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Affordable Residential Solar Roofing in California. Tesla solar roof alternatives

Affordable Residential Solar Roofing in California. Tesla solar roof alternatives

    Affordable Residential Solar Roofing in California

    Solar roofing solutions like tiles and shingles are taking over many parts of the world.

    It is a newer technology and one that has more promise in terms of lifespan and aesthetics.

    It is an ideal choice for someone looking to have functional roofing that serves as a solar power generator besides its regular uses.

    Cali Solar is one of the companies that handles and installs solar roofing to fulfill your needs.

    Is Solar Roofing Worth It?

    To date, there are two types of solar roofing. You can embed these with the existing rooftop covering and have the durability of traditional roofing materials.

    These two types are:

    • Solar tiles: These are multilayer tiles that have thin-film solar cells. These durable tiles contain silicon solar cells.
    • Solar shingles: Solar shingles are a replacement for typical roofing shingles. They contain monocrystalline silicon solar cells, much like solar tiles.

    The first solar roofing made its debut in Colorado in 2011.

    Since then, its adoption has become more common, especially in California.

    Its popularity increased following the large-scale program by Tesla in creating the Tesla Solar Roof.

    This roofing consists of higher quality materials made to replace roof shingles.

    The adoption of solar roofing is widespread and tested throughout the world.

    In some parts of the country, we even see vehicles that have solar roof capability. Solar street lights, garden lights, and outdoor lights help lessen electricity costs within a city.

    Since 2018, more California residences and commercial establishments have adopted this new technology. A Tesla roofing consists of around 60% non-solar shingles, and 40% solar generating ones. Other brands followed suit, and since then, solar roofing has become the new thing to grace the evolving world of renewable energy.

    Solar Roofing Vs. Solar Panels

    Due to being a new technology, there are many arguments against solar shingles and tiles. Weighing each advantage and disadvantage can help you decide if solar roofing is the option for you. Here are the main points to consider:

    Installation And Efficiency

    We recommend the installation of solar roof tiles and shingles for new homes. Unless you have the extra money for it, removing your old roof for a replacement may prove too costly.

    Since it is a new technology, effectiveness is still a question. Only time will tell if solar roofing has the advantage over its panel counterpart.

    One distinct advantage that panels have is their orientation. You can adjust the panel to hit the right angles and generate the most energy when the sun is at its brightest.

    For roofing, you have to make adjustments in areas where they can generally gather the most sunlight.

    Another option is to install more solar shingles to generate more electricity.

    A solar roofing system has an inverter to help generate the most electricity possible, much like panels.

    It also connects to a monitoring system for any maintenance work or upgrades. You always have access to your solar roofing from your smartphone.

    Visual Appeal

    Solar shingles look like asphalt shingles, giving them the feel of a traditional roof.

    They can come in shades of blue and black, with more design options on the way. A lot of homeowners dislike the fact that solar panels stand out.

    For those that want an integrated design, solar roofing is the best option available.


    Solar roofing is much more expensive than traditional roofing. The added expense can lead to gains later on as your solar power generation helps offset electricity bills.

    A solar-powered home gains its return on investment (ROI) on an average of six years.

    The most expensive solar roof available is Tesla’s, which costs around 21.85 per square foot.

    There are alternatives available if you can’t afford the most expensive one in the market.

    Here are some other popular options that we offer:

    • Exasun X-Roof: X-Roof is a roof replacement option much like Tesla. The company also offers the X-tile, which resembles terracotta roofing.
    • Forward: Much like Tesla, Forward’s solar tiles are available in PV and non-PV. They have a terracotta style tile and a metal style to help give a steel roof effect.
    • SunTegra Tile and Shingle: You can place SunTegra shingles atop existing shingles. The tile version is a full-replacement type.
    • Luma Solar Roof: This is another roof replacement product.
    • Hanergy HanTile: The HanTile uses thin-film PV and has a look that resembles dark terracotta.
    • CertainTeed Apollo II: The Apollo is one of the most affordable solar roofing alternatives in the market.


    Tesla and other companies expect solar roofing products to last for at least 30 years.

    With proper maintenance, solar roofing can last even longer.

    One of the best things about it is that solar roofing needs very little in terms of maintenance. You’ll only clean it the way you would regular roofing.

    Solar panels, in comparison, only average a lifespan of 20 to 25 years.

