Tesla Solar Roof Alternatives To Check Out In 2023
The use of consumer solar technology has continued to expand across the U.S. Output from consumer solar panels rose to a level equating to power for 24 million homes in the United States, and in the last 10 years, the industry has added jobs at a rate five times faster than the total U.S. average (a 167% increase). Even with enormous increases in adoption, estimates place the potential for generating electricity — through residential and commercial rooftop solar installations alone — at roughly 40% of the country’s demand (as of 2018).
This is where the Tesla Solar Roof options (the Solar Roof and Solar Panels) have come into play. The Tesla Solar Roof is a great way to take advantage of minimalistic coverage that maintains the longevity of the roof, while adding an electric production capability to the fabric of the property. Rather than installing solar panels across the roof and then caring for both features, the tiles that make up the roof itself also collect energy from the sun.
Yet, in 2021 Elon Musk announced that Tesla would stop selling Solar Roof installations without the brand’s Powerwall accompanying the setup. Around the same time, for the sophisticated solar collection tiles suddenly increased by about 30%, including those who had already signed contracts to have the feature installed. With these restrictions making Tesla’s offering less attractive to the consumer (30% less attractive), a search for solar roof alternatives is a must.
The Luma Solar range may be the oldest solar roof option on the market. The Detroit-based Luma Solar team was constructing solar roof shingles for nearly a decade before Tesla announced its entry into this space. The company developed its solar shingles in 2007, and received a safety approval for the product in 2010. This experience, and many years of battle against two gigantic competitors in Dow Chemical, and later Tesla, have forged Luma Solar into an innovator.
The solar roof shingles from Luma Solar are installed just like metal roof tiles. They measure 54.37 inches across by 15.62 inches high, with an exposed collection area just shy of these numbers. The solar shingles provide up to 80 watts of power apiece, besting the Tesla offering of 72W per tile (and they’re slightly larger than the 45-inch by 15-inch construction from Tesla).
Luma Solar seemingly offers the only upgradable solar system on the market as well, and the shingles are three times stronger than traditional tiles. This makes them rated for Category 5 hurricane force winds and above. In addition to the serious power production and other features, the Luma Solar shingle system comes with a lifetime warranty for the singles themselves, and a 25 year power warranty.
SunTegra solar shingles and tiles
SunTegra offers solar tiles and shingles that are seamlessly integrated with the surrounding roof construction. Shingles offer a max power rating of 110 watts, and the tiles provide up to 70 watts of power generation. Either choice is installed without the need to add racking equipment, allowing for a fast installation and a low-profile fit that blends directly into the profile of the roof.
SunTegra shingles and tiles offer a maximum wind rating of 130 miles per hour, and an effective operational temperature ranging from.40C to 90C (-40 degrees Fahrenheit to 194 degrees Fahrenheit). This makes the installation a valuable addition to homes across various climate zones in the United States.
These shingles are also installed with half the volume of parts than a conventional solar system. The shingles weigh 18 pounds, each with a 52-inch by 23-inch surface, and the tiles come in at 15 pounds, covering a 52-inch by 16-inch area. Both tile and shingle options come with a 25-year limited power warranty, and a 10-year limited product warranty.
CertainTeed’s Solstice Panel is yet another great alternative to the Tesla Solar Roof. The 400/440 watt panels are built with 108 half-cells and three bypass diodes integrated into the structure. They measure 67.75 inches (400W configuration) or 74.92 inches long (440W configuration) by 44.6 inches wide — and are each 1.37 inches thick.
The 400W panel weighs 45.8 pounds, and the higher output 440W option comes in at 51.8 pounds. Both solar panels can handle a maximum wind and snow load of 112 pounds per foot each, and retain operation between.40 degrees and 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
Solstice Shingles are another quality option from the brand. Each shingle offers a maximum power rating of 70 watts, utilizing 14 cells in series and two bypass diodes, as well as offering the same operating temperature rating as the panels. Each unit is 46.79 by 17.64 inches, and 0.875 inches thick.
CertainTeed offers a power output warranty of 25 years across both options, 10-year warranty coverage of other components, as well as a 10-year 110 mile per hour wind warranty on Solstice Shingles. CertainTeed has also been source for building products, including roofing essentials, for over 100 years. Services relating to your roof will be handled by an established name in the industry, rather than a new outlet that potentially may not have the resources to handle a sudden influx of warranty claims or repair requests after a storm, for instance.
