Clean, renewable energy is the way of the future, with more people exploring it than ever before. Of the many avenues of clean energy, solar power is one of the most widely used, and it is certainly the most readily available. However, while solar energy is not a new concept, there is now Tesla’s Solar Roof, a true solar-based innovation.
The average cost of a Tesla Solar Roof is around $22 per square foot, but this is only when around one-third of the roof is composed of solar tiles. The actual price that one will pay depends on a number of factors, from the number of active solar tiles to the situation of the home itself.
With ever-rising electricity prices and the need for alternative energy sources, few solutions fit the bill as well as Tesla’s Solar Roof. However, the costs can seem quite extreme at first glance. Today, the goal is to explain the average cost of the Tesla Solar roof, helping you understand how much it costs and why.
What Does Getting a Tesla Solar Roof Entail?
Getting the Tesla Solar Roof is very similar to getting any other brand new roof, just more complex. With a regular roof, you need to make sure the framework underneath is capable of supporting the shingles or tiles, which includes making sure any fixtures on the roof are properly maintained.
For a Tesla Solar Roof, there is also a need for a proper framework, even more so than an ordinary roof. If there is additional work that needs to be done to the roof itself before the solar tiles can be installed, or if there are unique factors to be considered, these will affect the price, coming at an additional charge.
To understand the average cost of a Tesla Solar Roof, it is important to understand what is included and what will increase the price of your new, innovative solar power system.
Does Tesla Solar Roof Price Include Installation?
Your first concern might be whether the price you get from Tesla for your Solar Roof is only for the tiles or if it includes installation. You will be glad to know that the price quoted for a Tesla Solar Roof includes installation, and Tesla takes care of everything, making sure the tiles are delivered and finding the best people in your area for the job.
Keep in mind that installation is a full roof installation, the same process that a normal roof would entail but more. Here is what is included in the installation:
- Removal of the Old Roof: The price includes the removal of your old roof.
- Weatherproof Underlayer: A layer beneath the roof tiles to waterproof everything.
- Metal Frame: A trim that goes around the roof for drainage and protection.
- Tiles: The tiles themselves, both solar and non-solar.
However, while the installation is included, that is where the initial quote ends. When you look online or find the average price of the roof, that is all you are getting, the price quote for the roof itself, including installation. You are not receiving a quote for the work that might need to be done to your house or any additional upgrades or charges.
Breakdown of the Cost of the Tesla Solar Roof
As mentioned, the price you are given when you look into a Tesla Solar Roof includes installation. However, while the basic installation is included, there are a number of factors that affect the overall price of a complete Solar Roof, even before factoring in the complexity of the roof, needed upgrades, and additional features.
The Tesla Solar Roof has two main factors when it comes to pricing, which comes in the form of its two types of roof tiles. Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles are all the same type of tile, composed of tempered glass, but only some of them contain a solar cell, which is where the price difference comes into place. The two types of tiles are:
- Non-Solar Tiles: These make up the majority of the roof and are composed of tempered glass, which takes the place of traditional shingles or tiles. They cost around $7.65 per square foot.
- Solar Tiles: Solar tiles are the main variable when it comes to price, with them being the same tempered glass but with the addition of a solar cell. These tiles are billed by the watt, with each watt costing around $2. Therefore, the more power needed, the more expensive the Solar Roof.
The Cost for You
Consider the average cost of a Solar Roof, which is generally reported to be around $22 dollars per square foot. For this price, it is assumed that around one-third of the tiles on the roof require solar cells, meaning a third of the tiles are active solar tiles. However, the number of solar tiles is not the same for every house.
Remember that solar tiles are billed by the watt, meaning that the more power consumption your home has, the more solar tiles you need to near or match that number. In the same vein, some areas and homes get more direct sunlight for longer periods than others, which will also impact how many solar tiles are needed.
So, with power production being so important, how does that impact the price for different homes? Take two homes into consideration, both with 2,000 square feet of roof, which will cost around $15,000 at 7.65 a square foot, but with two different power needs. The price per watt will be calculated around the average of $2.
- Home with 6 kW of power consumption: Add the $15,000 for the non-solar tiles with $12,000 (6 kW = 6000 watts * 2) for the solar tiles, getting an overall cost of approximately $27,000.
- Home with 10 kW of power consumption: The same $15,000 for the square feet of non-solar tiles but with $20,000 for the solar tiles, coming out to around $35,000.
Some Other Things Included in the Price
One thing you should remember is that when you pay for the Tesla Solar Roof, you are paying for Tesla to be there with you throughout the process, helping you achieve your new roof in a variety of ways. This includes:
- Surveys: Tesla helps you with any necessary surveying, including sending people to assess and speak with you about the unique needs of your home.
- Design: The design and engineering aspects of getting your Solar Roof up and running is taken care of by Tesla.
- Permits: While not all permits are paid for by Tesla, they will help you apply for any you need.
- Interconnection: Tesla connects you with anyone involved in the process, such as the installers.
- Installation: The installation, as discussed above, is included, and any additional needs are taken care of through Tesla and their installers, albeit for an additional cost.
Tesla is there for the entirety of the project, making things as easy for you as possible, and all of this service is included in the price you pay for the Solar Roof system. While there may still be additional charges, this takes care of a great deal of hassle.
The very first cost associated with getting a Tesla Solar Roof is during the application process, where you will need to pay a $100 downpayment. However, this amount is subtracted from your total once work is complete. After that comes the pre-construction period, where a variety of charges can appear.
