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How Does Tesla Solar Roof Work

+ Where Is The Tesla Solar Roof Available

How to Install a Tesla Solar Roof 2021 Review

Tesla is slowly rolling out their Solar Roof across the US, choosing specific solar companies to partner with and train to install them. Sugar Hollow Solar is the only solar company in or around Asheville, NC installing Tesla Solar Roofs. We work with homeowners, small businesses and nonprofits throughout western NC and upstate SC.

Tesla Solar Roof Available In Central Oregon Bend Resident Says Extra Cost Is Worth It

BEND, Ore. â A new way to do solar roofing has arrived in Central Oregon, and itâs backed by Tesla, the high-profile electric car maker.

Jake Hermeling is the first Central Oregon homeowner to have a Tesla solar roof built on a house.

I think the beauty of the product is that you cant tell its solar, Hermeling said Monday.

The roof has solar tiles that are designed to look like shingles, instead of the typical solar panels.

Most people come by, they have no idea, Hermeling said.

The roof was installed by Greenlee Roofing, a Bend-based company that received clearance from Tesla last January.

The companyâs website said the solar roof tiles are âare more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles.â

A few other companies have clearance throughout the state, but Director of Sales Hobie Smith said Greenlee is the first and only in Central Oregon.

Smith said a roof like Hermelings would roughly cost $18,000 to $20,000 for typical shingles. The solar roof is close to $25,000 to $30,000 more.

But Hermeling said having a ânet positive house,â with the opportunity for a tax rebate, is worth the upfront cost.

As I was factoring it into my build cost, it was not a difficult decision for me, on the financial side, he said.

Smith said the solar roof could eliminate a homeownerâs typical monthly energy cost.

Everything that he would be spending per month, whether it be $150 to $200 per month, hes gaining back, Smith said.

Evaluating The Pros And Cons Of The Tesla Solar Roof

Tesla is a company with a certain mystique about them people get super excited about every announcement they make. So it comes as no surprise that people constantly ask us what we think about the new Solar Roof.

We wanted to take a deep dive into what we know about the Solar Roof to help you determine whether its a viable option for your needs.

First, a quick summary of the pros and cons:

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Is The Tesla Solar Roof Available In All 50 States

No, the solar roof is not available directly through Tesla in all 50 states, and there is no clear service territory listed on their website. However, Tesla has started working with partner installers to make the solar roof more widely available.

If your area is serviced by one of Teslas solar roof partner installers, youll see an alert like this one when ordering. Image source: Tesla

Tesla will alert you if your area is serviced by a certified installer. If Tesla does not service your area, you may have to pay more for an installation.

Order Your Roof + Pay A Deposit

Tesla solar roof tile connector system explained in new patent

The first step to getting the Tesla Solar Roof installed is to order it on Teslas website. Simply enter your address and the amount of your average electric bill, and Tesla will give you a price estimate for your home. At this step, you can choose to include the Tesla Powerwall, the companys energy storage option. However, it isnt required to install Powerwall with the Solar Roof. You then pay a $100 deposit.

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Tesla Solar Roof: How It All Came Together

In January 2021, Nochta switched on his new roof. His 1,175-square-foot roof has enough solar-harvesting tiles to generate 7.6 kilowatts of power. The Tesla Solar Roof uses a mix of solar tiles and dummy tiles the latter used at the edge of the installation to enable teams to more easily cut edge tiles down to size and fit the roof seamlessly to the house.

Nochta first installed solar panels on his house in 2016, supplied by SolarCity. SolarCity merged with Tesla later that year.

The first installation was less than three kilowatts not much energy, which meant the couple was using slightly more than they produced. But as the household grew to add children and parents, Nochta discovered it was surprisingly difficult to expand the existing solar panel system to add more capacity. The new panels would have to work as part of a dual system, with two inverters feeding into the house.

These inverters are vital for getting solar power into the home. As explains, they convert the panels direct current electricity with a single voltage in one direction into the alternating current used in homes where the voltage moves between positive and negative.

I think the people hate me at Tesla.

Nochta had a couple of friends that do roofs and they estimated it would cost $8,000 to $10,000 to replace the roof. Including new solar panels would cost another $10,000 to $15,000.

At that point, its just, dont do it, just get a Solar Roof done, Nochta says.

Is A Tesla Solar Roof Waterproof

Yes, aside from durability, Tesla Solar Roofs are also waterproof and can fully protect your home during storms and other potential water calamities. When your solar installer finishes putting up your solar roof, you can observe that these solar tiles overlap to prevent leaks.

