People have long considered using solar power to provide electricity for an entire household an excellent way to save money. However, for many families, the setup and installation costs are prohibitive. Tesla launched a new option in 2016 to tile an entire roof in solar panels.
Installing a solar roof on any home is possible. How expensive Tesla’s solar roof is will depend greatly on how large the home is and how complicated the roof is.
We will examine Tesla’s solar roof and answer some common questions about the product and its installation, including:
- How expensive is Tesla’s solar roof?
- Is the Tesla solar roof cheaper than solar panels?
- Is Tesla solar roof a good investment?
- How many Tesla solar roofs have been installed?
As utility prices increase year after year, the possibility of decreasing those costs by using alternative power is enticing. We will explore the facts about the Tesla solar roof below.
How expensive is Tesla’s solar roof?
The expense of the Tesla solar roof is estimated based on several factors. These include:
- The size of the house
- The tilt and layout of the roof
- Whether or not the original roof needs to be removed
- How much electricity is needed to power the home
There are two types of tiles in a solar roof: active and inactive. The active tiles soak up the energy and send it to the batteries. The inactive tiles match them and create a cohesive roofing appearance. Active tiles cost more than inactive tiles.
Tesla’s website has a calculator to determine a price range likely for any given location. You type in an address and provide an approximate electricity cost, and it uses the data from Project Sunroof (from Google) to estimate the required square footage of solar panels.
Sample prices of Tesla’s solar roof
A 1250-square-foot home in Alabama (where Tesla does not yet provide service) with an estimated $450 monthly electric bill comes up with a range of $98.5k – $108.1k for installing a Tesla solar roof. The price includes a fee for an extended distance.
A 1689-square-foot home in California with an estimated $850 monthly electric bill would cost the homeowner between $153.8k – $174.8k to install a Tesla solar roof. Because it is in a Tesla service area, there is no added fee for an extended distance.
Both of these prices are before any incentives. The federal solar tax credit and local energy efficiency credits can offset some costs.
How much do solar panels cost for a 2000 square foot house?
According to the Tesla website, solar panels for a 2000 square foot house would cost about $65,000, including two batteries to store the collected energy.
In comparison, the cost for installing a Tesla solar roof for the same home ranges from $143.5k – $162.5k and would include three batteries.
Does Tesla’s solar price include installation?
Yes, the price quoted by Tesla for solar solutions does include installation. Installing the Tesla solar roof may include removing the original roof and repairing the underlying structure. The estimated roof removal cost is part of the quote, but repairs are not.
If your roof does not need replacement soon, you can install a Tesla solar roof over an existing roof. The price quoted will reflect that they are not replacing the roof. You may need to call Tesla to get an accurate quote rather than using the website calculator in that case.
Does Tesla’s solar subscription include a powerwall?
Tesla solar subscriptions include one or more powerwall batteries. The quantity of powerwall batteries depends on the size of the house and the number of active tiles. There are four parts to the base Tesla solar roof:
- Active shingles (the ones that generate electricity)
- Inactive shingles (look the same as active but do not generate electricity)
- Solar inverter (changes the current from direct current to alternating current)
- Powerwall battery (to hold excess electricity for future use)
Do Tesla solar panels pay for themselves?
In a manner of speaking, throughout the life of the solar roof, the solar panels do eventually save enough on electrical payments to pay for themselves. Reaching the point of breaking even can take up to 30 years, however, depending on several factors.
When everything lines up properly, the savings are stupendous. They may pay for themselves within eight years in some areas of the U.S. To achieve the best savings by installing a Tesla solar roof, you need:
- a lot of sunshine
- tax credits for natural energy
- a smaller roof, such as a multi-story house rather than a sprawling single floor home
- lower energy usage
When these are all within the proper parameters, the savings can reach tens of thousands over thirty years.
Is the Tesla solar roof cheaper than solar panels?
When comparing the solar roof directly to solar panels, the Tesla solar roof is not cheaper than solar panels. Including the roof replacement makes a difference. The comparison of the Tesla solar roof to an average roof renovation plus solar panels comes out pretty close to even.
Is the Tesla solar roof a good investment?
Adding a Tesla solar roof to your home is a good investment for many homeowners. It not only lowers energy costs over time, but it is also an improvement that allows the house to sell at a higher price.
The Tesla solar roof combines the neat, traditional look of shingles with the usefulness of solar panels, allowing the roof to look natural while having technology installed. The shingles protect the roof as well as or better than traditional shingles.
In some brightly sunny locations, you may be able to add electricity to the grid and receive compensation for doing so, increasing the return on your investment.
Does a Tesla solar roof increase home value?
A Tesla solar roof increases home values and allows a homeowner to receive a better price when selling the home. Solar energy is much sought after in recent years. Selling a home that already has solar power installed is a bonus.
Benefits of adding a Tesla solar roof to your home include:
- Equity – instead of spending money monthly for electricity from an electric company, the price paid to put up the solar panels goes toward home equity.
- Longevity – the 25-year comprehensive warranty implies that the roof is expected to be durable for at least that long.
- Offsetting bills – each month, solar power replaces a large portion of the electricity, reducing the utility bill.
- Sustainable power – the battery stores any excess electricity generated so you can use it during power outages and at night.
Does home insurance increase with solar panels?
Most home insurance policies include anything on the property, so added solar panels are generally automatically covered. Not all insurance companies are alike, so it is wise to check with yours to verify that they are covered without a rider or increased premiums.
A rider or raising the coverage is sometimes advisable since solar collection equipment is valuable. Raising the coverage to ensure that the system is replaced in case of a disaster is wise.
Is it harder to sell a house with solar panels?
It may be harder for a homeowner to sell a house with solar panels. Selling a house with solar panels that have been well maintained is a mixed bag. While the potential of lower energy costs is a positive thing for most buyers, the maintenance obligation is sometimes viewed as undesirable.
If you own your solar panels, it is more likely to be seen as a positive thing than if the panels are leased. Transferring a solar panel lease is sometimes complicated. Most buyers are willing to work through the transfer, so it is unlikely to negatively affect a sale to have leased panels.
How many Tesla solar roofs have been installed?
Tesla does not divulge how many Tesla solar roofs have been installed exactly, but according to Tesla.com, they have added solar energy solutions on over 400,000 homes.
The solar roof is not available directly from Tesla in all states. It may be possible to get one installed in a state that Tesla does not directly service by paying an additional fee to a local contractor.
How long is the wait for Tesla solar roof?
The wait time for a Tesla solar roof partly depends on your location. Homes in California and surrounding areas have a shorter wait than homes on the east coast of the United States. There are no guarantees on the wait time, especially for people across the country from Tesla.
The average wait appears to be about five to nine months from order to installation. Wait times are not specified on the Tesla website.
Before the company begins roof installation, permits, inspections, and related items and services can delay the beginning up to a month. Once the installation begins, the process takes three to four weeks to complete.