S., even some in advanced stages, and laid off employees in its solar division.
Meanwhile, analysts and investors have also been concerned by Elon Musk’s recent selling of 22 million shares of Tesla, bringing Musk’s total sales of Tesla shares in 2022 up to $23 billion, Business Insider reported.
Tesla said its Tesla Electric members “have the potential to earn over 50 percent more in credits on their electricity bills compared to similar plans.” Other automotive companies are also exploring similar options. General Motors and SunPower are collaborating on a residential energy program, and Toyota is partnering with Texas utility company Oncor for an EV-charging ecosystem.