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Are Tesla solar roofs worth the money? Are there any competitors? Our take…

Are Tesla solar roofs worth the money? Are there any competitors? Our take…

    Is the Tesla solar roof worth the additional cost compared to solar panels?

    In early 2018, Tesla finally began manufacturing solar tiles for the public at their New York-based Gigafactory 2. That’s great news, but are Tesla’s premium solar products worth the extra cost in 2019? And how do they compare to the cost of traditional solar panels? Let’s take a look.

    First things first, let’s get our nomenclature in order. Tesla actually manufactures two different solar products. Their famous solar tiles, in which solar cells are embedded into glass roofing tiles, as well as traditional solar panels, which must be bolted to the existing roof like any other solar panel.

    Both Tesla’s solar tiles and panels incorporate Panasonic’s legendary HIT series of ultra-efficient solar cells. These are some of the most efficient solar cells available on the market. Most standard-quality solar panels see efficiency rates around 16% to 18%. That is, they are able to convert 16% to 18% of all the sunlight that hits the panel into usable electricity.

    Panasonic’s HIT panels, on the other hand, enjoy 19% to 21% efficiency. You’re probably thinking that’s not a huge difference, but you’d be wrong. Do the math and you’ll find that a solar panel that is 21% efficient can actually produce 30% more electricity than a solar panel that is 16% efficient!

    Tesla partnership with Panasonic goes all the way back to 2016, when Tesla chose Panasonic to get their solar panel production in their then-new Gigafactory 2 facility off the ground. Panasonic foot the bill for the factory and Tesla agreed to purchase all the solar products manufactured at the site.

    Panasonic initially shipped in solar cells it produced in Japan and then manufactured the solar panels in the New York factory. By August 2017, production had progressed and Tesla began producing both the solar panels and the solar tiles at the Gigafactory 2, each using Panasonic’s solar cells.

    After numerous delays and a trial run, in 2018 the factory took over the entire manufacturing process, from solar cells all the way up to the finished panel and tile.

    Tesla Solar Roof Cost vs Solar Panels Cost

    Tesla’s solar panels are premium products, in line with other top-tier manufacturers like LG and Sunpower. Their panels command higher than standard-quality offerings, but they are also more efficient and have much better warranties.

    If you’re in the market for a premium solar panel, the Tesla solar panel is a great option. It’s backed up with Panasonic’s incredible technology and likely has a good, long-term warranty.

    The panels themselves will likely be 1.5x to 2x more expensive than standard-quality panels, but the rest of the installation costs like installation and other equipment should remain fairly similar to any other traditional solar installation.

    And installing Tesla’s traditional solar panels is certainly cheaper than their solar tiles, which are hard to justify in any situation. If you’re needing a new roof anyway or are building a new home, Tesla’s solar shingles make much more sense, but it’ll still be cheaper to simply install normal asphalt shingles and a traditional solar installation.

    Beyond the aesthetics, the next selling point for Tesla’s solar shingles is the simplicity of the system. You don’t need to buy a new roof and solar panels, they’re integrated into each other. As such, if we want to compare costs, we can’t just compare the cost of Tesla’s solar shingles to installing solar only, but the cost of installing a new roof as well.

    Tesla’s solar roof costs about 21.85 per square foot, with 35% of the tiles being solar tiles, and the rest non-solar tiles. Covering a 2,500 square foot roof in Tesla shingles then would cost a total of 54,600.

    How does that compare to a new roof with traditional solar panels? First, asphalt shingles cost around 4/square foot, so covering a 2,500 square foot roof would cost 10,000.

    As far as the solar installation goes, we’d need more info than just the roof size to really size the installation appropriately, but let’s say the installation is 6.2 kilowatts – the average installation size in the US as of 2018. At the average installation cost of about 3/watt, that totals 18,600. Combing the roof and solar installation, you’re looking at a grand total of 28,600 – about half the price of the Tesla shingles.

    Of course, the solar installation and the Tesla shingles are eligible for the 30% federal Investment Tax Credit. Tacking those on, our total costs drop to:

    • Tesla Solar Roof Cost: 38,220
    • Solar Panels Asphalt Shingles Cost: 23,020

    The difference is much less, but you’re still spending quite a bit more on the Tesla solar shingles than traditional solar panels on a separate asphalt roof.

    That being said, there are a few long-term benefits of Tesla’s shingles over the traditional system:

    • Tesla’s shingles are guaranteed for life. While the solar cells might stop functioning, you basically have a permanent roof that is covered under warranty forever. Compare that to asphalt shingles’ estimated lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
    • Tesla’s solar cells are very efficient and should produce more electricityper cell than traditional solar panels. Unfortunately though, Tesla’s yet to publish any specs or data on their solar shingle’s production, so we can’t make a definitive statement around production yet.
    • When it comes time to sell your home, you’ll probably see a higher increase in home value with the Tesla solar shingles than with traditional solar panels. Again, this isn’t 100% sure, but we’re guessing Tesla’s panels should hold their value pretty well, and translate that to an increase in your home’s value.

    How Do Tesla’s Solar Tiles Stack Up to Traditional Solar Panels?

    Tesla’s solar tiles are unique in the solar industry, because you’d never even know they’re up there. Traditional solar panels, as you’ve probably noticed, are pretty easy to spot. Let’s compare Tesla’s solar shingles to traditional solar panels in three categories:

    • Aesthetics: Tesla has all other solar manufacturers, even other solar tile manufacturers, beat here.
    • Cost: Tesla solar tiles are much more expensive than installing traditional solar panels.
    • Efficiency: Tesla’s partnership with Panasonic gives them access to some of the most efficient solar cells on the market today.

