Finding a long-term roofing solution hasn’t been the norm in the US Canada, but the times they are a changing. Sustainable homes are gaining in popularity and the Tesla solar roof tiles are starting to make sense
The Telsa solar roof tiles are in the news again. They now have solar panel shingle installations going in 8 states so far. with what’s becoming competitive pricing. If news of these PV roof shingles is also news to you, check out our Tesla solar roof review from when it was first announced in 2016.
What was missing back then was the pricing, as well as any inkling of a timeline for when we would see this happen. We are pleased to say that both these questions have now been answered as recent patent filings also reveal that they’re developing panel runs rather than individual tiles. with exactly the same appearance. speeding installation, and reducing potential connector failures by having fewer of them!
How much does a Tesla solar roof cost?
The working figures for the cost of a Tesla roof is 21.85 (USD) per square foot, which, is about 5 times the price of the cheapest and shortest-lifespan shingle roof you can find. But don’t get sticker shock before getting the full picture… and bear in mind that these are most suitable for new-build or when a roof needs replacing with something durable, long-term and sustainable. otherwise look for special offers on standard Solar PV panels. like this one also from Tesla.
An asphalt shingle roof is ‘cheaper’ for the initial install, though it is more costly in the long run since every 20 years or so we have to strip our roofs, send another load of shingles to a landfill and buy new ones. That is why shingles are the single greatest ecological catastrophe of the home building industry, and probably the most expensive long-term roof covering when you consider the full life-cycle of a house.
Further to that, a shingle roof, metal roof, or any other composite recycled-material roofing product will not turn your lights on, nor will it fill your gas tank for you. That’s where Tesla really delivers. Tesla has equated the cost of their solar shingles to the price of a standard shingled roof, plus an electricity bill. And with a predicted 30-year lifespan, this could feasibly be the cheapest roofing option on the market. Elon Musk said the following at a recent shareholders’ meeting to explain the delay for ramping up production on the solar roof –
“We are about to complete version 3 of the solar roof. This is actually quite a hard technology problem to have an integrated solar cell with a roof tile, have it look good, and last for 30 years.”
As for cost, Musk went on to say: “I am very excited about version 3 of solar roof. We have a shot at being equal to a comp shingle roof plus someone’s utility cost or being lower than that. That’s one of the cheapest roofs available. So you can have a great roof with better economics than a normal fairly cheap roof and your utility bill.”
Again, think back to the price point of the Model 3 EV – it’s on the higher end of pricing for commuter vehicles (though it is on the low end of the swanky car market), but the savings on incidental costs – fuel and maintenance – is what makes it (the Tesla model 3 and other electric vehicles) more affordable than driving combustion engine vehicles. The economic case for the Tesla roof follows that same principle.
When can I get a Tesla solar roof?
The answer to that is, don’t hold your breath. That’s a supply and demand issue, and if history and the popularity of the Tesla brand is any indicator, it may still be a while. Providing 1000 solar roofs per week is a significant achievement, but at the rate of new home construction as well as replacing old roof coverings, 1000 homes a week is still a drop in the bucket. But, no one else has dropped anything quite this cool in the bucket lately, so we’re not going to get on their case about it just yet : )
The downside to Tesla solar roof tiles
Tesla solar roof tiles is a very popular topic as people tend to love em’ or hate em’, so critiques will likely soon follow. But since there still is very little real-world data to see how the Tesla roof will perform, there is little we can say for or against. Tesla’s biggest flaws have always been meeting their own delivery date targets, and having a few false starts. It happened with the launch of the Model 3 EV, the first Powerwall home batteries were duds, and the solar roof is way past the initial target date for delivery and currently can only be found on the roofs of Tesla executives and likely a few close friends. Meh; no one is perfect, better late than never.
As yet another innovative renewable-energy initiative from Tesla comes to life, it will likely have the same effect that they had on the electric vehicle market, which was to fire a shot across the bow to any of their competitors who have hopes to stay in business.
There is a lot of speculation about what the Telsa master plan is, because they make waves in whatever industry they target. If Elon Musk was a global leader in producing high-polluting products he would be the perfect Bond movie super-villain, but thankfully for us he is using his powers for good. Kudos to him for his continued leadership in renewable-energy technology.
Solar Roof Tiles Alternatives to Tesla in 2023
Solar Roof tiles represent a seamless way of integrating solar technology into your home without sacrificing design.