Exasun X-Tiles and X-Roof
Exasun is a Dutch solar company located in The Netherlands. The firm was founded in 2012, and will soon offer access to solar roof technology for customers across the European continent through its partnership with Weinerberger. In late 2022, it was announced that the company had raised 9 million Euro in an effort to continue expanding its presence internationally. This means that buyers will be able to take advantage of the solar roof products offered by Exasun in a wide range of international markets as well.
The Exasun solar roof can be installed using X-Roof panels that take over the roof’s duties wholesale, or X-Tile pieces that can be installed in place of existing roofing tiles. The X-Roof system weighs 57 pounds per square meter, and the X-Tile installation comes in at 55 pounds per square meter, with electricity production ratings of 190 and 160 watt peaks per square meter, respectively.
The roofing solutions are estimated to offer a lifespan of over 30 years, and they’re fireproof, resistant to hailstones, and the products have been tested by Kiwa for wind and water resistance.
Solar Panels vs. Tesla Solar Roof: The Key Differences
It’s pretty obvious when you have solar panels. Less so if you have Tesla’s Solar Roof. But there’s a price to pay for that sleek design.
When you think of solar power systems. you probably imagine the classic solar array : some black panels that point toward the sky and absorb the energy of the sun’s light and convert it into usable electricity. But if you look closely at the roofs of some houses, you might notice a surprise.
In 2016, Tesla.- yes, that Tesla.- introduced something novel. Instead of solar panels that sit in your front yard or stand out on the roof, Tesla decided to turn every shingle into a solar panel. The Tesla Solar Roof replaces an existing roof and captures sunlight to help power your home in a clean and streamlined manner.
There are some significant downsides, namely that the Tesla Solar Roof is quite expensive. (Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.)
Can solar panels save you money?
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For homeowners interested in solar energy, that creates the ultimate question: Should you go with the standard solar panel system or try the less intrusive.- but pricey.- Tesla Solar Roof? To help you with your buying questions, I have compiled the biggest differences between the two solar options below.
Solar panels should be relatively familiar by now, as they have been gaining popularity and have become more affordable in recent years. An array can be located on your roof or set to stand in your yard, depending on what works best for you. While there are a variety of different brands and types of panels, they all offer a clean energy alternative to fossil fuel sources like coal or natural gas. These panels can be expensive, and some are more difficult to install than others. But for the most part, you can expect cheaper energy bills, a smaller carbon footprint and increased property value.
Tesla Solar Roof
Instead of using panels, the Tesla Solar Roof turns your entire roof into your solar array. The Tesla solar roof uses tempered glass panels that replace your standard shingles, providing the same protection you’d expect from a traditional roof while also capturing solar energy. The Tesla Solar Roof is novel, but less proven and harder to transfer to another home if you move because they are custom made for each roof.
Solar panels or a Tesla Solar Roof?
Price is a tricky thing when it comes to solar systems, as a lot of it is going to be dependent on what your house and property is capable of supporting. There is the cost of solar panels, the infrastructure needed to support them, the installation costs.- and you have to account for the actual capacity of the system. In both cases, you can get tax credits and other incentives for installing these systems, so that will help to ease the price somewhat. Research suggests solar panels cost between 15,000 to 25,000 to buy and install.
Can solar panels save you money?
Interested in understanding the impact solar can have on your home? Enter some basic information below, and we’ll instantly provide a free estimate of your energy savings.
For the sake of simplicity: conventional solar panels are cheaper than the Tesla solar roof in terms of the overall cost. Tesla has also had some challenges keeping the price down for its solar roof system, which has been a point of issue for some people. Price estimates suggest can scale from 30,000 to 75,000, with some people reporting installation costs as high as 100,000.
The installation process for solar energy systems can be complicated. In general, traditional solar panels are easier because they can be installed in different places depending on the layout of your property.- either on your roof or on the ground. The Tesla Solar Roof can only be installed on your roof, obviously, and is a bit more of a to-do since it requires replacing your entire roof. There are fewer contractors familiar with the Tesla solar roof system than conventional panels, so this can create challenges in finding a capable installer.
Solar power capabilities
Both the Tesla Solar Roof and traditional solar panels will have a similar ability to meet your power needs, although your ability to scale your solar power system to your electricity needs might be more limited with the Tesla Solar Roof compared to panels. It will likely be easier to expand a setup with traditional solar panels in the future if you find your electricity needs have increased.
Mobility and longevity
One downside of the Tesla Solar Roof is the fact that it really can’t move with you. Because it is custom-fit to the roof of your home, you can’t pack it up and install it on another home. Conventional solar panels offer a bit more flexibility here, as you could potentially take your solar system with you.- though you may want to leave it to benefit from the boost in property value that they provide.
