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HomeTileAre Tesla Roof Tiles Worth It

Are Tesla Roof Tiles Worth It

Can Solar Tiles Resist Hail Damage

What are Tesla solar roof tiles and are they worth it?

The solar tiles on a solar roof are rated for ANSI FM 4473 Class 3 hail resistance. This means that the solar tiles have been tested in a formal testing environment where 1.75in ice balls are launched five feet away at just below 72 m.p.h.

Lets be honest, that sounds like a fun job.

After the ice balls are launched at the material in question , it’s inspected to see what damage, if any, is present. This includes cracks, visible dents, chips, or any other alteration that would otherwise compromise your roof.

Since Tesla’s solar tiles have received the Class 3 rating, that means the 1.75in ice balls left no discernible damage at all. There is only one rating higher than Class 3, though the industry standard for roofs is Class 3.

More simply put, Tesla Solar Tiles can not only endure most hailstorms, but they can also withstand hail better than a lot of other roofing tiles and asphalt shingles currently on the market.

Are They Worth It

Lets compare the cost of a Tesla Solar Roof vs Jinko solar panels:

Please note that this is an apples-to-oranges comparison with regards to solar panels, as were not factoring into account the additional cost and installation of roofing required.

Heres an estimate of the cost of Tesla Solar Roofs vs solar panels across different metrics.

Cost Metric
Average output per square meter 177.39 Watts per m2 271.79 Watts per m2

From a pure price and output comparison, its clear from this example that solar panels out beat the Tesla Solar Roof in both cost per watt and meterage, but also power output per square meter. In other words, you get more bang for your buck with solar panels than Solar Roofs at this point in time.

Cons Of Tesla Roof Tiles

Cost: To install Teslas Solar Roof, youre required to replace your whole roof even if you dont need a new roof right now. That means youre paying for the cost of both a solar energy system and a new roof. According to EnergySage, on an apples-to-apples comparison: Teslas solar roof will cost nearly $25,000 more than installing solar panels, and yet will only deliver 77 percent as much solar electricity .”

Unknown Maintenance Costs: Since the Tesla roof tiles are a new product, the maintenance costs and processes are an unknown. If you have a roof leak, for example, how complex would it be to fix? Could you call a roofer in your area or would Tesla be the only company able to perform the fix and how much more would that cost than a regular roof repair? There is also the question of how Tesla will deliver on the infinite warranty for required maintenance. Will the company have the financial strength and longevity to deliver on that guarantee?

Unknown Return on Investment: When you crunch the numbers , solar panels still offer a significantly higher return on investment. According to their head-to-head comparison of the Tesla Solar Roof vs. solar panels for the same house, the Tesla Solar Roof cost 48.9% more and yielded just 2.79% of the savings that the solar panels delivered. In other words, with the Solar Roof you pay almost 50% more and get 97% less in savings. Ouch.

Also Check: Roof Replacement Cost In California

Tesla Solar Roof Cost Varies By Roof Complexity

The cost of installing a Tesla roof varies significantly depending on your homes design. In April 2021, Tesla confused and frustrated many of their customers when they sent emails with increased prices to customers that had already signed contracts based on their initial quotes. While the company blamed these price hikes on underestimated roof complexity, Tesla has yet to provide a full explanation as to where their calculations faltered . The company did add a roof complexity disclaimer to their Solar Roof calculator, which Tesla notes will be determined after you place an order for a Solar Roof. On their website, Tesla divides the complexity into three categoriessimple, intermediate, and complexbased on the following criteria:

  • Simple: single-level roof, uncrowded mounting planes, few obstructions , low pitch
  • Intermediate: multi-level roof , more crowded mounting plane, more obstructions , higher pitch
  • Complex: multi-level roof , heavily crowded mounting plane, many obstructions , steep pitch

You can start to estimate the cost of the Tesla Solar Roof for your property by using Teslas Solar Roof calculator.

Can You Go Off

Tesla Selling Solar Roof Tiles

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

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Scenario : Youre Interested In Going Solar And Also Need To Replace Your Roof

While this is a less common scenario, it may fit you if your current roof is coming up on the end of its useful life. This scenario may also fit you if youre in the process of building a new home from scratch, and havent picked out your roofing material yet. In this scenario, unlike the first one, you are on the market and actively shopping for both a new roof and a solar panel installation.

