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What Is A Tesla Roof

How Is It Installed

This Tesla Solar Roof Was NOT Built in a Day

One of the great aspects of the Tesla Solar Roof is that you dont have to worry about finding a separate company to install the tiles. Tesla has an in-house team of roofers and other skilled workers to ensure that this special roof is properly fitted to your house and that all its features work.


This is because there are many moving parts to setting up the roof, and Tesla wants to ensure customer satisfaction.

How Does The Cost Of Tesla’s Solar Roof Compare To Traditional Solar Panels

When you look at the cost per watt of Teslas solar roof, $1.80 per watt, its actually much lower than the average cost of solar in the United States, which, as of October 2021, is around $3.00 per watt.

However, the Tesla solar shingle roof isnt just solar panels, it’s a roof plus solar panels. So, to get a better idea of how solar shingles compare to conventional solar panels, we have to look at the price of replacing your roof versus getting solar installed.

Lets use the same house from the earlier example. By using the average cost of asphalt shingles in the U.S., it would cost around $16,000 to replace the homes 2,000 square-foot simple complexity roof.

So, how much would a traditional solar panel system cost? By using the average cost per watt of solar in the U.S., an 8.18 kW solar panel installation with one battery would cost $35,040, before the federal tax credit.

That brings the total cost of installing a traditional solar system and replacing the roof to $51,040. After the federal tax credit, this would come out to about $41,929.

So how did this compare to the cost of Teslas solar roof? It comes pretty close, and will depend on the exact materials used, but the Tesla solar roof is slightly more expensive.

You May Become Internet

As one of the first to receive a solar roof, Toblerâs house has seen widespread online coverage. Thatâs filtered through into some neighborhood recognition.

âI did have a guy knock on my door that lived in some other California city that Iâd never heard of,â Tobler says. âHe was driving by to visit his dad, and he looked overâ¦he said he actually recognized my house from the internet, and right away said âthatâs the one! Thatâs the one with the solar roof!ââ

You might enjoy watching this Inverse original:

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

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.

Tesla Solar Roof Estimate

Elon Musk

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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A Brief History Of The Tesla Solar Roof

Elon Musk first announced the Tesla Solar Roof in October 2016 at a press event at Universal Studios. The famous CEO was always vocal about his desire to usher in more sustainable energy sources, and this was his latest attempt to do so. In the beginning, these roofs were a joint product between SolarCity and Tesla. However, Tesla later acquired SolarCity.

The company began taking orders for the solar roof in April 2017. Customers who wanted to take advantage of this had to make a $1,000 deposit to make a pre-order. Tesla planned to install soon after deposits were made and to begin international installations in 2018, but they ran into many setbacks.


After running tests, they had to make changes to protect the longevity of the roofs once they were installed. This lead to the launch of the Solar Roof v3 in 2019. They then began hiring more roofers and other skilled laborers to keep up with demand.

Teslas solar roof has not been without its fair share of controversy. The biggest issue was that the company had canceled many orders, some of which were preordered when first available. This means that some customers paid $1,000 and waited years only to be told that Tesla did not offer service in their area.


Final Thoughts About The Tesla Solar Roof

If you are considering buying Teslas solar roof, you should first make sure you can get one in your area. The last thing youd want to do is get your hopes up only to find that you cant have it.

While the Tesla Solar Roof is a cool piece of innovative technology, most people who want solar energy still pick solar panels. They are reliable, easily installed alongside your normal roof, and the technology is more tried and true. As the years go one, though, hopefully, the Tesla Roof will become more widely available.


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Tesla Solar Roof Specifications

As of February 2021, these are the published specifications for the Solar Roof:

  • Tile warranty: 25 years
  • Wind rating: ASTM D3161 Class F
  • Fire rating: Class A
  • Hail rating: ANSI FM 4473 Class 3
  • Roof pitch: 2:12 to 20:12
  • Inverter power: 3.8kW / 7.6kW
  • Inverter dimensions: 26″ x 16″ x 6″
  • Inverter warranty: 12.5 years

Some thoughts about this: the tile warranty is similar to other high performance solar panels with 25 year warranties such as LG and SunPower. The warranty also includes labor.