Winner for most: Solar panels
For now, conventional solar panels are the safer bet if you are looking to make the switch to solar power. They are a proven product. They are also typically cheaper and offer a bit more flexibility in terms of how you install them.
Tesla’s Solar Roof shows a lot of promise, but the custom tiles can be cost-prohibitive and early troubles with the product make it hard to recommend at this stage. Future versions of the Tesla Solar Roof may improve and make good on the promising concept. For now, stick with what works so you can save on your energy bill and shrink your carbon footprint.
Tesla Solar Panels Review (2023 Costs Services)
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Written by Kristina Zagame
Kristina Zagame is a journalist, editor and content writer with expertise in solar and other energy-related topics. Before joining EcoWatch, Kristina was a TV news reporter and producer, covering a wide variety of topics including West Coast wildfires and hurricane relief efforts. Kristina’s reporting has taken her all over the U.S., as well as to Puerto Rico and Chile. Learn About This Person
Reviewed by Karsten Neumeister
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace. Learn About This Person
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- Does Tesla Solar Offer a Warranty?
- Where Is Tesla Solar Available?
- Tesla Solar Customer Reviews
- Tesla Solar vs Other Providers
- Bottom Line: Will Tesla Solar Systems Work for You?
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Elon Musk has long been known for his electric vehicles, but Tesla does more than just make energy-efficient cars. Tesla Energy has revolutionized the solar industry with its advanced solar panels, home batteries and solar roof tiles. With these systems, you can save on energy costs in style.
Tesla solar panels have similar specifications as its competitors, but to see how it stacks up against the best solar panels for homes and to see if Tesla is right for you, read this comprehensive Tesla solar review.
Our Take on Tesla Solar
Tesla panels have an efficiency rate that is within the average range but are not the most efficient panels on the market. That is why these solar panels are a great choice for homeowners who live in sunny states like California and Florida. But what Tesla panels lack in efficiency they make up for in appearance, cost and inverter efficiency. To learn more about Tesla solar panels, read on.
What We Like About Tesla Solar
Tesla’s solar panels stand out in more ways than one. Not only are they more affordable per watt than the average panel but their sleek appearances have transformed the solar industry. Traditional solar panels are often seen as an eyesore, but Tesla’s modern and low-profile design adds aesthetic appeal to your home.
The average solar panel cost is 2.94 per watt, but Tesla solar panels cost around 2.30 per watt. If you are looking to save costs on your panel system, the Tesla system is a Smart choice. Tesla will also price match a competitor quote to the same dollar per watt. As long as you email the quote to Tesla within 14 days of receiving it, you’ll be able to benefit from these cost savings. You’ll be able to send your email in Tesla’s Question Center though your Tesla Account.
Tesla’s inverter is among the most efficient on the market, which means it can convert solar energy to usable electricity better than its competitors. The 97.5% efficiency makes it so that nearly all the energy your panels absorb will be used to power your home.
What We Don’t Like About Tesla Solar
Tesla seems like a cost-effective option, but you only have four system sizes to choose from, which can make your Tesla system more expensive than competitors’ and result in a higher cost per watt if you need to buy a larger system than your home requires. With many solar providers, you can design a solar system that perfectly matches your home’s energy needs. However, that is not the case with Tesla.
In addition, the wait times for a Tesla solar system are incredibly long. The average wait time for solar installation is about two to six months. But with Tesla, you may wait up to a year to have your panels installed. You will get your panels eventually, but this long wait can be frustrating.
Finally, as we stated earlier, there are more efficient solar panels on the market than Tesla offers. The most efficient solar panels have an efficiency of 22.8%, but Tesla’s panels have an average efficiency of 19.3% to 20.6%. This means that Tesla panels are better suited for regions that get an abundance of sunlight and may not make sense if you live in a state that experiences more Cloud cover on average and fewer days of full sunshine.
Tesla Solar Panels Review
Tesla offers four solar power systems sizes: 4.8kW, 9.6kW, 14.4kW, and 19.2kW. This means that you may not be able to get the perfect-sized solar panel system for your home, but should still be able to install enough panels to meet your energy needs.
With an efficiency rating between 19.3% and 20.6%, Tesla’s panels are not the most efficient solar panels available. However, these panels are on the higher end of the average efficiency range, so they are perfect if you live in an area that gets a lot of sunshine year-round.
