What We Like About Decotech
The main benefits of a DecoTech installation are a low-profile look and higher efficiency than solar shingles. This is because DecoTech uses standard silicon solar panels with 17% efficiency. Solar shingles from SunTegra and CertainTeed range from just 13.9% to 15.9% efficiency, largely because the way shingles are mounted makes it harder to keep them cool and efficient.
The roof and solar are all covered under one warranty, with an option to upgrade to a lifetime warranty. The warranty also guarantees that your panels power output wont decrease by more than 0.7% annually after their first year. This is standard for the solar industry, but not for solar shingles.
The two systems are both installed by the same GAF-certified roofers, which means youll get an experienced roofing crew and plenty of support if anything goes awry. There are also some advantages to the type of installation in that the roofing crew will already be on-site and can assemble much of the solar array on the ground. This reduces the need to negotiate with separate solar and roofing companies and helps save the roofers time assembling modules on the roof.
All in all, DecoTech is a good choice if: youre replacing your roof or building a new home and want to go solar youre keen on solar panels rather than solar shingles, and you really want a low-profile look.
What We Like About Certainteed Solar Roofs
Unlike with a Tesla Roof, you can easily integrate solar shingles from CertainTeed into your existing roof. This avoids the need for a total roof upgrade and makes for a much lower cost installation.
A CertainTeed solar roof is typically a lot less expensive than a Tesla Roof. CertainTeed solar shingles are also more widely available in the U.S. The company has been in the roofing business for more than a century and has hundreds of service personnel ready to install its solar shingles. With no waitlist and more roofing experience than any other solar shingle manufacturer, CertainTeed is a great choice if you need a new roof or just want to add a few solar shingles to get started.
CertainTeed makes its solar shingles and tiles in the U.S. Every installation includes fire-resistant underlayment , flashing accessories, starter strip and wind clips, home run wiring, an optional string inverter, and an optional monitoring system.
Both types of solar shingles are easy to install as they use the same low-tech system as regular asphalt and concrete tiles. That is, your installer will attach the shingles to the roofs sheathing using standard deck screws. This makes for a far speedier and more straightforward installation than with more complex solar shingles.
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The tiles are also easy to maintain, with open space under the modules and built-in wire clips allowing for easy wire management and installation.
What We Like About Forward
The solar sections of a Forward roof are made with tempered glass over high-efficiency solar cells. These sections are the same size and shape as a standing seam metal roof. The cells are designed with a transparent optical layer below the glass but look opaque when viewed from the ground below. This makes for a more modern, seamless aesthetic than solar shingles or tiles from CertainTeed or SunTegra.
Forward is the only solar roofing company currently offering an integrated solar roof based on a metal standing seam design. This makes Forward a good fit not only for homes but also for barns, garages, and even industrial type roofs.
Forward solar roofing can be installed in just two to three days and is suitable for roofs with at least a 1:12 pitch. This makes Forward a good fit even for flatter roofs which may be unsuitable for other types of solar shingles. All of the wiring runs through your attic space and you can ask for optional snow guards to prevent snow from shedding in areas such as over doorways.
Forward combines inactive and active roofing components with pricing at $9.75 per square foot for non-solar portions. The solar sections come in at $3.75 per Watt, with an energy density of 19 W per square foot. For a 5 kW solar roofing system, then, youd be looking at a cost of $18,750 for the solar cells. Assuming this occupied around 263 sq. ft. of a 1200 sq. ft. rooftop, the total cost would come in at around $17885.75 .
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Order Your Roof + Pay A Deposit
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.
What Sets Gaf Energy Apart
“We’re part of the world’s largest roofing manufacturer. We have access to materials that typical solar companies don’t have access to,” said Martin DeBono, President of GAF Energy. “No one has ever specifically tried to make a solar product that a roofer can install. And we’ve done it, and our product goes on with just a nail gun. It goes on twice as fast as typical solar.”
Timberline Solar can be nailed to the roof just like a regular shingle, which GAF Energy says will reduce the complexity and cost of installation. At 17 inches tall and 64 inches long, the shingles are also larger than Tesla’s, meaning there are fewer parts to manufacture and fewer individual wiring connections, which the company expects will also decrease costs while increasing reliability.
However the larger and bulkier design also means that GAF Energy’s shingle doesn’t blend in as well as Tesla’s product, which is nearly indistinguishable from normal roofing material.
GAF Energy says its deep ties to the roofing sector will also help it save on sales and marketing expenses, since the company can attract solar customers from the large pool of people already coming to GAF for a new roof.
“The natural moment to actually put solar on a roof is that moment when you’re already about to replace your roof. It makes literally no sense to put brand new PV on an old roof that’s well into its warranty,” said David Winter, Co-CEO of Standard Industries.