    Even then, solar roofing is new technology.

    Since we are still in the middle of testing solar roofing, only time will tell if they can last more than solar panels.

    For now, the material of solar roofing is stronger than the usual tiles.

    Tesla shingles have three times the strength and durability of regular roofing shingles.

    New Technology

    Since solar tiles and shingles are new technology, there is a lot of growth potential. We could see more efficient and affordable roofing solutions soon.

    Companies that are pushing new developments signal faster growth.

    It’s Time For A New Roof

    Cali Solar has handled many residential solar roofing installations since its rise to fame a few years ago.

    The new technology is a hit among those looking to blend beautiful roofing and clean renewable energy.

    It is an ideal time to make the switch with all the incentives and rebates around solar technology.

    We can help you find a roof that matches your budget! We’ll help you during the design process and recommend you the best products available.

    A solar roof is a worthwhile investment that can help save you money in the long run. It cuts down energy bills and protects your home from harsh elements.

    Contact Cali Solar today to start your solar roofing journey!

    How Much Does A Tesla Solar Roof Cost?

    Samantha covers all topics home-related including home improvement and repair. She previously edited home repair and design content at The Spruce and HomeAdvisor. She also has hosted videos on DIY home tips and solutions and launched multiple home improvement review boards staffed with licensed pros.

    We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Home. Commissions do not affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations.

    The Tesla Solar Roof, designed by Tesla, offers a sustainable and energy-efficient alternative to modern day roofing. The roof comes with solar glass shingles and an integrated Powerwall battery to store generated energy. Though expensive—a two-story, 2,000 square foot, 11.28 kW Solar Roof costs just over 55,300 before incentives, assuming you’re replacing the original roof—the roof is intended to save money in the long run by reducing or eliminating a homeowner’s electricity bill entirely.

    THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

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    What Is a Tesla Solar Roof?

    Designed to maximize your home’s energy production, the Tesla Solar Roof is the first of its kind to enhance your home’s aesthetic while lowering your energy bill. The Tesla Solar Roof is constructed with a combination of glass solar tiles, glass roofing tiles, and architectural-grade steel tiles. The innovative roof is also built to be energy independent with its Powerwall, a compact home battery so it can be available throughout the day and even at night. Lastly, the solar roof is built to last. Each solar tile remains intact within all-weather conditions, ensuring your home stays protected rain or shine.

    Tesla Solar Roof Cost Estimates

    Rather than directly publishing rates, Tesla provides a Solar Roof calculator on their website that estimates the cost of installing a solar roof on your home. The calculator is based on your current electricity usage and the size of your home, among other factors. We ran three basic estimates to give you an idea of the price differences. Each estimate includes a roof replacement but does not factor in any incentives.

    FYI: All estimates were run on July 13, 2021.

    1,000 Single story 6.31 1 Powerwall 46,425
    2,000 Two-story 12.57 2 Powerwalls 64,193
    3,000 Three-story 18.83 3 Powerwalls 81,961

    Factors to Consider

    Tesla changes their depending on a number of factors, including those listed below.

    Roof Complexity

    Tesla recently introduced variations in installation depending on your roof complexity. Grouped into simple, intermediate and complex, the classification is intended to reflect the difficulty of installing a new roof onto your home. Though your roof may not meet all the criteria of a given category, in general:

    • A simple roof is single-level with low pitch and few obstructions
    • An intermediate roof is multi-level with a higher pitch and more obstructions
    • A complex roof is multi-level with a steep pitch and many obstructions

    Though there is no known set rate of increase between classifications, based on our hypothetical estimates using the Tesla Solar Roof calculator, you can expect a difference anywhere within 5,000 to 10,000 between each level.

    Roof Replacement

    The Solar Roof is meant to be installed on top of a single-layer 3-tab asphalt or composition shingle roof that is less than 20 years old. For any other roofing material, or on any buildings more complex, the roof must be replaced entirely. At its cheapest, requiring a roof replacement will add between 10,000 to 15,000 to your total.

    affordable, residential, solar, roofing

    Additional Costs and Upgrades

    Depending on the current infrastructure present in your home, Tesla mentions that it may be necessary to perform additional upgrades during installation. This includes services such as extra electrical work or installation of a Solar Roof on a shed or deck. are quoted directly to you upon inspection, but it is important to note that they are not included in the Solar Roof calculator estimate.

