Back in 2016, Elon Musk announced the release of Tesla’s Solar Roof solar panels, which make up entire roofs, rather than attaching to the top of pre-existing roofs. Since then, people still want to know if it is worth the money to invest in a Solar Roof. Is it better than getting the traditional solar panels? Is the hype really worth it, or is it just because of the famous Tesla name behind the product?
Tesla’s Solar Roof shingles seem to be worth the hype and the money, specifically for homeowners who need to install a new roof and want to become more environmentally friendly. These shingle panels look great and could lead to a ton of savings down the line.
The solar industry knows that people want more options when it comes to solar products. They also know that people not only want more solar products, but they also care about how their solar products are going to appear aesthetically and if they could increase the value of their home with this large lifetime investment.
What Are the Tesla Solar Roof Shingles?
You are probably thinking this all sounds good on paper, but you are going to need more information to help you feel more comfortable about the decision to go into Tesla Solar panels. After Tesla bought SolarCity in 2016, the two teamed up in order to create the Solar Roof, a fully functional roof that includes both solar and non-solar shingles.
The Solar Roof is not just some solar panel that they attach to your roof. When you choose to install the glass Solar Roof, your entire roof is going to be replaced. Even though the design was intended to look like a traditional roof, some of the shingles can actually generate solar power, and that is because they contain something called solar cells.
A solar cell is basically an electrical device that is used to transform that energy to power your home.
There are two types of textured glass shingles that make up the Solar Roof:
- Active solar shingles (with solar cells)
- Inactive, non-solar shingles (without solar cells)
You can also choose between different shingle styles. Both active and in-active shingles are spread throughout the roof to make up the entire array. From the ground or street, you would not be able to tell which shingles are active, as they all blend together seamlessly.
Getting a Tesla Solar Roof Installation
Before you get your Tesla Solar Roof installed, you still need to figure out the whole process from start to finish. You can check out Tesla’s solar panel website to get an estimate of how much it will be to have the Solar Roof installed and how much you would be saving over time as the years go by.
Next, it is time to figure out how much all of this is going to cost and have a realistic timeframe for when the installation would be completed. Now, you already know that Tesla’s Solar Roofs do cost a good amount of money. But, like with most solar products, they do also have a ton of incentives as well that make it even more worth it to you.
It is always best to do a good amount of research when it comes to anything, but especially when it is about the exterior of your home. You want to make sure it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and Tesla will help design it the way that you want it.
The process of it all, from the starting paperwork at the beginning to the installation, can be quite lengthy. However, the results will make it worth it, and you are doing your part to help the planet as well. There is going to be a breakdown of the process of installing the Tesla Solar Roof shingles below as well so that you can get a clear understanding of how long it could take. This can vary depending on location, weather, etc.
- What Is the Overall Cost Of The Tesla Solar Roof?
- The Installing Of The Tesla’s Solar Roof shingles
- Unexpected weather conditions
The weather can be unpredictable and could or could not bring issues down the line. You want to make sure that you are prepared and you know how to properly take care of your Solar Roof shingles once it is installed. There are going to be a few examples about the weather and how it could or could not affect you after the installation.
What Is The Overall Cost Of The Tesla Solar Roof?
The cost of the Tesla Solar Roof can depend on:
- How much energy your home consumes
- The Solar Roof design that your roof requires (simple, moderate, or complex)
- The size of your roof
You have three different options to choose from to determine the design of your roof, and the prices differ as well. It ranges from $14 to $19 per square foot of inactive tiles, which are the ones without the solar cell. The cost for the active Solar Roof tiles is about $2.00 per watt.
If you want to try to calculate the total cost, you should remember to take into account any potential incentives. That will give you a much more accurate final cost since the incentives can often have a large impact on the total amount you will pay for your Solar Roof. Tesla has a cost estimator that you could use to figure that out since everyone’s budget is different. Just remember that it is only an estimate and is subject to change.
When comparing the price of a traditional solar panel to a Tesla’s Solar Roof, there is about an 80 cent difference in cost per watt in the United States. The reason for the difference in price is because, with the Tesla Solar Roof, you are not just getting the solar panels. You are also getting an entirely new roof for your home. You should consider the price to include solar panels as well as a full roof replacement.
Installing Solar Roof Shingles
If you are ready to begin the process of installing Tesla’s Solar Roof onto your home, the first step would be to order your roof through Tesla’s website. You are going to need to enter your address and average monthly electric bill, and Tesla can give you an estimate for your home. If you want to add anything, you will add those additional accessories here as well. Then you will pay your deposit fee of $100.
After you have paid your deposit and placed your order, a consultant from Tesla will reach out to you to do a virtual assessment of your roof. This is just to make sure that a Solar Roof can indeed be installed in your area. In order to complete the home assessment, you will be required to upload an electricity bill and give additional information that they may need about your home.
Once the assessment is completed, you have to get the proper permits to be approved before they install anything. This is the time where you are going to have to be a bit patient since this could take one to five weeks. It all varies depending on location, but it could even be longer. Once you get the permits approved, then the fun part begins.
Tesla will then send out their certified Solar Roof installers to schedule the installation date. The ideal time frame that the Solar Roof would be fully installed is one week. This time frame depends on the type of Solar Roof that is going to be installed. Once that is complete, the roof will be inspected again and be approved for installation.