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Tesla Setting Up Solar Neighbourhood In 10000 Home Texas Residential Development
Tesla Energy has begun an initiative to install its V3 solar roof tiles and Powerwall 2 residential battery storage systems for what has been dubbed a solar neighbourhood at homes in a new development in Austin, Texas.
The electric vehicle and sustainable energy company has partnered with global asset management group Brookfield Asset Management and real estate developer Dacra to deploy complete home energy systems at Easton Park. The residential community is currently under construction and could number as many as 10,000 homes in total when complete.
Installations already began in June at a sampling of homes, with that first sample phase to be used to inform product integration for the design of further installations across the development and possibly at other sites too. The technology is meant to cover the homes daily energy needs and reduce demands on the local grid, as well as providing backup power in the event of grid power outages.
Brookfield Residentials Easton Park consists of a number of different master-planned communities, each built around parks and green spaces. Teslas solar neighbourhood has been provisionally called SunHouse, with homes to be designed and marketed separately to homes in other neighbourhoods of the development.
The feedback we get from the solar and battery products used in this community will impact how we develop and launch new products, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said.
Tesla Solar Panels Cost And Payment Options
Tesla provides a cost calculator online that estimates the cost of solar panels based on your address and average monthly electric bill. Teslas pricing falls toward the higher end of the average cost for solar panels. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the average price of a 6-kilowatt-hour system ran between $16,000 and $21,000 in 2021.
We obtained quotes from Tesla for a 2,000-square-foot home in Dallas with an average monthly electric bill of $170. The roof space is approximately 2,329 square feet. Each price also includes one Tesla Powerwall, quoted at $10,000.
You can obtain a quote from Tesla Solar on its website after providing your homes address and average monthly electricity bill. To obtain a more accurate estimate, you need to contact the company and undergo a virtual survey with a customer service representative. This process involves going over your energy needs and surveying your property through satellite.
Tesla customers always own their systems through a cash purchase or loan in select states.
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Solar Roof Efficiency Vs Solar Panel Efficiency
The brand new solar roof will be entirely manufactured in the United States. Tesla plans to manufacture all of their solar tiles at their Buffalo facilities using solar cells provided by their partner, Panasonic. Peter Rive, the CTO at SolarCity had previously claimed the efficiency of one of their solar tiles was equivalent to a standard panel. However, according to SolarCitys website the colored film of the solar tile allows the cells to blend into the roof while minimizing solar efficiency loss. While it appears this would mean the efficiency of solar tiles would be lower than those of solar panel, this isnt necessarily the case.
Currently, Panasonics N3300 HIT modules have an efficiency of 19.7%. The have developed solar cells as efficient as 23.5% in their labs. The solar industry average for solar panels is approximately 16%, while Pick My Solars installers come in at around 19.5%. So even if the colored film of the solar tiles lessens the efficiency by a few percentage points, the solar tiles efficiency still may be equivalent to that of standard solar modules.
When it comes to the efficiency of Teslas solar roof in comparison to standard solar panels, there is no clear cut winner. Just make sure that if your home is very limited in regards to roof space, you go with the highest efficiency module possible to power your home.
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Why Solar Is Important In Texas
As mentioned earlier, Texas is one of the leading states when it comes to new solar installations. In fact, in 2021, they are projected to account for 30 percent of the installations in the United States. That is the most of any state.
Going solar is important in Texas for several reasons:
- It saves money.
- It is a green alternative.
- It increases the property value of your house.
- Solar Roofs and panels generate energy all year long.
The statistics show that solar energy is important for Texans, and with good reason. Texas has abundant sunshine year-round. This resource is largely untapped, and Texas is taking advantage of that.
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What We Like About Luma Solar
As mentioned, Luma Solar offers an integrated solar roofing system, not just solar shingles. This makes a Luma solar roof a good option if you dont like the look of regular solar panels or the combination of asphalt or concrete tile and solar shingles. You can also choose to integrate a Luma Solar Kit into your existing roof, which makes for a more flexible and potentially cheaper installation. With Tesla, youre limited to a full solar roof only.
Luma Solar shingles each boast 16 monocrystalline cells and have a power output of 80 watts and a stated energy efficiency of 21%. This makes them more energy-dense and efficient than most solar panels. The shingles can also withstand fire, sea spray, and Category 5 hurricanes, making them a good fit for areas where conventional solar panels are too risky.
Its also nice that Luma offers a range of battery storage options. Unlike Tesla, where youre limited to the companys Powerwall battery storage system, with Luma you can choose between at least four options.
Finally, one major advantage to installing a Luma solar roof is that theres an option to upgrade the photovoltaic cells. This helps to protect against massive increases in solar cell efficiency in the future.
