In 2016, Tesla and SolarCity teamed up to announce their first solar roof: a solar panel system to replace traditional residential roofs. Tesla Roofs have received numerous updates and changes since they were first rolled out. The latest push for Tesla roofs has been international, with a goal of making them available in countries around the globe.
The third version of the Tesla Solar Roof launched in 2019. In 2020, the company took its first steps for the international expansion of the Tesla Roof, filing for a patent in Europe, eying the Chinese market. Recently, the company has begun hiring Tesla Roof workers worldwide, including Danmark.
The last few years have been a little bumpy for Tesla Roofs, but the company has continued to work on and improve the solar roof product and plans to continue its worldwide push. Read on to learn more about Tesla Roof updates and what to expect in the near and long term future from Tesla Solar Roofs.
Latest Tesla Roof Updates
Several issues with past versions of the Tesla Solar Roof were addressed in its latest V3 release. Some of the updates with the third version release of the Tesla Roof include:
- Lower prices
- Streamlined and simplified installation process
- Reduced installation delays and wait times
- Solar panel improvements – increased efficiency/capacity to generate energy, larger tile sizes
- Non-Tesla roofing companies and contractors are now allowed to help with the installation process
For those who have had experience with previous versions of the Tesla Roof, its third version is a major improvement. The new design makes for easier, quicker installation than previous versions, and one of the biggest complaints with Tesla Solar Roofs – their excessive installation wait times – was improved with the version three release.
Tesla Roof Worldwide Expansion
In 2020, a patent for the Tesla Sun Roof was filed in Europe as part of its worldwide expansion. The goal is to provide the Tesla Roof to homes across the globe, thereby saving more people money on electricity thanks to the energy generated by the solar panels of the Tesla Roof.
While the international availability of Tesla Roofs is limited, it is being expanded. International orders for Tesla Roofs officially became available in 2020. Recently, the California-based company has increased hiring efforts for roof workers, engineers, and managers.
Job postings for Solar Roofers, Production Managers, Field Support Leads, and Production Engineers in multiple locations have recently been listed by Tesla.
How Does the Tesla Roof Work?
Utilizing glass tiles that act as solar panels, the Tesla Solar Roof looks like a traditional roof, but it consists of solar panels. It works the same way as traditional solar panels: by converting the sun’s rays into energy. The difference is instead of solar panels on top of a home’s roof; the Tesla Solar Roof completely replaces the roof of a home.
Not all of the tiles in a Tesla Roof are solar panels. Those that are not solar panels, otherwise known as “dummy panels,” look the same but cost less and are used to maintain the visual consistency of the Tesla Roof.
In addition, the Tesla Solar Roof can be fitted and designed (with some limits) to your preferences and your home’s specifications. You also have an option to purchase Tesla Powerwall batteries, which allow you to use energy generated by a Tesla Solar Roof during grid power outages.
How Much Does a Tesla Roof Cost?
According to the Tesla website, the cost homeowners can expect to pay for the Tesla Solar Roof is $21.85 per square foot. For a 2,000-square foot home with a 10kW system, the cost would run at about $42,500.
The cost of a Tesla Solar Roof depends on the size of your house and where it is located. There is a federal tax credit available in the US, as well as other incentives that can lower the overall price of the Tesla roof.
Is the Tesla Roof Worth It?
There are a few factors to consider when determining whether or not a Tesla Roof is worth the cost for you. If you are already in the market for a new roof, the price of the Tesla Solar Roof is competitive and has the potential to save you a significant amount of money on your electric bill.
For those looking to invest in solar panels, the Tesla Roof is an option you will want to look at. However, keep in mind that in order to install a Tesla Solar Roof, you will have to replace the entire roof of your home. In terms of efficiency, the Tesla Roof solar panels are slightly lower than average, though V3 panels have increased efficiency.
How Long Does a Tesla Roof Last?
