Potential Problems With Solar Roof Tiles
Many companies have tried to make solar roof tiles work on a wide scale, but none have managed to crack it as yet. Traditional solar panel design has been evolving and developing over several years to the point where they are now cheaper and easier to produce at scale than ever. Solar roof tile technology is in its infancy by comparison.
Solar roof tiles are also less efficient at producing electricity than solar panels, which means homeowners and businesses would be paying more for a less effective product simply because they look nicer.
In addition, solar roof tiles can only be fitted if the entire roof is replaced. This means that only homeowners who are looking to replace their roof anyway are likely to consider buying them. Alternatively, a person would need to be ready to face the cost and inconvenience of replacing a roof which is perfectly functional. Solar roof tiles are also a far more complex technology to install as the installer must be both a professional roofer and an accredited solar PV installer.
All of these issues have meant that many solar companies have tried and failed to make the solar roof tile work, and while it seemed for a while that Tesla may have the answer, the continued delays leave room for doubt.
Solar Roof Specifications: What Are You Getting
Despite previous announcements about multiple design offeringsincluding tuscan glass tile, slate glass tile, textured glass tile, and smooth glass tilethe Tesla Solar Roof V3 is only currently available in one shingle design. Each shingle has a dimension of 15 inches by 45 inches and is made of tempered glass. The shingle is designed to resemble a traditional asphalt shingle.
While all of the shingles look the same, only some actually produce energy. Tesla designs the system to meet your energy needs and will only install as many energy-producing shingles as needed. On its website, Tesla states that its shingles are three times stronger than typical roof tiles and are built to withstand all weather conditions. It also asserts that its solar roof will outlast standard roofs.
Tesla provides 25-year tile, power, and weatherization warranties, comparable to leading solar panel brands. 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.
Tesla Roofing And Installation: What You Need To Know
As you are already aware, Tesla is a company dedicated to energy efficiency and innovation. Legacy Energy understands that this ingenuity is beneficial for many reasons. We are proud to be the first in Utah to offer their latest design in energy-efficient roofing to our customers. This high-end roof is engineered for durability and has been tested against the conditions of a category three hurricane, making it safe during any weather conditions or emergencies. Since it is made of an extremely durable tempered glass material, it also gives your home a sleek and modern design. Other solar panels cannot provide the look of a Tesla design. Installation can generally be done in under a week, depending on the size and complexity of your roof.
After doing a thorough inspection of your roof and its size, we will work with the Tesla Solar Roof design team to custom-fit build details for your roof. Once this is complete, we will meet with you to cover details in cost and installation so that you have a full understanding of all of the benefits of this new and innovative roofing option.
No matter which of our products you choose for your home, we are proud to be your trusted roofing contractor. Our highly skilled team will inspect your roof for free and provide a very fairly priced estimate for your consideration. Because we are confident in our work, knowledge, and skills, we will always offer a no-pressure experience.
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Should You Wait For The Tesla Solar Roof
Standard solar panel technologies are typically evaluated based on their performance, durability, and warranties. However, Teslas lack of transparency makes it difficult to compare to traditional solar panels. Four years after the initial launch of Teslas solar roof, the company still hasnt revealed the shingles efficiency and customers are still experiencing long wait times and surprise price increases.
If youre in dire need of a roof upgrade or if you wont need a roof upgrade for a while, the Tesla Solar Roof may not be worth your long wait. Solar panels are extremely dependable . However, if you need to upgrade your roof soon and your roof isnt too complex, you may be a good candidate for the Tesla Solar Roof. Additionally, if youre 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 Solar Roof Tiles Cost Benefits And Reviews
When the concept of the Tesla solar roof was first announced, it was hailed by some as the future of environmentally conscious construction and home design. Why add solar panels to a roof retroactively when the roof itself could include the solar PV technology to generate electricity? Unfortunately, it seems that the challenge is more complex than even an engineering giant like Tesla can handle.
As a result, Tesla solar roof tiles arent yet available to buy. However, this doesnt mean that you have to rule out generating your own renewable energy as solar panels are an efficient and accessible alternative.
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Tesla Wont Let You Go Off
While the shingles will withstand some impressive weather events, they do require a grid connection to power your home.
