One of the most interesting and innovative products being designed by Elon Musk is the Tesla solar roof. The sleek glass design certainly looks good, but how much will the Tesla solar roof cost? When will it be available? Several other solar tile options exist, including solar skylight windows, traditional PV tiles, and more. In this article, we’ll go over all these different products, how much they cost, and whether they are worth it.
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The Tesla Solar Roof is the first solar power system that looks beautiful and works seamlessly with your home. As a result, you can enjoy lower energy bills while supporting sustainable living.
The Tesla Solar Roof comprises three types: solar glass tiles, glass roofing tiles, and architectural-grade steel. The innovative roof is also made with a Powerwall. A Powerwall is a compact home battery that makes power available during peak hours and off-peak.
The solar roof can withstand rain and shine, so it will protect your home no matter what the elements bring.
The current price per square foot of Tesla Solar Roof is roughly 50% higher. Even the cost of Tesla Powerwall batteries has increased by 30%, which has little to do with the actual complexity of the roof.
For a typical house with a 2,000 square feet roof of average complexity, a new Tesla Solar Roof will cost between $60,000 and $70,000. This is the cost to install before the 26% Federal Solar Investment Tax Credits. Adding a Tesla Powerwall battery to the solar tile roof will cost you an additional $10,500.
Thus, with a single battery storage bank, you are looking at approximately $70,000 to $80,000 for a new Tesla Solar Roof. The cost includes system design, building permits, and a licensed electrician’s connection to the local power grid.
That said, the actual estimate for a Tesla Solar Roof will depend heavily on the overall complexity of the roof. This includes things like the number of chimneys, dormers, and valleys, the number of layers of old shingles, the condition of the roof deck, etc.
For larger and more complex roofs, the upfront cost can easily exceed $100,000 for a new Tesla Solar Roof with multiple battery packs before the Tax Credits and local incentives.
We estimate the current cost of a Tesla Solar Tile Roof is between $30 and $40 per square foot installed. This price includes removing and disposing of the old roof, installing the Tesla solar glass tiles, and the accompanying Tesla Powerwall battery.
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Owners of traditional asphalt shingles can expect to pay between $3.50 and $7.50 per square foot to install their roofs. In contrast, homeowners with midrange shingles will pay anywhere from $8,000 to $13,200. This is for the same amount of coverage on a 2,000–2,200 sq ft roof surface area.
To install a 10kW PV solar panel system on top of your house, the cost will be about $28,000. So if you want to get a new roof and improve your home’s energy efficiency at the same time, it might make sense for you to go for this option which is around $40,000.
Tesla’s solar glass tile roof costs between 50% and 100% more than a traditional roof integrated with solar panels. But the larger your home’s rooftop area, the greater difference you’ll pay in dollars.
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Installation may take 30 days to 6 months after Tesla begins work on your vehicle. If you order a Tesla solar roof and expect to have, it installed immediately, be prepared to wait. Solar tiles are still developing, and the company has been pushing back deadlines since early 2016/2017.
It’s unclear what the future holds for the Tesla Solar Roof now that a Delaware court has ruled on Musk’s merger with SolarCity, as Tesla’s other energy division is yet to be profitable.
As the trial concludes, there may be less pressure on Elon Musk to deliver on the promise of a Tesla solar roof. And so its long-term future is murky at best.
Yes, several companies offer viable alternatives to Tesla Solar Roof. In the U.S., Luma Solar, SunTegra, and CertainTeed Apollo are the most popular options available today.
The Luma tile system uses heavy 24-gauge galvanized steel tiles combined with monocrystalline solar cells. A result is a roofing option that’s both durable and able to withstand high winds of up to 195 MPH. Which means it could even be used in the aftermath of hurricanes or other natural disasters which involve heavy rains and strong winds.
When considering the options for a new solar energy installation, it is important to consider that solar tile roofs are more expensive than traditional photovoltaic panels.
If you are in the market for a sleek roof that can generate electricity, it’s worth considering Tesla’s solar-roof tiles and comparing them to other options like Luma Solar.
Regardless of whether you hire a company or do the installation yourself, your installer will need to obtain a building permit and submit plans for approval before beginning work.
The CertainTeed Apollo II panels from CertainTeed feature 70-watt solar modules measuring 46 inches by just under 18 inches. Like Luma’s products, they come with a 25-year limited power warranty.
The cells are installed directly into the roof sheathing, with standard deck screws securing them in place. The additional solar cells conceal fastening points.
Concrete roofs are strong but heavy. CertainTeed offers the Apollo Tile II, which mimics a concrete tile roof:
Unlike Tesla and Luma, which are designed to replace an entire roof, CertainTeed is best blended into existing shingles. The tiles’ lack of subtlety means there’s some compromise involved in the process. Not unlike building a house around an expensive antique armoire instead of throwing it out and replacing it with something newer.