Something that definitely sets Tesla apart from other solar panel companies is its inverter efficiency. Whereas most inverters operate at 93% to 96%, Tesla inverters have an efficiency of 97.5%. The inverter efficiency tells you how well it converts direct current (DC) electricity that is gathered from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) energy that can be used in your home. The higher the efficiency of your inverter, the more solar energy you can convert into usable electricity for your home.
Black solar cells and backsheet
Does Tesla Offer Any Other Solar Products?
Tesla itself is a leader in innovative technologies, so it’s no surprise that it offers several solar solar products, including solar panels, solar batteries, solar roofs, and a mobile tracking app. We’ll discuss each of these products in detail below.
Tesla Solar Roof
Moving beyond the conventional solar panels that are associated with household solar power, Tesla has made waves with its Tesla Solar Roof. This system takes the solar panel to a new level, in both aesthetics and durability. But at 45,000 to 90,000, this solar system is pricey.
While customers may have an untold number of solar panel providers to choose from when going the traditional route, Tesla is among the only companies offering solar shingles today.
Tesla’s solar shingles can be installed as a new roof or on top of existing asphalt shingles, integrating with the look of your existing roof while generating energy to power your home.
The Tesla Solar Roof brings with it a host of benefits that makes it more appealing than standard solar panels, however, there are also some downsides that could turn you away. Check out our full review of the Tesla Solar Roof to learn more about whether this is a better solar solution for you than Tesla Solar Panels.
The Tesla Powerwall battery has an energy storage capacity of 13.5 kWh, a long 20-year lifespan, and a comprehensive 10-year warranty that makes it one of the best solar battery storage systems on the market. By adding a battery to your home solar system, you can use solar energy even when the sun isn’t shining (like at night or on cloudy days) and have power stored up in case of a utility outage.
Tesla Powerwalls are not cheap at about 14,200 per battery, and are more expensive than other solar batteries. However, this higher cost is worth it because of the higher storage capacity, technology and ability to have power during a power outage.
When considering Tesla solar energy storage for a new or existing solar system, customers will come across both the Tesla Powerwall and the Tesla Powerwall. The Powerwall comes with additional benefits, such as more continuous battery power and backup power. The key differences between these two options include the following:
|CATEGORY||TESLA POWERWALL 2||TESLA POWERWALL|
|Energy Capacity||13.5 kWh||13.5 kWh|
|On-Grid Power||5.8 kW continuous||7.6 kW / 5.6 kW continuous|
|Backup Power||10 kW peak||9.6 kW / 7 kW continuous 22 kW / 10 kW peak|
|Size||45.3″ x 29.6″ x 5.75″ 251.3 lbs||62.8″ x 29.7″ x 6.3″ 343.9 lbs|
|Warranty||10 years||10 years|
If your solar panels generate more energy than your home can consume, a Powerwall is one of the best investments you can make. This system helps you get the most out of your solar panels and has settings that can save you even more money on energy bills.
For example, you can set your Tesla Powerwall to Time-Based Control mode. Then your battery stores energy when energy costs are lowest and uses solar energy when costs are highest.
Tesla Solar App
Tesla’s solar technology comes with all the bells and whistles — including a sleek app that can act as the hub for your home’s clean energy system. The app can be used for an entire system of renewable energy products including your solar panels, Powerwall and EV charger. Here’s a quick look at the benefits of the app:
- Monitor your solar system’s live performance and historical production
- When you use it with a Powerwall, you can manage your home’s energy even during an outage
- Track the amount of electricity you send back to the grid
The goal of the Tesla app is to help its customers take control of their home’s energy use and increase their energy independence. The app is capable of a lot, so be sure to ask your solar installer how to best utilize it. Typically, your installer will help you set it up during the commissioning of your system.
How Much Do Tesla Solar Panels Cost?
The all-in price of a Tesla solar system (including equipment and installation) can vary from 11,840 for 9.6 kW of standard solar panels to 22,200 for 14.4 kW after the 30% federal solar tax incentive is applied. Starting at about 2.30 per watt on average, the Tesla solar panels cost less than the national average of 2.94 per watt. This is good news for homeowners, as this lower cost makes Tesla a more affordable option.
A Tesla Solar Roof will have a higher price tag, typically in the ballpark of 45,000 to 90,000. A Tesla Powerwall (for backup power) will be about around 14,200 per 13.5 kWh battery.
Tesla Solar Financing Options
There are two main ways to pay for your Tesla solar system: Cash payment or solar loan. If you choose to pay cash, you immediately own your system and pay the full purchase cost. If you have the option to pay cash, we recommend doing so because it’ll save you the most money each month. You save immediately and don’t have to worry about monthly payments.