Unfortunately, If you experience a power outage, your solar shingles will stop producing electricity until the grid is back online – unless it is paired with a solar battery. This also means you cannot install an off-grid Tesla solar roof.
Solar Roof Tiles Are Extremely Durable
Choosing the Tesla Solar Roof means choosing one of the most durable tiles on the market. Solar Roof tiles are made with tempered glass, making them more than three-times stronger than many traditional roofing systems. They’re also engineered for all-weather durability so whether you’re in Flagstaff facing the snow, or in Phoenix facing the heat, Tesla has engineered the Solar Roof to handle it all.
In addition to durability, Tesla backs Solar Roof with an industry-leading 25-year weatherization, power, and tile warranty longer than many traditional roofing systems. So there’s ample reason to feel confident that an investment in Solar Roof will pay off for many years/decades to come.
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Tesla Solar Roof Vs Hail
The 25-year warranties meet the standard for most solar panels on the market. They are a little more durable than traditional solar panels when it comes to their hail and wind ratings.
Most solar panels are tested for their strength against one-inch hail. While this is considered severe hail and is rare in many places, Teslas is tested to withstand 1.75-inch hail.
Tesla Solar Roof Availability: Who Can Buy
At the moment, the Tesla Solar Roof is being installed in various locations across the United States.
At the October 2019 unveiling, Tesla’s senior director of energy operations Kunal Girota explained that Tesla is installing retrofit solar panels in 25 states, and it will be offering the roof in all of those states. The goal, however, is to expand across the country with both the company’s internal teams and third parties.
At the time of writing, Tesla’s website accepts orders for its retrofit solar panels in 24 locations: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusets, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
The Tesla Solar Roof section of the website accepts orders for all 50 states bar Minnesota. Inverse has reached out to Tesla for more information.
As for international buyers, there may be some good news on that front. Musk stated on Twitter in February 2020 that he was “looking forward to international expansion later this year.”
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Tesla Solar Roof Cost
The Tesla Solar Roof also undercuts the cost of buying a roof and panels separately. Tesla says a 10-kilowatt roof in California will cost around $33,950, equating to $5.60 per square foot or $2.11 per watt. That, Tesla claims, is cheaper than spending $54,647 on a premium roof and retrofit solar panels .
Tesla Solar Roof tiles were first announced in October 2016, but except for a small number of installations in the spring of 2018 they never seemed to materialize in bulk. Reports at the time suggest installations measured in just the 10s of houses. But Tesla partnered with a Chinese supplier for the third-generation tiles, and previous supplier Panasonic ended its agreement to produce the tiles this week.
As Tesla starts to raise the roof, here’s how to get the roof installed.
What Is The Tesla Solar Roof
One of the biggest issues homeowners have with solar panels is how they look. As a response, in 2016, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tesla Energys new product – the Tesla solar roof – on the set of then-popular television series Desperate Housewives of all places. That should have given us some sort of indication that the Tesla roof was probably going to be all for show.
The solar roof was designed to function as photovoltaic solar panels while seamlessly integrating into a roof. This way homeowners could still enjoy the benefits of solar energy, like electric bill savings and using clean energy, without having to sacrifice their homes aesthetics.
In order to get a uniform look, a homes entire roof is replaced with Tesla shingles. Not all of these shingles will generate electricity , but the whole roof will be covered in Tesla brand shingles.
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The Tesla Solar Roof: What You Should Know
If you’ve been in the market for a new roof or a solar array, chances are you’ve heard whisperings about the Tesla Solar Roof. It’s the perfect combination of upscale, aesthetically pleasing roofing tiles that just so happen to generate electricity. Thanks to our close strategic partnership with Sun Valley Solar Solutions, Azul Roofing is pleased to announce that Tesla’s revolutionary Solar Roof is now available!
Like all new technologies, questions about Solar Roof’s abilities abound. And while we can’t possibly answer everything in the context of this short blog, we wanted to take a few minutes and address some of the most common. Whether you’re in the market for a new roof, are interested in solar panels or both the Solar Roof might be a good option for you. Read on to learn more about this cutting-edge technology and see if it’s the right choice for you.