If you buy something that we link, we may earn a commission. See our product review guidelines and affiliate disclaimer.
Solar roof tiles, also sometimes called ‘solar shingles’ or ‘solar slates’, are solar photovoltaic cells that double as roof tiles. This means they not only have the function of roof tiles but also look like them too, coming in various different shapes, colors, and textures to fit consumers’ aesthetic preferences.
It’s a pretty great concept, especially for homeowners on the fence about switching over to solar due to aesthetic reasons. Some people are fine with blue solar panels covering their roofs, while others simply loathe the idea.
Although they weren’t the first to invent this technology, solar roof tiles have been made famous by Tesla. Tesla’s solar roof was first unveiled in 2016, but it took a couple of years before they were actually installed onto people’s roofs. But since 2021, a series of changes have left a lot of people a bit disappointed. The company changed the design of the tiles to speed up installation, but some people don’t like the way these new tiles look. They’ve also significantly risen the price of installing the tiles by implementing a new pricing system that is dependent on the complexity of the roof.- how many chimneys, what’s the pitch of the roof, and so on. Also, anyone who wants to install Tesla’s solar roof is now forced to also buy Powerwall batteries for storing the generated power since the tiles now feed exclusively into Tesla’s proprietary battery.
Needless to say, a lot of customers were not happy. But where there’s a need, the market is there to fulfill it. Tesla wasn’t the one who invented roof tiles that double as solar panels, and they sure aren’t the only ones selling this kind of product. Furthermore, there are many places where Tesla’s solar roof is simply not available. Let’s take a look at what companies offer viable alternatives to Tesla’s solar roof in 2023.
|Tesla Solar Roof||Undisclosed (thought to be 18%-20%)||25 years||6-10|
|Luma Solar Roof||21%||25 years||4-5|
|Certainteed Apollo II Apollo Tile II||15%-16%||25 years||6-7|
|SunTegra Solar Roof System||16%-17%||25 years||4.5-5.5|
|Exasun X-tile and X-roof||18%||30 years||4.5-7|
Luma Solar Roof
The Luma Solar Roof is a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system made by Luma Solar that is designed to replace traditional roofing materials with solar panels. The panels are designed to be aesthetically pleasing and can be installed on a new or existing roof.
Although Luma Solar is nowhere near as famous as Tesla, Luma is an important brand in the solar energy market and was actually the first to develop solar shingle systems in North America more than a decade ago.
Luma’s solar shingle efficiency is around 22-24%, while Tesla’s is 18-20%. A solar roof from either company will mix solar shingles and regular shingles. Luma’s shingles are a bit larger than Tesla’s, so you need fewer pieces to cover the same roof surface area than with Tesla’s shingles.
Luma only offers a 5-year warranty on the photovoltaic components on their solar roofs. Beyond the photovoltaic warranty, both companies offer a 25-year power production warranty. Meanwhile, Tesla guarantees that their solar roofs will still be operating at least 80% efficiently after 25 years, or they will replace the roof.
The price of installing the Luma Solar Roof will also vary depending on the project’s complexity, but the installation is much more flexible. While Tesla requires that your entire roof be replaced, Luma gives you the option of a partial roof upgrade.
If you have a typical home, a partial roof upgrade can set you back around 4-5 per watt with Luma solar shingles. Meanwhile, a Tesla roof costs anywhere between 6 and 10 per watt.
Certainteed Apollo II and Apollo Tile II
Certainteed offers two BIPV systems to choose from. The CertainTeed Apollo II is similar to the Tesla Solar Roof, in the sense that they serve as replacement tiles. If replacing your entire roof doesn’t sound like an appealing option, Certainteed offers the Apollo Tile II, which is designed to blend into a new or existing concrete tile roof.
Both the Apollo II and the Apollo Tile II solar shingles have 14 monocrystalline cells with a total power of 70 W.
CertainTeed, unfortunately, doesn’t post its prices, but we’ve found quotes posted online by other people between 6-7 per watt.
SunTegra Solar Roof System
SunTegra’s Solar Roof System is a BIPV designed to be installed on a new or existing roof. Their key innovation is a lower profile against the roof thanks to a proprietary system that requires 50% fewer parts than a standard rock-mounted solar system.
Thanks to its low profile that measures only three-quarters of an inch, SunTegra’s tiles feature air channels on the backside of the module that keep the photovoltaic shingles cooler, thus improving efficiency.
