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

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

    Thinking of getting a Tesla Solar Roof? Here’s everything you need to know

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    First launched in 2016, Elon Musk’s Solar Roof system has taken the photovoltaic (PV) world by storm. Tesla’s Solar Roof is not the only solar roof tiles on the market but is some of the most attractive and most expensive.

    luma, solar, roof, tesla, cost

    Solar tiles offer a completely different approach to solar PV installations, the final product is, inarguably, far superior in aesthetic terms to traditional solar PV installations, and seeks to add a cool factor to generating your own power.

    While Tesla claims its Solar Roof is competitive in terms of providing a two-for-one solution (you do get a new roof after all), ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    So, is Tesla’s Solar Roof all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take an honest look.

    What is Tesla’s Solar Roof?

    Tesla’s Solar Roof, like other solar roof tiles, is an innovative system of specially engineered roofing tiles or shingles. Unlike conventional solar PV panels that are mounted onto an existing roof, a solar roof acts as a direct replacement for existing roof coverings.

    The system allows potential customers to benefit from generating their own power without unduly affecting the aesthetics of their homes. Win-win.

    Tesla’s Solar Roof consists of two main types of textured glass tile shingles. The first is purely decorative and is termed inactive. These look exactly the same as the second kind, called Active, to ensure a uniform look of the finished roof.

    The Active shingles are effectively small, shingle-sized solar panels that are integrated into the main roof surface in strategic places to maximize their efficiency. In most cases, most of the south or west-facing areas of a roof will consist of Active shingles, with the rest of the surface consisting of the visually similar Inactive shingles.

    Active shingles, like conventional solar panels, will also be fitted as close to the best angle of incidence to the Sun’s rays throughout the year. In the northern hemisphere, this is as close to a 60 degrees inclination as possible, which, on most domestic homes is around 30-45 degrees, depending on the pitch of your existing roof.

    Of course, if you choose to install a Solar Roof, your old roof will need to be stripped and replaced in totality.

    The system can also be used with a Tesla Solar Inverter to convert the direct current generated by the shingles to useable alternating current in your home. While non-Tesla inverters can also be used, the use of Tesla’s own proprietary equipment ensures the systems will run with fewer potential snags.

    This inverter also enables you to tag on a Tesla Powerwall battery to store excess energy, if desired.

    The system was developed in a collaboration between Tesla and its subsidiary SolarCity and was first announced in 2016. It wasn’t until 2018 that Tesla and SolarCity were in a position to begin the manufacture and delivery of their first Solar Roofs, however.

    Since then, Tesla has continued to make improvements to the technology, with its latest variant, Solar Roof V3, boasting the best efficiency and durability to date. The product comes with a generous 25-year weatherization warranty.

    Great, but what are some of the downsides? One is whether Tesla actually serves your geographical area.

    For the most part, Tesla should be able to provide an installation in most of the continental United States. However, in some states, they may use authorized installers to do so.

    The same is true for other parts of the world, with the rollout continuing around the world. If you are interested in finding out if they serve your area, the best thing to do is contact Tesla, or try to get a quote, and they will tell you.

    How much does a Tesla solar roof cost?

    According to data from actual Tesla quotes, their Solar Wall system costs approximately 1.80 per generated watt of electricity for their Active shingles. The cost of their Inactive shingles then varies depending on the complexity of the roof in question.

    For simple roofs, i.e., basic pitched roofs start at around 13.30 per square foot. For more tricky roofs like hipped roofs or multiple-level roofs, these shingles should cost about 15.30 per square foot. For more complex roofs (i.e. cross-gabled, steep or variable pitched, multiple heights, or lots of obstacles), costs could be as high as 18.54 per square foot.

    You will also be charged for the removal and disposal of your old roof at a rate of around 3.55 per square foot.

    Just like any solar energy installation, the actual cost will vary depending on the size of roof coverage, location, and construction of the building. Smaller pitched roofs on a single-story home will be considerably cheaper than a large complex roof on a multi-story building, for example.

    This is for a variety of reasons, but chief among them are additional costs for access equipment to higher roofs or increased time in labor to design and install the roof on larger and more complex roofs like cross-gabled roofs.

    Tesla may also require customers to upgrade their electrical systems in order to actually work with their Solar Roof system. Upgrading elements like electrical panels can cost anywhere in the region of 5,000 and up.

