Tesla Solar Roof: Is That Investment Worth It?

April 13, 2023

The demand for sustainable energy is on the rise as traditional energy sources become increasingly expensive for household usage. While there are several ways to think about energy independence, this decision can save you money and space while keeping your home’s exterior in the best possible condition.

You don’t need to place big solar stations in the backyard, holding space for more pleasant things, like a grill or playground. With solar tiles or such products as Tesla Solar Roof, you can enjoy eco-friendly power generation and choose the tile design that complements your home’s exterior.

The Tesla Solar Roof stands out as a prime example of solar shingles. It resembles classic tiles and generates power on cloudy and snowy days. You can store the generated electricity in compact Powerwall batteries that you can easily use in your garage, storage room, or attic.

This article will provide an in-depth review of Tesla solar panels to help you make an educated decision. Here, we gather crucial specs, benefits, and drawbacks of this product to determine whether it’s the best solution for your specific case.

Tesla’s Brief History and the Invention of Tesla Solar Roof

Tesla, Inc. was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Elon Musk joined this company as an early investor in 2004. The company’s first vehicle, the Roadster, was released in 2008. It was a commercial success, establishing Tesla as a leader in the electric car industry.

tesla solar roof house

Source: Tesla

However, where there are electric vehicles, there is a need to charge them under any circumstances. Some people use electric vehicle (EV) chargers at shopping centers, while others look for a charger at the gas station. Since most of these charges are slow, consumers often prefer to charge their cars at home in an eco-friendly manner. Thus, Tesla started to develop solar stations for home usage.

In 2016, Tesla acquired SolarCity, a solar panel installation company. However, the mass production of Tesla Solar Roof started in 2020, almost two years after the acquisition.

According to their reports, they are slowly but surely ramping up Tesla Solar Roof’s production speed. As of 2023, the Tesla company has installed over 3,000 roofs. The speed is impressive — they install approximately 2-3 Tesla Solar Roofs daily throughout the country.

These panels facilitate the user’s lives. With solar roofs, people don’t need to buy a plot of land with an enormous backyard to place solar panels. Homeowners also don’t need to drastically change the roof structure, as Tesla’s shingles have similar sizes to the classic roof tiles. All they need to do is order a solar roof installment from certified professionals.

What Is a Tesla Solar Roof?

It is a solar panel system that looks similar to traditional slate shingles. A Tesla roof can help you save the house’s appearance, providing eco-friendly power generation. It is known as one of the most efficient solutions on the market. Tesla Solar Roof converts up to 22-24% of the sunlight that hits it into electricity, while generic panels convert only 14-20%.

The installation usually takes 1-3 days, depending on the roof’s complexity. The certified installers remove your shingles, install the Tesla solar tiles, and power the inverter to convert DC electricity to AC. If needed, they fix roof breakdowns.

The Tesla solar power system comes with a 25-year warranty on the shingles and a 10-year warranty on the power inverter. Tesla also guarantees the system will generate enough electricity to power your home. As of late 2023, Tesla’s 25-year weatherization warranty is the best offer on the market. Other solar shingles typically provide up to 20 years of guaranteed protection against winds.

But let’s face it: the Tesla Solar Roof price is pretty high. Generally, the price starts at $50,000. However, it can become even more costly, making consumers wonder, “Are Tesla solar panels worth it?” That’s why we want to provide a detailed overview to help you make an educated decision.

As it is visible from the user reviews, the whole Tesla roof installation may take a few months. Consider this when choosing the preferable time frame. All the bureaucracy-related matters may take a few months. That’s why it’s preferable to install a Tesla roof in periods of stable warm and dry weather.

Thus, you may contact Tesla representatives in late fall or winter to start your eco-friendly electricity production in spring. The negotiation and measurement part may take a few weeks. Once you sign the needed papers and buy all the necessary parts, the installation process will take 1-3 days, depending on the project’s complexity.

Tesla Solar Roof Tech Parameters

 tesla solar roof technical parameters

Source: Tesla

These Tesla solar tiles are made from tempered glass that can withstand summer heat and winter cold. They are also corrosion- and water-resistant, making them a perfect choice for a region with a variable climate.

The dimensions of each teal are 15″ x 45″, similar to traditional shingles. If you’re worried about your house’s appearance, you can rest assured that the Tesla Solar Roof will look a lot like a traditional one.

We’ve compiled a short list of crucial Tesla solar parameters to ease a nerve-wracking research process.

Category Description
Wattage per tile 72 W
Wattage per square foot 15.3 W
Wind rating F Class
Fire ration A Class
Hail rating Class 3
Roof Pitch Up to 2:12
Estimated efficiency 22-24%

Tesla solar panels can withstand wind speeds up to 110 mph. While Tesla representatives state that the roof has the highest wind-withstanding rating among rivals, independent reviews show slightly different information. They show that Tesla shingles have an exemplary level of protection for their price range. It’s still higher than most companies offer, but it’s not THE best weather protection on the market.

If you want to store produced energy, buy Tesla PowerWall batteries. Their size resembles the fridge. A single Powerwall unit has a capacity of 13.5W, allowing it to connect up to 10 units in the Powerwall 2 and Powerwall Plus.

