New Tesla Powerwall Software Allows Battery Owners to Save Even More

by Anna Gretz
July 5, 2018
Home Battery

Tesla remains the premier vertically integrated renewable energy company of its kind, acting as a one-stop-shop for solar, energy storage, and electric transportation.

This isn’t anything new, but some of Tesla’s latest software updates for Powerwall owners are, and these upgrades are giving homeowners the opportunity to take advantage of variable energy costs, and easily schedule time-based controls on their batteries.

What does this mean exactly?

Home battery owners can use their energy storage in a few different ways: the batteries can act as energy security, providing backup power in case of a power outage (similar to the purpose of a generator.) Alternately, owners can also use their batteries to decrease the cost of energy by charging when electricity rates are low, and using this electricity during times when rates are at their highest.

This second method can take some thought and considerable planning and effort, with a lot of attention to when batteries are charging and discharging… until now. Tesla has released a software upgrade that will allow owners to customize their battery’s settings, with the option of automatically taking advantage of the daily rise and fall of power costs.

Here are the original software options:

”Select between two modes, Self-Powered or Backup only. By selecting Self-Powered mode, Powerwall will store solar during the day and power your home at night. You also have the capability to set a backup reserve. If there is bad weather and you anticipate an outage, you can select Backup only, which reserves 100% of Powerwall for an outage.”

Now, the software update offers a third option, called ‘Advanced Time-based control.’ This new option allows users to track their local pricing structure, and automatically charge their Powerwall with energy from the grid when it’s cheapest. Battery owners can also edit their schedule for peak and off-peak hours so their battery usage is optimized. This is exactly the ideal use of home batteries, without any of the work it normally takes to get the most out of the pricing schedule. It’s a perfect addition to the Powerwall experience, and it accelerates the payback time for the Powerwall in a big way.

This software upgrade fits perfectly with Tesla’s mission from the very beginning. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has proven to be every forward-thinking as he develops his vision for a solar-powered, carbon-free comprehensive lifestyle.

In Musk’s envisioned future, that’s a Tesla in every garage, and solar on every roof… not to mention a Powerwall 2 to store generated solar, tying the package together. This is the kind of home, and lifestyle, Elon Musk wants for himself… and he’s confident that he’s not the only one.

This is why Musk has taken steps to make Tesla into a veritable lifestyle brand--one that will be able to sell you everything you need for a new way of participating in the world… at least when it comes to energy.

What exactly does the Tesla lifestyle look like? It has three striking aspects to it: innovation, conviction, and a healthy dose of audacity.

Innovation Through the introduction of many creative, game-changing Tesla products, Elon Musk has transformed the way people think about the way they use power in their daily lives. Musks’ ambition has driven him to push the envelope in almost every respect, from electric cars that you can summon to pick you up at your door, to high-capacity low-cost lithium batteries, to rooftop solar that actually is a rooftop. The lifestyle Tesla offers its customers mirrors Musk’s own innovative drive. Going all-in to the Tesla brand means breaking through traditional methods of using power, and hosting an energy revolution in your own home.

The traditional electrical grid, as it stands, is a vulnerable and unreliable system that hasn’t been updated in decades. Homes who have a home battery like the Powerwall 2 can break free from the grid, creating their very own power reservoir. With rooftop solar (or a solar rooftop), that power can be generated independently from the grid, using the free, clean energy the sun offers every day. After solar power is generated and stored, it can be used to power virtually anything in your house… even a car.

The Tesla home is anything but traditional. It’s a new, innovative way of living. And it’s awesome.

Conviction Many of Tesla’s loyal customers are made up of people who have looked around and said, “We can do better.”

Elon Musk has led a revolutions composed of people who have big ideas, and strong beliefs. Relying on limited, expensive, dirty fuel sources to power our cars, and our homes? Not good enough. Leaving our households vulnerable to frequent power outages by staying connected to an antiquated power grid? Not good enough. Solar systems with costs so high only a select few can partake in the huge advantages of solar power? Not good enough. Tesla as a company has acted on the conviction that the current way of using energy isn’t good enough, and they have enabled people from different backgrounds, income-levels, and area codes to do the same.

Some of Tesla’s customers are passionate about securing their own energy source. Some are passionate about moving forward into a smarter, more efficient energy future. Some are passionate about the environment. All are convicted that a change to the energy status quo is necessary, and imminent.

Audacity Elon Musk is a CEO who is known for taking risks. Not only is he blazing a trail into a groundbreaking future of renewable energy, he’s also working on new ways to approach space travel. Many of Musk’s ideas, when first introduced, seem counterintuitive and improbable. Then something crazy happens… People start to get used to new ideas. And then, suddenly, they become obvious. Musk has noticed this reaction to his home batteries and solar roof, and he says he’s not done introducing new, bold, risk-taking products.

“There are additional products that I’d like to bring out that I think people will find counterintuitive at first. And then find it obvious,” Musk said.

Many Tesla customers are already there, seeing immense value and logic in the Tesla lifestyle, and they’re going for what Musk calls the “triple play:” a Tesla car, Powerwall, and solar roof together. Musk says that he believes that over time, more and more people are going to be asking for all three together. But why stop there? Musk has hinted that he has ideas for a quadruple or possible quintuple play deal as he introduces more innovative home energy technology in the future.

The growth of Tesla and the debut of new projects has been met by plenty of critics. Specifically, many of those present at the unveiling of Tesla’s new solar roof scoffed at the idea of a “car company” making roofing products. But this diversity of products has always been part of Elon Musk’s plan, beginning with the most recent merge.

Though the Tesla Lifestyle isn’t yet one you’ll see in most homes, it’s one to get excited about. The non-stop innovation of Tesla’s products, along with strong convictions and just a pinch of audacity, will lead Tesla, along with its loyal customers, into a new energy horizon.