If this description fits you better, Teslas Solar Roof may make more financial sense. In this case, you have the option of either replacing your roof first and then installing traditional solar panels, or combining both actions with the installation of a Tesla Solar Roof.

In our example, lets assume a $5 per square foot cost for an asphalt shingle roof replacement for your home in California. Based on these criteria, lets see how your new solar panel and roof replacement will compare to a new Tesla Solar Roof, based on varying roof size:

Roof size
$53,000 48%

So, in this case, the cost of new solar panels and the cost of a roof replacement and a new Tesla Solar Roof are most comparable if your roof is only 1,500 square feet. However, as explained above, its important to note that your ROI will likely still be lower because the efficiency of the Tesla Solar Roof is probably lower than that of solar panels and your system size is smaller meaning your electricity bill wont go down as much as it could.

What Kind Of Venting System Does A Solar Roof Have

Customers ask us, “Where’s the roof vents on this Solar Roof?” all the time. Rest assured, since we’re roofing experts, we’re aware that a proper roof installation needs proper ventilation. Solar Roof is a very unique product, but it still has to have the standard basics of a normal roof, including proper ventilation.

All Solar Roofs are installed with a continuous ridge-vent system. This means your attic space will get consistent, appropriating venting to avoid a build-up of hot air. We love the continuous ridge-vent system because it is discreet, functional, and adds to the overall sleek aesthetic. Also, limiting the amount of penetrations in a Solar Roof is optimal so that we can have more room to install solar active tiles in those areas.

Appropriate ventilation is often overlooked by novice homeowners, but a proper ventilation system can avoid roof overheating, which can damage external and internal components.

The Tesla Solar Roof comes with a continuous ridge-vent system as a standard.

A Tesla Solar Roof ridge vent exposed during the ridge installation.

Recommended Reading: How Much Does A New Roof Cost In California

Tesla Solar Roof In The Snow

Early installations were in markets like California and Florida where snow is rare, but now that installations are ramping up, we see more of them up north where snow is going to be a common occurrence on those solar roofs.

People have some misconceptions about solar in colder climates, like that it only has value in places that get a lot of sun.

Solar power systems indeed produce more energy in regions that get more sun, but they also work well in less sunny places.

They even produce some energy in very cloudy weather as photons from the sun will still get through, but if your solar power system is covered in snow, it will not generate energy.

But that doesnt mean that rooftop solar installations are not useful in the winter.

Solar panels produce some heat that can help snow melt or slide off the roof faster by creating a layer of water to help gravity after an accumulation from a snowstorm.

While its true of solar panels, its also true for Teslas solar roof tiles, which makes it interesting since, unlike solar panels, they cover the entire roof.

Now we see an interesting early example of it.

Jason Lassen, a new Tesla Solar Roof owner in Wisconsin, shared video of his roof during and after a snowstorm:

As you can see, while the snow accumulated briefly, it slid off the Tesla solar roof while neighboring houses still had snow-covered roofs.

Update 2022: Tesla shared another cool example of solar roofs snow shedding capability:

Solar Roof keeps snow & ice off your roof

How Does Tesla Solar Roof Compare To Other Roofs

Tesla Solar Roof Worth It?

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 .

As you can see, the cost of installing solar panels is much less than the cost of installing a Tesla Solar 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 , 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 , and you will have an idea of how the price might compare to a Tesla Solar Roof .

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Whats New With The Tesla Solar Roof In 2021

At the end of October 2019, Tesla launched the Solar Roof V3, the latest iteration of the solar roof tiles. Unlike its predecessors, the new Tesla solar roof product comes in one style and consists of fewer parts.

Elon Musk was confident that the rollout of the new solar tiles would be the best version yet. The company planned to ramp up production at their Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York, and partner with local installers to help deploy more solar roofs than they had in the past.

A little over a year later, Musk wound up eating his words, admitting that the company had made significant mistakes with their solar roof project in Teslas Q1 2021 call.

Things started to turn sour for the solar roof in March 2021, when Tesla updated its solar roof pricing, making it even more expensive than before. They kept the cost per watt of solar the same, but the cost of the inactive tiles went up and now varied based on the complexity of a homeowners roof.

Then, just a month later, Tesla increased solar roof prices yet again. The real kicker is that Tesla didnt just up their pricing for new solar roof orders: people who already signed contracts with Tesla saw their installation prices increase, as well.