Tesla Solar Panel Reviews
Overall, Tesla Solar has mixed reviews on its Better Business Bureau profile. However, these reviews are for all of Teslas products, not just its solar products. The company features an A+ rating and does not have accreditation.*
Critical reviews of Teslas solar panels mention communication and scheduling difficulties. Meanwhile, other customers praised the company for its solar systems integration, equipment quality and savings.
We reached out to Tesla about these negative comments as well as about the vague language in the warranty and long wait times for service, but we had not received a reply as of the publication date of this article.
Read over some Tesla customers experiences below.
The whole procedure was smooth and easy for me. Neal was an excellent advisor, clear, concise and knowledgeable. The installation company kept me up to date via email. It took very little effort on my part. My electricity bill has $0.00 for the last three months! Randy W. via BBB
After researching for months about switching to Solar Panels we decided to go with Tesla Energy Solar, its been really a good experience. Installation and City Permits everything done quick and so far so good. Its been almost a since we did it. Rocio A. via BBB
*Better Business Bureau information is accurate as of July 2022.
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Pros And Cons Of Tesla Solar Panels
Allows customers to receive an instant online quote Offers a solar panel price-match guarantee Provides 24/7 solar panel monitoring through their mobile app
Customer service can have lengthy long wait times for repairs Powerwall battery systems are not available for purchase separately
Is Tesla The Best Choice
As with any major purchase, you should get multiple quotes from multiple companies. Make sure they answer all your questions and provide the information you need. While Teslas press office was not responsive, its customer service representatives were easy to get in touch with and seemed knowledgeable. Still, it shouldnt be your only call.
Teslas price match means it will always be competitive in terms of cost. Likewise, the estimates it provides online come in well below the national average. If the look of your panels is really important, Teslas do sit closer to the roof and look sharp. Tesla also offers more information up front about its warranty than some of the other players. Still, make sure you can view it in detail before committing.
Powerwall is widely considered an industry leader for batteries. It sets the Teslas equipment apart, but its also available from some other installers.
Its also important to note that I researched this as deeply as was practical and tried to provide the clearest answers, but I didnt go through the purchasing process, interact with customer service as a buyer, or base my assessment of Teslas performance on any first-hand experience. This category is a hard one to review in the traditional sense, so if possible, youll want to make sure to get multiple estimates from the different providers in your area before you make a purchase decision.
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Welcoming Tesla Solar Roofs To Austin
Austinites are excited about Teslas Gigafactory coming to town, but what they might not know is that Tesla Solar is there, too. In 2021, Brookfield Residential announced a partnership that allows the company to include Tesla Solar Roof and Powerwall systems on select new homes in Austins Easton Park neighborhood. Now, the first residents have moved in and are experiencing the power of solar energy.
“Ive always been really intrigued by Tesla and the technology behind it, said Brookfield customer Tanner J. Ive had a car for a while, and when I found out there was an option for a roof and Powerwall, I wanted to jump in and save some money on electricity costs!”
For customer Mario D, the decision to buy a Brookfield home with the Tesla Solar Package made financial sense. I did a cost-benefit analysis: I went to the Tesla site and put in the same characteristics of the house were buying and what it would cost to add a Tesla Roof, Mario said. Theres a big cost savings getting it installed.
How Much Does A Tesla Solar Roof Cost
You can expect to spend anywhere from $35,000 to upwards of $70,000 for the installation of a Tesla Solar Roof. With that said, theres a lot that goes into the cost, making it a bit complicated to figure out what exactly youre being charged for and why.
And if were being honest, the way Tesla displays the pricing line items can be a bit tricky to navigate. Thats why weve broken down what factors influence the price and explain what exactly youre paying for.
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Is Tesla’s Solar Roof A Good Deal
As with every major purchase, it’s important to shop around. This is especially true of solar, where a local provider might beat national companies, which often have higher overhead costs. Tesla has made its solar panel installations cheaper, though the Solar Roof doesn’t have any one-to-one comparisons.
If you really hate the look of solar panels or love the look of the Solar Roof, it might be the right choice for you. There really isn’t another solar product like it. You will have to pay a premium, though how much depends on the condition and layout of your roof. While Solar Roof is an exciting product, it isn’t practical for most people. With a Solar Roof, you’ll get quality equipment backed by strong warranties, but another company may offer greater choice among panels, batteries and inverters at a much lower price. And, there are online concerns about Tesla’s customer service .
Other companies have rolled out their own solar shingle products, notably GAF Energy earlier this year. While GAF prices aren’t public, in January a spokesperson said the cost would be about half of Tesla’s Solar Roof. More recently GAF said a new roof with solar shingles will cost about the same as a new roof and solar panels. Their solar shingles look less like a regular roof than Tesla’s.
There is the chance that, as Tesla tries to increase installations of Solar Roofs while its share of the solar panel market shrinks, it values customer service more for Solar Roof customers .