For more complex roofing architectures, your installer should have a solution ready to keep sure that the Tesla Solar Roof behaves like a typical roof and keeps all the water out of harms way.

Tesla offers a comprehensive 25-year warranty covering materials, installation, labor, parts, and electrical components. This means that if anything goes wrong, repairs and replacements are covered by Tesla.

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Factor Affecting Tesla Solar Roof Energy Production

Next, recall that solar power and energy production depends on many things.

Suppose you are not yet familiar with this concept and would like to know more. In that case, we recommend quickly going through previous articles we made covering this topic. We promise it is worth your time if you are interested in geeking out on irradiation, roof tilt, solar panel orientation, and duck curves.

But, in a way, a properly-sized Tesla Solar Roof can roughly power an entire house for about four hours on a sunny day. If you want to run your home on primarily solar energy, you could do it by doing two things:

First, getting an energy storage system. In the case of Tesla, they have what you call a power wall that can be integrated with the solar roof and store solar energy for later use.

Learn How Much Solar Can Save You Today Before You Make Your Decision

How This Roofing Company Is Taking On Teslas Solar Roof

Just as Tesla doesnt make electric vehicles for the masses, Teslas solar roof isnt feasible for every home. In many ways, the companys solar roof product is similar to its first electric car. If you are an early adopter of newer technologies, dont care about price, and are prepared to wait for a product with an uncertain manufacturing timeline, then waiting for Teslas solar roof could be the right decision for you.

However, there are always risks associated with installing newer technology, especially when Teslas solar roof lacks so much transparency. Unlike Teslas solar shingles, many of the premium solar panels currently available on the market today are sold by well-known consumer electronics manufacturers that have been producing solar panels for a decade or more.

Additionally, waiting to go solar has its risks, even if youre 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.

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Energy Storage To Maximize Solar Energy Use

Therefore, having add-ons like additional solar roof tiles and an energy storage device allows you to:

  • Fully offset your electricity consumption
  • Store solar energy and
  • Utilize it more efficiently
  • A Tesla Power Wall that can store a days worth of energy in our sample household costs $10,500. Upgrading it to hold two or three days of energy storage capacity will cost you $17,000 and $23,500, respectively.

    This add-on is perfect if most of your electricity consumption is during early mornings and evenings without sunlight.

    Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Energy storage is a rabbit hole on its own, and we geeked out on this topic a while back. Suppose you are interested in an additional discussion about Tesla Power Wall energy storage devices. In that case, we recommend reading this section of our article.

    Tesla Solar Roof: What Changed

    In April 2021, Tesla made a number of changes to its solar offerings.

    • It is no longer possible to purchase the Solar Roof or the retrofit roof panels without also purchasing the Powerwall battery. Musk claims this will simplify installations.
    • The Powerwall 2 will unlock more peak power capability through a software update in May 2021. Newer batteries produced since around November 2020 offer more power than advertised. Energy remains the same, but peak power and steady-state power are around double in these newer units.
    • The Solar Roof is now more expensive.

    Electrek obtained an email that went out to Solar Roof buyers. It included a line that explains we have increased the price of Solar Roof and have added adjustments for individual roof complexity.

    On the firms new Roof Complexity web page, it explains:

    Your roofs complexity will determine your Solar Roof installations level of difficulty, which is factored into your final purchase price. Roofs fall into three tiers of complexity simple, intermediate and complex. Roof complexity is determined by the number and severity of roof obstructions such as the pitch, number of joints, chimneys and other features on your roof that add to the difficulty of the installation.

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    What Are The Costs Of Installing Solar Panels

    The average cost to install solar panels is $15,000 to $25,000, depending on the size of your roof. To break it down further, according to, The cost of solar panels as of July 2021 is about $19,300 after tax credits .

    Likely, youll save more than this over the long run. While the exact figure depends on how much energy you generally consume and the average cost of electricity in your area, switching to solar power generally leaves you with a bill thats 20 percent the price of your previous ones. That number rises to 40 percent for homes with electric heating or air conditioning systems!

    Better yet, state governments also offer tax incentives for those who install renewable energy systems like solar panels .

    Tesla Solar Roof Tiles Vs Tesla Solar Panels

    Tesla Solar Roof vs. Traditional Solar: Pros and Cons

    But first, we should address the difference between âTesla solar roof tilesâ and âTesla solar panels.ââ Tesla has gained a lot of attention from its claim to be reinventing solar by incorporating the solar cell into the roofing material itself, calling this new product a âsolar roof.â However, while this sounds good in theory, the company has not yet had much success in rolling this out in real life.