The roof offers a limited power warranty of 25 years and a 10-year product warranty, and the shingle measures just under 53 inches by just over 23 inches.
SunTegra doesn’t make specific pricing information available on their site, but we’ve found estimates posted by other people hovering in the 4.5 to 5.5 range.
Exasun X-tile and X-roof
Netherlands-based Exasun offers two BIPV systems: the terracotta-like X-Tile can be installed on existing roofs and the X-Roof which is a complete roof replacement. Both systems have a rated efficiency of around 18%, on par with other solar roof systems.
The Exasun tiles are based on back-contact-on-glass technology and measure only 60 cm by 82 cm. The tiles come with 30-year product workmanship and linear power warranties.
GB Sol’s BIPV system is designed and manufactured in the UK.- and this shows. The blue-gray slate tiles are specifically designed to withstand heavy rain, hail, and anything the lovely British weather can throw at you. The cost per watt is around 5.5.
Their solar tiles, known as ‘PV slates’, come in just one style – “natural blue”, designed to complement a slate roof. They’re lighter than traditional tiles, weighing just 3.5kg per slate), meaning you could replace your roof without having to strengthen your property’s structure. GB-Sol is exclusively available in the UK at this current time.
Solar roof tiles aren’t for everyone but you can’t go wrong with a classic
Not every household can afford to install a fancy solar roof with shingles that double as solar panels. In general, you can expect to pay 2-3 times more than when using traditional solar panels. Bear in mind the listed in this article do not include installation costs. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go solar because there’s nothing wrong with conventional solar panels attached to a home’s roof. In fact, they’re much cheaper and have a significantly higher efficiency than solar roof tiles.
It’s important to consider your budget, energy needs, and aesthetic preferences when choosing a solar energy system for your home. It may also be helpful to speak with a solar energy professional or research online to compare the various options and determine which one is the best fit for you.
Tesla has started testing v3.5 of Solar Roof on employees’ homes
Tesla is giving their employees access to their latest solar roof product, version 3.5 to help test it before it does a wider launch later this year.
It’s unclear as to what exactly the new features are in version 3.5, but the FOCUS seems to be on durability and ease of installation. If implementations on employees’ roofs go well, we’ll most likely see an introduction of the new Solar Roof at the end of this year when they begin installations.
The company has gone through a few different versions of the solar roof over the years, with Solar Roof version 3 launching in 2019. CEO Elon Musk stated that Tesla was aiming to produce 1,000 new Solar Roofs per week by the end of 2019.
According to Electrek, Tesla halted scheduling solar roof installations across most markets in the US. This is allegedly due to high cost, and issues with the roof tiles. Third-party companies, however, were able to continue installing Solar Roof.
During the second quarter of 2022, Tesla installed 23 roofs per week or 2.5 MW, short of their intended goal. It’s possible Tesla was waiting for the newer version of the roof tiles before resuming installations.
Until recently, it was difficult to gauge how many Solar Roof installations took place because Tesla bundled the number of installations with its solar panel retrofits, which are much more popular due to their cheaper cost.
As Tesla prepares to resume Solar Roof installations in the fourth quarter of this year, we anticipate that this new iteration of the product will simplify installation, reduce costs, and increase the product’s reliability.
Ordering a New Tesla?
Consider using our referral code (nuno84363) to help support our site. Model 3 and Y buyers will receive credits toward Tesla Merch, while Model S and X buyers will receive 1,000 off and 3 months of FSD for free.
Tesla’s NACS Connector Standardization: SAE Takes the Wheel, Volvo Joins the Race
In a significant move for the EV industry, SAE International, formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers, is to set performance standards for Tesla’s NACS (North American Charging Standard) connector.
To expand the compatibility of the proprietary charger network beyond Tesla vehicles, this move has the potential to redraw the boundaries of the EV charging ecosystem. Until now, Tesla’s exclusive NACS connector was engineered for its global Supercharger network, consisting of approximately 17,800 Superchargers in the US alone.
SAE’s Role in Ensuring Standardization and Compatibility
In response to the significant shift towards NACS, SAE has decided to set the stage for this connector’s future. The standards proposed by SAE will dictate how the plugs interface with charging stations, establish charging speeds, and set requirements for reliability and cybersecurity. Although the decision seems to potentially mark the end of the road for new CCS1 charger plugs, the thousands of existing CCS-enabled EVs guarantee this design won’t disappear soon.