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    As part of the Tesla Solar Roof package, it is mandatory that you also use the company’s integrated battery system, called Powerwall. Powerwall collects up to 13.5kWh generated by the solar panels throughout the day and then uses that energy to power the home anytime energy is not being generated, such as at night or during a power outage.

    It can also monitor power usage. The more appliances you intend to run using the Powerwall, the more devices are required: for example, a single Powerwall cannot run any large appliances, but three Powerwall units can run multiple large appliances at the same time. You can have up to 10 Powerwall units connected to the same system.

    A Powerwall currently costs around 6,500 for the battery unit. Installation and set-up fees add another 4,000, ending up at a total price of 10,500. Each additional Powerwall unit costs 6,500 each, with no known additional installation costs. As having a Powerwall system is required in order to have a Solar Roof, it is important that you ensure all your devices are capable of accessing the software and that you know exactly what purposes and appliances you want to use the battery for.


    Federal or state-level incentives may deduct a significant amount from your final bill. The Tesla Solar Roof calculator helpfully factors in these incentives. You can also find them listed on the Tesla website. While incentives vary at the state level, any roof installed on a residential building from 2020 to 2023 can expect a 26% Federal Tax Credit.


    A Tesla Solar Roof may take a while to install. In some rural or less populated areas, Tesla may not yet perform installations of the Solar Roof. If this is the case for your location, contact Tesla directly for more information about when Solar Roof services will become available to you.

    You can purchase your Tesla Solar Roof directly from the Tesla website, paying an initial deposit of 100 in order to confirm your order and calculator estimate. Tesla then remotely designs a Solar Roof system specifically for your house, using information that you provide and satellite imagery.

    Then, any authorizations or permits that must be granted have to be approved. After that, installation of the roof will take place, followed by a necessary inspection from local authorities and then the final connection of the Powerwall system to your utility grid. The exact timeline and requirements for finishing any of these steps will vary depending on a number of factors. This includes, but is not limited to, your location, the number of third parties that must be involved and the weather.

    Importantly, these steps may accrue extra costs not estimated by the Solar Roof calculator. Take this into consideration when reviewing your initial estimate.

    Tesla Solar Panels vs. Tesla Solar Roof

    Tesla Solar Panels can be installed on top of existing roofs and are significantly cheaper than a Solar Roof—though still expensive compared to other solar panels on the market. The same two-story, 2,000 square foot house from the article’s introduction would only need to spend 26,900 (before incentives) to have Tesla Solar Panels installed.

    However, these panels would only generate 8.16 kW instead of the Solar Roof’s 11.28 kW, making it more difficult to be self-powered. Powerwall also comes with the Tesla Solar Panels if you are interested in storing your energy.

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    Tesla Solar Roof Cost vs. Solar Panels Cost

    Tesla Solar Roof is a revolutionary glass solar roof that completely replaces your current roof. In comparison, traditional solar panels are installed directly on your existing roof. Therefore, Tesla Solar Roof tiles will be more expensive than traditional solar panels, costing 21.50 per square foot. While traditional solar panels typically cost between 4 to 10 per square foot.

    Did Tesla Drastically Increase Its Solar Roof Price?

    Due to supply chain costs and enhancements made to the solar roofs, Tesla has drastically increased the price of its solar roofs. The new have factored in the complexities of installing Tesla solar roofs, which was an oversight in the past.

    What Size Tesla Roof Will You Need?

    When considering installing a Tesla Solar Roof, its size will be determined by a few key factors, such as where you live, the characteristics of your roof, and your current energy use. However, Tesla offers four standard solar sizes to deliver high-quality solar systems at industry-leading prices.

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    Is It Worth It to Get a Tesla Solar Roof?

    If you’re willing to pay the high price point, need to replace your roof and like the idea and sleek aesthetic of Tesla’s solar shingles, then it may be worth it to get a Solar Roof. Otherwise, Tesla’s Solar Panels, or even traditional solar panel systems such as those found on Forbes best solar panels for home guide, may make more financial sense while still increasing your home’s energy efficiency.

    Tesla’s solar options are significantly more expensive than other solar companies and renewable energy alternatives on the market, and the company has had a record of changing quoted for the Solar Roof fairly regularly. However, if you have the finances and do not mind integrating your home into the Tesla system, a Solar Roof is a good long-term investment for your home.

