Tesla Motors may have captured the world’s attention with its sleek electric cars, but did you know that the company also manufactures clean energy solutions, including solar roof tiles? Considered to be three times stronger than average solar panels, Tesla’s roof tiles are the next big thing towards a greener future.
But, can you buy Tesla roof tiles on their own? No, Tesla solar roof tiles cannot be individually purchased, and professional installation is required with your purchase.
This article will cover everything you need to know about Tesla’s solar roof, including the difference between a solar roof and regular solar panels. Read on to familiarize yourself with Tesla’s new clean energy options!
Can You Buy Tesla Roof Tiles on Their Own?
While Tesla’s full solar roofs consist of singular roof tiles, these roof tiles cannot be individually purchased. Instead, the customer will receive a full roof renovation tailored to their specific home size and location, featuring a mixture of both solar-integrated and non-solar roof tiles. The customer will also need to purchase a Powerwall battery, which stores generated solar energy until usage.
Tesla’s solar roof is a great way to make the switch to renewable energy while keeping the overall aesthetic of your home. The roof itself consists of two types of tiles: those with solar-capturing technology and those without. Both are required for an installation, although the two are virtually indistinguishable by onlookers.
Because Tesla’s solar roof requires a complete renovation, both solar and non-solar tiles will be installed. According to an article published by Inverse, Tesla’s most extensive solar roof system currently offered consists of 40% solar-integrated tiles and 60% non-solar tiles.
What’s Needed for the Tesla Roof Tiles to Work?
Like other solar systems, Tesla’s solar roof needs enough sunlight access to generate energy. While there’s no stopping a customer from installing a solar system in a location without year-round sunshine, the system may not save enough money to make up for the initial expense. Tesla’s solar roof is no exception: the primary ingredient of the system is ample sunshine!
Aside from the roof tiles, customers interested in purchasing a solar roof will also need the following:
- Powerwall Battery: Customers will need to purchase a Powerwall battery to store energy over time in case of bad weather or a power outage. These batteries are not included in the cost of the tiles themselves, and customers may need to purchase more than one, depending on the size and location of their home.
How Does the Tesla Solar Roof Generate Energy?
Tesla’s solar-integrated roof tiles work the same as any other solar panel by using photovoltaic technology that captures sunlight and uses it to generate electricity. This generated energy has two routes:
Because Tesla’s roof tiles use the same solar-capturing technology as regular solar panels, customers can expect the same level of efficiency combined with a more attractive design.
How Much Power Does Tesla’s Solar Roof Generate?
The exact amount of power Tesla’s solar roof generates depends on several components:
Though the exact number of Powerwall batteries needed depends on the household, the more the customer has, the more energy can be stored later on. We recommend consulting with a Tesla representative to determine how many batteries would be suitable for your needs.
According to an article published by Energy Sage, a California homeowner equipped with two Powerwall batteries generates enough power to remain off the grid for most of the time. However, there’s no telling how these numbers would stack up in a different location. For the Californian homeowner, Tesla’s solar roof produces around 10 kilowatts of power alone.
How Many Roof Tiles Do You Need to Generate Power?
As mentioned earlier, Tesla’s solar roof consists of both solar-integrated and non-solar tiles. The company poses a limit on how many solar-integrated tiles can be installed. However, there isn’t any strict data on a minimum of solar-integrated tiles for the roof to work properly.
The exact number of roof tiles you need depends on the size and location of your home, as well as your typical household energy usage.
Tesla’s Solar Roof Calculator
After inputting your home address and monthly electricity bill into Tesla’s solar roof calculator, the company will offer suggestions regarding the proper size and wattage that should be installed in your home.
According to Inverse, the company typically recommends around 35% solar-integrated tiles for an average of $21 per square foot.
For an exact percentage of how many solar-integrated tiles are needed for your home, we recommend contacting a Tesla representative or visiting Tesla’s website.
Do You Have to Buy Installation with the Roof Tiles?
The purchase price for Tesla’s solar roof tiles also includes a professional installation through Tesla’s contractors. The only separate cost is that of the Powerwall batteries, which will also be set up by Tesla’s professionals. As we’ll discuss in the next section, the installation process is a bit lengthy and requires several steps.
Currently, there isn’t an option to install the solar roof yourself or with your own contractors. We recommend using Tesla’s contractors anyway since the installation cost is covered in the initial price.
With something as complex as a solar energy system, we always recommend using a professional to ensure everything is set up correctly.
How is a Tesla Solar Roof Installed?
Tesla boasts a simple installation process from the moment your finger hits the Submit Order button. Below is a list of the various steps in the installation process.
- Home Energy Assessment to verify that your ordered design will work for your energy usage and home layout.
- Tesla, the average installation takes around a week to complete but can depend on the project’s complexity.
It should be noted that for your Powerwall system to be installed—also known as your solar storage battery—your home’s power will need to be disconnected for around six hours. Be prepared for possible outages during the installation process.
Can You Replace Individual Roof Tiles?
Because Tesla’s roof tiles are a considerable expense and have a pretty involved installation process, you may be wondering how durable the panels actually are. It’s commonly known that solar tiles themselves can be fragile, depending on the brand and manufacturer.
However, Tesla is very clear with their customers that their tiles are three times more durable than the average, suggesting that breakage and other damage is very unlikely. Tempered glass is strong enough to even be walked on (no need to worry about possible roof maintenance breaking your purchase!).
