Tesla Solar Roof: Things to Know Before You Buy

Tesla Roof and Battery Things to Know Before You Buy

A roof that pays for itself and runs on the sun sounds like something out of the future but thanks to Tesla’s innovative Solar Roof and Powerwall battery almost anyone can upgrade their home to be economically and ecologically sustainable. Here’s what you need to know before you buy.

Despite the fact that this system requires a connection to the power grid you will still see a reduction in your utility costs. Many people have ordered the Solar Roof and Powerwall to claim these savings resulting in a long wait for installation.

Your home is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make. You need all the info available to make the best decisions when it comes to protecting and maximizing that investment. If you are considering these products, there are significant misconceptions, and benefits, that need to be addressed.

Things to Know Before You Buy

Typically, when you consider the benefits of solar power independence, convenience and affordability come to mind. However, the reality of solar power from Tesla is a little more complicated.

You will not be able to remove yourself from the grid completely. This is a huge factor for some customers who intend on living in more remote locations. Even if you are fortunate enough to generate all of your home’s power needs in a year you will still be on the hook for any annual access fees to the grid.

Be prepared to wait upwards of six months from purchase to see your complete Solar Roof and Powerwall systems installed. Customers have also complained, on Tesla forums, of poor communication and a lack of information on the progress of their order.

Why the Long Wait?

Although installation can be completed within a week many customers have run into long waits just to receive their Solar Roof package designs even though Tesla quoted a three-week turnaround. These setbacks are largely due to a lack of infrastructure, and overwhelming demand.

The weather in certain areas has been a big factor in the wait time for customers in rainier climates. Some customers have seen the entire process from purchase to installation take up to six months.

Frustratingly enough, customers have even had to postpone until their area received a six-day forecast of sunny and dry conditions. No doubt, covid constraints on local installers haven’t helped the process either.

Similarly, the installation time for the Powerwall takes one day, however, customers have seen wait times of a month from purchase. The problem with the long waits does not seem to stem from the products themselves, but the support and logistical teams of Tesla.

Slow delivery after purchase and a lack of communication with Tesla customer support are associated with both the Powerwall and the Solar Roof, so be prepared for a wait. 

How Much Is a Tesla Powerwall Battery?

Powerwalls will run you $11,500 per solarreviews.com. If you factor in the solar tax credit the cost comes down to $8,500.For a complete install, you can expect to pay around $16,000 per energysage.com.

The Powerwall system will allow you to store power from solar and the grid. Be sure that you are not claiming the federal solar tax credit if you plan on storing power from the grid as this would make your claim ineligible. Check this link out for info on the solar tax credit.

You can use your stored power anytime to power your home and charge your electric vehicle. This system will allow you to have access to power on under producing days, at night, and even during an outage.

This allows you to run your home’s appliances during emergency situations and inclement weather without having to use a noisy, gas-guzzling, and inconvenient generator.

The Powerwall can even be installed independent of a Solar Roof. This will be a huge benefit to any prospective customer who has already invested in a solar energy system for their home. The Powerwall is compatible with several brands as well.

How Much Is a Tesla Solar Roof?

Solar Roofs typically cost $21.25 a square foot per Tesla.Compared to a shingle roof that can typically be installed at $4.00 a square foot you can expect to spend:

  • 1,500 square feet $32,000 Tesla $6,000 shingle
  • 2,000 square feet $42,500 Tesla $8,000 shingle
  • 2,500 square feet $53,000 Tesla $10,000 shingle
  • 3,000 square feet $64,000 Tesla $12,000 shingle

However, the value of a Solar Roof system is not limited to its ability to keep the elements out. According to an updated report from consumerreports.org throughout thirty years, Tesla Solar Roof customers can expect to net around $13,500 in savings.

The complete system can be costly on the front end but solar will definitely cut down on utilities, and the solar tax credit certainly does not hurt either.

Does Tesla Offer Discounts on Solar?

Tesla solar is already the lowest cost-per-watt solar on the market, but are there any other ways to save money when ordering?

In short, the only way to get a discount on Tesla solar products is by using an existing Tesla owners “referral link” when ordering.

Tesla has did this same “referral program” concept with it’s vehicles and essentially it allows new customers to get a discount on their purchase by using an existing customers personal referral link.

In regards to Tesla solar discounts, using a Tesla referral link when ordering will save you $300 off solar panels or $500 off solar roof.

The referral discounts are typically only available for a limited time before Tesla stops offering the discount, so take advantage of the savings while you can.

tesla solar panel discount

How Long Will the Complete System Run?

The Tesla Solar Roof has a 10-kilowatt capacity and can produce all of your home’s energy needs under sunny and normal conditions. Keep in mind that you will have to maintain a connection to the grid power system which means you will not be able to shake the annual fee, unfortunately.

The Powerwall has the capacity to store 12.2-kilowatt-hours of power. When running a double Powerwall setup customers have enjoyed off-grid power for several days up to and including a week. The Powerwall has an added function of automatically reserving enough power to ensure that you can generate more when the sunny conditions return.

Certain appliances will put more strain on the system as they require more power to operate. To get the most out of these systems it’s important to be mindful of your appliances’ efficiency. Big power drainers are:

  • Air conditioning units
  • Heating systems
  • Hot water heaters
  • Washing Machines
  • Dryers
  • Excessive use of lights

When the use of these appliances are managed, customers have been able to power their home and appliances through prolonged outages with ease.

How Long Will They Last?

Per Tesla, the Solar Roof tiles are much stronger than average roofing tile; three times as strong to be exact. The entire Solar Roof system is said to be much more resistant to weather than your average roof.

Putting their money where their mouth is, Tesla has announced a warranty of twenty-five years which covers the roof as well as the power generating capability.

The Tesla Solar Roof compares well against other roofing materials with the added benefit of generating power and reducing your power bill. While it may not have the greatest projected life as some other roofs, standing seam metal, in particular, the Solar Roof is still a practical choice.

The Powerwall system has a projected life of up to a decade and a ten-year warranty to match. Like other batteries that will be recharged again and again over long periods of time, the Powerwall will need to be replaced eventually. The overall efficiency of the Powerwall will degrade as time grows from the last installation.


Before you jump headfirst into the solar-powered world of tomorrow, make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. You will definitely have to pay a little more and wait a little longer before you can bring your home into the future.

Misconceptions about these products’ ability to create a completely independent off-grid lifestyle need to be addressed alongside the very real benefits they bring to the table. Although you will not be able to say goodbye to your power bill altogether this system can definitely save you some serious money in the long run.

Ecologically and economically efficient, these products can earn you around $13,500 in net savings on average all while significantly reducing your need for grid generated power.

This new-age technology, and the benefits they boast, have seen a huge demand that Tesla has struggled to respond to. Long waits from purchase to installation and a lack of communication from customer support has had a negative impact on customer experience.

Make sure you know the pros, and cons before you buy these products, and remember, patience is a virtue.

Solar Discounts:


The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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