    To arrive at the average costs in this article, a number of providers and cost databases were surveyed on national and local levels. All averaged figures were correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

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    THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT AND NOT EDITORIAL CONTENT. Please note that we do receive compensation for any products you buy or sign up to via this advertisement, and that compensation impacts the ranking and placement of any offers listed herein. We do not present information about every offer available. The information and savings numbers depicted above are for demonstration purposes only, and your results may vary.

    Does the Tesla Solar Roof increase home value?

    Yes. The Tesla Solar Roof allows your home to have source of sustainable renewable energy, as well as giving your home a sleek, modern look. If the Solar Roof replaced your pre-existing roof, then your roof will also be good for at least another 20 years.

    How long does the Tesla solar roof last?

    A Tesla Solar Roof ensures they will provide your home with clean, efficient solar energy with its 25-year warranty.

    How long is the installation time for a Tesla Solar Roof?

    Exact installation time depends on the size of your roof and how difficult the installation process is. However, Tesla states that most installations take approximately one week to complete. Keep in mind that the entire process may be delayed if there are issues with third-party authorizations, financing or even the weather.

    How efficient is the Tesla Solar Roof?

    Tesla has not yet released exact data on the efficiency of the Solar Roof, either as a whole or by shingle. It is expected to be competitive with other solar shingle brands on the market.

    How much electricity does a Tesla solar roof generate?

    The amount of electricity a Tesla Solar Roof generates depends on the amount of solar shingles that have been installed. Tesla will estimate your energy requirements based on your current electric bill and the size of your home, and provide you with a system that should more than meet your energy needs.

    Can you go off-grid with a Tesla Solar Roof?

    While it may be difficult to go completely off-grid with a Tesla Solar Roof, if you have enough Powerwalls, it is possible to reach a high level of self-sufficiency. Ultimately, whether or not you can go off-grid will depend on your initial Solar Roof and Powerwall investment, and how much energy you use throughout the year.

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    Should You Get Solar Tiles Instead Of Solar Panels?

    I recently attended the 2022 All Energy Australia conference in Melbourne. There was a lot on display, including some Building Integrated PV (BIPV) I hadn’t seen before.

    BIPV is building material such as tiles, cladding and Windows with solar cells built-in. The most famous example of BIPV is the Tesla Solar Roof, which is unavailable in Australia and pretty hard to get in the USA too.

    As solar becomes normal on buildings, more owners are likely to consider BIPV as an alternative to discrete solar panels. So in this post, I’ll explore:

    I also included some pictures of BIPV so you can see if it’s something you may be interested in next time you build a home or replace a roof.

    Volt produces these dark solar tiles. To me, they looked darker in real life in this photograph. But maybe the picture’s fine and I just have a dim view of the world.

    BIPV Can Be Expensive

    BIPV most commonly involves integrating solar cells with roofing material. But it doesn’t have to be roofs. PV solar siding can go on walls, and there are also Windows that generate electricity from sunlight. But for most homes, roofs are where the action is. Well installed, solar tiles look great…

    Tractile solar tiles in Marino, SA

    But they are very expensive.

    At this time, using BIPV is an aesthetic choice. You must be willing to pay extra in return for how they look.

    The most cost-effective time to buy a BIPV roof is when you are building a home or replacing a roof. If you replace a perfectly good roof with BIPV, you’ll have to either be really rich or want it really badly.

    Some questions you should consider before buying are…

    • Will people be able to see it?
    • Will people care?
    • Will it work as well as a conventional solar panel system?

    Will Anyone See It?

    I know of installations where people paid extra for all-black solar panels that were then installed where no one could see them. As BIPV can cost much more than the best-looking solar panels, be certain it will make an appreciable difference to your home’s appearance.

    These solar panels look extremely funky. But this level of funkiness reduces efficiency by perhaps 15%. They’re also not BIPV, although they could be used for a patio roof. They’re also not currently available in Australia.

    Will Anyone Care?

    I find homeowners tend to be a little self-conscious about their roofs. Sure, a nice roof can improve the overall impression your home has on people, but the effect is usually going to be less than the stuff that’s at eye level. Hardly anyone cares whether discrete solar panels or stealthy solar tiles power your roof.

    Will BIPV Work As Well As Solar Panels?