A spokesperson for SAE has clarified that the organization is not choosing the NACS connector over CCS but responding to its widespread adoption. The goal is to ensure that the most popular charging system is standardized and compatible with a wide range of EVs.
Consumer Demand Drives Major Shift in Charging Standards
Interestingly, the transition toward standardizing the NACS connector appears to be primarily consumer-driven. The number of NACS-equipped vehicles on the road significantly outweighs those with CCS connectors, nearly two to one. Given the technical challenges and infrastructure issues encountered by alternative charging networks such as Electrify America, ChargePoint, and EVgo, it’s no wonder that most EV owners favor Tesla’s reliable Supercharger network.
Reacting to this trend, major automakers, including Ford and GM, have announced their plans to align with Tesla’s charging system by manufacturing EVs equipped with NACS connectors. This week, Volvo made a similar announcement, signing an agreement to join Tesla’s Supercharger network starting in 2025. It’s important to note that while automakers won’t be charged a licensing fee for adopting NACS, EV owners will still have to pay to use Tesla’s charging stations.
This new chapter in the EV charging story signifies a more unified future that is not just about driving electric vehicles but about making electric driving more accessible to all.
Tesla misses its own expectations for Solar Roof deployments
Three years ago Tesla said it expected to install 1,000 solar roofs per week, which would have amounted to 156,000 Solar Roofs in that time period. Wood Mackenzie reports that only 3,000 have been installed to date.
A rendition of the Tesla Solar Roof.
Tesla announced its Solar Roof to much fanfare back in 2016, and three years ago the company stated that it had a goal of 1,000 installations per week. Yet, only about 3,000 Solar Roof systems have been installed to date, according to data from Wood Mackenzie, with a total capacity of nearly 30 MW (DC).
Wood Mackenzie, for the first time, identified Tesla Solar Roof installations using its proprietary project-level data sets and summarized the key findings in a report titled, ‘Five Years In: Tesla Solar Roof deployments miss expectations’.
“The Tesla Solar Roof, an innovative roofing system made of glass tiles with embedded photovoltaic cells, attracted considerable attention after its initial launch several years ago. But granular installation data has always been elusive, making it challenging to analyze the product’s growth – until now,” said Max Issokson, research analyst and lead author of the report.
Despite Tesla’s 2020 stated goal to install 1,000 systems per week, Wood Mackenzie analysis shows that average Solar Roof installations per week were just 21 in 2022, and the largest quarter for installations was the first quarter of 2022, which saw 32 systems installed per week.
Tesla Solar Roof capacity installed by year, 2017-2022 ( Source: Wood Mackenzie)
Looking at the entire roofing market in the U.S., which installs an estimated 5 million roofs built annually, Tesla held less than 0.03% of the total roofing market in 2022, according to the report.
“As the residential solar industry continues to grow, solar roofing solutions will play an important role in offering customers flexibility and alternatives to conventional modules. The future potential of Tesla’s Solar Roof will rely on the company’s ability to simplify and streamline installations and tap into a broader customer base,” Issokson concluded.
Tesla is not alone in the building-integrated solar roofing market. GAF Energy, CertainTeed, SunStyle, Suntegra Solar, Forward and Luma Solar are other manufacturers who have gotten in on the game. Today GAF Energy, a prominent residential roofing company, is a market leader in the sub-sector with its Timberline Solar product. Its nailable solar shingle was announced at CES 2022, where it won the Best of Innovation award. What sets the Timberline apart from Tesla’s Solar Roof is that the roof system directly integrates solar technology into traditional roofing processes and materials, according to Wood Mackenzie.
“GAF Energy’s Timberline Solar roofing system is better positioned to achieve widespread adoption,” said Issokson. “The product is faster and easier to install, and the company captures customers when they are considering roof replacements.”
Tesla has had a tough time in the residential solar installation market as well. Wood Mackenzie noted in its 2022 solar installer Leaderboard that Freedom Forever had overtaken Tesla in the top three residential market spot for the first time, securing 4% of the U.S. market the previous year. Sunrun and Titan Solar Energy held the top two spots, respectively.
Tesla’s stock, which trades on the Nasdaq exchange as ‘TSLA,’ was up 1.25% today to 196.25 per share, however, it traded down about 5% over the last month.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
Anne Fischer is a senior editor at pv magazine USA. Anne is a seasoned writer, editor, and journalist.
Tesla Solar Roof Cost Review (Is It Worth It In 2023?)