The inverter described is a central inverter similar to those offered by SolarEdge and SMA. Its warranty length is similar to a central inverter, which is half the duration of the 25 year warranty offered with Enphase microinverters . No word about how much an inverter replacement would cost.

How To Find A Model S With A Sunroof

Exploring If Tesla Solar Roof Is About To Go Mainstream?

If youve made it this far in the blog, you know that in order to find a Model S with a Panoramic Sunroof youre going to be looking into the realm of pre-owned Teslas. Right now, that world is made up of the Tesla Used Inventory and private sales.

The most expensive option is typically going to be the Tesla Used Inventory, but Tesla does provide a 145 point inspection and a Used Vehicle Limited Warranty. Currently, Tesla doesnt offer actual pictures of the used vehicle you might be interested in , but you can get some peace of mind from the manufacturers inspection and warranty process. For a price, that is.

Next, you can check for a used Model S with a Panoramic Sunroof through private sellers. Typically better deals can be found here, but they come with a consistent problem. Remember that name confusion issue we mentioned earlier? Where people cant seem to keep the Panoramic Sunroof and the Glass Roof straight? Well, guess what: private sales and private listing websites have the same problem. Panoramic Glass, Sunroof, All Glass, who knows? To many of them, the word sunroof covers all of the above.

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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.

Efficiency Of The Tesla Solar Roof

One factor to consider when making a cost comparison between installing new solar panels and installing a new Tesla Solar Roof is efficiency. Tesla has not released data on the efficiency of its solar shingles, but EnergySage estimates that typical solar shingle brands range from 14 to 18 percent efficiency, whereas most solar panels are 22 to 23 percent efficient. Its important to keep this in mind when deciding if the Tesla Solar Roof is worth it for you because your overall return on investment will likely be lower than if you install new solar panels.

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When Will The Tesla Solar Roof Arrive In North Carolina

A few installers have started to offer Teslas solar roof in North Carolina. Right now, NC homeowners who are getting solar shingles installed are paying a price premium to be in the front of the line.

As a Certified Tesla Powerwall Installer, weve talked with Tesla about the solar roof and previewed the product. At this point, were continuing to offer Teslas traditional PV panels, but not their shingle roof material. We love the Poweralls, solar panels, and solutions Tesla continues to put out, but since their solar roof product is still so new, with such complex technology behind it, we dont want our customers to be first in line to experience the kinks of a first gen product. We know the Tesla solar roof is going to be a game changer and well be on board as soon as we feel that this product has proven long term success for our customers.

If getting Teslas solar roof is make or break for you on your solar journey, we have good news there are other solar companies in NC that have taken on rolling out this product! Tesla is also currently taking $100 refundable deposits to hold your place in line through their online ordering portal. That being said, there is no guarantee for when your solar roof will be installed .

Alternatives To A Tesla Solar Roof

Elon Musk

For now the Tesla Solar roof appears to be on hold. However, this doesnt mean you still cant generate your own solar energy in style. Integrated Solar Panels are a great alternative to solar roof tiles, with far less drawbacks. To find out if integrated Solar Panels are the right solar solution for your home, Alternatively, get in touch on 01322 479369 or simply click enquire now to fill out our short form, to get connected to a Solar Energy advisor.

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Pros And Cons Of Solar Shingles

Itâs clear that there is a lot of consumer interest in photovoltaics that look more attractive than standard photovoltaics, and several companies have stepped up to introduce a range of products into the market. Thereâs no doubt that some of these products make for a nicer looking roof, but does it make sense to use these in place of conventional solar modules?

Letâs take a look at the pros and cons:

Tesla Expands Solar Roof Installations To Anywhere In The Us

Tesla has decided to expand the market for solar roof tile installations to anywhere in the US.

The move comes as Tesla aims to greatly accelerate solar roof installations.

Until recently, Tesla solar roof installations were limited to some approved markets in the US within a relatively short distance of Tesla Energy warehouses.