    A few things to consider before getting a BIPV roof are:

    • Could you install a larger system with solar panels?
    • What are the warranties, and will you be able to get replacement tiles if required?
    • Will it produce as much energy per kilowatt of PV capacity as a conventional system?
    • Will they make your home hotter?

    Lucy Xu of Wonergy sent me this picture out of the blue. I have no idea who Lucy is or what Wonergy is, but the name of her company has blown my mind. (Woah… nergy!)

    Can You Go Bigger?

    You might think if you make your entire roof BIPV it would produce more power than panels bolted on top. In reality, most solar tiles can’t cover 100% of the roof. You may get more kilowatts from your roof by installing high-efficiency solar panels.

    Warranties Replacements

    Roofs often have warranties of 25 years. These days, there are many solar panels on the market with both product and performance warranties of 25 years or longer. But while BIPV will often have a warranty of 25 years as roof material, its product warranty as solar PV may not be as long. It could be only 10 years.

    This means that after 10 years, you may end up with a solar roof that still works well as a roof but isn’t doing so well on the electricity generation part. While I would expect solar roofing material to have a PV performance warranty of 25 years or more, making a warranty claim under the performance warranty may be more difficult than the product warranty.

    A BIPV manufacturer going out of business can create problems. This is especially true if you need replacement solar tiles. If normal solar panels need replacing after a hailstorm and the manufacturer has gone out of business, it is possible to use another company’s panels. But if no one makes your solar roofing material anymore, you could have a serious problem. You may find keeping some spare tiles on hand a worthwhile precaution.

    System Efficiency

    BIPV is typically less efficient than high-quality, modern solar panels. If a solar tile is anything other than black or a dark bluish-black, it will have lower efficiency. Making them any other colour will reflect some light and reduce output. The loss is likely to be around 15-20%. BIPV efficiency can also lag behind if the manufacturer doesn’t use the latest solar cell technology. While normal panel manufacturers FOCUS on increasing efficiency, the makers of solar tiles may not have the resources to keep up.

    Heat can also be more of a problem for BIPV. Standard solar panels are installed on rails that raise them off the roof. This allows air to circulate underneath and cool them. This can’t happen with solar roof tiles, and so they tend to be slightly hotter under identical conditions. Hotter cell temperatures mean lower efficiency. This may only reduce their output by a couple of percent, but it’s still something to keep in mind.

    BIPV Can Make Your Home Hotter

    Because they’re raised, conventional solar panels will shade your roof and make your home cooler than it would otherwise be, reducing the need for air conditioning. Because BIPV doesn’t have this effect, it can increase your home’s energy consumption. If the non-solar parts of your roof are dark to blend in with dark PV tiles, the effect can be particularly strong.

    BIPV May Be Big In The Future

    At the moment, you can expect to pay much more for a BIPV roof than for a standard roof plus a standard solar system. But could — and should — come down in the future. Combining solar PV and roofing material can provide several cost advantages:

    • BIPV allows roofing material and solar cells to share the same structural strength. As it no longer has to be provided separately by the solar panel, it reduces the total amount of material required and therefore the cost.
    • It completely eliminates the need for railing, clamps, and other hardware used to attach solar panels to roofs.
    • Because the solar is installed along with the roof instead of separately, it could reduce installation costs. But only if the solar tiles are very easy to install.

    Unfortunately, there are also several factors working against BIPV falling in price. These include…

    • Conventional solar panels are very standardized. Standardization has not yet occurred with BIPV, and there are many types of systems on the market. Working against standardization is the fact roof construction varies around the world due to climate and tradition.
    • Roofers are not solar installers or vice versa. As roofers have little interest in installing solar and solar installers generally aren’t interested in building roofs, this slows the uptake of BIPV.
    • There is a principle-agent problem. Builders normally FOCUS on getting construction done and moving on to their next job. They are generally not focused on installing a solar power system that will best meet the needs of whoever moves in. Owner-builders knowledgeable about solar energy may be able to overcome this problem.
    • Standard solar panel manufacturers and standard roofing material manufacturers both FOCUS on producing low-cost, reliable products on a massive scale. For the near to medium term, BIPV is likely to miss out on economies of scale.

    Because of its obstacles, I suspect it will be years before BIPV takes off. While it will improve and fall in price, conventional solar will do the same, so the competition will be a moving target.