But, if you find that some of your tiles have damage or are malfunctioning, they are covered by a 25-year warranty. So, when necessary, Tesla will send out someone to repair the damage or perform a replacement for you.
Solar Roof Tiles Aren’t Tesla’s Only Option
Customers interested in reducing their carbon footprint without renovating their home may be interested in Tesla’s solar panels. Unlike the roof tiles, these solar panels are typical solar-capturing systems installed atop an already existing roof.
Can You Buy Tesla Solar Panels on Their Own?
No, you cannot buy Tesla Solar Panels on their own. Tesla Solar Panels come with Installation when purchasing.
Despite the difference in appearance, Tesla’s solar panels and solar roof work in virtually the same way. The solar panels, like the roof tiles, capture sunlight using photovoltaic technology that generates energy, so the most critical component of the system is ample access to sunlight.
Additionally, Tesla’s solar panels require installing a Powerwall battery—just like the solar roof—to store energy for later usage. Your solar panels can also be monitored by using the same app that monitors Tesla’s solar roof.
Do You Have to Buy Installation with the Solar Panels?
Like the Solar Roof, Tesla’s solar panels come with installation when they are purchased.
The installation process for Tesla’s solar panels is very similar to that of their solar roofs, only differing mainly on the amount of time the entire process takes to complete. Before a crew shows up at your home, you will need to clear out your yard, including cars, pets, and other debris. The contractors will also need access to your wireless network.
Unlike Tesla’s solar roof, the installation process for the solar panels only takes around a day to complete, although the website explicitly states that larger homes may require multiple days. However, it is typically a quick process, whereas the solar roof requires around a week to fully complete.
And just like the solar roof installation, your home’s power will need to be disconnected to install your Powerwall battery, so plan accordingly!
Are Tesla Roof Tiles or Solar Panels Better?
The main difference between Tesla’s solar roof and regular solar panels is the design and appearance. Many homeowners shy away from installing solar panels due to the aesthetic: solar panels are bulky, unattractive, and typically don’t mesh well with the overall look of your home. For something so expensive, you’d want it to look nice to you and your guests.
Tesla Roof Tile Features
Tesla is pioneering the solar market with its solar roof tiles, which replicate a typical roof while still collecting energy from the sunlight. The main draw to these tiles is their sleek and attractive design, especially to onlookers. While the roof itself consists of both solar and non-solar tiles, there virtually isn’t any difference between the two.
Currently, Tesla offers four different roofing options, which are as follows:
With the option to choose between the four, customers can perfectly match their solar system to their home and personal aesthetic.
Tesla Roof Tiles vs. Solar Panels
Along with its complete solar roof option, Tesla offers individual solar panels that can be installed on top of an already existing roof. Choosing between roof tiles and solar panels depends on several things, the foremost being personal preference. This next section will outline some components to consider when deciding between roof tiles and solar panels.
Do You Care About the Look of Your Roof?
One main reason why Tesla’s solar roof is so popular is the sleek design. Traditionally, solar panels can be thought of as unsightly and may distract from the overall appearance of your home. If your home’s aesthetic keeps you from installing solar panels, Tesla’s solar roof may be a better option, as everything will appear cohesive.
Does Your Roof Need Renovating?
Installing an entirely new roof is a pretty extensive renovation. If your current roof is in tip-top shape, you may consider investing in individual solar panels instead. That way, you won’t be spending extra money on a new roof, which will include tiles without solar-capturing technology.
Consider how many solar tiles you’d want to purchase before deciding. If the number is considerably less than 35% of your entire roof, avoid the roof tiles altogether.
How Much Do You Want to Spend?
According to Solar Reviews, installing Tesla’s solar panels will cost anywhere between $8,000 and $32,000, before incentives. As we mentioned in the last section, a solar roof installation is likely to cost upwards of $31,000, depending on the size and percentage of solar and non-solar tiles. Therefore, individual solar panels are considerably cheaper than a full roof renovation.
Are Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles Actually Worth It?
As Tesla’s solar options become increasingly more popular, you may be wondering whether the roof installations are worth it. After all, aren’t they considerably cheaper than other solar options? The exact answer to this question depends on several components that will likely vary between customers. Still, this section should give you a better idea of whether or not Tesla’s solar roof is worth the investment.
Consider the Condition of Your Roof
First of all, Tesla’s solar roof installation is a pretty big renovation for many households. After all, your entire roof will be removed and replaced with Tesla’s technology. Therefore, if your roof is already in fair condition and wouldn’t otherwise need replacing, this overhaul likely isn’t worth it. Individual solar panels installed atop your existing roof would be a better decision.
Is the Tesla Brand in Your Budget?
While Tesla’s per watt pricing is cheaper than the average, you can also expect to pay a premium. After all, Tesla is first and foremost a luxury brand that many people can’t afford in their lifetime.
And, as we mentioned above, the solar tiles can’t be purchased individually, so even if you wanted to buy just the solar pieces in order to try to save on the initial costs, Tesla does not make it possible.
However, you’re interested in the sleek design of Tesla’s solar roof and have no qualms about paying a premium, these tiles are an excellent option for you.
Tesla Motor’s solar roof tiles are the newest toy on the clean energy market, manufactured by the same company creating luxurious electric cars.
While these roof tiles are a great way to integrate solar power into your home in a sleek and attractive way, the tiles themselves can be quite an expense, requiring a complete overhaul of your current roof.