Tesla Solar Roof Financing Explained


Tesla Solar Roof Financing Explained

With Tesla’s wide range of capabilities in the technology space, they have ventured into the competitive realm of solar. Solar energy is both environmentally sustainable and can bring about positive economic benefits for users. Solar panels are expensive to install depending on your home’s size, so knowing the financing options can make purchase decisions easier.

Tesla Solar Roofs can be financed through Tesla directly by purchasing with cash, taking out a loan to pay for the roof hardware in installments, or paying a monthly subscription. Each option brings its own benefits depending on consumer preferences and financing abilities.

Keep reading to learn more about the necessary hardware you’ll need for a Tesla Solar Roof and the associated costs. Not only does solar power provide environmental benefits for your home, but the energy source can help to lower your overall energy costs to balance the expensive installation in the long run.

What Goes into A Tesla Roof?

It is first essential to establish the pieces of hardware involved in a Tesla Roofing system, so you will understand what you are financing and how different components drive the price of the system. Tesla sells both solar panels and roofs, which vary in scope and appearance. Most homes that operate on solar energy utilize paneling that can look bulky. 

The Tesla Roof keeps the appearance of a traditional roof without the blocking you would see on a roof full of solar panels. You can also add additional panels to specific areas with increased sun exposure, but the roof itself can harness solar energy and convert it for home use. The roof is a combination of active and inactive shingles that harness the power.

The crucial elements you will need to purchase for the Tesla roof are:

  • Roofing: The options available are replacing the entire roof with a Tesla Roof or adding solar panels to a typical or premium roof that already exists. Tesla Roofs are touted as maintaining a sleek design, offering much greater durability than traditional roofs, and efficiently harnessing the sun’s energy.
  • Tesla Powerwall: This is the battery device that stores solar energy from the roof for later use. It is particularly helpful in avoiding electrical use during power outages and reduces reliance on the local grid. They can be controlled from a smartphone app and require little to no maintenance. These are suitable alternatives to generators.
  • Accessory hardware: Additional hardware for the roofing and Powerwall may bring about extra costs. You will need to consult with Tesla to see if additional hardware and accessories are necessary with your current home systems.

While it is not necessary to purchase the Powerwall, it may be a worthwhile investment as you can use the solar power you generate from the roof at a later date. Otherwise, the solar roof is only helpful on days that you can capture the sun’s energy and use it immediately.

Source: Tesla

Calculating Costs of a Tesla Roof

Solar equipment is going to be a large upfront investment that you hope will bring many long-term benefits. The cost of a Tesla Roof will be dependent on the size of your home, your average electricity costs, and your region. You can check out their calculator to see how much it would cost to install a Tesla Roof on your home. 

This will dictate not only the size of the roof but also how much kW energy will be required for your home size and energy use, as well as how many Powerwalls should accompany it. The Tesla tiles are available in 6kW, 10kW, 12kW, and 15kW, based on necessity. The solar roof tiles are estimated to be $2.85 per watt and the inactive shingles cost $5.60 per square foot.

Based on a 10kW system and tax incentives being applied to the system, Tesla Roofing comes out at a slightly lower price tag compared to a new roof and solar panels. While the solar cost will typically be the same between roofs and panels, the Tesla Roof installation is less than an entirely new roof without any solar benefits. 

A single Powerwall will cost around $7,000. You will also need to consider the additional costs of installation and accessory hardware, depending on your home’s electrical set up. Installation costs may be negotiated if you are also installing the Tesla Roof at the same time.

Example Cost of a Tesla Roof

Because the costs are so specific to the home you live in, we have provided an example scenario where we used the roofing calculator. Using a California single story 2,500 sq ft. house with an average monthly electricity bill of $150, this generated a recommendation of Tesla’s 6 kW Solar Roof in addition to 2 of Tesla’s Powerwalls.