    Let’s take a look at each of these categories a bit more in depth.

    Aesthetics: Tesla Wins Hands-Down

    This is the biggest selling point for Tesla’s solar shingles. They just look so good. Let’s admit it, renewable energy is beautiful, but those solar panels bolted on your neighbor’s roof aren’t. Sure, they complement certain home styles quite well, but most of us don’t live in the bold, ultra-modern homes that solar companies use in their advertisements.

    Tesla’s solar shingles, on the other hand, are so well-designed you wouldn’t even know the roof you’re staring at is pumping out electricity. Of course, if you want your neighbors to now you’re so green-minded, then you might have a problem.

    Compared to other solar tiles on the market, Tesla still comes out ahead. Unlike competitor’s products, Tesla’s solar tiles are designed to cover your entire roof. Tesla manufactures tiles both with and without solar cells inside. With matching solar and non-solar tiles, your roof looks uniform, but you don’t waste money installing solar tiles in shaded areas.

    Other solar tile manufacturers only produce tiles with solar cells inside, so the solar tiles will only cover part of your roof. They’re still certainly an improvement over traditional solar installations, but instantly recognizable as something other than just a normal roof.

    Overall, nothing comes close to Tesla’s solar tiles.

    Efficiency: Tesla Uses Some of the Most Efficient Solar Technology Available

    Thanks to their partnership with Panasonic, Tesla solar panels and solar tiles are built around some of the most efficient solar cells available today. Somewhat annoyingly, Tesla hasn’t yet released any official stats on either their solar panels or tiles yet, so we can still only offer conjecture on their wattage and efficiency.

    We do know that Tesla solar panels are 325 watts, but that’s all the info Tesla has officially released. We can reasonably assume their solar panel is similar to Panasonic’s own 325-watt panel, which boasts an efficiency of 21.76%.

    tesla, solar, roofs, money, there, competitors

    As we mentioned earlier, standard-quality solar panels are typically around 16% to 18% efficient, so that’s quite a jump in performance.

    Tesla’s solar tiles, which measure 8.7” X 14”, each contain two solar cells that produce 6 watts of electricity, for a max of 12 watts per tile. At this wattage, 27 solar tiles is equal to a single Tesla solar panel.

    Tesla has yet to release numbers on the efficiency of the tiles, but unless the textured glass severely hinders sunlight from making it to the solar cell, it’s hopefully close to the panel efficiency above, since both the tiles and panels use the same Panasonic solar cells inside.

    Who’s the Winner?

    Tesla solar panels and tiles are a premium solar option. As we’ve seen they’re more expensive than installing traditional solar panels, but you’re also getting a high-quality product with great efficiency and aesthetics.

    The question remains though, are they worth the extra cost? For the vast majority of homeowners, we think not. For most of us, traditional, standard-quality solar panels will work just fine. They’re extremely cost-effective, time-tested, and easy to install. They might not look as sleek as Tesla’s solar shingles, but they’re excellent at producing clean energy and saving you money.

    There are a few instances though where solar shingles might make sense. First, if you’re building a new home or need to reroof anyway, Tesla’s solar shingles make more financial sense, especially when considering their ‘forever’ warranty. Second, if you like being on the cutting-edge of technology and don’t mind the additional cost that early adopters inevitably pay, who are we to stop you?

    Eventually, as Tesla continues to grow and other companies start offering similar products, solar shingles will make better financial sense. There’s already a handful of solar tile manufacturers out there, like Luma Solar, RGS, and CertainTeed either in testing or commercially available.

    Eventually, we wouldn’t be surprised to see solar shingles on roofs across the US, but it’ll likely take a while. Early solar enthusiasts have already installed traditional solar panels on their roof, so the lowest fruit’s already been picked. Couple that with the high cost of Tesla’s solar shingles, and it might be a while before they catch on in a big way.

    Tesla solar panels and tiles are incredible products, but you’ll see a better return on your solar investment with standard-quality solar panels since the Tesla solar roof cost is still very high in comparison – at least for now.

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    BIPV solar roof shingles are poised to take over rooftop solar installations with better durability, pricing and aesthetics announced for the Tesla solar roof. here we look at the competitors in the solar roof market

    Rooftop solar-power production is fairly commonplace now, and you always know exactly which roof has them because they are highly-visible and somewhat clunky looking. They aren’t ugly but, they aren’t really beautiful either.

    As a follow-up to our original article on the Tesla solar roof here, the next phase of solar-power generation for homes are solar shingles, solar tiles or what has become known as Solar Roofs. Simply with the mention of that, it is likely that at least a few of you instantly thought of the Tesla Solar Roof. Good on ya, or good on Elon Musk I guess, for getting in your head. However, what many don’t realize is that Tesla is not the only solar shingle manufacturer, but they are certainly the most well known. and the buzz that surrounds any business activity with the name Tesla attached to it is certainly making waves in the home solar industry.

    What are Building-Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)?

    Standard photovoltaic solar panels are typically large panels that protrude from roofs by several inches. Contrary to that, the low-profile rooftop solar roof option, which is also known as BIPV (building-integrated photovoltaics), are solar shingles or tiles that are installed directly onto roof sheathing in areas of high solar exposure, and are used in conjunction with conventional roofing materials such as asphalt shingles or metal in areas of low solar exposure. An instant advantage with BIPV over existing rooftop solar panels, is that you don’t need to remove roof coverings in order to replace them, since BIPVs themselves offer weather proofing. That alone is a significant improvement over PV panels that always have a tendency to look like an add-on.