    However, to give you a rough estimate, using Tesla’s own calculator, a good-sized family home would cost around 70,000 dollars to install an 8.05 kW system before tax incentives. This quote is based on a home in Nashville, Texas, with a floor area of 2,500 feet 2 (232 m 2 ) and using an average monthly energy bill of 115 (this was the U.S. average in 2019, according to the EIA).

    This, according to Tesla’s estimates, should be able to produce for this hypothetical home, somewhere in the order of 12,800 kWh/year, or roughly 100% of the building’s electrical energy consumption. You also get the added bonus (for additional cost) of energy storage with this system, which is a considerable advantage over some conventional domestic solar panel arrays.

    If this estimate is accurate, that should provide a payback period (the time taken to recover your initial investment) of about 50 years, give or take. This will likely be closer to 40 years after tax incentives are factored in to reduce your initial capital outlay.

    Another estimate for a 1,700 ft 2 (158m 2 ) roof in California with an electrical bill of 150 per month came in at 39,000 before incentives for a 6.13-kilowatt system. It should be noted that this quote was generated in 2022 and for a different state, so costs likely vary for that reason.

    You should also remember that energy costs from the grid are likely to rise over time, so the true payback will likely be much shorter, ignoring any maintenance and cleaning costs of course.

    We’ve chosen this square footage as it is about the average size of a new family home in the United States.

    To put that into perspective, installing a similarly sized conventional solar panel array would cost around 26,000 before incentives. Using the same statistics as above would give you an equitable payback of between 15 and 22 years, depending on tax incentives.

    However, remember that the estimated lifespan of conventional solar panels is also roughly 25 to 30 years, so you would probably need to replace the array after a few decades.

    It should be noted, however, that such estimates should be taken with a pinch of salt. The final figures will likely vary widely depending on where your home is located if you were to actually order an installation.

    This is especially the case for conventional solar panel installations and you are always advised to source several quotes from recommended installers before authorizing any work.

    Any and all costs for such installations should also include any planning and design work required prior to the installation. This will not only ensure the costings are as accurate as possible but also discover if your existing roof is appropriate for such an installation.

    The latter is less relevant for Tesla solar roofs, as these tend to be a direct replacement for your existing roof covering.

    You should also note that costs are likely to vary over time as labor, consumable, and material costs will fluctuate, given the current economic climate. There may be other costs, too, such as various local authority planning requirements, where relevant.

    Solar panels vs. Tesla solar roof: which one is better?

    Generally speaking, on a per watt average cost, Tesla’s Solar Roof is actually pretty reasonable, all things considered. According to some estimates, in the United States, Tesla’s come in at around 1.80 per watt. Traditional solar PV panels tend to cost around 3.00 per watt.

    However, any direct comparison between the two is complicated by a few factors. The first is that Tesla’s Solar Roof is not just some PV solar panels but actually a new roof and some PV panels in one package.

    Traditional solar PV panels are where your roof can handle it, simply mounted to an existing roof without needing to replace it. So, in order to provide a fair comparison, we’ll need to do a like-for-like summing up.

    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.

    luma, solar, roof, tesla, cost

    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

    luma, solar, roof, tesla, cost

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    Tesla Solar Roof: Is It Worth It?

    Many homeowners intrigued by the idea of using their roof to generate power are turned off by the look of the ugly black solar panels they’d need to install. Though renewable energy is surely good for the planet, solar panels aren’t known for their curb appeal.

    That could change soon. In October 2016, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, announced his company’s plan to acquire SolarCity, a solar panel company, and to start manufacturing and selling solar roof tiles that would be much more attractive than the traditional solar panels. “The key is to make solar look good,” Musk said.

    But beauty comes at a price, and it’s a high one in this case. Tesla estimates that replacing an average 3,000-square-foot roof with a Solar Roof could cost 65,550. Is that money a homeowner will make back over time? Read on for everything you need to know about Tesla’s Solar Roof:

    How does the Tesla Solar Roof Work?

    No more boxy black panels! Tesla’s Solar Roof looks just any other roof, with no hardware to be seen.

    Tempered glass tiles replace traditional roofing materials. Two styles are available as of June 2017: “Textured” (black tiles that resemble asphalt shingles) and “Smooth” (gray tiles for a streamlined look). Two more styles will hit the market in 2018: “Tuscan” (a terra cotta look) and “Slate.” The solar panel tiles are mixed with non-solar tiles on the roof; while the solar ones cost more than non-solar, the two are indistinguishable from each other after they’re installed.

    Are Tesla roof tiles available?

    Tesla is currently taking 1,000 deposits for the first two styles; delivery, which started on June 1, is rolling out from California across the country.

