Tesla Roof Economics from Purchase to Annual Savings


Tesla Roof Economics from Purchase to Annual Savings

Tesla has not only paved its way to just selling cars but also revolutionized and pioneered solar roofs. You might be wondering how this potential splurge could cost you upfront and in the long term. Without further ado, let’s do some cost analysis.

The cost of a Tesla Roof will vary according to several factors such as location, size of the house or building, and energy usage. On average, a Tesla Roof will cost anywhere from $19.00 to $24.50 per square foot before tax credits. Moreover, annual savings could rack up to $4,000 in electric bills.

To have a better understanding of what makes up the price, it’s important to know that a Tesla Roof is comprised of two types of glass tiles – the active solar tiles and the non-solar tiles. If you want an in-depth review of how this will affect the upfront cost and annual savings, you should read further.

How Does the Solar Tiles and Non-Solar Tiles Affect the Price?

Typically, 35% of the entire roof will be installed with the active solar tiles and the remaining 65% will be installed with the non-solar tiles. Seldomly, Tesla will recommend installing 50% active solar tiles and 50% non-solar tiles depending on your average electric bill or energy consumption.

The higher the energy consumption, the more likely it is for Tesla to recommend more solar tiles to be installed.

In short, your energy consumption is a major factor that will drive the price of a Tesla Solar Roof.

How Much Does a Tesla Roof Cost?

To give you a rough estimate, a non-solar tile could cost anywhere from $7.65 per square foot to $14.2 per square foot, whereas an active solar tile could cost $2.01 per watt or $54 per square foot.

Let’s put those figures into actual numbers. Below is a chart comparing two homes of the same location and square footage but vary on the energy consumption.

Example 1Example 2
Home LocationOklahomaOklahoma
Roof Square Footage1,115 square feet1,115 square feet
 Electric Bill$200 / month$70 / month
Tesla Recommendations
Solar Tile: Non-Solar Tile Ratio70% Non-solar tiles 30% Solar tiles70% Non-solar tiles 30% Solar tiles
kW Solar Roof6.7 kW roof5.4 kW roof
Number of Powerwalls22
Tesla Price Estimates
Price of Solar Roof (Installation included)$22,036$19,342
Federal Tax Credits$4,487$3,787
Price after Incentives$17,548$15,555
Electricity Cost$122 / month$10 / month
Savings$79 / month$60 / month
Powerwall Cost$17,000 $12,580 (after tax credits)$17,000 $12,580 (after tax credits)
TOTAL COST$39,036 $30,128 (after tax credits)$36,342 $28,135 (after tax credits)

Based on the two examples above, it’s clear that you would have to shell out less money if you consume less energy. You’d be seeing a couple of thousand dollars in savings.

Included in the total cost are the installation of the roof and the Powerwall to store the solar energy collected by the solar tiles. This comes in handy should an outage occur. If you want to learn more about how much it will cost you for your home, Tesla offers estimates when you enter your information on their website.

Nevertheless, spending close to $30,000 for a roof is not something to be taken lightly. Does the cost justify the savings? Let’s find out.

How Much Does a Regular Roof Cost?

According to Fixr, replacing a roof may vary in cost depending on the size of the roof, number of stories, and the material of the shingles.

A 1,500 square foot roof two-story house could cost anywhere between $5,250 to $10,500 if replaced with asphalt shingles. For a single-story house, you could expect to spend for even less than $4,500. To translate these numbers, the average cost is $3.50 per square foot to $5.00 per square foot.

Comparing the numbers between replacing a roof with Tesla Solar Tiles versus regular roof, the former could be quite pricey. However, Tesla markets their roof as the more economical choice in the long term. How does their claim justify? Let’s dig in deeper.

Total Savings Comparison of a Tesla Solar Roof Versus Regular Roof

Tesla offers a 25-year warranty for their Solar Roof. Thus, it would be wise to show the total savings and cost in the span of 25 years. Let’s look at the table below.

Tesla Solar RoofRegular Asphalt Roof
Installation and Purchase Cost (Powerwall Included)$30,128 after tax credits$7,875*
Monthly Electric Bill$122/month$200/month
Annual Electric Bill**$1,464$2,400
25 years Electric Bill$36,600$60,000
Total Cost (25 years electric bill + purchase cost)$66,728$67,875
25-year Savings = $1,147

** Inflation not included

Assuming all variables are constant such as energy consumption, and not considering the maintenance costs, savings would only be roughly a thousand dollars. But we all know that is not the case in the real-world setting.

Factors that Affect the Total Cost of a Tesla Solar Roof

There are other factors that need to be considered that could drastically change the numbers above.