It has been limiting the growth of the product that aims to offer an alternative to regular solar panels, which is still the bulk of Teslas solar business.

Now sources familiar with the matter told Electrek that Tesla opened installations of the solar roof tiles to any customer anywhere in the US.

Anyone can submit an order regardless of their distance from a Tesla Energy warehouse, and the company will have the capacity to send travel installation crews to the location.

However, Tesla will send people to survey the houses prior to going forward with any project in order to make sure the structures are good candidates for solar roof tiles.

The company has been known for prioritizing projects with simpler roofs.

As we previously reported, Tesla significantly increased the price of the solar roof tiles earlier this year after introducing a new roof complexity factor.

The expectation was that the price increase had put a dent in Teslas solar roof tile demand.

It showed that the company was still trying to drive demand for the product.

Tesla only noted this about solar roof deployment in its latest earnings:

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You Will Become Addicted To The App

Tesla provides an app for checking energy usage in real-time. This shows how much power the roof is producing, how much is going to the Powerwall, and how much is in use around the house any one time.

âHaving the app and being able to track exactly whatâs happening has sort of made it like a game,â Tobler says. âWeâll turn on a blender or run the washing machine and, âquick! open the app and see how much power does that actually use, and how can we spread things out.ââ

Version 3 Product Release

Is The Tesla V3 Solar Roof Worth The Money?

Version 1 of the Roof was announced in October 2016, but it had very limited production. On a Tesla earnings call in March, Elon Musk explained that the solar division had taken a back seat to the Model 3 vehicle production ramp-up, which consumed the companys focus for over a year. With Model 3 production improving, Musk declared that 2019 would be the year of the solar roof.

More recently, on a conference call on October 25th 2019, Tesla announced the latest version of their Solar Roof.

It turns out that Tesla is currently on their third version of the Solar Roof and that the previous two versions were expensive and complicated to manufacture and install.

The following are some questions and excerpts from the conference call. It has been lightly edited.

Solar Roof conference call: introductory remarks by Elon Musk

The following are some excerpts from Muskâs introduction. You can follow the link above to hear the entire call.

Musk spends time explaining the improved economics of the version 3 roof, but that the Solar Roof still only makes sense if you are planning to replace your roof anyway. If your roof has ten years or more life left in it, he recommends that you go with conventional Tesla solar panels:

What changes have been implemented from v1 to v2 to v3, and what was the impact on cost and performance?

When can we expect Solar Roof v3 to available for wide residential adoption?

What do you anticipate the wait time will be?

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How Do They Work

They work the same way that conventional solar panels work, by converting sunlight into electricity.

However, theyre structurally different to conventional solar panels. These roof shingles are composed of three separate layers. The innermost layer is the high-efficiency solar cell. The middle layer is film that covers the cell and makes it invisible to people. The outermost layer is tempered glass.

How Does The Tesla Solar Roof Work

Tesla has an in-house team that designs, installs, and powers on each Solar Roof. You order the Solar Roof through Tesla, and the professionals work with you to create your Solar Roof.

Heres how the Solar Roof installation process works for most homeowners:

Step 1) Design: Tesla uses aerial imagery and 3D modeling to determine the custom design of your Solar Roof.

Step 2) Installation: Teslas integrated design allows for quick tile and Powerwall installation, giving you an all-in-one solar and storage system.

Step 3) Power On: Tesla completes the final cleanup, then activates your system.

The system is powered by the Tesla Solar Inverter, which is designed to make the system as safe and reliable as possible. The Tesla Solar Inverter has built-in connectivity, and Tesla continues to launch over-the-air updates to make the hardware as intelligent as possible. The goal is to generate the maximum amount of energy possible for your Solar Roof even if you have intermittent sunlight and complicated angles.

Once your Solar Roof is installed, you monitor the roof using the Tesla app. The app lets you monitor your energy production in real-time. You can also control your system from anywhere. The Tesla app lets you set up instant alerts and remotely access multiple aspects of your Solar roof.

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