    Price comparison between solar panels and solar shingles or solar roofs

    Trying to compare the of rooftop solar panels to BIPV solar roofs is a bit of an exercise in futility due to a significant number of variables that would need to be considered. The biggest one being, that to mount standard solar panels on a roof, you need to cover that roof in the first place. Solar shingles are in themselves a weather protective solar roof cover AND a power-generating solar panel.

    The average per-watt price for an old-school rooftop solar installation currently (Feb 2020) ranges between 2.57 and 3.35 USD, and the average total price for a full solar panel setup in the US averages between 11,411 and 14,874 after any regional solar-tax credits are applied. Again, that’s an average; incentives vary, and not all states (or Canadian provinces) will have tax incentives and rebate programs. (Keep in mind that even when not indicated, all listed here are in US dollars.)

    The above may seem a lower price than a full solar roof installation, until of course you add the cost of a roof covering, and possibly having to remove panels in fine working order simply to replace defective shingles beneath them. And, to add additional types of apples to compare with these oranges. you also have aesthetics, durability and home resale value to consider.

    Most roof-mounted solar panels (when properly installed) are rated to withstand as much as 140 mile per hour winds, which is great, and is even a bit higher than the Telsa solar roof. But, the asphalt shingles beneath and around those panels can often only handle 90 mile per hour winds, which means you may have to remove the panels to do roof repairs. So… how do you like your apples and oranges so far?

    Where BIPV solar roofs really pull away from solar panels is the lack of hassle with roof coverings, and the cool factor. They just look cooler, full stop. And we are probably all attracted to ‘shiny things’ a bit more than we may like to think. : )

    Solar roofs solar shingles that aren’t from Tesla

    Solar shingles have been around for a while, but none of them ever really secured a stronghold in the Solar Roof industry, nor did they get much media attention prior to the arrival of the Telsa solar roof, but kudos to the pioneers of the industry. There are several manufacturers of BIPV shingles, Tesla of course being one of them, but let’s start with the others. You will notice that they are all fairly close in characteristics, performance, price and warranty, but there‘s one inescapable difference. read on:

    Dow Powerhouse solar shingles in review:

    After a short stint in the market, Dow Chemical Powerhouse shingles folded up their tent, but made a recent comeback under a new license holder; RGS Energy. The Dow Powerhouse design was a thin-film copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), but the new 3.0 version uses silicon cells instead.

    The shingles are offered in a 55 Watt version at 15.6% efficiency, and a 60 Watt version at 17.1% efficiency. Dow shingles did recently receive some industry accolades, as they were named the “best energy-efficient product” at the 2019 International Builders Show in Las Vegas so this appears to be a viable solar roof option.

    Costs Warranty comparison for Dow Powerhouse solar shingles

    • Install price: 3.89 per Watt
    • Product warranty: 11 years.
    • Weather-performance warranty: 25 years.

    Certainteed Apollo solar shingles in review:

    Certainteed solar roof shingles are installed directly onto roof sheathing with standard deck screws. Fasteners are covered by the subsequent solar shingle, just like asphalt shingles. 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells provide a power rating of 63 watts per solar shingle with a conversion-efficiency rating between 14.7% and 15.3%.

    Costs Warranty comparison for Certainteed Apollo solar shingles

    • Install price: 4.90 per Watt
    • Installation and workmanship warranty: 25 years.
    • Power output warranty: 25 years.
    • Inverter and other components: 10 years.
    • 110 mile per hour wind warranty: 10 years.

    SunTegra solar shingles in review:

    According to SunTegra’s product specs, their solar shingle system has a conversion efficiency rate between 14.4% and 15.9%. SunTegra shingles contain 16 solar cells each and offer 64 to 67 Watts of power output. Like other BIPV shingles, SunTegra mounts directly to roof decks and acts as the roof covering.

    Costs Warranty comparison for SunTegra solar shingles

    • Install price: SunTegra doesn’t list the cost on their website, but numbers circulating around the web indicate 3.65 per Watt.
    • Product warranty: 10 years.
    • Power output warranty: 25 years.

    So is Tesla the best solar roof?

    Most manufacturers of solar shingles operate in the same general way – they mount directly to roof sheathing for a low-profile and reasonably seamless look, and they kind of integrate with existing roofing materials. The vary between manufacturers, as do the warranties, but yes, we have a favorite. None of these solar roof competitors listed above compare to the Tesla warranty or appearance. A Tesla Solar Roof is at first view the most expensive solar roof option, but again, you’re talking apples and oranges.

    What makes the Tesla solar roof different?

    Solar shingles (or traditional solar panels) on an un-shaded south-facing shed roof will capture solar radiation the whole time the sun is up. But, most houses aren’t built like that; there are various roof styles with north-facing pitches that collectively mean perhaps as much as 70% of a roof surface will never see the (sun)light of day, so putting solar panels on them would be a waste of time, money and resources. This is where Tesla starts to stands out from the pack in a detailed comparison.

    Tesla has developed an integrated active / inactive roof-tile system, so you don’t end up paying for solar panels that won’t generate power, and you don’t have visible junctions between active and inactive shingles and tiles. The other providers listed above also provide active and inactive components, but you know exactly which are which because they look so very different. and as a home is typically the most expensive purchase and investment we will make, we tend to be quite fussy about the aesthetics.

    tesla, solar, roofs, money, there, competitors

    That means that, aesthetically speaking, Tesla is the clear front-runner, and aesthetics are very important to designers, architects, homebuilders and homebuyers.