    How long will it take to install a Tesla Solar Roof?

    According to the company, five to seven days—about the same as installing a traditional roof.

    How durable is the Solar Roof?

    The tiles may be made of glass, but they couldn’t be much tougher. Tesla’s warranty covers them for the lifetime of your house—or infinity, “whichever comes first.” The tiles get the highest possible ratings for hail, wind, and fire; according to Tesla, they’re “three times stronger than standard roofing tiles.”

    Will I save money with Tesla’s Solar Roof?

    A lot of variables are involved. But there’s a handy calculator on the Tesla site where you can enter your address to find out how many dollars worth of energy your Solar Roof will generate over 30 years (it estimates the average price of energy in your area and adjusts for inflation). A chart deducts the estimated cost of your Solar Roof, including materials and installation, and the Powerwall battery, which stores electricity generated by the roof during the day (so you’ll have power when the sun’s not shining). The chart then factors in the current 30 percent Solar Investment Tax Credit to end up with the “Net earned over 30 years.”

    To determine what percentage of your roof tiles needs to be solar, the calculator considers the size of your roof and the average amount of sunlight your neighborhood gets. You can even customize the calculations by entering the average amount of your monthly electric bill so the calculator can take your power usage into consideration.

    As for that federal tax credit for residential solar installations, the clock is ticking: The tax credit is being phased out, dropping to 26 percent in 2020, 22 percent in 2021, and zero after that.

    Is the Solar Roof really worth it?

    According to Tesla, a typical homeowner could expect to pay 21.85 per square foot to replace a 3,000-square-foot roof with a Solar Roof that’s 35 percent solar tiles—for a total of 65,550. (That price is before tax credits; also, it’s possible that a roof might need to be 70 percent solar tiles.)

    That puts the upfront cost of the Solar Roof higher than a traditional roof, but Tesla asserts that the price tag is more than offset by the value of the energy the tiles generate. The amount saved in electrical bills will often—eventually—be more than the cost of the roof. And, as Tesla says, the homeowners will “benefit from a beautiful new roof that also increases the value of their home.”

    An article in Consumer Reports in May 2017, “Doing the Math on Tesla’s Solar Roof,” investigates Tesla’s claims. Author Paul Hope describes the online cost calculator and writes, “If Tesla’s math is correct, it seems that in many cases the roof would more than pay for itself in electricity savings over the 30-year life of the warranty.” But he then points out that “Tesla’s calculator relies upon some important assumptions and predictions that delve deep into the economy of residential solar power in the U.S.”

    After crunching the numbers for three houses in different parts of the country, Hope concludes that “for some houses, the potential savings do seem to make a lot of sense—again, assuming Tesla’s projections are accurate.” But homeowners must consider other factors, such as how they’ll finance the initial cost—if a loan is required, what will the interest costs be? Then there’s the question of how long they’ll be in their current home (30 years certainly isn’t typical), when they last replaced the roof, and how effective the Solar Roof will actually be (Hope reminds us that Consumer Reports didn’t run its own tests).

    As for your own situation, your house’s location and other factors also have a bearing. The solar calculator at Google’s Project Sunroof will tell you how many hours of usable sunlight your home gets in a year. Overhanging trees and large adjacent buildings also affect feasibility.

    All in all, you’ll need to run the numbers and weigh your options before making a decision. The benefit to the environment can’t be calculated in dollar signs—but it’s surely undeniable. And your shift to clean energy might well inspire others in your community to follow. As global warming escalates, a snowball effect could only be a good thing.

    N.B.: If you’ve been thinking about converting to solar energy, get the basics by reading Hardscaping 101: Solar Panels Pros and Cons. And read about more roof options at:

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    Tesla Solar Roof: the complete review

    In October 2019, Tesla Motors announced the launch of the Tesla Solar Roof V3, the company’s third version of its integrated solar glass shingle. Among several updates, version three included larger tiles, lower production costs, increased power density, and a more straightforward installation process.

    Additionally, the total number of parts in the product decreased. Tesla predicted that these changes would significantly reduce the cost of the product; however, the company has continued to struggle with expediting its solar roof installations.

    The Tesla Solar Roof: EnergySage’s take

    While Tesla is most famous for its electric vehicles (EVs), the company’s future lies in total clean energy integration – a one-step carbon reduction process that involves pairing solar panels with your Tesla EV. For home owners who want the benefits of solar without the “look” of solar, the Tesla Solar Roof provides an enticing alternative: but is this luxury roof the right option for you?

    What’s in this article?