Tesla Solar Roofs come with a 25-year warranty as well as a lifetime tile warranty. This includes protection for solar tiles, power, and weatherization. The Tesla Roof tiles stand up impressively against harsh weather, and the latest version is more durable than earlier versions.
The ratings for hail and wind on Tesla Roofs rank a little higher than other solar panels, as well. Tesla Roofs have been successfully tested to withstand larger-sized hail and stronger winds than other solar panels.
Advantages of the Tesla Roof
There are several advantages and disadvantages to the Tesla Solar Roof. Depending on who you ask, they are either a great investment or not really worth the cost. To allow you to decide for yourself, let’s start by looking at some of the advantages of Tesla Roofs.
Electricity Bill Cost Savings
Based on information from homeowners who have installed Tesla Solar Roofs on their own homes, the Tesla Roof has the potential to save you thousands of dollars per year on electricity costs. Add in government incentives, and the savings are considerable.
Compared to other solar panels, the Tesla Solar Roof has been successfully tested for higher hail, wind, and fire ratings. They are also three times more durable than standard roof tiles.
One feature that sets the Tesla Solar Roof apart is its aesthetic beauty. The seamless design of solar tiles as a roof instead of installed on top of a roof is far from unsightly, and there are multiple design options for Tesla Roofs.
Backup Energy Source
Tesla Solar Roofs along with Powerwall batteries allow you to keep using electricity even during a grid outage. This is a feature that most traditional solar panels do not yet offer.
The main benefit of Tesla Roofs, according to their website, is the ability of the Tesla Solar Roof to pay for itself over time. This claim is based on savings from energy costs that come with using energy generated from solar panels.
Disadvantages of the Tesla Roof
The Tesla Solar Roof, while an arguably revolutionary technology, is not without its faults. For comparison purposes, let’s look at some of the disadvantages of the Tesla Roof.
One of the biggest complaints about the Tesla Solar Roof is its cost. This was one of the main issues addressed in the V3 update, however. The Powerwall will also cost roughly an additional $7,000. Up-front costs and premiums are concerns of some with Tesla Roofs, as well.
Roof Replacement is Required
In order to install a Tesla Solar Roof, you will have to replace the entire roof of your house. This is a serious consideration for many when deciding whether or not to invest in a Tesla Roof
The past versions of Tesla Solar Roofs had several issues, including delayed installations and higher costs. Because of the technology required in Tesla Roofs, there is a risk of hardware malfunctions or problems after installation. However, there are also warranties to cover several potential issues, and many were fixed in the latest version
Limited Backup Energy
Tesla Solar Roofs are only able to provide energy during a grid power outage if Powerwall batteries are also installed, and those carry an additional, multi-thousand dollar price tag. Depending on your energy needs, your electricity usage may be limited during grid outages – don’t expect to be able to run an AC unit with a Powerwall battery.
How to Order a Tesla Roof
To begin the process of ordering a Tesla Solar Roof for installation, go to the Tesla Solar Roof Page of their website and click “order now.” The site will take you through the steps to begin your order, and also offers a price quote calculator.
When ordering a Tesla Solar Roof, you will be asked for your address and information about your home and your energy usage. A virtual home assessment will need to be done in order for Tesla to design your Solar Roof specifically for your home. Pricing and other details will also be provided after the home assessment.
Once you have placed your order, there are options to change or even cancel it. Installation requires an entire roof replacement and can be expected to take several days. Once the installation is complete, an inspection will be required before you can use your Tesla Solar Roof, as well as approval from your utility provider.
How Long Can You Expect to Wait for a Tesla Roof?
From order and design to installation, there is some waiting time to expect when getting a Tesla Roof. The process has been streamlined in response to issues in the past with incredibly long wait times for installation, reducing wait times for the latest version of the Tesla Solar Roof.
With V3 of the Tesla Solar Roof, customers can expect installation to begin anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months after the contract is signed. Once the installation starts, it can take up to a few weeks to complete.
How Does Tesla Roof Compare to Solar Panels?