A Powerwall is Expensive but Essential for Longterm Savings

A Tesla Powerwall is a huge battery that stores all solar energy collected during the day. This is activated during a power outage and at night to reduce reliance on the power grid. A Powerwall is a necessary component to have with a Tesla Solar Roof.

We all know that batteries only have a finite lifespan, and a Tesla Powerwall is no exception. While Tesla offers a 10-year warranty on their Powerwall, one should expect that in the 25-year span, a replacement would need to be purchased – another cost to consider.

However, a Tesla Powerwall can have many uses. It’s not only used to store solar energy collected by the Solar Tiles, but can be used to charge your Tesla vehicle should an outage occur. Let’s look at an example of how much you could save over a Tesla Solar Roof if you already have an existing Powerwall at home and don’t need to purchase one.

 Tesla Solar Roof  Regular Asphalt Roof
Installation and Purchase Cost (excluding Powerwall)$17,548 after tax credits  $7,875*  
Monthly Electric Bill$122/month$200/month
Annual Electric Bill**$1,464$2,400
25 years Electric Bill$36,600$60,000
Total Cost (25 years electric bill + purchase cost)$54,148$67,875
25-year Savings = $13,727

*Based on the average cost to replace with an asphalt roof.

**Inflation not included

With the example shown above, you could absolutely get more in savings if you already have 2 existing Powerwalls at home (recommended by Tesla to achieve 6.7kW). If you only have 1 Powerwall and would only need 1 more to purchase a Powerwall, you could still save $6,727.

Additional Upgrades or Repairs May Add Up to the Cost

Upon the installation of a Tesla Solar Roof, one should expect some necessary upgrades that may not be included in the quote. That could include roof deck replacements, conduits, and panels.

On EnergySage, Edward Dijeau who purchased a Tesla Solar Roof shared that the extras he had to pay totaled to $8,000 which included installing roofing planks and roofing repairs.

If you’re nervous of the extra costs you might incur, you can always speak with your local certified Tesla Solar Roof installer or wait for Tesla to send you the final quote before making any commitments.

Energy Consumption Affects Your Quote

It would make more financial sense for a homeowner to invest in a Tesla Solar Roof if the energy consumption or monthly electric bill is so high and the only means to lower your usage is to make use of a solar panel or solar roof. Otherwise, you’re better off keeping your regular roof if you only spend $50 in monthly electricity bills.

 Tesla Solar Roof  Regular Asphalt Roof
Installation and Purchase Cost$21,154 after tax credits (1 Powerwall included)$0  (replacement not needed)
Monthly Electric Bill$10/month$50/month
Annual Electric Bill**$120$600
25 years Electric Bill$3,000$15,000
Total Cost (25 years electric bill + purchase cost)$24,154$15,000

**Inflation not included

From the example above, we can draw a conclusion that replacing your regular roof for the sake of upgrading to a Tesla Solar Roof could cost you more. However, it becomes a different story when your roof needs to be replaced – a Tesla Solar Roof becomes the more economical choice. From the example above, you could save up to $1,279.

Tesla Solar Roof Versus Tesla Solar Panel

By now, you might be eager to learn how a Tesla Solar Roof compare against their Solar Panel in terms of cost. Let’s compare the two based on a house that averages $200 in electricity bills with a non-solar roof.

Tesla Solar RoofTesla Solar Panel + Premium Roof
Purchase cost$30,128 after tax credits (2 Powerwalls)  $46,472 after tax credits (4 Powerwalls)   $15,000 – $25,000 roof
Upfront Cost$30,128*$61,472 – $71,472 or $46,472 (Solar Panel only)
Monthly Electric Bill$122 / month$10 / month
Annual Electric Bill**$1,464$120
25-year Electricity Bill36,600$3,000
Total Cost (25 years electric bill + purchase cost)$66,728$64,472 – $74,472 or $49,472 (Solar Panel only)

*does not include necessary upgrades.

**Inflation not included.

Based on the table above, you could be spending more upfront with a Tesla Solar Panel. However, you could save more money over the course of a 25-year span with a Solar Panel. If you don’t have lots of cash sitting around, a Tesla Solar Roof might still be a better choice.

Are There Financing Options for a Tesla Solar Roof?

Absolutely. There’s a better chance for you to qualify for financing if you have great credit score. Otherwise, you’d be looking at a high interest rate and it’s going to cost you a lot more than anticipated.

Other forms of financing include home equity, personal loan, or second mortgage product. With personal loan, you’d be looking at very high interest rate of about 10% or more.

If the numbers are too hard to swallow to purchase or finance a Tesla Solar Roof, Tesla offers a subscription program on their Solar Panel. It’s similar to just renting it out. The only downside to this is that none of the federal tax credits can be applied.