    There’s a lot in here, and we’ll try to speak to every aspect of the solar roof. Skip ahead to any of the sections below:

    • What are solar shingles?
    • Latest news on the solar roof
    • Solar Roof key events timeline
    • Solar roof specifications
    • Cost estimates
    • Should you wait for the Tesla Solar Roof?
    • Tesla’s competitors

    The Tesla Solar Roof: what you need to know

    Some solar industry stakeholders believe that solar needs to be rebranded as an aesthetic and technical improvement that can be a part of a home renovation rather than a hefty module affixed to your rooftop. That sentiment was emphasized in Elon Musk’s October 2016 launch of Tesla’s first roofing product. With the Solar Roof, the company aims to bring solar further into the mainstream by removing any sort of aesthetic concerns that homeowners may have.

    “I think there’s quite a radical difference between having solar panels on your roof that actually make your house look better versus ones that do not, I think it’s going to be a night-and-day difference,” said Musk in a statement before the official launch of Tesla’s first solar roof. Two months later, he unveiled the solar roof using a crowded, suburban event in California to demonstrate that Tesla’s panel design was so seamlessly integrated that the entire audience of press needed to be altered to its presence on the house in front of them.

    Using a Tesla Powerwall home battery with the Tesla Solar Roof

    Tesla Solar Roofs come paired with energy storage in the form of a Tesla Powerwall battery. The Tesla Powerwall boasts a maximum power rating of 7 kW with no sun or 9.6 kW with full sun to go along with 13.5 kWh of usable capacity. It can also help provide solar power to your home during a power outage. It also comes with the Tesla app that allows users to monitor their energy production in real- time. Tesla Powerwalls are eligible for the federal tax credit.

    What’s the latest news on the Tesla Solar Roof tiles?

    Tesla has now installed Solar Roofs across the country, though the exact number of installations is unclear. This solar product has been gaining popularity among some consumers, leading to long installation wait times for customers who sign contracts. In April 2021, many of these customers were shocked when they received emails from Tesla quoting higher installation costs than their contract prices. The lack of explanation and transparency caused confusion and frustration among consumers, especially if they could no longer afford the hefty price tag.

    During Tesla’s quarterly earnings call in April 2021, CEO Elon Musk affirmed that demand “remains strong” for the Tesla Solar Roof, despite increases in Solar Roof pricing. He did concede that Tesla “basically made some significant mistakes in assessing the difficulty of certain roofs.” Tesla has added roof complexity information to its website and a roof complexity disclaimer to its Solar Roof calculator; however, Tesla notes that your roof complexity won’t be determined until after you place an order for a Solar Roof. Tesla divides the complexity into three categories–simple, intermediate, and complex–based on the following criteria:

    • Simple: single-level roof, uncrowded mounting planes, few obstructions (pipes, chimneys, skylights), low pitch
    • Intermediate: multi-level roof (roof sections built on multiple stories of your house), more crowded mounting plane, more obstructions (pipes, chimneys, skylights), higher pitch
    • Complex: multi-level roof (roof sections built on multiple stories of your house), heavily crowded mounting plane, many obstructions (pipes, chimneys, skylights), steep pitch

    Based on previous reports, the price of a Tesla Solar Roof varies substantially depending on your roof’s complexity.

    Timeline of key Tesla Solar Roof news and announcements

    Tesla seems to have a pattern of overpromising and underdelivering in regard to its solar roof. Here’s a breakdown of what the past several years have looked like for the company and its customers.