Solar Roof vs. Unexpected Weather Conditions
A selling point for Tesla’s Solar Roof is that it is long-lasting and durable. They offer certain warranties and ratings for their solar shingles. However, the weather can tend to vary, depending on where you live. You might live somewhere where it hails. Most solar panels are tested for their durability against at least one-inch hail.
Another thing solar panels are testing against is wind. Tesla’s Solar Roof is built to withstand 166 mile-per-hour winds. These are hurricane-level wind speeds. The traditional solar panels can withstand 140 mile-per-hour winds, which is still a very impressive rating. Of course, Tesla had to kick that durability level up.
One of the downsides to the Tesla Solar Roof is that it does need a connection to give your home electricity. This means that if something like a power outage were to happen, your shingles would stop producing electricity until that connection is back online. You can prevent this by investing in the Powerwall 2, a battery storage system that works alongside the Solar Roof to store solar energy.
Tesla Solar Roof vs. Traditional Solar Panels
Of course, the Tesla Solar Roof costs substantially more than the traditional solar panel because it actually replaces your entire roof. If you need your roof or shingles replaced, then this would be a great option for you. However, if you do not really need a roof replacement, it would be a more financially viable solution for you to stick to traditional solar panels on top of your existing roof.
Regardless if you choose either the traditional solar panel or Tesla’s Solar Roof, there will still be great benefits gained.
- You can have a major increase in the value of your home when it is time to sell.
- You will be contributing to an environmentally friendly energy source.
- You will save money on your electric bill every month.
Tesla states that you should not have to worry about replacing the solar shingles for around 30 years when compared to the traditional solar panels’ lifespan of 20 to 25 years. However, the solar shingles have not even been around long enough to test if that is accurate.
Tesla Solar Panels: Last But Not Least
Everything that has been discussed with the process of getting the Tesla Solar Panels installed may seem like a relatively easy process from start to finish, but that is not the case, and you do not want to get the wrong idea before you begin.
Every company has its faults, especially when it comes to something like solar products —there is a ton of research regarding that. But, you have to decide whether the benefits of Tesla’s Solar Roof outweigh any potential drawbacks that come with it. What will make or break your decision on whether to give the Tesla Solar Roof a try or just to stick with the traditional solar panels? Here are a few more things to consider:
Take The Good With The Bad with Solar Roof
Having Tesla as a successful and popular company can play a major role in gravitating customers to go for the Tesla Solar Panels. Are there any significant differences that would make you choose that over the traditional solar panel?
- Possible Downsides to Tesla Solar Roofs
- Do Tesla’s Solar Roof shingles provide more than meets the eye?
Yes, the Solar Roof is a first-generation product. It does, however, have Tesla’s name on it, and that has to give it some credibility. People doubted the cars, and you can look at how popular they have become now. If there are any issues down the line with the Tesla Solar Roof and its shingles, that is what the 30-year warranty included with the purchase is for.
Possible Downsides to Tesla Solar Roofs
As with most things when it comes to technology, there are some downsides that should be mentioned and considered when doing your research. If something goes wrong with your Solar Roof, you are going to need to jump through some hoops to get your issue resolved. But even that is not the worst thing to have to deal with.
There may be some maintenance that is needed since it is a first-generation for the Solar Roof shingles. The more parts something consists of, the more opportunities for something in the system to break down. As soon as you find something is not right with your installment, set up an appointment as soon as you can.
- There are not many installers for Tesla’s solar panels. Since it is still a new product, not many people have been fully trained yet.
- This deficit in trained installers could cause even longer wait times than the original couple of months that it takes to get your roof fully installed, inspected, and approved.
Traditional solar panels seem to have fewer issues to deal with compared to Tesla’s Solar Roofs. For one, other solar panels have been out for a long time. They are not in their first generation, so you know that they have been tested and are market-friendly. The cost seems to be lower because they are just installing the solar panels to your already installed roof, which means it is time-sensitive as well.
Do Tesla’s Solar Roofs Give You More?
In this article, you have learned about the many benefits and potential downsides of a Tesla Solar Roof. Now the question to ask yourself is, with all of this information, do you think the Tesla Solar Roof with its individual shingles gives you more for the price? Your decision will likely come down to these factors:
- What is the total cost of the Tesla Solar Roof
- The lengthy process of ordering your roof and setting up an appointment to have it installed
- The benefits that the Solar Roof provides to you
The only real reason an average person might consider the Solar Roof to be a viable option is if they were already in need of a completely new roof. If you do not need a new roof, then the traditional solar panel would be the better option for you. Unless you are just wanting to try something more modern and new with the Tesla Solar Roof.
However, if you are that type of person who likes to test out new products, stay on top of technology trends, or if you just have the money to spare, then you should look into starting the process for your own Solar Roof. The benefits are outstanding, and if the cost is not an issue, there is no real reason to skip on the amazing tech.
Just remember, you have to make comparisons to already marketable products like traditional solar panels and then look at the pros and cons as well. Tesla’s Solar Roofs are more beneficial to someone who not only has the money to put down for that installation but also is in need of a new roof.
A more traditional solar panel can provide you with many of the same great benefits and for a lower price. However, it is up to you to decide what is best for you, your wallet, and your home, and if Tesla’s Solar Roof is the way to go for you, then at least you have the first steps needed to get started with the process.