Join thousands of other homeowners in determining whether its right for you!
Each product and or company featured here has been independently selected by the writer. You can learn more about our review methodology here. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Written by Alora Rands
Based in the Minneapolis area, Alora is an avid writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Alora has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in child, family and school psychology, but she has always had a love for biology and environmental studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Alora spent her days working with children with disabilities and nights as a freelance writer of commercial, blog and technical content. When she is not at the workplace, Alora can be found hiking with her dogs, chasing sunsets with her camera or plotting her next novel. 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
Why You Can Trust EcoWatch
We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other solar site has covered renewables as long as EcoWatch, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites.
Jump to Section:
Find the best price from solar installers near you.
What Is the Tesla Solar Roof?
In 2016, CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Solar Roof, a futuristic product consisting of photovoltaic (PV) roof tiles capable of generating clean energy. The roof is designed to maximize your energy production without sacrificing the aesthetics of your home. This addresses one of the most common complaints surrounding solar panels: the way the panels look.
Although the idea started trending quickly, it took almost two years for Tesla’s solar shingles to make their way onto the roofs of real homeowners. After a few more years of improvements, we’re finally seeing Tesla Solar Roof installations become more common.
Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles integrate the functionality of solar cells into roof tiles, making it possible for one product to offer two different uses. Categorized under Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV), solar roof shingles look much sleeker than traditional residential solar panels, transforming the aesthetics of a roof equipped with solar.
While there have been other solar shingle products on the market, Tesla’s textured glass tile shingles offer some remarkable advantages. These include a 25-year warranty and impressive hail, fire and wind ratings. Tesla claims its shingles offer more durability and weather protection compared to traditional roof shingles.
How Does the Tesla Solar Roof Work?
The first few attempts at BIPV solar roofs were made by pasting flexible solar panels over regular shingles. However, it was an inefficient method with questionable durability.
When Tesla got into the solar game and designed its solar roof tiles with subsidiary SolarCity. it integrated solar cells directly into the shingles (initially using a Panasonic cell before parting ways with the company). 1 This makes the solar cells almost impossible to spot.
A Tesla Solar Roof comprises two types of roof tiles — active and inactive. They look identical, but the active tiles generate power and the inactive do not. Most homes only need part of their roof to be covered in active tiles to offset their energy bills. The inactive tiles can be strategically placed in shady spots to maximize the efficiency of the active tiles while maintaining a seamless design.
Solar shingles generate direct current (DC) power, so a Tesla roof also needs an inverter to turn it into usable alternating current (AC) power for your home. Tesla recommends adding a Powerwall battery to the system as well. This lets homeowners store solar energy for use at night or as backup power during a grid outage.
Watch Below: Check out this video from a real Tesla Solar Roof owner to learn more about whether the roof is a good option for you:
How Much Does the Tesla Solar Roof Cost?
We evaluated a typical house in California with a 2,000-sqare-foot roof and an average electric bill of 150 per month. According to Tesla, such a home would require a 6.14 kilowatt (kW) Solar Roof. Along with the recommended Powerwall, this would cost 48,300 after factoring in incentives like the federal tax credit (the system would cost 69,000 without the tax credit).
Without an energy storage system, the roof would cost about 45,200. Tesla also charges for tearing off an existing roof. In this example, roof removal costs 7,700.
Here’s a breakdown of Tesla roof pricing for the home we analyzed:
|Tesla Roof Installation Components||Cost|
|6.14 kW Solar Roof||50,700|
|Estimated Federal Tax Credit Value||-20,700|
|Estimated Price After Incentives||48,300|
Tesla describes these costs as “estimated costs” and has a disclaimer stating that the may change based on actual installation and roof removal conditions.
This change was reportedly made after some homeowners were asked to pay more after signing a contract for a certain purchase cost. If you decide to go ahead with the quoted prices, you will be required to pay a 250 refundable deposit.
What Affects the Cost of a Tesla Solar Roof?