    • April 2016: Tesla purchases Solarcity and begins production on solar panels and the solar roof.
    • May 2017: Tesla began taking orders for its Tesla solar tiles
    • August 2017: Elon Musk revealed that he and another Tesla executive already had the roof installed on their respective properties.
    • January 2018: The company announced it was ramping up production of the roof product at its Buffalo Gigafactory. Tesla then started initial installations with customers at the top of its waitlist in the California area in mid-March, roughly eight months after its initial estimate.
    • May 2018: Tesla had about 11,000 orders for the solar roof and it was struggling to meet the demand.
    • August 2018: Only 12 solar roofs had been installed in California, the leading state in the country for solar.
    • September 2018: A report was released stating that solar roofs may not be widely installed for a long time. According to CNBC, Musk said they needed more time to work out all the details. “There’s only so much accelerated life testing that you can do on a roof. So before we can deploy it at a large number of houses we need to make sure that it’s that all elements of the roof are going to last for at least three decades,” said Musk in a summer 2018 meeting. The statement lacked both commitment and a clear timeline.
    • November 2018: According to a Bloomberg report, the company began ramping up production, implementing 24/7 operating hours with about 80 employees per shirt for solar roof shingle production alone. Tesla’s head of energy operations, Sanjay Shah, stated that Tesla was gearing up for the solar roof side of its business to see “tremendous growth in 2019.” Musk himself tweeted that the first solar roof deployments would begin around summer 2019.
    • June 2019: Despite continued delays and earnings losses, Musk tweeted that he hoped to manufacture about 1,000 solar roofs per week by the end of 2019.
    • October 2019: Tesla announced the Tesla Solar Roof V3, which featured updates to increase manufacturing and deployment, and reduce prices.
    • Late 2020: Tesla experienced some achievements for its solar roofs throughout the year, almost tripling its installations between quarter one and quarter two. In quarter four, Tesla announced that it had “made great progress growing [its] solar roof deployments,” but didn’t provide date to back up its claim.
    • April 2021: Tesla Solar Roof customers have continued to experience delays and a lack of transparency from Tesla.
    • May 2021: Some customers sued Tesla over unexpected hikes.
    • June 2021: electrek confirmed that Tesla’s head of energy operations had left the company after months of rumors.
    • October 2021: Tesla expanded solar roof installations to anywhere in the United States.
    • November 2021: electrek announced that Solar Roof tiles will be more efficient, have higher capacity, and might be able to be installed over existing roofs.

    Tesla Solar Roof specifications: what are you getting?

    If you’re interested in installing a Tesla Solar Roof, you’re probably wondering what you’re getting of each solar shingle. We’ll explain some of the specifications of the Solar Roof:

    Design

    Despite previous announcements about multiple design offerings–including tuscan glass tile, slate glass tile, textured glass tile, and smooth glass tile–the Tesla Solar Roof is only currently available in one shingle design. According to Tesla’s website, each shingle has a dimension of 15 inches by 45 inches, is 5 mm thick, and is made of glass, polymers, fiberglass, and silicon. The shingle is designed to resemble a traditional asphalt shingle.

    Warranty

    Tesla provides 25-year product, weatherization, and module warranties, comparable to leading solar panel brands. The warranty also guarantees that your Solar Roof will be at least 95 percent of its “Rated Peak Power” at five years following installation and that it will decline by no more than 0.5 percent per year for the following 20 years –essentially guaranteeing 85 percent output in year 25. Its inverter has a 12.5-year warranty, which aligns with warranties for other string inverter brands; however, this warranty is lower than warranties for many microinverters, which are often 20 to 25 years.

    How much does the Tesla Solar Roof cost?

    With the new complexity categories explained above, it’s a bit difficult to fully estimate the cost of a Tesla Solar Roof. The cost varies significantly depending on whether your roof is “simple” or “complex” and depending on the square footage of your roof. If you have a fairly small – and not too complex – roof that you already need to replace, the price of a Solar Roof will probably be fairly comparable to that of a new asphalt roof installation plus solar panels. However, as you increase the size and/or complexity of your roof, you can expect this number quickly skyrocket.

    Should you wait for the Tesla Solar Roof?

    Standard solar panel technologies are typically evaluated based on their performance, durability, and warranties. However, Tesla’s lack of transparency makes it difficult to compare to traditional solar panels. Four years after the initial launch of Tesla’s solar roof, the company still hasn’t revealed the shingles’ efficiency and customers are still experiencing long wait times and surprise price increases.

    If you’re in dire need of a roof upgrade or if you won’t need a roof upgrade for a while, the Tesla Solar Roof may not be worth your long wait. Solar panels are extremely dependable (and we think they look great, too!). However, if you need to upgrade your roof soon (but not immediately) and your roof isn’t too complex or large, you may be a good candidate for the Tesla Solar Roof. Additionally, if you’re set on the look and have the capital to cover the cost, the system may be the best choice for you, though it may be worth your while to compare the Tesla Solar Roof to other solar roof products.

    Tesla’s solar shingles are best suited for new construction

    Most existing solar shingle technologies are also known as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) because they are integrated with your existing roof and are a similar size and shape to standard roof tiles. Tesla has created something different. In August 2016, Musk first explained the difference between solar shingles and Tesla’s solar roof: “It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof.”