    The new version of Tesla solar shingles is in the news because they have reduced the cost of installation and are ramping up production of the V3 Tesla solar roof to install 1000 per week by 2021. The newest patented version is a larger-sized PV solar shingle made by assembling smaller solar tiles which will reduce the installation time. They have also reduced the amount of connection points, which also speeds installation; that equates to savings in labor and a lowered price from their original offering. These design modifications likely contribute to the longer warranty and projected product lifespan, which is said to be 30 to 50 years. Faster install, more durable, longer life… see where this is going? Mass-market, that’s where.

    Tesla has been around long enough now for a pattern of behavior to emerge, and the solar roof seems no different. To use the Tesla EVs as an example; rather than first releasing a low-priced electric commuter vehicle, Tesla released the sleek eye-catching sports car that few among us could afford. All we could do was salivate and wait for the next one. So, when they finally released the Model 3 for the masses, Tesla was already a household name and we lined up like black-Friday shoppers for the chance to get one. And now, Model 3s are everywhere, and the new buzz is now about the affordable version of the SUV Model X, the new Model Y. the electric SUV for the masses. not to mention the Cybertruck of course which was designed from it’s unique exoskeleton up to be affordable.

    So back to the Tesla solar roof in detail. this is the 3rd version of the Tesla solar roof shingles or more accurately tiles, and the price point they have provided. when you consider the lifespan and power they produce. means this could be a more-affordable roof covering than the cheapest asphalt shingles on the market. And WE think THAT is great news. This is not to say that their competitors can’t also claim to be ‘cheaper than shingles’ in the long run when energy generation is considered, but no one can touch Telsa so far in terms of aesthetics, longevity, and frankly, the ‘wow’ factor.

    Costs Warranty comparison for the Tesla Solar Roof tiles

    • Install price: Tesla claims 1.99 per Watt ( we hope that will come to fruition and remain cautiously optimistic)
    • Product warranty: 30 years.
    • Power output warranty: 30 years.
    • 130 mile per-hour wind warranty: 30 years.

    Ecohome predictions for the BIPV market

    One very legitimate criticism of all Tesla products so far is the meeting of their own delivery-target dates. The Tesla solar roof is no different. Their competitors have a long head-start in the industry, but once a good number of Tesla roofs are installed in Canada and the US, and consumers get a look at them compared to the competition, we think it will be game over. And did you notice the warranty timelines? 30 years across the board is a noticeable improvement (and indication of confidence) over combo 10 to 25 year warranties for different components from the Tesla solar roof competitors.

    And this all begs the question. if they really do become the most sought-after roof, will they then be able to meet demand? Well, there is a Tesla masterplan for that too. Since as much as 70% of a roof won’t need active solar panels, it makes no sense to tie up Tesla production facilities with producing inactive but matching roof tiles, so they will probably license that out to mainstream roof tile manufacturers instead. And, considering it is 70% of the roof surface, and it’s going to be in the premium roof covering market sector. and it has that magic Tesla name attached to it. which roofing product manufacturer wouldn’t be interested in producing the inert Tesla solar roof tiles?

    In our opinion, all solar roof competitors will have no option but to follow suit and offer a full-roof solution PDQ, and why they haven’t thought of this yet is a mystery to us. When they finally take notice that Tesla is eating their lunch, it may well be too late to do much about it, so watch for roofing manufacturers like Certainteed to possibly give up their solar ambitions and get in the back seat of the Tesla and stick to providing the non-active components, or up their offer and also introduce non-active versions of their own solar roof coverings so they can also offer a full solar roof package. That’s just our take anyway, but at the very least, it will be a fun competition to watch as renewable energy takes off with the increase in Zero Net Energy homes being built in the USA Canada as part of the Green building trends for 2020.

    Luma Solar Roof Vs. Tesla (Cost of Solar Shingles)

    Solar roofs are rapidly becoming the most popular way of bringing solar power to your home. Unlike traditional solar panels, a solar roof has solar shingles that function as a roof and an energy collector.

    Luma and Tesla are two of the most popular solar roof providers, and in this article, I will compare the two of them so you can find the best option for your home.

    Here are some of the key points that I’ll cover, plus more you’ll need to know;

    • Are solar roofs a good investment?
    • The cost of Luma and Tesla solar roofs
    • The Efficiency and Longevity of Luma and Tesla Solar Roofs
    • Pros and Cons of each company
    • Details and Specs of solar roofs

    Keep reading to learn everything you need about Luma and Tesla solar roofs and be ready for the future of energy.

    Luma vs. Tesla

    Luma and Tesla are two of the most popular solar roof companies in the United States. However, they have different backgrounds.

    Luma Solar is not as well known as Tesla, but the company has been around longer and is one of the pioneers of solar energy in America.

    Luma has the distinction of developing the first solar roof system in the US more than ten years ago. Since then, they have installed solar roofs on hundreds of thousands of homes across the USA.

    On the other hand, Tesla is one of the most visible brands in the world. Tesla is better known for its electric cars like the Model 3 but has also branched into other green energy solutions, including their solar roof and Powerwalls for energy storage.

    If you are interested in a Tesla solar roof, the Tesla website has a calculator that you can use to estimate how many kilowatt-hours your home needs and how much it will cost to install a roof based on your roof.