Can Tax Credits Be Applied When Financing?

Yes. For this matter, it’s best to speak with a tax advisor to see how you can apply the credits when financing a Solar Roof.

Why Choose a Tesla Solar Roof?

There are many reasons why you should decide to go for Tesla’s Solar Roof. Here are some of the reasons why you should pull the trigger and just go with this investment:

Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced

It makes the most financial sense when your current roof can no longer serve its purpose and will need to be replaced. When the repair costs become too great, you’re better off with a new roof that can save you on monthly electric bills.

However, if your roof does not require replacement, you might want to consider adding Solar Panels instead.

Tax Incentives

As part of the U.S. government’s program in helping reduce carbon footprint, you could get federal tax credit of 26% in 2021 and 2022. Make sure to claim your tax credits, otherwise, you will certainly be at a loss with your Tesla Solar Roof.

Savings In the Long Term

A Tesla Solar Roof is considered an investment for a reason. You shell out some money upfront to save you a couple of thousand bucks in the long run.

Plus, you get more in savings when choosing a Tesla Solar Roof over a premium non-solar roof.

Tesla Solar RoofPremium Roof only
Purchase cost$30,128 after tax credits (2 Powerwalls)$15,000
Monthly Electric Bill$122 / month$200 / month
Annual Electric Bill**$1,464$2,400
Annual Savings in Electricity Bill = $936
25 years Electric Bill$36,600$60,000
Total Cost (25 years electric bill + purchase cost)$66,728$75,000
25-year savings = $8,272

**Inflation not included

Consider the Fantastic Warranty

Every Tesla Solar Roof comes with a 25-year warranty (tiles, power, weatherization) so you don’t really have to worry too much should it malfunction within the said timeframe. Plus, Tesla’s Solar Roof has the highest fire rating (Class A UL 790), and can withstand winds of up to 166 mph, and hail of up to 1.75 inches.

Aesthetics: Tesla Solar Roofs Just Look Cool

If you don’t want the look of having a solar panel sitting on your roof but still want to save on electricity, a Tesla Solar Roof is definitely for you.

A Tesla Solar Roof is made of tempered glass, built three times stronger as Tesla claims on their website.

Why Should I Not Choose a Tesla Solar Roof?

A Tesla Solar Roof may not be for everyone. Given that the product is new to the industry, the price is really on the higher end of the spectrum. If you crunch the numbers based on the examples above, your annual savings is highly dependent on so many factors.

Here are some reasons to skip on a Tesla Solar Roof:

  • Your roof functions okay: If your roof doesn’t need replacement, you might just want to wait out a bit until your roof will need replacement. Why change a roof that’s only been four years old, right?
  • Electricity bill isn’t too high: Unless you’re spending more than 10% of your income on electricity bills, then it might be better to just stick with your regular roof or add a solar panel instead.
  • Too new of a product: The product is fairly new to the market and we all know that new innovative products tend to become cheaper over the years. In this regard, you could wait for a couple more years until they can offer it at a cheaper price.
  • It doesn’t completely eliminate your electricity bill: If you think you can be free of electricity bills, then you’re wrong. A Tesla Solar Roof will only minimize your electricity bill, not eliminate it.

What Is the Process of Purchasing a Tesla Solar Roof?

If you have finally convinced yourself that you’re better off with a Tesla Solar Roof, here are the things you need to know about.

  • Pay a deposit: When you visit Tesla’s website, you enter some information such as your monthly electricity bill, total square feet of your home, address, and number of stories to receive a quote. Upon entering the order, you pay Tesla a $100 deposit fee to process the order.
  • Home Assessment: Tesla will then ask for your electric bill and some other details. They will then send you an email of the final quotation including some other repairs and upgrades needed.
  • Getting a permit: Getting a permit will take some time depending on location. It could take a week or even 5 weeks.
  • Scheduling the installation: A Tesla certified installer will contact you to schedule the installation
  • Site inspection: The inspection will take some time and could take up to 5 weeks.
  • Utility approval: The Solar Roof system will have to be connected to the power grid after installation.

Conclusion

A Tesla Solar Roof can have so many benefits. However, one should be prepared to shell out a huge amount of money to get the system installed. While it may sound so absurd to spend so much on a roof upfront, the overall savings over the course of 30 years can be exceptional.

Purchasing a Solar Roof is reasonable when it’s time to replace your old conventional roof. Otherwise, it might be more economical to wait out a couple more years when your existing roof can no longer serve its purpose or when the solar roof becomes cheaper to purchase.

Solar Discounts:

Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

Recent Posts