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.
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.
How Much Do Tesla Solar Tiles Weigh
Per Tesla, their new solar tiles will be approximately half the weight of a standard roof tile. This is a hard claim to make without defining the standard roof tile being used in this statement.
To understand the range of tile weights, lets look at this:
- Concrete Tiles between 9.5 12 lbs. per square foot
- Asphalt Shingles between 2.5 4 lbs. per square foot
- Spanish Tiles between 6 19 lbs. per square foot
- Slate Tiles between 7-10 lbs. per square foot
Our approximation when taking all of the solar tiles components into consideration is that the tiles will weigh about 15 20 lbs. This is a rough estimate due to Teslas ambiguity when discussing the weight of their solar tiles.
We reached out to one of our excellent roofing partners, Chandlers Roofing, to get their perspective on Teslas new solar product
Aesthetically the Solar Roof is beautiful, but well need to wait and see how Tesla will resolve taking it to market, says Trevor Leeds, President of Chandlers Roofing, Roofing is a different animal than solar. There are different variables that have to be considered like waterproofing and the roof-attachment method. Compliance codes for roofing are also much different than solar. Will Tesla figure out how to be a national roofing contractor? Is Tesla looking to assume this liability and overhead? All of these unknowns will need to be worked out.
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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 Does Tesla Solar Roof Compare To Other Roofs
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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Tesla Solar Roof Cost Varies By Roof Design
The cost of installing a Tesla roof varies significantly depending on your homes design. In April 2021, Tesla confused and frustrated many of its customers when it 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 its calculations faltered. The company did add a roof complexity estimate to its solar roof calculator, which adjusts the systems price based on the roof complexity. On its 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.
How Much Are Tesla Solar Roof Tiles
See below table for a cost breakdown of Teslas new solar slates:
|Home Square Footage|
|$49,800 or £38,300||$71,300 or £54,830|
Tesla themselves acknowledge that the upfront cost of a solar roof is likely to be more expensive than a standard roof replacement, but they argue that the return on your investment over time in terms of energy savings can offset this. And, they add, you get a ‘beautiful new roof that also increases the value of your home’.
In May 2017, the Tesla Solar Roof Tile became available to preorder in the UK for a deposit. However, nearly over three years later, Tesla continues to delay an official launch and is evasive about committing to dates. Many in the industry and media remain highly skeptical of whether or not the Tesla solar roof will ever become a reality.
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Is It Worth It To Get A Tesla Solar Roof
If youre willing to pay the high price point, need to replace your roof and like the idea and sleek aesthetic of Teslas solar shingles, then it may be worth it to get a Solar Roof. Otherwise, Teslas Solar Panels, or even traditional solar panels, may make more financial sense while still increasing your homes energy efficiency.
Teslas solar options are significantly more expensive than other renewable energy alternatives on the market, and the company has had a record of changing quoted prices for the Solar Roof fairly regularly. However, if you have the finances and do not mind integrating your home into the Tesla system, a Solar Roof is a good long-term investment for your home.
Tesla Solar Roof: What Is It
Tesla is perhaps best known as an electric car manufacturer, but its website describes its mission as much broader: âTeslaâs mission is to accelerate the worldâs transition to sustainable energy.â
In October 2016, Musk demonstrated its vision of a âhouse of the futureâ on the set of Desperate Housewives. It showed a Tesla Model 3 electric sedan in the garage. The homeâs roof was covered in Solar Roof tiles, a roof with a mix of solar and non-solar âdummy tiles.â The two tiles are designed to look identical, meaning it looks like a regular roof to the untrained eye.
The house was completed with a Powerwall battery, which stored energy from the tiles so the house could run from clean energy even when the sunâs not shining.
The Solar Roof was relatively rare after its unveiling, bar a smattering of installs in early 2018. That changed in October 2019, when the company unveiled its third-generation tiles designed for faster installation times.
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What Would Tesla Solar Roof Tiles Be Like
According to the Tesla website, there are 4 styles of tile available to pre-order: Textured, Smooth, Tuscan or Slate. They are made from tempered glass which Tesla claims to be three times stronger than the average roof tile. They’re so confident about this that they’ve included a lifetime guarantee with the tiles this means that your roof will last for as long as your house stands. There’s also a 30 year guarantee on both the power technology and against weather damage.