    Are Solar Roofs a Good Investment?

    Solar roofs are an excellent investment if your house is in the correct location. For a solar roof to be a good investment, your home must receive ample sunlight so the solar system can maximize its productivity.

    Additionally, a homeowner should consider the cost of electricity in their area vs. the cost of installing a solar roof.

    In addition to considering the cost of energy, a homeowner should consider any tax breaks available at the federal and state level. Installing a solar roof is expensive, but these tax breaks can help offset these costs.

    Some fixed costs should be taken into consideration when installing a solar roof. The solar roof will require regular maintenance, and you will still have to pay for an electricity bill, even if you are supplying energy to the grid.

    The Green Consideration

    However, there are other aspects that a homeowner should consider before installing a solar roof. Beyond the dollars and cents, the environment should be considered. Solar roofs are a great way of providing your home with renewable energy.

    You are also reducing your carbon footprint by decreasing your dependency on fossil fuels. This will result in less pollution and cleaner air. The environmental impact of a solar roof should also factor into your decision.

    Other Benefits

    In addition to potentially saving you money and helping the environment, solar roofs also have other benefits. A solar roof will give you energy independence from the grid and ensure access to energy, even if there are blackouts or some kind of disruption.

    Additionally, solar roofs will increase the value of your home by 3-4%. This increase in value could cover many of the costs associated with a solar roof.

    There are many benefits to installing a solar roof on your home, both financial and environmental. A homeowner should consider all of them before making a decision.

    Luma Solar Roof Vs. Tesla: Cost

    Tesla is the clear winner in this category. Tesla solar roofs come in at 2.11 per installed watt. Meanwhile, Luma solar roofs are more than twice the cost at 4.50 per installed watt.

    However, there is a significant consideration that the price cannot measure. Tesla solar roofs are an all-or-nothing option. You have to get your entire roof replaced by a tesla solar roof.

    This means that even if your house needs half a roof’s worth of solar panels, you still need to replace your entire roof.

    Meanwhile, Luma solar roofs are a more flexible design. You can get a complete Luma solar roof similar to a Tesla solar roof or upgrade a portion of your roof. Upgrading only a part of your roof may be cheaper than a Tesla solar roof.

    While Tesla comes in at a lower price per installed watt, the more cost-effective option will depend on the homeowner’s individual needs.

    Luma Solar Roof Vs. Tesla: Efficiency

    In the case of Luma and Tesla solar roofs, the solar shingles used are less efficient than traditional solar panels. This is because solar shingles are smaller and less robust than conventional solar panels.

    When comparing Luma solar shingles to Tesla solar shingles, Luma comes out on top. Luma’s solar shingle efficiency is around 22-24%, while Tesla’s is 18-20%. This is essential because you need fewer Luma solar shingles, which decreases cost.

    Despite the difference in efficiency, both Luma and Tesla solar shingles are efficient enough to power your house completely. A solar roof from either company will mix solar shingles and regular shingles.

    The regular shingles look precisely the same as the solar ones.

    Luma Solar Roof vs. Tesla: Longevity

    Both Luma and Tesla solar roofs are built to last. Both companies have designed their solar roof systems to last at least 30 years to guarantee a return on investment.

    Looking beyond the design specs, Tesla appears more confident in its build quality. Tesla offers a 25-year warranty on the photovoltaic components on their solar roofs.

    This is the part of the roof that generates electricity. Tesla guarantees that their solar roofs will still be operating at least 80% efficiently after 25 years, or they will replace the roof.

    Meanwhile, 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.

    Luma stands out because they offer a lifetime warranty on the underlying shingles. Based on the warranties, it seems like Tesla solar roofs have more longevity than Luma solar roofs.

    How Long Is the Wait for Tesla and Luma Solar Roof?

    Unfortunately, the current wait time for Tesla to begin constructing a solar roof is 1-6 months. It might even be longer because Tesla has been increasing wait times consistently since 2016-2017. Luma, on the other hand, will start construction within a month.

    This is one area where Luma comes out as the clear winner. Luma is the way to go if you are interested in building a solar roof shortly. Tesla has been a victim of its popularity and is struggling to meet demand.

    Tesla and Luma Solar Roof Specs

    Tesla and Luma use similar solar roof shingles for their solar roofs. The Tesla SR72T1 roof shingle has 14 photovoltaic cells. Its specifications are as follows:

    • Rated Power: 71.67 watts
    • Dimensions: 430mm x 1140mm x 5mm (16.93in x 44.88in x 0.2in)
    • Weight: 15kg per m2 (3.1 lbs per ft2)
    • Certification: UL and ETL

    Based on these specifications, a Tesla solar roof needs 140 solar shingles to reach 10kW capacity. This is the equivalent of 28 traditional 360 W solar panels.

    Meanwhile, the Luma LSS80 solar shingles have 16 monocrystalline cells and have the following specifications:

    • Rated Power: 80 watts
    • Dimensions: 52.5 in x 14.65 in x 2 in
    • Weight: 19.8 lb
    • Certification: UL and Miami-Dade Hurricane Rating Class 5

    Based on these specifications, Luma needs to install 125 solar shingles on your house to reach 10 kW capacity. This is the equivalent of 28 traditional solar panels.

    Luma can also integrate their solar shingles into an existing roof if you don’t want to replace your whole roof.

    Can A Tesla Or Luma Solar Roof Power A House?

    Both Tesla and Luma solar roofs can power a house. The solar shingles used by both companies are so efficient that some of your roofs will be covered in regular shingles that are not solar panels. This reduces the cost of the installation of a solar roof.

