The Tesla Solar Roof is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional roofing and previous green energy solutions, such as regular solar panels. Unfortunately, the Tesla Roof is not available in all states (or countries) despite its growing demand.
Currently, the Tesla Roof is available only within 24 states in the U.S. Within those states, only specific areas are eligible for installation. Homeowners can enter their address to see if Tesla services their neighborhood.
If an area is not currently eligible for Solar Roof installations, homeowners can choose to be notified when this changes or can move forward with the order and wait until service becomes available.
However, there are also other factors that can affect the availability of a Tesla Solar Roof beyond Tesla’s servicing capabilities.
Where Tesla Roof Is Available
Currently, the Tesla Solar Roof is only available within the United States.
As stated when the latest Solar Roof was unveiled in October 2019 and confirmed by more recent reports, the Solar Roof is available in these states:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
However, there are caveats to this. Though the Solar Roof is available in these states, it’s not available in all areas. For example, even if you live in California or Virginia, you may be in a specific area that Tesla does not yet service.
You can see if the Solar Roof is available in your location using Tesla’s tool here. If your location is not yet eligible for a Tesla Solar Roof, the following message will appear:
“We don’t currently serve this area, but will contact you when we do.”
But this doesn’t represent an actual restriction: you can still purchase a Solar Roof whether or not your area receives service. Tesla accepts orders for all 50 states except Minnesota.
Simply enter your account details (name, contact information, and installation information) and then provide a non-refundable order fee.
The Tesla Roof is not yet available internationally, but this may change in the coming years. In early 2020, Elon Musk (the CEO of Tesla) posted that he “[looked] forward to international expansion later this year” to his Twitter account.
Factors That Affect Availability
Three of the main factors that affect Tesla Roof availability include:
Each of these three factors plays a part in whether a Tesla Solar Roof is available for a specific homeowner.
Location of Tesla Installation
We discussed location above in terms of state, domestic, and international availability. But homeowners should also consider other location-specific factors, such as their house’s geographic positioning.
They should also consider restrictions that would prevent them from installing a Solar Roof, such as city ordinances or Homeowner Association (HOA) laws.
Tesla assumes no responsibility for making sure homeowners are in compliance with such regulations and specifically states that they will are not responsible for fees incurred if a homeowner allows installation to proceed without HOA approval.
Tesla only coordinates the design, permitting, installation, and inspection of Solar Roofs. Anything and everything beyond that is the responsibility of the homeowner.
The Potential Price of Tesla Solar
As potential buyers can imagine, a Solar Roof is a substantial investment. Though financing options are available, individuals must still initially provide an order fee.
When you order a Solar Roof, you also have to agree to an Energy Products Order Agreements, which varies by state and outlines important financial information. For example, California’s order agreement requires that owners pay half the total cost of the Roof when installation begins. This can severely limit financing and payment plans.
And the total cost is nothing to sniff at. Tesla claims that Solar Roofs cost less and save owners more over a period of 25 years when compared to a premium roof and even a roof with solar panels. But despite this, the final price tag can still be quite hefty, as shown below:
|Total Cost Over 25 Years||25 Year Savings||System Size||Annual Production||Warranty|
|Solar Roof (Integrated Solar)||$40,172||$12,496||13.3 kW||15,314 kWh||25 years|
|Premium Roof + Solar Panels||$51,270||$1,398||13.3 kW||15,314 kWh||10-25 years|
|Premium Roof||$68,403||N/A||N/A||N/A||10-25 years|
For clarification, the website states that estimates assume cash payment and a 13.3kW system. It also states that costs are inclusive of federal tax incentives. The cost of mid-range roofing material is calculated based on the average complexity roof installed by licensed contractors.
The Time Tesla Solar Takes to Install
Since each Solar Roof is custom made to fit your home’s measurements, there is a wait period before installation can begin. High volume orders for your area and/or state can further affect wait times, lengthening them.
It’s possible that your state’s order agreement may also affect installation times as well as pricing. Using California’s agreement as an example again, it requires that the installation of your solar roof start within six months from the time contract purchasing a Solar Roof.
And, of course, you may potentially be waiting years if your home is located in an area that Tesla doesn’t currently service.
What if Availability Changes?
There are two possible scenarios with regards to Tesla changing the availability of the Solar Roof:
- The Solar Roof becomes available in an area it previously wasn’t available in
- The Solar Roof becomes unavailable in an area it previous was available in
The first of these is more likely. Tesla has stated that it would like to begin servicing the entire U.S. in the next few years, as well as move into international markets. And, as mentioned previously, buyers can still purchase a Solar Roof and opt to be notified when their area becomes eligible for installation.
However, the second option isn’t as far-fetched as people may prefer to believe. Though this doesn’t appear to be happing in more recent sign-ups, it is unfortunately affecting one specific group of buyers: those who pre-ordered.
When the latest version of the Solar Roof was unveiled in 2017, customers were allowed to place pre-orders with a deposit. But those who did so are allegedly having their orders cancelled years later.
In June 2020, Electrek reported that customers who pre-ordered are receiving cancellation notices years later. The automated emails that these unlucky individuals receive allegedly state the following:
“Upon further review, your home is not located within our currently planned service territory. The driving distance from our closest warehouse would make it difficult for us to provide you with the high-quality service that our customers deserve. For this reason, we will not be able to proceed with your request.”
The deposits were reportedly returned, but customers were understandably disappointed at the letdown after such a long waiting period.
The Specific Construction of Your House Can Impact Availability
This isn’t a large concern since reports of this are scarce, but it is possible that the construction of your house will prevent a Solar Roof from being installed.
A Solar Roof doesn’t go on top of your regular roof; instead, it completely replaces it. The Tesla Roof is fully integrated system, involving inverters and other electrical hardware that tie into the solar tiles. This configuration is what makes the Roof work, and so is essential to the installation.
However, there’s also your current home’s construction and roof configuration to consider. And depending on how old your home is, an updated system like the Solar Roof may not be possible.
Though there is a very slim chance of this happening, it bears mentioning all the same.