A 6 kW Tesla Roof, given the specifications listed above, will cost the consumer $31,224. There is a federal tax credit of $5,240 just for switching to solar in addition to your local electricity company providing a Solar Renewable Energy Credit of around $300. This brings down the total cost after incentives to $25,623.

Over an estimated 25 years, the savings you would accumulate using solar energy would be around $26,000. While 2 Powerwalls will cost an additional $14,000, the federal tax credit also applies to their installation. The $5,240 savings we estimated above would increase to $9,960.

All costs and credits considered, this would result in an initial investment of $38,203. If you need a roof replacement anyway, this would be an affordable option considering a new roof would cost upwards of $15,000 on a 2,500 sq. ft. home. If you have also wanted to switch to solar energy, taking advantage of energy incentives drives the cost lower.

Source: Green Matters

Financing Options for Tesla Roofs

While you may be getting a deal on the purchase of a Tesla Roof with tax incentives and lower energy costs, these money-saving benefits will take years to realize. Multiple financing options are available to make it easier for you to choose a sustainable power source for your home.

There are three financing options offered for the Tesla Roof:

  • Loans
  • Solar subscription (for paneling)
  • Pay in cash (if you can)

Your preferred financing option will be dependent on your available funding, preference as a homeowner, and how long you plan to stay in your home.

Paying for Tesla Roof with Loans

The benefits of installing a Tesla Roof with a loan are quite similar to that of a direct purchase. The same warranty and tax incentive benefits apply. A loan is one of the cheapest ways to get a Tesla Roof as you can pay it off over a more extended period. The monthly loan payment will depend on the size and location of your home.

You may find that your energy bill is actually higher than your loan payment, allowing you to see the savings you are gaining. This loan will take years to pay off, depending on the amount you owe and your ability to pay it off faster. If you sell your home before the loans are paid off, the remaining amount will be collected in the home’s sale price.

Be aware of penalties or fees if you cannot make the monthly loan payments on time. Consider applying the tax credit you receive to the loan to make monthly bills lower.

Using Solar Subscription for Tesla Energy

An alternative option for purchasing the Tesla Roof is using the Tesla Solar Subscription. This will not include installing a Tesla Roof but offers the opportunity for solar power benefits without upfront costs and significant changes to your home. Tesla will install paneling and necessary hardware for you to harness solar energy. See if you qualify for a subscription here.

You will similarly enter in your location and home information to find a solar system that works best for your needs. This will calculate the necessary hardware as well as the monthly cost for using Tesla’s solar hardware. With this service, maintenance and installation are included in the monthly rate. You will still need to purchase a Tesla Powerwall separately if you need one.

Unlike the other financing options, you do not own the hardware or fully control the solar panel system. You are not eligible to receive state or federal tax credits, as Tesla keeps this credit to make sure the monthly service can be offered at an affordable price. Subscriptions can be canceled at any time with no penalties or fees.

You can turn off the service but keep the hardware installed if you plan to reactive the subscription later. The hardware removal will cost an additional $2,500 unless it says otherwise in the original contract. We recommend this method if you are interested in lower utility bills with solar energy but do not want to pay for an entire system.

Paying for Tesla Roof in Cash

While paying for a Tesla Roof in cash will be the most expensive upfront choice, it does give you full control over the solar power system. It offers the best lifetime value as you do not have to pay installments that could be subject to interest or penalties for late payments. You can also purchase the Powerwalls with your order, so they are installed at the same time.

You will receive the federal and state tax credits directly with the purchase and installation of your Tesla Roof. Tesla also offers a 10-year comprehensive warranty and a 25-year panel performance warranty. The panels are made of high tempered glass that is three times stronger than your ordinary roofing tiles, being able to withstand severe weather.

We recommend purchasing the Tesla Roof upfront if you plan to live in your home for an extended period. This will allow you to take advantage of the long-term cost savings and increase your home’s value in the event you do sell at some point. This may also be a beneficial option for a property you own and rent to tenants.