If you take out a loan, you still own your solar system, but you can pay for it in monthly installments. Even though you may pay more over time due to loan interest, the loan option is the best choice for many homeowners and is recommended if you can’t afford to pay the full amount for your solar system.
The loan option keeps more money in your bank account, and you still save on energy costs each month. According to the Tesla website, the monthly loan payment for solar is often lower than your monthly electric bill, so you can start seeing savings right away.
Here’s what each financing option includes at a quick glance:
|CASH PURCHASE||SOLAR LOAN|
|Maintenance Included||10-year comprehensive and 25-year panel performance warranties||10-year comprehensive and 25-year panel performance warranties|
|Added Property Value||✓||✓|
|Eligible for Tax Credit||✓||✓|
|Payment Due to||Solar Installer||Loan Provider|
If you’re wondering what’s the best way to pay, check out our solar financing guide. It’s full of information on solar payment options and recommendations tailored to your needs.
How Can You Save Money with Tesla Solar?
Tesla solar panels are expensive, and like many homeowners, you’re probably wondering how you can save the most money on your purchase. There aren’t typically any sales in the solar industry, but you can use any of the following options to save money on your solar panel system:
Solar incentives are complicated — and although every American can qualify for the federal solar tax credit on a solar array, they won’t necessarily cover any Tesla solar product. For instance, solar batteries are only eligible for the solar tax credit if installed along with solar panels.
That being said, there are usually some incentives available to the average consumer. Here’s what you can expect:
- Federal solar tax credit: All solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, regardless of state, are eligible for the solar investment tax credit (ITC) of 30%.
- State tax credits: There are around 10 states that offer some form of solar tax credit that can be used in addition to the federal credit. These mostly appear in states supporting renewable energy like New York, Oregon, Arizona and Maryland.
- Net metering: Depending on your utility provider, your solar installation may be eligible for net metering (NEM). NEM is an incentive through which your utility credits you for the excess energy your home solar system returns to the grid.
- Local solar incentives: Your local city, state or utility company may provide additional incentives in the form of additional tax credits, rebates or even direct payments.
Consulting with a local solar installation company will be the best way to know for sure what type of incentives you may be eligible to receive.
Pay in Cash
One of the easiest ways to save money is to pay for your entire solar system upfront. Although this may seem backwards, it is the cheapest option compared to the solar loan.
When you take out a loan to pay for your Tesla panels, you can pay anywhere from 6% to 36% in interest. Considering the average solar panel cost is 20,580 for a 10-kW system, you could pay an extra 14,800 to 127,000 if you choose a solar loan.
Even if you can’t pay for your entire solar system upfront, you should try to put as much money down as possible. Every dollar you put toward your down payment counts and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Combine Solar Purchases
If you already know you want a Tesla Powerwall and a full solar system, you should have them installed together. Even though it may seem like a good idea to purchase the Powerwall and solar system separately, you may end up paying more.
Each time you need a crew to come to your home to install solar equipment, you’ll pay for labor. But if you have them both installed at the same time, you may save on labor costs.
How Does Tesla Solar’s Installation Process Work?
When you buy a solar panel module from Tesla Solar, you’re a part of the installation process. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from your Tesla Solar panel installation:
Step 1: Order online
On its website, Tesla Solar says it will recommend the right solar panel size for your home based on your electricity usage and your address.
Step 2: Virtual home assessment
As part of Tesla’s solar panel installation process, homeowners send in photos of their equipment and system spaces rather than having a crew come out to inspect these areas before installation (which helps bring total costs below the national average). Then, Tesla Solar representatives will create a solar design for your home, while you remain part of the process.
The exact nature of the installation chosen for your home will be customized based on your rooftop, power needs, geography, budget and more.
Step 3: Installation
Tesla Solar states on its website that most solar installations are finished the same day, and you only need to be at your house for the first hour. The crew will need access to a few basic things, like Wi-Fi. Use this opportunity to ask the crew how to use your Tesla mobile app.
After installation is complete, Tesla will work with your local building department to schedule an inspection. Tesla will then need to work with your utility company to receive permission to operate your system.
Step 4: Permission to Operate (PTO)
Your utility company will send permission to operate (PTO), usually via email, once you pass your inspection. This gives you the thumbs-up to power on your Tesla energy products and start generating your own electricity.
What’s cool about Tesla is that you can monitor your solar system’s energy production through the Tesla app, so you can monitor your energy usage, know exactly how much energy you’re generating, and ultimately stay on top of how cost-effective your panels are.
Watch Below: See for yourself what the Tesla solar panel installation process looks like
Does Tesla Solar Offer a Warranty?