Does Tesla Customize Their Solar Solution For Each Home
The answer is no. The company uses a standardized approach to Tesla solar roof sales, offering four system capacity options. This has simplified their sales process, but goes against the industry-standard customized sales approach. Typically a customers system will match their system production to energy consumption. Tesla solar roof runs a greater risk of inaccurately sizing the system. Therefore production may not fully offset a customers energy consumption.
Unlike suburban family homes, many NYC solar seekers require relatively small systems to meet their needs. At BSW we see opportunity in custom jobs. We have made serving low energy customers a core part of our business and regularly realize projects deemed too small or too large to install by our competitors. Our goal is to ensure that your system matches up to your specific usage.
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Tesla Solar Roof 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.
Is The Tesla Solar Roof Worth It
The Tesla solar roof isnt that much more expensive than a conventional roof replacement and solar panel installation. Depending on the scenario, the solar roof could actually end up being cheaper! If the slight cost difference doesnt matter to you and you need to replace your roof, then maybe its worthwhile to get the solar roof.
But were not so sure the Tesla solar roof is the right way to go solar, even if the price is competitive. For one thing, Tesla is notorious for having subpar customer service for their energy division, which is reflected on SolarReviews. People have reported waiting weeks to hear back from their Tesla advisors if there is an issue with their system.
Tesla is also extremely unreliable. Despite being introduced in 2016, Tesla didnt start installing solar roofs until 2018, and its still unknown how many have actually been installed. Then in mid-2020, Tesla started canceling solar roof preorders after homeowners had paid their deposits – claiming the sites werent within their service territory.
And dont forget about those lawsuits we mentioned earlier: Tesla changed the prices of solar roof installations after homeowners already signed contracts. If you cant even trust that theyll honor the contract – what can you trust them about?
Reputable local solar installers will be able to provide you with a more personalized installation experience, and will be there to support you for the 25-year lifespan of your system.
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How Much Does The Tesla Solar Panel Roof Cost
According to Tesla, the active solar roof tiles cost $1.80 per watt. The cost of the inactive shingles varies, based on the complexity of your roof. Tesla divides roofs into three groups:
- Simple, which costs $13.30 per square foot of inactive tiles
- Moderate, which costs $20.75 per square foot of inactive tiles
- Intermediate, which costs somewhere between a simple and a complex roof
The actual total cost of a Tesla solar roof will depend on how much energy your home uses, the size of your roof, and the complexity of your roof determined by Teslas design team, as well as any other details or upgrades deemed necessary by Tesla.
For instance, some customers have reported that Tesla required them to upgrade their electrical panel for almost $5,000, adding to the overall cost of the installation.
We used Teslas cost estimator to get an estimate of the total costs of a solar roof for a 2,000 square foot, simple complexity roof in California with an electric bill of $200 per month. Based on the needs of the home, Tesla suggested a 5.7 kilowatt solar roof at a total cost of $38,844, before incentives.
The active solar shingles cost $11,516 and the cost to replace the remaining roofing materials was $27,328.
How Much Does A Tesla Solar Roof Cost Compared To Solar Panels
Its easier to compare these costs with an example, so lets dive in.
Lets say you own a home in California with a simple complexity roof thats roughly 2,000 square feet, and your average monthly electric bill is $200. Tesla would recommend installing a 8.18 kW solar roof with one Powerwall battery that would cost $51,800 before the federal tax credit, and about $45,248 after the tax credit.
An 8.18 kW conventional solar panel system with one battery would cost about $35,040 before the tax credit, and $25,929 after the tax credit based on the average cost of solar in the U.S. This solar-plus-battery system is cheaper than the Tesla solar roof on its own, but the solar roof isnt just a solar panel installation – it also includes the cost of getting a new roof.
So, how much is a traditional roof replacement? Well, lets say you use architectural asphalt shingles that cost around $8.00 per square foot including installation it could cost about $16,000 to reroof the entire roof. That would bring the total cost of installing conventional solar panels and completing a roof replacement to $41,929.
In this example, the Tesla solar roof is a little over $3,000 more expensive than the conventional panels and roof replacement. Its not that big of a difference. But, if your roof ends up being more complex, the solar roof system would cost you another $14,870, making the difference even more stark.
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Who Are Teslas Solar Roof Competitors
Though the buzz around Teslas illustrious roof product has made it appear like its 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 Teslas solar roof competitors that offer similar BIPV products:
Its 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.