Why Is Tesla Solar So Cheap! (Or Is It?)

Tesla is one of the most popular and well-known companies in the world right now. In addition to their world-famous cars, Tesla produces some of the most efficient and affordable solar power systems. This begs the question, why is Tesla solar so cheap?

Here are some of the key points that I will cover, plus more you will need to know;

  • The cost of Tesa solar
  • The efficiency of Tesla solar panels
  • The economic advantages of Tesla solar
  • Comparing Tesla vs. competitors
  • Details and specifications of Tesla solar panels

You will be a Tesla solar expert by the end of this article. You will be ready to invest in the future of energy and powering your home in an eco-friendly way. 

How Much Do Tesla Solar Panels and Solar Roofs Cost? 

To know why Tesla solar is so cheap, you need to know the cost first. The cost of Tesla solar panels depends on the incentives and the size of the system. It can range from $8,200 to over $32,000. This cost is based on 340-watt solar panels and includes the installation cost. 

The cost of a Tesla Solar Roof is significantly more. An 11.28 kW Tesla Solar roof for a 2,000 square foot house would cost over $55,000 before tax incentives. This is assuming that you are replacing the current roof. It is cheaper to install a Tesla Solar roof on a new building.  

For more information, Tesla has a Solar Roof calculator on their website that you can use to estimate the cost of installing a Tesla Solar Roof in your home. This calculator considers your electricity usage, size, and other variables about your house. 

Additional Factors to Consider

Multiple factors can affect the cost of a Tesla Solar Roof. The complexity of your home’s roof will increase the price. For example, installation is cheapest on a single-level roof with a low pitch and no obstructions. 

The installation will be far more expensive on a roof with multi-levels that have obstructions like an AC unit, ceiling vents, or a chimney. Additionally, the installation will be more costly if you replace your roof. A solar roof can only be installed on a roof of less than 20.

If you want to install a solar roof on an older home, the roof must be replaced first. Replacing the existing roof would cost at least $10,000-$15,000. 

Finally, the cost of Tesla solar panels or solar roofs does not include the price of a Tesla Powerwall. Including installation, a Powerwall would cost at least $10,500. Knowing all of these favors is essential to understanding why Tesla solar is so cheap.

Tesla sign from their office in 47700 Kato Road

See also: Tesla Solar Panel Review (Specs – Is It Worth It?)

How Long Do Tesla Solar Panels Last?

According to Tesla’s website, their solar panels come with a 25-year performance warranty. This warranty states that the solar panels will produce at least 80% of their power capacity for at least 25 years. 

Additionally, Tesla solar systems are covered by a 10-year comprehensive warranty. If any portion of your Tesla solar system breaks or fails, Tesla will cover the cost of replacement/repair. Tesla makes no guarantees beyond the length of the warranty.   

How Efficient Is a Tesla Solar Roof?

The efficiency of Tesla solar is an essential part of why Tesla solar is so cheap. Unfortunately, Tesla has not released data on its solar shingles’ efficiency. However, it is possible to estimate the solar roof’s efficiency using mathematical calculations.

This calculation requires you to take the length and width of the solar panels, divide the standard test conditions (1,000W/m2), and then divide by the solar panel’s rated output (24 W). Using this equation, it is estimated that a Tesla solar roof has 18-20% efficiency.

This efficiency rate is around the industry standard. There are more efficient solar panels on the market, but efficiency is less important than the total output of solar panels. If a Tesla solar roof meets 100% of a family’s electricity needs, the efficiency doesn’t matter.

Two rows of solar shingles on a roof
Two rows of solar shingles on a roof (Wikimedia)

Are Tesla Solar Panels a Good Investment? 

To know why Tesla solar is so cheap, you have to evaluate if they are a good investment. Currently, the US government provides a clean energy tax credit, so any family that installs Tesla solar panels or a solar roof will receive a big tax break. 

The cost of a Tesla solar system is a significant upfront cost. However, over time, the system will consistently provide clean and free energy to your home, saving you money. If you pay for a Tesla solar system upfront, you could break even as soon as the fifth year.   

Some additional variables to consider are the cost of energy/electricity in your area, the value of your home, and how long you are planning on living there. 

Does Tesla Solar Pay for Itself?

In the long run, Tesla solar will pay for itself. That is why Tesla solar is so cheap. Tesla estimates that over the 30-year life of a Tesla Solar roof, energy would cost $65,000. That comes to $2,167/year. 

If the total installation cost of a Tesla solar system is around $70,000, then the family would be down $5,000. However, any extra energy that your Tesla solar system produces will be sold back to the grid, and the excess power generated by your solar system will pay for the difference. 

How Much Do You Save With Tesla Solar Panels? 

The answer to this question is a big part of why Tesla solar is so cheap. The answer depends on where in the US you live and how much the energy cost is. For example, in New York, Tesla solar panels would save a family in a three-story home $13,900 over 30 years. 

Meanwhile, in California, Tesla solar panels would save a family in a one-story ranch house almost $42,000 over 30 years. For comparison, in Texas, Tesla solar panels would cost a family in a two-story home nearly $13,000 over 30 years. 

The savings with Tesla solar panels depend entirely on the energy cost in the location of the solar panels.

TESLA TESLA Building with logo

Is a Tesla Solar Subscription Worth It? 

Renting solar panels from Tesla is an excellent option for a homeowner looking for maximum flexibility. Leasing allows you to have green energy in your home without the significant upfront cost. This is an excellent option in the short run.

However, renting Tesla solar systems is not the best way to maximize your financial benefits from installing a solar system. It is better to buy the system upfront than it is to finance it.

The answer to this question depends on the financial situation of the homeowner and what they can afford. 

Can You Make Money Off of a Tesla Solar Roof?

Yes, you can make money off of a Tesla solar roof. The financial benefits of a Tesla solar roof depend on the local cost of electricity and any financial incentives offered by the state and federal government.

In addition to these costs and incentives, you also need to calculate how much energy will be produced and returned to the grid by your solar roof. A Tesla solar roof can pay for itself every month, depending on your location. 

Where Does Tesla Manufacture Its Solar Panels? 

Tesla manufactures its solar panels, solar roof, power wall, and powerpack in the Gigafactory 2. Gigafactory 2 is a 1.2 million-square-foot facility located in Buffalo, New York. That means that Tesla solar panels are produced in the USA.   

Does Tesla Have the Cheapest Solar? 

This is the ultimate answer to why Tesla is so cheap. In this article, I’ve already gone over the cost and savings you can have from a Tesla solar system. So how does this compare to other solar options? 

Based on Tesla’s estimates, the cost of a Tesla solar system is well below the median price of $3.80 per watt. Tesla’s smallest systems come in at $3.32 per watt and their largest come in at $2.32 per watt.

Additionally, if a local installer quotes you at a lower price than Tesla for installation, Tesla will match the price. If you add in Tesla’s outstanding warranty, Tesla is in the competition for the cheapest solar. 

Why Is Tesla Solar Cheaper Than Sunrun? 

Sunrun is one of the other leading solar installation companies in the United States. They have installed solar panels on hundreds of thousands of homes. However, Tesla can install solar for a lower price than Sunrun. 

This is because Tesla does not depend on door-to-door sales. Because of Tesla’s popularity, many customers approach them. As a result, Tesla does not have to pay salespeople. Tesla is able to pass this savings onto their customers. 

Additionally, Tesla saves money on marketing compared to Sunrun. Tesla receives a great deal of media attention ,so the company does not have to spend money on marketing. These savings are also passed.


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Elliot has 20+ years of experience in renewable technology, from conservation to efficient living. His passion is to help others achieve independent off-grid living.

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