    These Dragonscale tiles from SunStyle are my personal favourite, so I’ll write at length about them in the future. (I also included a selfie of myself in this photo — or possibly Santa Claus.)

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    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
    Roof Removal 7,700
    Powerwall Battery 11,500
    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

    Roof Complexity

    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.

    Read Review

    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

    Fire Rating

    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.

    Hail Rating

    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.

    Wind Rating

    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.

    Roof Pitch

    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.

    Read Review

    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.

    affordable, residential, solar, roofing

    Tesla Solar Roof Cons

    • Expensive
    • 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

    Tesla’s Solar Roof Rivals

    Elon Musk once again shook up the energy industry with the unveiling of solar roofs by Tesla and SolarCity on October 28th. Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) was swiftly launched into mainstream media and the public’s attention. Tesla’s elegant product transforms every roofing shingle into a mini solar panel. Musk revealed four different types of roofing that will have this technology, saying it would not only be more durable than conventional roofs, but intends for it to be cheaper than installing a normal roof with solar panels mounted over it.

    Other than that, however, the details on Tesla’s product remains incredibly vague. Actual numbers on pricing, efficiency, financing, and manufacturing schedule have yet to be revealed. It’s possible that this product is only financially viable for the wealthiest 1% of interested customers.

    Musk wasn’t the first person with the idea to integrate solar panels with the roof of a building. Solar roofs similar to Tesla’s are already offered by other companies in the U.S., some having already deployed and installed their products for many years. Here are brief summaries of the largest players in the emerging BIPV market and their successes and failures so far.


    One of the larger players in this industry, New York based company SunTegra offers two different BIPV products, solar roof shingles for low-profile roofs and solar roof tiles for tile roofs. Projects have mainly been on homes in California and New York. The shingle has a 15.1% efficiency and the tile has a 14.5% efficiency, slightly less than average for normal photovoltaic panels.

    Atlantis Energy Systems

    Like Suntegra, Atlantis Energy Systems currently offers its solar roofing product out of New York and California. Made in New York, their Sunslate product has great aesthetics, with each tile consisting of six 15W 5” mono-crystalline cells for a total power of 90W.

    Lumeta Solar

    Although not solar roofs exactly, Lumeta Solar’s innovative adhesive solar modules aim to enhance the aesthetics compared to a conventional PV system. This low-profile array also increases the speed of installation and eliminates any potential roof damage from heavier conventional installations.


    Roofing company CertainTeed’s Apollo II Tile system uses monocrystalline 60 W tiles that reach 15.3% efficiency. The company also offers a product warranty to guarantee production and has a large network of contractors who can install the product.

    Luma Resources

    An early entrant into the BIPV market, Luma Resources was founded by two brothers in Rochester, Michigan. Their solar shingle is composed of a polycrystalline tempered glass module with a metal shingle base with a maximum power of 60W each. Their system pricing for this product comes at a high premium, starting at 6 per watt, roughly double the price of a normal solar system.

    Dow Powerhouse Solar

    Dow Chemical Company had also been in the BIPV business until only a short while ago, but as of June this past summer the company has ceased production of their Powerhouse Solar BIPV product after being offered for five years.The thin-film panels were not as efficient at generating power as conventional PV systems, and the company axed the product in preparation for its pending merger with DuPont.

    Still a ways to go…

    None of the companies profiled here have had runaway success with these solar roof products, but are well ahead of Tesla in development. Although visually appealing, solar roofs generally are too expensive and inefficient for most consumers.

    Luma Solar’s shingle product, for example, is double the cost per watt of SolarWorld panels. Considering the added complexity of Tesla’s offering, there are no indications that their product will be any different when it is made available.

    Greentech Media wisely pointed out how Musk has only revealed basic details for the solar roof but has “failed to address any of the serious, foundational challenges facing a car-company-turned-battery-and-solar-installer that wants to get a roof product to market.” Considering the challenge of promoting solar roofs while juggling a half dozen other emerging products that are complex in their own right, Tesla will certainly have it’s hands full in the months to come.

    In a nutshell, it would be risky to wait for Tesla Roof Technology which may or may not work out. There are just too many uncertainties. You can start saving today with a proven technology that has been helping homeowners cut their electricity bills since the 1960s and has only gotten better.

    What do you say, should we start taking a look at the numbers for you? Join our online marketplace and get free personalized bids confidentially from our installer network.

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