Your Tesla solar panels should have a lifespan of at least 25 years. However, if you take care of your panels, maintain them regularly and use them as directed, they can last up to 30 years. Tesla offers two warranties that protect the parts and performance of your solar panels.
This means that in the event of an unexpected failure, you may not have to pay for repair costs. Since solar panels can cost hundreds of dollars to repair, this warranty is essential to owning them.
Tesla Solar equipment comes with a 10-year comprehensive warranty and a 25-year panel performance warranty. These warranties are comparable to the industry standard warranty, and you can expect the following to be covered under each:
- Comprehensive warranty: Your Tesla solar system is covered by a 10-year warranty. That means for the first decade after your solar panel installation, Tesla should perform any maintenance or labor request related to your solar system at no cost. It covers issues related to roof mounting and leaks, your Tesla solar inverter and/or your Powerwall.
- Panel performance warranty: Your solar panels are protected by what Tesla calls a “panel performance warranty” for at least 25 years following installation. Under it, your solar panels are guaranteed at least 80% of nameplate power capacity. Tesla should process any claims and perform any related labor at no cost.
Where Is Tesla Solar Available?
Tesla solar panels are available in all 50 states, so regardless of where you live, you can get Tesla solar products installed on your home. After you order your solar panel system online, a certified Tesla installer will come to your home to complete the installation.
Click on your state below to connect with a local solar installer in your area:
Tesla Solar Customer Reviews
We’ve covered the basics of what Tesla Solar has to offer in terms of products, services and financing, so now let’s dive into what its customers have to say about the experience.
As mentioned previously, a lot of Tesla Solar customers have complained about the provider’s spotty customer service. While poor customer service is not uncommon in the solar industry, there are some companies that take care of their customers regardless of which stage of installation they are in. Tesla Solar also has hundreds of happy customers who rave about the quality of Tesla’s solar installation and products, which is what we would expect from such a prominent installer.
Before we dive into some perspectives, we’d like to mention that, because Tesla is a national company, your experience may vary depending on the installation companies in your area. Further, you may have a different experience if you choose Powerwall Direct instead of using a certified third-party solar installer.
Positive Reviews of Tesla Solar
Many Tesla solar customers have raved about their good experiences with their solar installers on customer review sites. When their Tesla solar panels are installed correctly, customers report no problems with system functionality and impressive energy savings of 30% or more. Some reviews we have seen even mention that they switched to Tesla Solar after consulting with other solar companies and were so grateful that they chose Tesla instead.
Satisfied Tesla customers report friendly and respectful installation teams that efficiently install Tesla panels. The appearance of the panels is also highlighted in some reviews, and customers are surprised at how clean and modern they look after installation.
Negative Reviews of Tesla Solar
Negative reviews of Tesla solar systems typically mention Tesla’s spotty customer service and failure to follow up when something goes wrong after payment and installation. This lack of technical support is particularly concerning, as several customers have reported receiving no support when they encountered a problem that was covered under warranty.
In addition to poor customer service, some customers also complain about unnecessarily long wait times. While it’s not uncommon for customers to wait up to a year or more for some Tesla products like the Powerwall, solar panel customers have waited four to five months between steps in the installation process. In one case, a customer waited several months for Tesla to redesign their solar system, five months for an on-site inspection to be performed, and then another few months for repairs to be made after installation.
Tesla Solar vs Other Providers
Tesla is one of the top solar providers in the nation, and one of the few companies to offer solar roof tiles, not to mention solar batteries, EV charging stations, and electric vehicles. Most providers offer solar panels installation, but few have the additional services provided by Tesla. In addition, Tesla offers solar panels in all 50 states, which we can’t say about every provider.
See how Tesla rates compared to some of our top solar panel companies in the table below.
|TESLA SOLAR||SUNPOWER||BLUE RAVEN SOLAR||SUNRUN||MOMENTUM SOLAR|
|Services Offered||Solar panel, solar battery, solar roof shingles and EV charger installations||Solar panel, solar battery and EV charger installations||Solar panel installations (batteries coming soon)||Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring, maintenance||Solar panel and solar battery installations|
|Service Areas||All 50 states||All 50 states||17 states including CO, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, NC, NV, OH, OR, SC, TX, UT, VA||22 states, including AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, HI, IL, MD, MA, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, VT, WI, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.||11 states, including AZ, CA, CT, FL, GA, MA, NV, NJ, NY, PA, TX|
|Better Business Bureau Rating||N/A||A||A||B||A|
|Payment Options||Cash payments, loans||Cash, loan, lease, PPA||Cash, loan, lease||Cash, loan, lease, PPA||Cash, loan, lease, PPA|
|Read Provider Review||Current Provider||Read our review of Sunpower||Read our review of Blue Raven Solar||Read our review of Sunrun||Read our review of Momentum Solar|
Bottom Line: Will Tesla Solar Systems Work for You?
