My dog likes to beg, I loathe it. But a little money will go a long way in our fight against the Goliath that is Tesla.
On July 28th Tesla became aware of large wattage fluctuations in their panels leased to my roof, on the 31st Tesla texted that they would be servicing the panels on August 8th. On August 1, 2019 the solar panels caught fire. For being unlucky, we were incredibly fortunate. The neighbor's landscapers heroically accessed the second story of our home with a garden hose and put out the fire 10 minutes before the fire department arrived. There was no structural damage - just melted shingles, busted in door and window, and glass throughout the carpet.
In the ten weeks since the fire, Tesla has hidden behind corporate policies and refused to provide records of the maintenance and inspections they were obligated to perform under a three way agreement between myself, Xcel, and Tesla. The reality is - they didn't perform the required maintenance and inspection. Nor has Tesla provided remote monitoring records. Tesla has yet to send an engineer or electrician to inspect their charred equipment that sits in my yard. Tesla has expressed no concern for my family's potentially on-going exposure to carcinogens and teratogens generated by their equipment fire.
Tesla has refused to let us out of the lease, which will cost $20,000+ over the next 18 years. These panels were only 2 years old. The panels will NOT go back on our roof, because the Tesla refuses to operate and maintain them in a safe and contractually obliged manner. Donations will not be used for the continuing lease payments, nor for fire restoration of the home (we do have insurance, thank goodness).
Donations will go towards:
1) hiring Solar Electrical Engineers to investigate the fire that Tesla refuses to investigate and draft an opinion regarding the installation, operation, maintenance, and engineering design of Tesla's burnt solar array. Estimated at $10,000.
2) performing chemical analyses/evaluations to determine if toxins known to occur in solar panel fires are present in the home; unless Tesla decides poisoning children is in bad taste and steps up. Estimated $2000 analytical work and sample collection, $5000 report writing.
3) hire legal counsel to support arbitration efforts to terminate the lease and return home to pre-solar conditions. Estimate $12000.
4) hire legal counsel for consumer fraud protection litigation should arbitration fail to yield a resolution. Estimate: who knows? Hopefully we can find a lawyer to work on contingency if things go this far.
5) All donated funds that are not used on these 4 needs will be donated to a local Low-income Energy Assistance Program.
Obviously, we wanted to be part of the new energy economy or we would not have leased solar panels. We chose leasing so that experts would be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the equipment. It turns out Tesla failed to maintain the equipment, all-the-while collecting not only our lease payment but ratepayer funded renewable energy credits as well.
Public service announcement: When were the solar panels on your roof last thoroughly inspected? Your lives could depend on it.