    Which Solar Roof Is Best, Tesla Or Luma?

    Both Luma and Tesla solar roofs have their advantages and disadvantages. There is no clear winner for the best solar roof. Homeowners will have to decide based on their circumstances and individual needs.Both companies provide outstanding solar roofs that will power homes well into the 21st century using green, sustainable energy.

    Which solar panel brands are the most popular?

    Some of the most popular solar panel brands on the market these days are:1. LG 2. SunPower3. Panasonic4. Silfab5. Canadian Solar6. JinkoSolar7. Trina Solar8. Q Cells

    What can solar power be used for?

    Solar power can be used for almost anything that requires electrical power, from TVs to fridges and other household appliances. However, any appliances with an element, such as a geyser or kettle, require a massive amount of electricity to function, and so you’ll need a hefty solar system to run this kind of appliance.

    What to know before buying solar panels?

    There are several questions to ask yourself before buying solar panels, including:1. What is your budget?2. How much power do you need?3. Are you looking to supplement your electricity usage or replace it?4. Your location (how much sun do you get daily?)5. Also, knowing about the various available solar brands and a little about the installation process will be a great help too.

    Which solar panel is best for the home?

    This depends on your needs and your budget, but most users agree that LG electronics make some of the best solar panels out there. SunPower is superior in its panel efficiency, while Canadian Solar is some of the best solar panels for the money.

    Which brand is The best portable solar Panel?

    When it comes to portable solar, some of the brands leading the market are:1. Bluetti 2. Jackery Solar 3. Renogy 4. Ecoflow 5. Goal Zero

    Are there any solar brands based in the USA?

    Certainly! US brands are making some great panels these days. Some of these brands include:1. LG Solar 2. Tesla3. Sunrun4. Auxin Solar5. Convalt energy

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    The Cost of a Tesla Solar Roof (2023)

    Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.

    Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.

    A Tesla solar roof offers an alternative to traditional solar panel systems. Instead of installing photovoltaic (PV) panels on a racking system, you use roof shingles with built-in solar cells for a sleeker look. Based on our research, a Tesla solar roof costs around 6.40 per watt, or anywhere from 32,000 to 64,000, depending on your system size.

    We at the MarketWatch Guides Team have reviewed the cost of going solar nationwide based on in-depth research, homeowner surveys and discussions with industry experts. Learn about the cost of a Tesla solar roof and how to combine it with other products, such as the company’s electric vehicle chargers (EV) and Tesla Powerwall batteries, for additional energy savings.

    Choose one of our preferred Tesla Certified installers from the panel below to get started with your installation.

    Factors That Impact the Cost of a Tesla Solar Roof

    Tesla also makes solar panels if you don’t need to replace your current roof and prefer a more traditional system. Tesla has a price-match guarantee, which means the company will match competing solar offers of similar quality. Tesla began selling solar panels in 2016 after Elon Musk acquired SolarCity and reorganized the company into Tesla’s energy division.

    Tesla Solar Roof vs. Traditional Solar Panels

    The following table compares the costs of a Tesla solar roof versus traditional solar panels. We based Tesla solar roof costs on a price point of 6.40 per watt. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) 2022 Market Insight Report, the average cost of solar panels is 3.25 per watt. While we used this figure to determine the following cost estimates, Tesla’s exact pricing may vary.

    Solar System SizeTesla Solar Panels CostTesla Solar Roof Cost

    As you can see, installing a solar system with traditional panels is cheaper than a solar roof. But the cost may be comparable if you need a new roof with your solar panel installation. It can cost between 8,500 and 15,000 to replace a 2,000-square-foot roof, meaning your total cost could reach upwards of 35,000 with a 6 kW solar system. In this case, a Tesla roof of the same wattage is only slightly more expensive at 38,400.

    If you choose a Tesla roof, you will work with a single provider that offers a 25-year warranty. While some solar companies offer roofing services, you will likely have to work with separate companies if you need a roof replacement with regular panels, and the PV system may negatively impact the roof warranty.

    Your total cost will also depend on your system components. Both Tesla solar shingles and panels are compatible with the Powerwall battery, which has an energy storage capacity of 13.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh). While installing a battery can save you money on electricity in the long run, it adds to your total system cost.

    • A Tesla Powerwall costs around 9,200 without installation, and the price increases to 18,400 if you purchase two units.
    • These apply if you purchase a battery directly from Tesla, but can increase to around 11,500 with added installation.

    Long-Term Financial Benefits

    Like a traditional PV system, a Tesla solar roof reduces your monthly energy bills over the system’s 25-year life expectancy. Here’s a quick savings breakdown:

    • With favorable sunshine conditions, each kilowatt of solar capacity can yield over 1,500 kWh per year. This means a 6 kW solar roof can generate over 9,000 kWh of energy each year.
    • According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, homeowners pay an average electric tariff of 15.85 cents per kWh.
    • At this price, 9,000 kWh of solar generation can save you over 1,420 on energy bills per year.

    The exact savings achieved by a solar roof vary depending on local sunshine conditions and electricity prices. For example, California has an average electricity price of 27.15 cents per kWh, so 9,000 kWh of solar generation could save over 2,440 in annual electricity bills.

    Solar roofs and traditional panels offer a higher return on investment (ROI) when your installer sizes your system according to your home’s energy needs. In states with net metering policies, electricity companies purchase surplus energy generated by solar power systems, giving you a power bill credit in return. However, compensation rates vary by state and do not always equal the full electricity rate.