    Unlike other solar shingles, Tesla’s roof tiles are designed to completely replace your existing roof (though electrek did recently report that you may soon be able to install them over existing roofs). As a result, the most cost-effective way to install them is when your home is being built, which means that they are best suited for homebuyers who have a say in the design and materials of their newly constructed home. While this doesn’t mean that they can’t be used on existing homes, retrofitting your roof with Tesla solar tiles means removing your existing roof (which Tesla will do for you). As a result, retrofitting your roof with Tesla solar tiles is only practical when your roof is already due to be replaced.

    Who are Tesla’s solar roof competitors?

    Though the buzz around Tesla’s illustrious roof product has made it appear like it’s a new concept, it is merely the continued repackaging brilliance that some call the “Musk effect.” Development of solar roof tiles and solar shingles has been evolving for many years, and a number of companies have taken a stab at designing a versatile, subtle rooftop solar medium that could be considered a genuine roofing material rather than a module add-on. Here are some of Tesla’s solar roof competitors that offer similar BIPV products:

    • Luma – these solar shingles can be integrated with all roofing material and install similarly to traditional metal roofing. Luma markets its product as the only upgradable solar shingle system and boasts an efficiency of 22.1 percent.
    • Suntegra – this Northeast solar manufacturer is at the forefront of the solar roof product line. The company hails from New York and began offering its two solar roof products just a few months before the announcement of Tesla’s shingles. Suntegra’s solar shingles are designed to be integrated with low-profile roof materials and are about 15.9 to 17.2 percent efficient. Its solar tiles are slightly less efficient at 13.9 to 15.1 percent and are designed to be integrated with standard flat concrete tile roofs.
    • CertainTeed – originally a roofing company, this contractor now offers two solar roof products, with similar integration strategies to Suntegra. Its Apollo II system includes solar shingles to match low-profile roofs, which are about 15.4 percent efficient. CertainTeed’s Apollo Tile II system integrates solar tiles with flat concrete tiles roofs and its tiles are about 16 percent efficient.

    It’s important to note that the solar shingles and tiles offered by these companies do still stand out against other roofing material. None can compete with Tesla in terms of aesthetics or subtlety, but they do offer low-profile BIPV solutions that may alleviate aesthetic concerns for some solar shoppers.

    Frequently asked questions about the Tesla Solar Roof

    While the cost of switching to solar is high, and the news and information surrounding Tesla Solar Roofs can be confusing or nearly obsolete, it’s important to research each product, company, and topic before making a decision. Learn more about the Tesla Solar Roof by reading these commonly asked questions:

    Depending on your location, Tesla will send its own installers or contractors to set up your system after purchasing a Solar Roof.

    Tesla claims that their shingles are three times stronger than the average roof tile and are built to endure all weather conditions. They have the highest fire rating (Class A) and are built to withstand 110 mph winds (Class F), so you can feel confident even in extreme weather conditions.

    Tesla offers a 25-year warranty on the system’s tiles, power, and weatherization. Plus, its inverter has a 12.5-year warranty, giving homeowners peace of mind regarding their investment.

    Learn how much solar can save you today before you make your decision

    Just as Tesla doesn’t make electric vehicles for the masses, Tesla’s solar roof isn’t feasible for every home. In many ways, the company’s solar roof product is similar to its first electric car. If you are an early adopter of newer technologies, don’t care about price, and are prepared to wait for a product with an uncertain manufacturing timeline, then waiting for Tesla’s solar roof could be the right decision for you.

    Additionally, waiting to go solar has its risks, even if you’re interested in the solar roof. The cost of going solar is falling every year, and there are premium solar panels already available today that come with high-efficiency ratings and a sleek black design. If you wait years for the Tesla Solar Roof, you will lose out on years of savings on your electricity bill. You also run the risk of missing out on financial incentives for solar: many state tax credits have already expired and as of now, the federal investment tax credit for solar will be lowered to 22 percent in 2023.

    Before you make the decision to wait for the Tesla Solar Roof, use our solar calculator to learn how much you can save today by going solar. If you’re ready to explore the solar options for your home, join the EnergySage Marketplace and get custom quotes from solar installers in your area. You might be surprised by just how much you can save now by installing traditional solar panels on your roof.

    Where to buy solar roof tiles

    reading on EnergySage

    Looking to go solar? Here’s everything you need to know in… Solar shingles: what you need to know in 2023 Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared Tesla Solar Roof cost vs. solar panels Solar farms: what are they and how do they work?

    About Emily Walker

    With over five years of experience in environmental science and clean energy, Emily is an expert in solar, battery, and energy management technology and policy. She holds a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Biology from Colby College. Emily is always looking for ways to live her life more sustainably and is currently in the process of electrifying her home.

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