Source: Tesla Payment

Investment and Tax Benefits of Tesla Roofs

As we have detailed, the upfront costs for a Tesla Roof can be substantial, especially with the addition of Tesla Powerwall batteries. Because this technology is still somewhat new to consumers and the government wants to push towards renewable energy, there are substantial tax credits that drive the prices of solar roofing and panels lower.

Saving Potential of Tesla Solar Energy Systems

A significant incentive for homeowners to make the switch to solar is the lower monthly energy bills. While you still have to pay off the initial investment of the roof or paneling, the cost-savings over time can be worthwhile. Savings are compared to the use of a traditional electrical system that pulls energy from the local grid.

The saving potential of installing a Tesla energy system comes in the following ways:

  • Lower installation and upfront costs: Tesla offers price matching to ensure you are getting the best rate on a system compared to similar offers from competitors. You will need to make sure that the designs are comparable and measured off the same housing and location specifications.
  • Lower energy bills: Solar power not only reduces your reliance on electrical grid power but, with Tesla Powerwalls, you can potentially be independent of outside electricity entirely. You may still need to use some grid power when your use exceeds collected solar energy, but the use of solar substantially cuts down this reliance.
  • Net metering benefits: Some utility companies take advantage of net metering, or the ability to sell your unused solar energy back to the utility companies. Solar energy is cheaper to produce, and it allows companies to provide that energy instead of using more electricity. You can gain credits for this energy and lower bills further.
  • Reduces need for generators: Some homes rely on generators entirely if they are not connected to the grid or experience frequent power outages. You can avoid these purchases and upkeep with Powerwalls, which store extra solar energy for later use. The Powerwall is particularly useful in power outages and during peak electricity hours.

The saving potential with net metering (credits for unused energy) and lower utility bills applies to services purchased with cash, loans, or subscription services. The overall savings you build is more significant with purchased hardware as you do not have to pay the solar subscription, and the tax credits are given to you directly.

With cash purchases, you will start to see cash value after around five years of installation. The loan value will begin providing benefits around the 5-year mark as well. The subscription value will always be positive but is not going to produce the same returns as a purchased product. These projections are based on 25-year returns, showing the long-term value of solar energy.

Sources: Tesla, Solar Energy Industries Association

Tax Benefits of Solar Energy Systems

Tesla solar energy systems are eligible for federal and state tax credits while these programs are still available. If you are thinking about making a switch to solar or purchasing a solar roof, you will want to do this in the next few years to take advantage of one of the most lucrative aspects of the investment.

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is designed to encourage the support and growth of solar energy. The United States government has extended the 26% ITC until 2023. It is scheduled to drop to 0% in 2024 for residential buildings. There is no cap on the amount of savings, meaning that this discount applies to solar energy systems of all sizes for residential and commercial buildings.

Here you will find the current federal and state tax incentives for solar systems and electric vehicles. This tax credit must be applied within the calendar year that you purchased and installed the solar energy system. The credit reduces the amount of federal income tax you would pay in that year and only applies to systems that are owned by the homeowner.

Until 2023, you could cut the cost of a Tesla Roof by over a quarter. Taking advantage of these tax credits before time runs out is one of the most substantial benefits in cost savings over the system’s lifetime. The state you live in will also dictate the potential tax incentives at the local and state levels. Some states have strongly incentivized the transition to solar.

Sources: Solar Power World, Solar Energy Industries Association, U.S. Department of Energy

Is a Tesla Roof a Worthwhile Investment?

If you are considering a new roof and switching to solar energy, the Tesla Roof is a worthwhile investment. Since we don’t all have $20-30,000 hiding under our couch cushions, there are, thankfully, options for paying for it via a loan or “borrowing” the hardware.

Because federal and state tax incentives will end by 2024, installing your system in the near future will bring about the most lucrative benefits. While solar energy will save you money in the long run, the lack of credits will drive the price up.

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Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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