    Long-Term Costs of Tesla Solar Roof

    Tesla uses durable roofing materials, including steel roofing tiles. The company also covers solar shingles with a 25-year product warranty, the same warranty term included when you purchase its solar panels. With warranty coverage, you will not have to worry about paying for defects related to panel design and materials. This means you can expect your solar panels to produce enough energy to generate savings for over two decades.

    Solar roof shingles have minimal maintenance needs and no moving parts subject to mechanical wear. However, Tesla recommends you have professionals clean your solar roof regularly. Dust accumulation can make solar shingles less productive by blocking sunlight from reaching their surface. While may vary for solar roofs, it generally costs around 150 to 300 to clean traditional solar panels.

    Tesla roofs use a combination of glass solar tiles and non-solar or inactive steel shingles, which look identical. Your installer will place the glass solar shingles on roof areas that receive plenty of sunshine and cover the rest of your roof with the inactive shingles. Watch for trees and other obstructions that could shade your solar shingles over time. Shadows can drastically reduce the productivity of any solar power system, and you may notice a drop in your monthly savings as a result.

    Like a normal PV system, the Tesla roof uses an inverter to convert power output from direct current (DC) to the alternating current (AC) required to power your appliances. The Tesla solar inverter has a warranty period of 12.5 years, which is half as long as its solar roof warranty. This means you will eventually need a replacement inverter, which can cost 1,000 to 2,000 or more.

    tesla, solar, roofs, money, there, competitors

    Financing Options and Incentives

    Like other residential solar systems, a Tesla solar roof is eligible for the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). But there is an important difference in how to calculate the federal solar tax credit for each type of system.

    • When you install traditional solar panels, you can include all project costs when calculating the 30% tax credit.
    • When you install a solar roof, you can only count the cost of the photovoltaic components toward the credit. The solar tax incentive does not cover traditional roofing materials that only serve a structural purpose.

    A Tesla roof may qualify for other clean energy incentives and rebates, depending on where you live. Tesla’s website features a list of financial incentives you can apply to its products by state.

    Tesla also offers a solar financing program, which is available in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.

    Tesla Solar Roof Customer Reviews

    Tesla offers high-end solar energy products with some of the best warranties in the industry. The company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has mixed customer reviews, but overall ratings reflect the company as a whole, not just solar.

    We compiled the below reviews to give you an idea of the Tesla customer experience. Reviews reflect solar products as a whole, not just solar roofs. While some customers seem generally satisfied with the company’s level of customer service, others mentioned communication and installation issues.

    “I was skeptical at first, but [Tesla] solar designing and technology dispelled that concern. The [initial] presentation was outstandingly professional, the installation was quick and my system is already producing as expected.”—Landon via the BBB

    “The sales representative was extremely knowledgeable! The entire solar installation process went off without a hitch.”—Kyle B. via the BBB

    “Customer satisfaction [is] the lowest priority for Tesla. It really just doesn’t care. Good product but unbelievably bad customer service. If you buy a car, solar panels, solar roof or anything from [Tesla] and don’t have an issue, it’s great. But the second you have an issue be prepared for months of frustration. Not worth the hassle in my opinion.”—Ian W. via the BBB

    “Very poor customer service. I paid for my panels in full and three weeks later, my submission has not been sent to my electric company for approval. Extremely unresponsive customer service [and] constantly changing project managers. I would not recommend Tesla for your solar panels.”—Nancy M. via the BBB

    The Bottom Line

    At around 6.40 per watt, the Tesla solar roof costs more than a traditional PV system — but you are also getting a new roof. Based on our research, a Tesla solar roof can cost anywhere from 32,000 to 64,000, depending on your system size. Residential solar panels are a more affordable option if your roof is in good condition and does not need a replacement.

    Your installation will include a roof assessment to ensure your provider can properly secure your solar panels. A 2,000-square-foot traditional roof can cost upwards of 15,000 if you need a replacement, bringing your total project costs to 30,000 or more when you add the solar PV system. A Tesla roof may make more sense financially if you are in this situation.

    Solar shingles and panels have comparable lifespans of 25 years or more, and the best solar companies offer 25-year warranty coverage to protect your investment over time. When choosing between solar panels and a Tesla roof, there is also a subjective factor — appearance. Tesla roofs use solar and non-solar shingles that look identical, an attractive option for homeowners who don’t like the appearance of bulky solar panels.

    Solar Incentives by State

    Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

    Frequently Asked Questions About Tesla Solar Roof

    How much does a Tesla solar roof installation cost?

    The average cost of a Tesla solar roof system is 6.40 per watt or around 38,400 for a 6 kW system. Solar roof costs can vary depending on your system size and your roof size and complexity.

    Are Tesla solar roofs worth it?

    Solar energy can be worth it for any homeowner looking to save on power bills. Tesla solar roof tiles are cost-effective if you need a roof replacement — you get a solar power system and a brand-new roof with a single investment. However, regular solar panels are more affordable if your existing roof is in good condition. But a Tesla solar roof also may be worth the investment for other reasons, like if you prefer the sleek design over bulky solar panels.

    Are Tesla solar roofs more expensive than traditional solar panels?

    Yes. A Tesla solar roof can be two to three times more expensive than a traditional solar panel system, but you also get a new roof in the process. A 6 kW solar energy system with traditional panels costs 19,500 based on the national average price per watt, whereas a solar roof with the same sized system costs around 38,400.

    Are there other solar roof providers besides Tesla?