It’s important to understand that Tesla’s strengths lie more in its technology than its customer service. If you order a solar system directly through Tesla, your representative will outsource the installation to a subcontractor in your area. This will involve a third party which can cause delays and miscommunication.
We firmly advocate for Tesla’s products — specifically the Powerwall and Solar Roof, but we recommend that you hire a local company to design your system and carry out your installation of Tesla’s products. This way, you get to choose exactly who will be doing the work on your home.
There are a large number of companies certified to install Tesla products that can provide you with reliable customer service, maintenance and backend support. In fact, the majority of the solar companies we recommend can procure and install Tesla products.
If you’re ready to connect with a vetted company in your area for either Tesla Solar or one of its competitors, enter your zip code below to get started.
Tesla Solar Roof cost and availability: How to buy Elon Musk’s energy tiles
The solar-harnessing tiles could be coming to a roof near you.
The third-generation Tesla Solar Roof (aka, the Solarglass Roof) is here. Elon Musk’s newest energy-saving shingles were announced in October 2019 and feature a design that looks nearly identical to a regular roof. But how much does a Tesla Solar Roof cost? And where are they available?
The Tesla Solar Roof tiles have a lot to offer. They’re designed to blend into your roof while providing renewable power 24/7 in conjunction with a Powerwall battery. They have a warranty of 25 years. Tesla even made a video showing its Solar Roof surviving a two-inch hailstone moving at 100 mph. That’s way better than regular old roof tiles hold up.
Tesla Solar Roof cost
At the moment, the Tesla Solar Roof is being installed in various locations across the United States.
At the October 2019 unveiling, Tesla’s senior director of energy operations Kunal Girota explained that Tesla is installing retrofit solar panels in 25 states, and it will be offering the roof in all of those states. The goal, however, is to expand across the country with both the company’s internal teams and third parties.
At the time of writing, Tesla’s website accepts orders for its retrofit solar panels in 24 locations: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusets, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
The Tesla Solar Roof section of the website accepts orders for all 50 states bar Minnesota. Inverse has reached out to Tesla for more information.
As for international buyers, there may be some good news on that front. Musk stated on in February 2020 that he was looking forward to international expansion later this year.
Tesla Solar Roof availability: How to order
Arranging an order for the Tesla Solar Roof is simple. Visit the Tesla Solar Roof designer website and enter the information. It can also be accessed at the following address: https://www.tesla.com/solarroof/design
The first four fields will calculate the roof’s price: location, home square footage, number of stories, and average electricity bill. Tesla needs to determine how big the roof will be, how much sunlight it’s likely to receive, and how much energy the house uses. The solar roof uses a combination of fake and solar tiles, meaning the roof isn’t entirely made of solar panels. These figures will determine the appropriate mix of fake and solar tiles.
The website will inform you that a non-refundable order fee is due today. Curiously, an information box also informs you that if you feel strongly about this, we’ll give it back to you. The pricing breakdown will demonstrate how much the roof will cost after incentives and assuming 25 years’ worth of savings. It also offers a comparison with other options like retrofit solar panels.
Once you’re satisfied, enter your home address (so Tesla knows where to put the roof) and contact information. Then enter your payment information.
- Half of the cost of the order is due when installation begins, and the other half is due within five days of the inspection.
- The installation will start somewhere between two weeks and six months from signing the contract.
- The installation will be finished seven to 21 days from when it started.
It’s perhaps interesting to note, on that last point, that Tesla is aiming to bring install times down to just eight hours.
Tesla Solar Roof: How installation works
Alex Guichet, a games developer based in Cupertino, gave perhaps the most detailed rundown of the installation process for a third-generation Solar Roof. On October 23, 2019, two days before the new product was announced, Guichet signed a contract with Tesla to install the new tiles before they were announced.
Nearly three weeks later on November 11, Tesla confirmed that the installation permit had been secured. Two days later a subcontractor removed their original roof over the space of two hours. Tesla delivered the materials on November 15, and the company’s roofing crew completed work on November 22. This included delays from rain and the weekend.
On December 2, the team started wiring up the electricals, a process completed two days later and fully tested a further three days later. It passed local government inspections on the 11th, and the following month Guichet received permission to start operating from the power company.