The Tesla Solar Roof has some similarities to regular solar panels as well as multiple features that set it apart. Let’s look at how the two products compare in terms of cost, efficiency, availability, installation time and process, design options, and overall savings.
Cost of Tesla Roof vs. Solar Panels
The latest version of the Tesla Roof is the cheapest yet, and Tesla also offers the lowest price per watt for solar panels. Homeowners can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for the Tesla Solar Roof. For a 2,000-square foot home with a 10kW system, the cost would run at about $42,500.
On the other hand, regular solar panels can range in price from around $10,000 to $40,000. Comparing prices of the two is not simply black-and-white, though, as a Tesla Roof provides an entirely new roof for your home, whereas solar panels are installed on top of your current roof.
When it comes to efficiency, the solar panels of the Tesla Roof are slightly less efficient individually, but as a whole, are comparable to other, traditional solar panels. The average efficiency for solar panels is about 16%. Some solar panels have up to 22% efficiency, which is above average.
One of the goals with V3 of the Tesla Solar Roof was to increase availability, which significantly improved the product in that sense. However, they are still not as widely available as traditional solar panels, of which there are many more manufacturers.
While the installation times were also significantly reduced with the third version of the Tesla Roof because it requires the replacement of an entire roof, Tesla Solar Roofs do have a much longer installation time than traditional solar panels.
There is no doubt that Tesla Roofs are nice to look at, and they come in four varieties, giving you some choices in how your Tesla Roof will look. Solar panels, on the other hand, come in one color and texture and are usually very obvious atop the roof of a home.
Energy Cost Savings
Generally, you can expect similar energy cost savings from the Tesla Roof and traditional solar panels. The more efficient the solar panels, the more energy is created, and the more money you will save on electricity costs.
As for the return on investment, customers will likely see a faster one with solar panels simply due to their lower overall cost. When you factor in the higher durability of the tiles in Tesla Solar Roofs and long-term savings, Tesla Roofs also have a decent return on investment.
Can a Tesla Roof Power an Entire House?
The combination of the Tesla Solar Roof and Powerwall does have the capability to provide power for your whole house. How much energy you use will determine how long the power generated by the Tesla Roof lasts, as more energy-intensive appliances will use up more of the electricity faster.
The solar panels in the Tesla Roof generate energy throughout the day and collect it in the Powerwall packs. That energy is then available to use at other times, such as at night or during a grid outage. The Tesla Roof also has an app that shows you how much energy it generates and how much of that energy your home is using.
How Long Does Tesla Powerwall Last?
The Tesla Powerwall, a battery that stores energy generated by the Tesla Solar Roof, has the ability to power your home for several days. The Powerwall works with your Tesla Roof and runs automatically, saving energy for use when you need it without requiring you to do anything.
Up to six Powerwalls can be installed with a Tesla Solar Roof, and the more energy-efficient your home itself is, the longer the energy contained in the Powerwall batteries will last. Charging time for Powerwall batteries varies, but if conditions were perfect and no power was being used, one battery could fully charge in two hours.
A common question is whether a Powerwall is required when installing a Tesla Roof. While purchasing a Powerwall, which is an additional cost, is not required with the purchase of a Tesla Solar Roof, it is recommended.
Is Financing Available for Tesla Roof?
Tesla does offer financing options for new Tesla Solar Roof customers. They also offer a price match guarantee in order to provide the lowest possible cost for solar. Solar loans can also be used to pay for a Tesla Roof, depending on your credit.
Tax credits are also available for solar energy, depending on your location. Incentives such as this help to bring down the price of the Tesla Roof, though availability varies.
The last year has brought many updates and changes to the Tesla Solar Roof. Improved products – increased tile efficiency, streamlined and simplified installation, wider availability – as well as reduced prices were included in the third version of the Tesla Roof, addressing many issues with past versions of the product.
Tesla also amped up its international availability in 2020, expanding into the European market as well as becoming available in other countries. By allowing other contractors to help with the installation of Tesla Roofs, their availability has increased while installation and wait times have been drastically reduced.