    The issues with the Tesla solar roof tiles continue to plague the companyâs efforts. The problems include:

  • Very small production number beyond their test houses
  • Higher than expected installation costs which makes the solar roof cost not very competitive with traditional solar panels
  • Long-term durability issues because water and electricity does not mix and protecting the electrical connections between tiles over time has proven to be problematic
  • So since the Tesla solar roof tiles have been realized to not be a legitimate solar solution for the foreseeable future, for the sake of this article, we will be discussing Tesla Solar panels, and not solar roof tiles.

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    Final Word On The Tesla Solar Roof

    The Tesla Solar Roof is a unique piece of technology that continues to roll out across the United States. By installing the Tesla Solar Roof today, you could begin to immediately save on your electricity bill.

    To learn more about the Tesla Solar Roof and how the system works, visit online today at, where you can get a free estimate based on your address and monthly electricity bill.

    Tesla Solar Roof Cost Estimate

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

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


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

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    Tesla Solar Roof: How Much Did It Cost Before

    Musk claimed that, in 80 percent of cases, the new tiles would offer a price point that is less than what the average roof costs plus solar panels.

    Research from Electrek after the announcement found a 9.45-kilowatt roof of 1,862 square feet cost $38,266. Once the Powerwall and repairs were factored in, it cost $54,866.

    LinkedIn engineer Robby Valles in August 2020 that his 1,737-square-foot 7.37-kilowatt solar roof cost $34,067 before tax credits.

    For comparison, HomeGuide lists the cost to replace a 2,000-square-foot asphalt roof as $10,460 at the high end. EnergySage lists the average cost of a seven-kilowatt solar system as $19,670 before tax credits.

    This suggests Valless roof may have cost slightly more than buying the two separately, although its hard to say as the price would vary depending on the house.

    Tony Cho, who ordered a giant Tesla Solar Roof for his Florida retreat, told Inverse in January 2021 that it cost around 35 percent more than the price of panels and a new roof. Jason Lassen, who bought a Solar Roof for his Wisconsin home, told Inversein March 2021 the price was almost the exact same as the cost of a good shingle roof plus solar.

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    Teslas Solar Roof Tuscan Glass Tiles

    How to Work with Tesla: 7 Mistakes I Made Working with Tesla Solar Roof

    The 3rd type of new Tesla Solar roof is the Tuscan glass tile. You have probably seen this type of roof on European-style homes. This type of roof dates back to the Greek and Roman times so you can be assured that this type of roof architecture has been tested. The question is will Elon Musk and Tesla Solar be able to recreate this beautiful European style using solar technology.

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    Are There Any Compelling Alternatives To Tesla Solar Roof

    Yes, there are some compelling solar tile alternatives to Tesla Solar Roof. In the US, the top solar tile options are available from Luma Solar, SunTegra, and CertainTeed Apollo.

    Luma Solar Tile Roof on a House vial Luma Solar

    Luma Solar tiles, for example, present a complete roofing system comprised of heavy 24-gauge galvanized steel tiles combined with monocrystalline solar cells. Luma solar tiles are extremely durable and rated to withstand category 5 hurricanes.

    When evaluating which solar system will deliver the best value for the money, its helpful to know upfront that you will be paying a significant premium with a solar tile roof. That said, if you are interested in a slick design, we recommend comparing the price and wait times for a Tesla solar roof to other options like Luma Solar.

    Regardless of which option you choose, your installer will need to obtain a building permit and a site plan before the installation can take place. 24hPlans specializes in providing site plans for building permits including solar system designs.

    24hplans has team of highly trained, professional architects and drafters who can prepare any kind of site plan in the shortest amount of time possible, so that you can easily obtain that building permit and get on with your project. Use the promotion code: 24hplans-20off to get a 20% discount off any package. Please note this is a limited time offer, exclusive to the readers of our blog. This offer is not being advertised anywhere else.

    What Is The Tesla Solar Roof And How Does It Work

    The Tesla solar roof combines traditional shingles and the functionality of solar panels into one product so homeowners dont have to worry about sacrificing the look of their home in order to install solar.

    So when you install the solar roof, you arent just installing something on your roof that will produce electricity , you are installing an entirely new roof thats made up of two kinds of Tesla-branded shingles: active shingles and inactive shingles.

    Solar electricity is produced by the active shingles. They contain solar cells, like the ones found in traditional panels do . The rest of the roof is covered by inactive shingles that do not generate electricity. Instead, they act just like regular shingles and protect your roof. They look just like the active shingles, so you can’t tell that there’s any solar on your roof.

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