In some cases, the new prices were 30% higher than the prices in their original contract! And the contract pricing issue wasnt remedied until September 2021, a whole five months later, and only after a class action lawsuit was filed against the company.

Tesla Solar Roof: What You Need To Know

Deployment of Tesla’s Solar Roof product has been slow with significant delays. According to PV Magazine, there may only be 100 Solar Roof systems connected to the grid so far, even though the product has been available for three years. The wait may be worth it for some who value the differentiating elements of the product. Other homeowners may want to start seeing the benefits of clean solar energy now, including seeing solar savings in their pocket.

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Solar Panels Vs Tesla Solar Roof: The Biggest Differences Broken

Tesla is now innovating your home well, specifically, your roof.

When you think of solar power systems, you probably imagine the classic solar array: some black panels that point toward the sky and absorb the energy of the sun’s light and convert it into usable electricity. But if you look closely at the roofs of some houses, you might just notice a surprise.

In 2016, Tesla — yes, that Tesla — introduced something novel. Instead of solar panels that sit in your front yard or stand out on the roof, Tesla decided to turn every shingle into a solar panel. The Tesla solar roof replaces an existing roof and captures sunlight to help power your home in a clean and streamlined manner.

The Tesla solar roof system has not had the smoothest of rollouts, but the company recently announced plans to double down on the concept and try to turn what is currently a pricey project into a reality for consumers.

For homeowners interested in solar energy, that creates the ultimate question: Should you go with the standard solar panel system or try the less intrusive but still unproven Tesla solar roof? To help you with your buying questions, I have compiled all the biggest differences between the two solar options below.

How Much Power Do Solar Shingles Produce

The Tesla Solar Roofs Are Beautiful, but Are They

To achieve high yields from a limited roof space with suitable light solar shingles solutions, manufacturers had to unify all the solar panels features into rooftop covering. The challenges they faced were materials, roof-mounting solutions, dimensions, and output. Every homeowner is interested in the overall output from the solar roof system or how much power do solar shingles produce? As shown in the table above, one solar roof tile covering can produce from 50Watts to 114Watts.

Another important thing that homeowners need to pay attention to is roof sides. The best roof side for solar shingles installation is the true south in the US. Even if the roof is facing southwest and southeast, solar roof shingles can be an excellent decision for your future. The northern sides of the roof should be covered with ordinary matching shingles since it will not be able to achieve optimal efficiency.

Recommended Reading: How Much Does A Roof Cost In California

What Would Be The Benefits Of Any Solar Roof Tiles

The key advantage that solar tiles have over solar panels is their attractive finish and seamless integration with your home’s architecture.

Many listed properties aren’t allowed to have solar panels installed but solar tiles may be a viable alternative.

In theory, the Tesla solar tiles have been designed to work in partnership with Tesla’s Powerwall 2.0 Solar Battery which, although optional, would enable you to store the energy produced by the tiles for use during the night or in the event of a power cut, bringing the ambition of energy independence a little closer to reality.

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.

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Looks Matter In Newly Built Dream Homes

Apple made design sexy. Telsa is combining that philosophy with its cutting edge green tech transportation solutions and bringing it to homes worldwide.

Dont dismiss the aesthetic import of how Teslas tiles look. For most homeowners looking to build new homes or revamp their existing ones want an edge over the Jones and sexy solar tiles are the ticket.

Teslas solar tiles come in four distinct flavors: Textured Glass, Slate Glass, Tuscan Glass and Smooth Glass.

How Long Is The Installation Time For A Tesla Solar Roof

Tesla’s Solar Roof Is Cheaper Than Expected

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

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Solar Panels: Pros And Cons

Now, consider how standard solar panels compare:

Solar Panels Pros
There are plenty of products to choose from Panels look bulkier and do not have the same elegant aesthetics
There are many solar installers that work with panels You’ll need your roof to be in good condition before you can install solar panels
The cost of solar panels is much lower than that of solar shingles The solar panel installation process is usually a little longer than solar shingle installation
Solar panels are more efficient than solar shingles
You can more easily adjust panels to get an optimal position

Generally speaking, solar shingles are a better option if you:

  • Need to replace your roof
  • Care a great deal about the aesthetics of your roof
  • Have a roof that is already well-positioned and sloped to capture sunlight

If you don’t fit into any of those categories, you may be better off pursuing solar panels, which are the more time-tested, widely available, energy-efficient and affordable option.


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