Solar energy is quickly becoming one of the more popular methods of clean energy. The Tesla Solar Roof Company is the only company that offers solar roof tiles rather than just solar panels attached to a traditional roof. The high profile of the Tesla company has created an increased interest in solar roofs.
While Tesla has stated that they are working to create faster production for their patented solar roof, they have not yet been able to meet demand in all areas. Currently, the Tesla Solar Roof is only available in 24 of the United States of America. Those states where the Tesla Solar Roof is available include:
- The District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
Why are Tesla Solar Roofs Only Available in Some States?
Tesla solar roofs are only available in some states in the United States. This new energy efficient technology needs to be installed and monitored by certified contractors in order to maintain the company warranty, which can limit the company’s ability to move its business into new states. Some of the limiting factors for Tesla solar roof availability include:
- Environment: Tesla has struggled to make its solar tiles resistant to changes in weather. They have struggled with hurricane prone states, though recently they have made their roofs available in Florida.
- Contractors: The demand for Tesla solar roofs has been higher than they are able to install, which limits their reach. Recently, Tesla has started hiring outside contractors.
- Local regulation: Not all states have invested in electricity grids that are capable of supporting solar energy on a large scale, which limits the locations at which Tesla solar roofs will be worth the investment.
What is a Tesla Solar Roof?
The Tesla solar roof was announced by Elon Musk in 2016. The Tesla solar roof was designed so that those that are looking to integrate solar energy into their homes do not need to sacrifice aesthetics. Some important features of the Tesla solar roofs that contribute to their unique place in the market, including:
- Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV): A new area in the tech industry, BIPV are a structure that serves as a building material while simultaneously generating electricity.
- Tiles: The Tesla solar roofs were designed as a mix of active solar tiles and non-active solar tiles. Each tile is 15×45 inches in size.
- Material: Tesla solar tiles are made from tempered glass and are three times stronger than a traditional roof shingle.
Cost of a Tesla Solar Roof
According to Tesla, its solar roof costs approximately $21.85 per square foot. A 2,000 square foot roof will cost less than $44,000. It has been determined that the cost of a Tesla solar roof is technically lower to operate than traditional solar panels, however with the cost of full roof replacement means that unless you are in the market for a new roof, a Tesla solar roof might prove to be a more expensive upgrade than you need.
Installing a Tesla Solar Roof
Though Tesla is not highly rated for their customer service, and the process for installation can be lengthy, it should be noted that many homeowners have been pleased with the end product. The steps to installing a Tesla roof include:
- Ordering: Buyers will need to sign a contract and pay a down payment before their solar tiles are ordered and produced by Tesla.
- Permit: Tesla will secure a permit for installation with your city to ensure that their work meets area guidelines.
- Labor: Initial work on the Tesla solar roof will involve removing the old roof and installing the new solar tiles. This has been known to take anywhere from one to two weeks.
- Electrical: After installation, the tiles will need to be wired into the home’s electrical system. This installation will need to be inspected before the tiles will be connected to the electrical grid.
How Many Solar Roofs has Tesla Installed?
At the beginning of production, it was reported that Tesla could not keep up with demand and was cancelling orders. As of March 2020, however, Tesla is producing 1,000 roofs per week, but installation depends on availability of roofers. Tesla has installed over 400,000 solar roofs; each providing 3.6 GW of clean solar energy, and have begun working with outside contractors. The scale of this project is the equivalent of installing over 10 million traditional solar panels.
Benefits of a Tesla Solar Roof
Choosing to purchase solar energy can be a confusing and difficult choice, mainly because of the high cost. There are many benefits to choosing a Tesla solar roof, however, which include:
- Unlimited warranty: Tesla boasts that their tempered glass product is indestructible and offers a completely unlimited warranty to replace any tiles for as long as you live in the house.
- Environmentally friendly: Oil and coal, used for traditional energy production, are non-renewable energy sources. The Tesla solar roof capitalizes on the renewable energy source of solar.
- Aesthetics: There are several Tesla solar roof tiles styles to choose from, and many believe that they are much more aesthetically pleasing than solar panels.
- Cost: It is yet to be determined what the long-term costs of a Tesla solar roof are, but it is estimated that the cost of maintaining combined with the reduced energy costs will mean a Tesla roof is less expensive than an average roof.
Types of Tesla Solar Roof Tiles
The Tesla solar roof tiles are patented technology that is designed to look like a traditional roof while also absorbing the sun’s energy. Tesla is currently producing its third model of solar roofs with more options anticipated. There are four types of Tesla solar tiles either in production or soon to be in production, which include:
Modern Roof Tile Design
The smooth glass Tesla solar tile was one of the first solar roof designs. These sleek, dark tiles were imagined with the modern homeowner in mind. It is traditionally the choice for newer, higher end homes that have been designed in the last decade.
Rustic, French Roof Tile Design
A smooth, slate roof is the envy of any homeowner. Luckily, Tesla has designed a slate solar tile design. This tile is perfect for rustic homes located in older, more traditional neighborhoods. These tiles are known for their handmade look that hides the solar aspect well.
Traditional Roof Tile Design
Historic homes and buildings will be most interested in the textured solar roof tile that mirrors the common roof tile you see in older neighborhoods. These tiles are dark and give the impression of detailed texture.
Tuscan Roof Tile Design
Though not currently for sale, the Tuscan solar roof tile is one of the more anticipated styles that Tesla has put forward. This roof tile is perfect for European homes because it mimics the style of Rome and Greece.
Choosing to Purchase a Tesla Solar Roof
There are mixed reviews on if Tesla solar roofs are more efficient than normal solar panels, but a full solar roof is definitely more aesthetically pleasing than the traditional solar method. Tesla offers a competitive price, especially if you are in need of a new roof anyway. It should be noted that there are alternative solar roof companies that are worth considering as well, like Luma.