Tesla Solar Roof cost: Is it worth it?
That depends on the situation! While Tesla claims its third-generation tiles are competitive with the cost of a roof plus solar, it’s still a big ask to replace the roof. If you don’t need to spend the money it might be worth looking at alternatives like a retrofit. There’s also a number of competitors on the market like Luma Solar, which may be worth exploring before taking the plunge.
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Tesla Solar Roof Cost: Price Breakdown and Guide (2023)
Jonathon Jachura is a two-time homeowner with hands-on experience with HVAC, gutters, plumbing, lawn care, pest control, and other aspects of owning a home. He is passionate about home maintenance and finding the best services. His main goal is to educate others with crisp, concise descriptions that any homeowner can use. Jon uses his strong technical background to create engaging, easy-to-read, and informative guides. He does most of his home and lawn projects himself but hires professional companies for the “big things.” He knows what goes into finding the best service providers and contractors. Jon studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University in Indiana and worked in the HVAC industry for 12 years. Between his various home improvement projects, he enjoys the outdoors, a good cup of coffee, and spending time with his family.
Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.
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A solar roof to your home can add thousands of dollars of value and significantly lower or eliminate your energy bills. The Tesla Solar Roof is a fantastic way to go green without adding solar panels to your roof. And while the Solar Roof has an expensive upfront cost, it can pay for itself after a handful of years and provide you with days of backup energy with the Powerwall.
If you’re ready to get started on going solar today, you can click any of the below links below to get connected with our most recommended installers.
How Much Does a Tesla Solar Roof Cost?
For an average home, the Tesla Solar Roof will cost between 40,000 to 50,000, assuming a 6.14 kW system. And while the Tesla Solar Roof shingles cost less per watt than the national average solar cost, several other factors can increase the cost beyond a traditional system. However, homeowners should keep in mind that they will also have a completely new roof, not just a solar energy system. Additionally, residents purchasing a new solar system will qualify for the Federal Solar Tax Credit and other rebates (depending on their state). These rebates and incentives help make the Solar Roof more affordable.
Not every shingle in a Tesla Solar Roof is solar generating. There are two reasons why – you don’t need all the shingles to be solar to generate enough energy to power your home, and it helps keep the overall system cost down. These tempered glass shingles look similar to slate shingles, and their inactive counterparts match them exactly. The active shingles are 15″ x 45″, produce 71.67 watts, and cost about 1.80 per watt to install. Their cost is far lower than the 3 per watt average for traditional solar panels, but that’s not all you need to complete your Solar Roof.
Non-Solar Shingles and Roofing Materials
- Complex roofs – 18.54 per square foot: Multi-level roofs with a steep roof pitch, many obstructions, and a very crowded mounting plane.
- Intermediate roofs – 15.30 per square foot: Multi-level roofs with a high roof pitch, some obstructions, and a crowded mounting plane.
- Simple roofs – 13.38 per square foot: Single-level roofs with a low roof pitch, minimal obstructions, and an uncrowded mounting plane.
Is the Tesla Solar Roof Eligible for Any Incentives?
Federal and state incentives can help offset the cost of your Solar Roof. The federal tax credit, also known as the investment tax credit (ITC), allows you to deduct 26% of the cost of your system from your federal taxes.
However, the 26% will only apply to the cost of the solar-energy producing component (solar shingles) and not the non-solar shingles. So, if your Solar Roof costs 40,000, and the solar shingles cost 12,000, you will only receive the 26% tax credit on the 12,000 (not 40,000).
Some states, such as California, offer additional incentives, such as rebates, property tax exemptions, and performance-based incentives too. Keep in mind that some incentives and rebates may only apply to the cost of the solar shingles only and not the rest of the roof.
How Much Energy Can the Tesla Solar Roof Produce?
The solar shingles on the Tesla Solar Roof are made of tempered glass and have an embedded solar cell. The solar cells are connected in series to form a string, and several strings are connected in parallel to form a module.
The power output of the solar shingles is determined by the roof size and the home’s electricity usage. Tesla’s website provides very little in terms of specifications for its solar shingles. However, the company does note that each solar shingle is 71.67 watts, and it offers 5.32 kW to 12.53 kW size systems to homeowners.
Tesla and Elon Musk don’t provide the efficiency of their solar shingles to the public. But various third-party tests put the efficiency of the solar shingles at about 8-10%, which is lower than regular solar panels. However, the overall efficiency of the Solar Roof system is even lower because of the non-solar shingles that make up a majority of the roof.