A solar roof from Tesla would consist of a combination of solar tiles and non-solar tiles which both look the same from street level, the ratio of which will vary depending on your home’s energy needs. According to the Tesla website, each solar tile includes invisible solar cells that have been developed in partnership with Panasonic.
Solar Roof Pricing Estimator
If you go to the Tesla website, you can plug in your street address and get a rough custom price estimate. The online estimator uses satellite images to automatically estimate your roof area, and your monthly electricity cost to estimate how many panels youll need.
Be aware that you should toggle the âshow incentivesâ button to see the gross price of the system. As you can see, my quoted system is $22,380 before incentives. For comparison, my 18 panel 4.6 kW system cost me $18,000 before incentives in 2013. If I bought a conventional solar system today, the price would be quite a bit lower.
You can visit their website to learn more.
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Consider The Tesla Solar Roof If:
- You have the financial means to make a substantial investment into a new roof
- You like to get your hands on cutting-edge technology and dont mind joining the waitlist
- You dont mind performing more regular maintenance on your solar panels
- You live in a populated region with access to Tesla-certified installers
Tesla Solar Roof: How Much Did It Cost Before
Musk claimed that, in 80 percent of cases, the new tiles would offer âa price point that is less than what the average roof costs plus solar panels.â
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 Vallesâs roof may have cost slightly more than buying the two separately, although itâs 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 âalmost the exact sameâ as the cost of a good shingle roof plus solar.
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How Much Will A Tesla Solar Roof Cost On My Home
Tesla has provided an online calculator that attempts to compute the cost of a Tesla Solar Roof based on a homes approximated square foot and number of stories. Single story homes are presumed to have double the roof surface area than a 2-story home with the same interior space. Here are some estimates on how much a Tesla Solar Roof will cost depending on the size of the home:
- 1.500 square feet $55,600
- 1,500 square feet $29,500
- 2.000 square feet $72,700
- 2,000 square feet $38,300
- 3,000 square feet $55,600
- 3,000 square feet $106,600
- 5,000 square feet $155,300
- 5,000 square feet $89,700
Solar Roof costs outlined are based on 60% solar coverage and does not take into account value of energy produced from the roof tiles themselves. The cost also does not factor in any local solar tax credits which varies by region.
Originally published post below:
Teslas new Solar Roof tiles are the hot topic of conversation right now. At the official reveal event, Elon Musk asked rhetorically, So, why would you buy anything else? In a new analysis, Consumer Reports tries to answer that question.
In the absence of pricing information from Tesla, Consumer Reports decided to make some assumptions of its own. People may quibble with them, but they at least establish a baseline that can be used to begin the discussion.
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 âwe have increased the price of Solar Roof and have added adjustments for individual roof complexity.â
On the firmâs new Roof Complexity web page, it explains:
Your roofâs complexity will determine your Solar Roof installationâs level of difficulty, which is factored into your final purchase price. Roofs fall into three tiers of complexity â 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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Tesla Solar Roof Versus Hail
If youre spending tens of thousands of dollars on a roof, then you need that roof to withstand hail and other physical damage. So how does the Tesla Solar Roof fare against hail?
Part of the reason Tesla delayed the rollout of the Solar Roof was to make the system as strong as possible. The shingles are called solarglass because the top layer is made from glass. It sounds like glass shingles would do very poorly against hail, branches, and other physical damage to your roof. However, thats not the case.
Tesla claims their Solar Roof is more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles. The company has engineered the solarglass for all-weather protection. Plus, the tiles are backed by a 25-year warranty.
Of course, Tesla can make all of the claims it wants but it doesnt matter if the roof cannot survive a real hailstorm. In July 2021, Good Faith Energy showing how the Tesla Solar Roof fared against baseball-sized hail.
Texas experienced several serious hailstorms at the end of April that set new records in the state. One homeowner in Wichita Falls, Texas with a Tesla Solar Roof recorded the aftermath. Large hailstorms fell on the roof for 20 to 30 minutes. Most of the hailstones were the size of golf balls, but there were several hailstorms the size of baseballs.