Cost of Solar Panels: Calculating the Budget

The price range of the Tesla roof installation usually falls around $20-40 per square foot. Thus, the cost of Tesla solar roof for an average-sized U.S. home will be around $60,000-80,000.

The final price depends on the roof’s complexity. Ceilings with steeper pitches and additional barriers may require more labor during installation. While Tesla doesn’t provide a roof ranking, consider this general guideline:

  • Simple roof: It’s a low-pitch roof with a single chimney. It’s relatively easy to set up the shingles there, so you can get a lower installment price. If you have a complex roof, you can ask for a partial installment on a single level to count as a simple roof.
  • Moderate roof: This roof has multiple levels, an average pitch, and 2+ extra features. It can be a chimney or roof window.
  • Complex roof: It’s a roof with multiple levels, a steep slope, and several additional features. It will be the most expensive installation option.

Roof size is another crucial aspect of determining installation costs. Larger roofs require more material and take longer to install, leading to a higher price tag.

Types of Tesla Solar Roof Shingles

To match every exterior, Tesla roof designers produce shingles in 4 styles. Their names speak for themselves:

  • Smooth glass
  • Textures glass
  • Tuskan
  • French slate

Smooth glass tiles resemble a mix of a solar panel and a modern clay tile. It has a generic blue-grayish shade that suits most buildings. Textured tile has multiple grooves of different depths for a more natural look.

French slate solar panels for homes match buildings in historic styles as they look like bumpy clay shingles similar to buildings of the XVII century. These tiles have slightly different shades of gray to ensure they look like a clay tile roof.

Tuscan roof tile matches its name, as it looks just like traditional Italian tile with a slight coppery tone. Tesla designers used shades of orange and light brown to ensure the roof looked like an old-style Tuscany roof.

Comparing Tesla solar panels vs others, it’s visible that these tiles are the most natural-looking solar panels on the market. While others highlight their high-tech nature, Tesla’s shingles are suitable for those looking to keep this new purchase a secret.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Tesla Solar Roof

tesla solar roof control with phone

Source: Tesla

If you feel like you need a little extra information on Tesla Solar Roof, check its advantages and examine its shortcomings. Here are the undoubtful benefits of the Tesla roof:

  • Sleek aesthetics of the Tesla roof: These tiles are virtually indistinguishable from traditional shingles.
  • Tesla’s Solar Roof durability: The Tesla shingles are made from tempered glass to withstand harsh weather.
  • Tesla solar panel efficiency: Tesla’s roof generates more electricity from sunlight compared to most of its rivals.
  • Combining systems and storing energy: You can integrate the Solar Roof with the Tesla Powerwall to store excess energy. You can use this electricity during nighttime or power outages.
  • Maximizing home value: Investing in solar energy increases a home’s value due to boosted energy efficiency, durability, and modern aesthetics.

The Tesla solar battery combo unlocks your power independence as a homeowner. You can produce electricity directly from the sun and store it in the Powerwall batteries. Once weather conditions worsen, you can switch the house’s power consumption to the batteries.

Nevertheless, there are some flaws in the Tesla roof. Take them into account before purchasing it:

  • High cost: Tesla Solar Roof is far more expensive than traditional solar panels and roof replacements. Tesla Solar Roof cost can vary from $50,000 to $80,000 for a typical home installation. At the same time, installation costs at rivals vary from $30,000 to $60,000.
  • Complex installation: It requires trained and certified technicians. You can’t use random installers, as it eliminates the warranty.
  • Limited availability: Tesla Solar Roof is currently only available in select areas where Tesla has installation crews and authorized partners. It’s still not nationwide.
  • Limited data on long-term performance: It’s a relatively new product with limited data on long-term performance. Tesla solar panels reviews usually share histories of new clients with less than two years of solar shingles usage.
  • Potential for supply chain issues: Global supply chain disruptions may affect the availability and affordability of Tesla Solar Roof components.

Generally speaking, Tesla Solar Roof is worth the extra costs and will be an excellent choice for consumers looking to leverage energy independence. There are few options on the market that can provide the same device bundle. But with the Tesla combo, you won’t ever depend on weather conditions as it can produce enough energy even during cloudy winter days and store it efficiently in the Powerwall batteries for as long as you need.

The Final Word: When You Should Choose Tesla Roof

Tesla Solar Roof is an excellent option for those looking to make the most of the eco-friendly energy while saving the look of their house exterior. The initial cost of a Tesla roof may be higher than that of middle-market solar panels, but the long-term financial benefits can make it a worthwhile investment.

If you just installed your regular roof, reinstalling it with Tesla tiles may be too expensive. In this case, we recommend you think about the Tesla solar panels. They are far cheaper while remaining sleek in design. Tesla solar products are a great option if you decide to change the roof shingles. Their solar tiles are almost indistinguishable from the natural tiles while remaining an effective power generation option.

Tesla Solar Roof is one of the most expensive options on the market, with a median price of $55,000-70,000 per installation. However, you can get up to 30% of the federal tax credit for this purchase. At the end of the day, the choice is yours, and going green is what paves the way to long-term profits.

Jed Hilton
Jed Hilton

Jed Hilton, our Founder and CEO, has over a decade of experience in the solar industry. His innovative leadership and expertise in solar technologies guide our company's vision and strategy.

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