    Yes. For example, GAF Energy has been a leading provider of asphalt shingles and other roofing materials for decades. The company launched its Timberline solar roof in 2022 and offers four roof options with different colors.

    Leonardo David is an electromechanical engineer, MBA, energy consultant and technical writer. His energy-efficiency and solar consulting experience covers sectors including banking, textile manufacturing, plastics processing, pharmaceutics, education, food processing, real estate and retail. He has also been writing articles about energy and engineering topics since 2015.

    Tori Addison is an editor who has worked in the digital marketing industry for over five years. Her experience includes communications and marketing work in the nonprofit, governmental and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering politics and news in New York’s Hudson Valley. Her work included coverage of local and state budgets, federal financial regulations and health care legislation.

    What Are Tesla Solar Roof Tiles? Are They Worth It?

    Many homeowners who have researched solar panels for their home eventually come across the Tesla Solar Roof. The solar roof tiles developed by Tesla, while not revolutionary, are making waves in the solar and roofing industries.

    The Tesla Solar Roof has come a long way from its initial designs and promises great savings for homeowners. However, there are still many questions that remain unanswered and cost estimates that don’t pan out in the end.

    What Is The Tesla Solar Roof?

    The Tesla Solar Roof is a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product that functions as both a roofing material and a photovoltaic solar panel system. The solar roof tiles can be installed in place of regular roofing material with the same protection value, and they come in various designs resembling terra cotta tiles, slate, and composite shingles.

    The solar roofing tiles come in two formats: energy producing and non-energy producing. Energy producing tiles incorporate solar cells that produce energy when exposed to sunlight. Non-energy producing roof tiles do not produce solar energy, rather they look nearly identical to the energy producing solar tiles and serve to complete the roof’s protection and aesthetics.

    The solar roof shingles available today are the third version developed by Tesla since its initial product came out in 2016. According to Tesla, the latest version of their solar shingles are larger, more efficient, easier to install, are cheaper to produce, and have fewer parts.

    While Tesla is not the first company to develop solar roofing tiles, it is by far the largest player in the game today.

    How Much Does It Cost?

    Deciphering the ultimate cost of a Tesla Solar Roof can be a tricky task. As with any solar install, many factors contribute to the cost of a solar project. Add to this conflicting numbers between cost estimates from Tesla and real-life solar installs, and the task is even more challenging.

    However, we can use numbers provided by Tesla and numbers provided by real-life solar estimates from Tesla to compare the costs versus a conventional solar installation.

    According to Tesla, their Solar Roof costs 21.85 per square foot with the assumption that 35% of the roof will be covered by non-energy producing tiles. That means a 2,000 square foot roof would cost about 44,000. Keep in mind that this includes the cost of replacing the entire roof material in place of solar tiles.

    However, according to actual solar estimates from prospective Tesla customers. the actual cost of a Tesla Solar Roof comes out to approximately 35 per square foot. That adds over 26,000 to the cost of a 2,000 square foot roof.

    As you can see, the pricing difference between what Tesla estimates and the ultimate price can be quite different.

    The unfortunate task of getting a true price estimate for a is that not many have been installed yet. Tesla, not known for their transparency, has not provided numbers about how many Tesla Solar Roofs have been installed, nor provided much information about the ultimate costs of those installs.

    How Do Solar Roof Tiles Compare To Other Roofs?

    To compare the price of installing a Tesla Solar Roof to reinstalling other roofs, we need to break down two components: the cost of installing solar panels and the costs of reinstalling a roof.

    For a conventional solar installation, the average cost per Watt is approximately 2.75/Watt. That means, for an average home that installs a 7 kW solar panel system, the cost would be 19,250 (before solar incentives, such as the 30% solar tax credit ).

    As you can see, the cost of installing solar panels is much less than the cost of installing a Tesla Roof. If you were not considering reinstalling your roof, just installing solar panels would be your best option.

    However, what if you are also considering reinstalling your roof along with installing solar?

    The average cost of replacing an asphalt shingle roof for a 2,000 square foot home comes out to approximately 7,000, according to homeguide.com. If we add this to the cost of installing solar panels (19,250, before incentives), the estimated cost would be 26,250.

    On paper this example of installing solar panels and reshingling the roof would cost less than installing a Tesla Solar Roof. However, what if your roof is not made of asphalt shingles?

    Below are cost estimates from homeguide.com for reinstalling different roofing materials. As you can see, the costs can vary quite a bit, but it can give you a good idea of the potential costs of reinstalling your roof. Combine this cost with the cost of installing solar panels (estimated 2.75 per Watt), and you will have an idea of how the price might compare to Tesla (estimated 21.85 per square foot).

    Is The Tesla Solar Roof Worth It?

    As you can see, there are many variables and many numbers to consider when comparing the Tesla Solar Roof with a conventional solar panel installation. It can be difficult to truly compare apples to apples.

    In many cases, homeowners are not looking to reinstall their roof along with installing solar panels. In this case, just installing solar panels is usually a better option than installing a whole Tesla Solar Roof.

    However, if you are considering reinstalling your roof along with installing solar panels, the pricing becomes more competitive. It would be a good idea to analyze the chart above to estimate how much reinstalling your roof might cost. From there you can speak with both your local solar company and Tesla to get an estimate of the cost for both options.

    To get a free solar estimate, or if you have any questions about how solar works, Green Ridge Solar is here to help. Contact Green Ridge Solar today for a free solar analysis, or check out our Solar Calculator to see how much you could save with solar.

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