Below are the main variables that cause the total installation cost of your Tesla Solar Roof to be higher or lower
- Roof complexity
- Size of your roof
- Necessary home upgrades
- Cost of labor
According to Electrek 2. Tesla introduced its own roof complexity factor that impacts the price of its solar shingles and solar roofs. Your roof’s complexity is taken into account within the online quote system which makes it much easier to give you an accurate estimate for your solar panel installation. On Tesla’s online quote page, you’ll be asked about the following to determine your roof’s complexity:
- Number of roof joints
- Pitch of your roof
- Presence of chimneys, ventilation, dormers and other features on your roof
Tesla’s pricing system does not yet have the capability to rate the complexity of your roof, but it is not unheard of to see an added cost of 5,000 to 10,000 depending on how your roof rates. To gauge how complex your roof is according to Tesla’s standards, you can use this general system:
- Simple : Your roof has only one level, a low pitch and very few extra features
- Intermediate : Your roof has at least two levels, a moderate pitch and more than two extra features, such as a dormer window and chimney
- Complex : Your roof has several levels, has a steep slope and has several extra features
Size of Your Roof
The larger your roof, the more expensive your Tesla Solar Roof will be. Not only do larger roofs require more material, but larger roofs take longer to install simply because of the added square footage. Not every homeowner will know the size of their roof down to the square foot, so online estimates may differ from in-person quotes.
Necessary Home Upgrades
When you complete Tesla’s online quote system, you will be given a general estimate for the cost of your new solar roof. However, this quote does not include any extra home upgrades or add-ons that may be necessary to complete your project.
Before the installation process can begin, your solar technicians may need to update existing electrical wiring or remove old roofing. If your solar roof needs to be installed on your shed or deck, this can also increase the price. You may not be able to get this added cost information online, but it will be included in your roof inspection.
Cost of Labor
Cost of labor has a major impact on the cost of your Tesla Solar Roof, and this price can vary depending on where you live. For instance, the cost of labor may be different if you live in New York versus if you live in Texas. This cost can even vary from town to town and from one contractor to the next.
Tesla Solar Roofs are not a simple task for a roofer either. If your roofer doesn’t have experience with Solar Roofs, labor costs can add up quickly due to the extra time needed to plan and execute the complex installation.
Tesla Solar Roof vs Other Solar Options
The price of solar shingles is typically more expensive upfront and costs between 25,000 and 60,000 for a 1,700-square-foot roof. However, many homeowners ultimately choose solar shingles over traditional solar panels due to their modern appearance and low maintenance. See how the Tesla Solar Roof compares to other leading solar shingle providers in the industry.
|Roof Type||Average Cost (-)||Efficiency (%)||Solar Panel or Shingles Dimension||Maintenance Need (low / med / high)||Aesthetics (low / med / high)|
|Tesla Solar Roof||19.4%||44.88” x 16.93”||Low||High|
|SunTegra||17.2%,||52 ⅝” x 23 ⅛”||Low||Med|
|GAF Energy||22%||64.25″ x 17.125||Low||High|
|Luma Solar||22.1%||52.5” x 14.65”||Low||Med|
|Rooftop Solar Panels||22%||65” × 39”||Low||Low|
|Ground Mounted Solar Panels||22%||375 – 429 square feet (total system)||Med||Low|
Tesla Solar Roof Specs
Tesla’s solar roof boasts tremendous weather resistance and warranty coverage. It may not be as efficient as traditional solar panels, but when it covers your entire roof, it doesn’t need to be.
Tile and Power Warranty
The solar industry standard for an excellent warranty includes a minimum 25-year product and performance warranty; Tesla easily meets this qualification with its near comprehensive warranty. The Tesla Solar Roof comes with a 25-year warranty that is broken down into the Tesla solar product warranty, weatherization warranty and module warranty. Each of these warranty components applies to your solar roof as follows:
- Product Warranty: Guarantees that your solar roof is defect-free and remains intact for the full 25 years
- Weatherization Warranty: Guarantees that your Tesla Solar Roof system will still be attached to your roof and will prevent any wind or rain damage to your home for 25 years following its installation date
- Module Warranty: Guarantees that the power capacity of your Tesla Solar Roof will perform at 95% or more of its rated capacity for five years post-installation. After that, the power capacity should decline at a maximum of 0.5% per year for the remaining 20 years
The Tesla Solar Roof has been awarded a Class A fire rating, which is the highest rating in the industry. This rating means that the flame spread rate for this solar power roof system will stay between zero and 25 mph, so this roofing material is rated excellent for fire resistance.
For states that experience severe hail and thunderstorms, a roof’s hail rating is incredibly important. Tesla Solar Roofs have received a Class 3 hail rating, which means that the roof can withstand the impact of a hailstone up to a diameter of 1.75 inches.