The tiles have been well-received. John Stevens, president of Colorado home builder Sopris Homes, told Solar Builder Magazine that his team used the tiles on a five-bedroom house in Longmont and held up beautifully through the winter cold and snow.
“When people look at the roof of this home, they’re surprised to learn that it generates its own electricity. From a distance, it looks like any other concrete tile roof, but not so close-up!” -Stevens said to Metro USA.
SunTegra’s solar roof shingles, similar to CertainTeed’s and made of thin layers of glass and resin, blend in with a composition roof. The firm boasts that its system can be installed twice as fast with 50 percent fewer parts than a standard rack-mounted setup.
The roof has a 25-year limited power warranty, and the shingle measures 52 x 22 inches. Solar price comparison site EnergySage reported that SunTegra’s solar panels are less obtrusive than traditional models, even though they generate more power.
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The Netherlands-based Exasun told CleanTechnica that it began manufacturing its solar roof tiles in 2015.
Its X-Tile system uses monocrystalline silicon cells to create shingles that measure 41 by 17 inches and produce 65 watts of power each. The tiles come with a 30-year warranty on the products and their energy production during that time.
GB Sol manufactures its PV Slate tiles in Wales. The blue-grey slate tiles are designed to withstand the country’s weather. This is a significant improvement over traditional slate tile, which can weigh as much as 10 pounds per square foot and is prone to breaking.
The GB Sol Solar Roof is available in large tiles that measure 23 inches by 12 inches. They include a 35-watt power capacity. Like Tesla and Luma, the roof offers a seamless design using passive solar modules, so there is no need for batteries or other electrical infrastructure.
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You should also consider how much money you will spend on replacing your current roof before choosing whether or not to add solar panels. If you have an old roof that needs replacing, this may be fine for you. Still, if you are looking at adding panels onto an existing roof, then this could be something you need to think about carefully before making your decision.
To install a Tesla solar roof, you will need to pay for any additional electrical work needed to run the system. This can include installing new wiring in your attic, running cables through your walls, and installing electrical panels specifically designed for solar power systems.
If you have an existing roof that is not in good condition and needs to be replaced, you can still get a solar system installed on it. Remember the cost will be higher due to the extra work involved and the fact that you are replacing your entire roof at once.
The complexity of your roof is a significant factor to consider when installing a Tesla solar roof. You should have an experienced installer who can handle all types of roofs, from slate to asphalt shingles. This is because the process may differ for each type.
And if not done correctly, it can lead to problems in the future. For instance, if you have a slate roof, it is essential to have an experienced person who will work with them as they are more difficult to install than asphalt shingles or tiles.
Federal and state incentives can significantly reduce the cost of installing a solar roof. The Tesla Solar Roof calculator considers these incentive amounts when it estimates your bill.
On the Tesla website, you can find an up-to-date list of incentives. For example, between 2020 and 2023, any residential building with a new roof could be eligible for a Federal Tax Credit of 26%.
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In order to get a solar roof from Tesla Motors, you must also install the company’s Powerwall battery. Powerwall stores up to 13.5kWh of energy generated by solar panels throughout the day.
It will then use that power at night or during an outage when no other energy source is available. The more appliances you intend to run using the Powerwall, the greater its power requirements will be.
For example, a single Powerwall can’t run most large appliances. However, three units of the battery will provide enough power for multiple loads at once. This is true if they’re moderately sized (say, 500W or less). You could have up to 10 batteries connected together in series.
The base unit of a Powerwall, the battery itself, costs $6,500. Installation and set-up fees add another $4,000 to the price tag for a total of $10,500 per installation. Additional batteries are available for purchase at just under 7k each without additional installation costs.
Because you will need a Powerwall system to use your Solar Roof, it is important that you identify all the devices in your home that can access the software and find out what appliances you want to power with solar panels.
If you’re willing to pay a high price for solar energy, need to replace your roof, and like the idea of sleek-looking Tesla solar shingles, it may be worth getting one. However, the Tesla Solar Roof or traditional solar panels would make more financial sense while still increasing your home’s energy efficiency.
Although Tesla may have set the bar for luxury electric cars, its solar options are more expensive than other companies’ products and renewable energy alternatives.
However, if you can afford the upfront cost and don’t mind permanently putting solar panels on your home, a Solar Roof is worth it in the long run.
Tesla solar tiles are unlikely to be the perfect technology for every home. But if you’re interested in solar power and are looking for something more creative than the monotony of traditional solar panels, Tesla’s solar roof tiles could be a good choice.
However, the Tesla solar roof is only a solution for some. But there are other options out there that are similar. And if you’re lucky, your roofing company may be interested in installing one of these systems. After all, they could even save them thousands compared to the traditional tiles they already use.