Some of the charges one can expect during the pre-construction period are roof and site repair, roof deck replacement, any required upgrades to the roof or electrical system, and charges associated with special features of the house.
Other than that, some of the work may require additional permits. While Tesla’s Solar Roof price includes its construction permits, any other necessary permits for additional work are not covered by Tesla or the group hired for installation and will fall on the homeowner.
Roof and Site Repair
Just like any other roof, to install the Tesla Solar Roof, the home and roof must be in proper condition. Not only does that mean making sure that the foundation layer beneath the roof is stable, but it also means ensuring it is up to code. In fact, in many old roofs, you may find a construction that is no longer permitted and needs to be fixed.
Any other damage will also need to be taken care of, ensuring that once work begins, the entire process can be taken care of quickly and without any trouble. During this process, any preparation costs will also be factored in, such as additional roof prep that facilitates the eventual installation of the tiles and the roof itself.
A few situations in which roof and site repairs may appear are:
- Damage to the roof caused by water or a fallen tree
- A chimney or other fixture on the roof needing replacement
- Roof decking that is damaged or not up to code
- Any unrepaired wear and tear
Regardless of the reasons, if there is a problem with the roof, the cost will be on you. The installers will take care of it, and they are chosen for their competitive rates, but Tesla does not cover any pre-existing problems that need to be addressed. A similar problem not included are potential electrical upgrades.
A good place to start here is with what Tesla does cover when installing one of their Solar Roof systems. They do include the connection of the solar cells to form a complete solar power system, and they connect the solar tiles to the main electrical system. The service even includes solar inverters and any other necessities.
However, if there are any upgrades or additions that need to be made, it becomes an additional charge. One such example is if the pre-existing wiring needs to be upgraded or if the panel has problems. Essentially, they plan to make sure that their system works, and they will need to make any changes to ensure that it does.
Other factors that fall under the category of pre-construction are things like gutters, which can sometimes get in the way or need replacing. While all of these services, and much more, can be taken care of during the process, it all falls out of the installation parameters paid for by Tesla.
For all of the additional work, keep in mind that area and the cost of supplies such as lumber will impact it. Therefore, if you see that your bill exceeds the average or expected price, you should understand that it is not the Solar Roof itself tacking on those charges, not always.
Potential Savings and Costs
Now that the various things related to the overall Solar Roof and installation have been discussed, it is time to explore what the cost is when you consider every factor involved. That means talking about the savings you can expect and what else could potentially be included in the process of you getting your Solar Roof.
The two main things that deserve to be talked about in regards to the cost of the Solar Roof are Powerwall batteries, Tesla’s own form of energy storage, and the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is particularly important because it applies to all solar purchases and is not already included in the average price estimate.
The Powerwall Battery
If you are getting a Solar Roof, you may be considering storage for any solar power produced. If so, you are looking at needing a Powerwall battery, which is installed by Tesla and can be put in along with your Solar Roof. However, it is an additional cost, and it is not cheap. In fact, a single Powerwall battery runs around $11,500.
Of course, this $11,500 includes the installation and everything that entails, including integrating it with your Solar Roof. The price breakdown is as follows:
- Powerwall Battery: $7,000
- Gateway: $1,000
- Installation: $3,500
One thing to keep in mind is that the cost of installation goes down by $500 with each additional battery, meaning it becomes $3,000 with 2 batteries and $2,500 with 3 batteries.
Additionally, just like with the Solar Roof, the federal solar Investment Tax Credit applies to the battery as well, meaning a reduced cost.
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit
When discussing the average cost of a Tesla Solar Roof, none of it can be separated from the solar Investment Tax Credit, at least not yet. In fact, even the other things involved, such as the Powerwall battery, are included in the savings that this incentive offers.
The solar Investment Tax Credit exists for a single reason, to push people towards solar power. What does that mean? It means that the credit covers everything to do with the Tesla Solar Roof, even covering costs of installation. The important part is how much it covers, which is an incredible 26% of the total cost.
Using the homes discussed earlier as examples, the ones with roofs around 2,000 square feet, a clear picture presents itself. Take the 10 kW home, which has an average estimated price of around $35,000, as an example. The example will include a Powerwall battery as well.
- Cost of the Solar Roof: $35,000 with a 26% tax credit becomes $26,600.
- Cost of the Powerwall Battery: $11,500 with a 26% tax credit becomes $8,740.
- Total Cost After Tax Credit: $35,340 for both the Solar Roof and the Powerwall.
Solar Investment Tax Credit is Going Away
The above demonstrates how the average cost decreases greatly with the addition of the Investment Tax Credit, making the Solar Roof and Powerwall combined around the same price as the roof itself without the credit.
However, the solar Investment Tax Credit will not always be around. In fact, it used to be 30% and was supposed to drop from 26% to 22% in 2021. However, the 26% incentive has been extended for two years. That means it will drop in 2023 and, soon after, in 2024, it will be gone entirely for residential projects.
The solar Investment Tax Credit is so vital when considering solar power in all forms, including the Solar Roof, that it is mentioned on Tesla’s official website when getting estimates. Therefore, when talking about the average cost or the cost for an individual, it plays an important role and is something worth considering.
The average cost of Tesla’s Solar Roof is quoted at $22 per square foot. But, the actual cost to you may vary greatly depending on factors such as the condition of your home and roof, any other things needing installation, and the use of the federal solar ITC. That being said, for the price, you get an incredible roof and support throughout the process.