Tesla Solar Roofs have been given a Class F wind rating, which is also among the highest ratings awarded by the industry. This rating means that Tesla roofs can withstand winds up to 110 mph in speed (equal to around a Category 2 or 3 hurricane), so your roof should not lift off during severe storms that reach these wind speeds.
The angle — also known as the pitch — of your roof impacts how much solar energy production occurs. Tesla Solar Roofs are compatible with a roof pitch between 2:12 and 24:12. The most common pitch range is between 6:12 and 9:12, so Tesla Solar Roofs can be installed on nearly any roof and still produce energy in an optimal range.
Tesla Solar Inverter Power
Known for its sleek design, outstanding reliability and easy integration into your Tesla solar panel system, the Tesla solar inverter completes your solar system. Tesla offers different models for its solar inverter, so homeowners can choose the one that best suits their Tesla solar panels.
When Is a Tesla Solar Roof Worth It?
The Tesla Solar Roof is an excellent choice for homeowners who want to use the sun’s energy to offset their energy bill but don’t want to compromise their curb appeal. The Tesla Solar Roof may not be worth the added premium for most customers. Nevertheless, there are still times when a Tesla Solar Roof is worth it, such as:
- Your roof needs to be replaced
- You want solar panels but don’t like how solar systems look
- You live in a region with Tesla-certified installers
You Want Solar Panels But Don’t Like How Solar Systems Look
One of the most common complaints about solar panels is how they look once installed on your roof. Even modern black solar panels can look clunky and unattractive.
Tesla has solved this problem by developing a sleek, modern solar design that fulfills your renewable energy needs. If curb appeal matters to you, then Tesla Solar Roof is the perfect solution for your home.
Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced
If your roof needs to be replaced anyways, you should consider installing a Tesla Solar Roof — especially if you’re considering installing solar panels down the line. Once you factor in materials and labor, a new roof plus solar panels can be more expensive than a solar roof on its own. Depending on your roof, it can make more fiscal sense to install the Tesla Solar Roof, which provides your home with both protection and power for 25 years.
On paper, a standard roof appears far cheaper than a Tesla Solar Roof. However, you have to remember that when comparing against a solar roof, you have to factor in the amount you’ll spend on electricity over 25 years in addition to the roof itself.
After the federal tax credit is applied, and you account for 25 years worth of electricity costs, the Tesla Solar Roof can actually provide better value than a new roof installation with solar panels (and certainly better than one without solar panels). Check out the numbers below — the final cost of a roof and electricity over 25 years is found in the far right-hand column.
|Type of Roof||Upfront Cost||Total Cost After Federal ITC||Estimated Cost of Energy Over 25 Years||Net Cost Over 25 Years (Roof Electricity)|
|New Roof||15,500 – 67,500||15,500 – 67,500||45,000||60,500 – 112,500|
|New Roof Solar Panels||40,500 – 92,500||33,000 – 85,000||0 – 10,000||43,000 – 95,000|
|Tesla Solar Roof||69,000||48,300||0 – 10,000||48,300 – 58,300|
Upfront cost of a new roof uses the average cost of a new metal roof in the United States; the new roof solar panels section assumes the average cost to install solar is 25,000; and the average homeowner saves 20,000 in energy over 25 years. Actual will vary depending on your location, type of roof and brand of solar panel.
You Live In a Region With Tesla-Certified Installers
Historically, you could only get a Tesla Solar Roof if you lived within a certain distance of a Tesla warehouse. Tesla has since made its solar roof systems available to any homeowner in the United States and can send traveling installation teams. Tesla will also send out a certified professional to make sure your roof is a good candidate for its roof before installation.
Even though you can get a roof directly from Tesla, you should make sure that your local solar installers are Tesla-certified. Those who hold this certification know how to install Tesla shingles correctly and will make sure your system works properly.
You’re Considering Solar Panels for Your Roof
If you have considered solar panel installation for your roof, you should also compare the cost of a Solar Roof to that of a Tesla solar panel system. For the same house we used in the above example, Tesla suggests a 4.8 kW solar panel system with a Powerwall II home battery and quotes a notably lower estimated price of 16,852.
Traditional solar modules are more efficient than solar roof shingles, therefore they require less capacity. In this case, a traditional solar array only needs to be 4.80 kW to generate the same amount of power as a 6.14 kW Solar Roof. This means that a Tesla Solar Roof ends up costing three times as much as traditional panels — a staggering difference in investment.
Tesla Solar Roof Pros and Cons
As we have covered thus far, the most significant advantages to a Tesla Solar Roof include unparalleled aesthetics with excellent durability. However, solar shingles yield slightly less energy than traditional solar panels and carry a higher price tag.
Tesla Solar Roof Pros
- Superior aesthetics
- Several design choices
- Excellent warranty coverage
- High durability
Solar Design Aesthetics
One of the biggest benefits of Tesla Solar Roofs is the appearance. Not only are these solar shingles built to resemble a roof’s style, but the shingles are so low-profile that your neighbors won’t even know that you’ve installed solar-harnessing tiles on your roof.
Several Design Choices
Tesla Solar Roofs are designed to appeal to the modern homeowner, but Tesla takes this design one step further by offering several design choices so that homeowners can match the style of their home. You can get your Tesla Solar Roof in styles that resemble textured, Tuscan, smooth or slate tiles.
Tesla’s Excellent Warranty
The industry standard warranty is 25 years, and Tesla meets this criteria with flying colors. With a product, performance and weatherization warranty, homeowners will not have to worry about their Tesla roof breaking down or causing damage. Plus, your roof will remain protected from the elements.
Highly Durable Solar Option
Tesla solar roofs are rated to withstand some of the most severe weather conditions around, so you won’t have to worry about your home being damaged from high wind, hail or rain. This durability makes Tesla solar roofs an excellent choice for homeowners across the country.
Tesla Solar Roof Cons
- Lower efficiency than traditional systems
- Long wait period prior to installation
- Unknown maintenance costs
Expensive Option vs Traditional Solar Panels
Tesla solar roofs are among the most expensive solar shingles on the market, so many budget-conscious homeowners choose to go another route. Even though the roof’s PV will help to offset future energy costs, the upfront cost can come as quite the sticker shock.
Efficiency Lower Than Traditional Systems
As seen in the tables above, the efficiency rating for Tesla solar roofs is lower than some of the other industry leaders. This does make most homeowners question whether these solar tiles are worth the extra cost, especially if the tiles are intended to offset energy costs, not just look stunning on a roof.
Long Wait Period for Tesla Products
If you have decided to install a Tesla solar roof, then you better plan well ahead of time because the current lead times for roof installation are between one and six months. But, the wait period tends to lean more towards the three to six month timeline. Homeowners who want to get their solar roof installed more quickly will need to choose another provider.
Unknown Maintenance Costs
Because Tesla’s solar roof is such a new product, it is nearly impossible to determine the maintenance costs. The solar roofs are designed to be low maintenance, but this is difficult to determine due to how short the product has been on the market. Unlike traditional solar panels, you may not have certified technicians who know how to fix Tesla panels should they break down.
Steps to Getting a Solar Roof Installed
The installation process of a Tesla Solar Roof is similar to a traditional solar panel installation but requires more time. You can order your Solar Roof directly through Tesla’s website or a certified Tesla roof installer. Bear in mind that you must live in Tesla’s coverage area for Solar Roof installations. In more remote areas, it may not be possible just yet.
Here is a list of the steps involved:
- Place Order: The first step in placing your order is paying a deposit of 250. Orders are placed through Tesla’s website after you have reviewed the estimated size and price of your system. Tesla uses your average electricity bill to recommend a system size.
- Assessment: The numbers on Tesla’s design page are based on basic approximations, and a proper design of your solar roof system will require a more detailed assessment. For this, Tesla’s engineers will assess your location virtually using satellite imagery. You will also be required to submit your full electric bill for Tesla to better understand your energy needs. If the assessment shows that your home isn’t a good candidate for a Solar Roof, Tesla will refund your deposit.
- Permits: Your city and utility company will treat your Solar Roof like any other solar power system, meaning you will require permits to install and operate the solar tiles on your roof. This step may take a few weeks, depending on where you live.
- Installation: Once you have the permits, the technicians will tear down your existing roof and install the new solar roof. This may take a week or more based on the size and complexity of your roof.
- Inspection and Permission to Operate (PTO): Once installed, your system will be inspected for safety by both your city (in some cases county) and your utility. Before you can turn your system on, you’ll need to receive written permission to operate (PTO) from your utility. The company installing your system will likely take care of the paperwork.
The best way to find out if the Tesla Solar Roof is right for you is to connect with a local solar company. Some solar companies are certified by Tesla to sell and install Solar Roofs. You can get started by clicking below