Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles


Impact On Electricity Network

How This Roofing Company Is Taking On Teslas Solar Roof

With the increasing levels of rooftop photovoltaic systems, the energy flow becomes 2-way. When there is more local generation than consumption, electricity is exported to the grid. However, an electricity network traditionally is not designed to deal with the 2- way energy transfer. Therefore, some technical issues may occur. For example, in Queensland Australia, more than 30% of households used rooftop PV by the end of 2017. The appeared often for a lot of communities from 2015 onwards. An over-voltage issue may result as the electricity flows from PV households back to the network. There are solutions to manage the over voltage issue, such as regulating PV inverter power factor, new voltage and energy control equipment at the electricity distributor level, re-conducting the electricity wires, demand side management, etc. There are often limitations and costs related to these solutions.

When electric networks are down, such as during the October , solar panels are often insufficient to fully provide power to a house or other structure, because they are designed to supply power to the grid, not directly to homes.

Who Should Buy A Solar Roof

The initial appeal of the Tesla Solar Roof will target the wealthy, tech-savvy homeowner with a passion for renewable energy. Due to the solar roof cost, the purchaser of a solar roof will have a deep passion for aesthetics.

There is certainly a risk-reward aspect of being one of the first owners of a Tesla Solar Roof. The reward is obviously being able to be one of the first owners of this beautiful technology. The risk is the same. Being the owner of the first version of anything comes with the risk of having to be patient while kinks are worked out.

If you want to be an owner of the Tesla Solar Roof you will need a large amount of expendable cash and an even larger amount of patience as it could take years for the solar roofs to get installed.

Solar Panels Vs Tesla Solar Roof: Which One Is Better

Generally speaking, on a per watt average cost, Tesla’s Solar Roof is actually pretty reasonable, all things considered. According to some estimates, in the United States, Tesla’s come in at around $1.80 per watt. Traditional solar PV panels tend to cost around $3.00 per watt.

However, any direct comparison between the two is complicated by a few factors. The first is that Tesla’s Solar Roof is not just some PV solar panels but actually a new roof and some PV panels in one package.


Traditional solar PV panels are where your roof can handle it, simply mounted to an existing roof without needing to replace it. So, in order to provide a fair comparison, we’ll need to do a like-for-like summing up.

For the second example we gave above, a similar install would require the old roof to be removed and replaced with new roofing. This would cost around $935 for the tear-down and $11,900 for the new roof. If a 6.14 kW solar panel array was then also added at a cost of $3.00 per watt, the total cost for all works should be in the order of $18,420, give or take.

Based on this kind of comparison, the Tesla Solar Roof is clearly quite a bit more expensive – just under 40% more in fact.

However, remember a large part of this additional cost is Tesla’s relatively higher rates for roof tear-downs and disposal. Additionally, the replacement roof material is much more expensive than something like asphalt shingles.


So, how do they stack up on the payback front?

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Does Tesla Operate In My State How Do I Order

The best way to find out if you’re in Tesla’s service area is to go to the company’s site to enter your address for an estimate. Tesla reportedly has expanded its service area for Solar Roof to the entire United States, though some addresses still say unavailable when you request an estimate. Tesla is definitely expanding though, through the use of third party contractors. In some areas, Tesla will refer you to the website or contact information of a certified installer instead of giving you an estimate.

To order through Tesla, create an account online. Tesla then uses satellite imagery of your roof to design a system and price estimate, which will be finalized when an Tesla agent visits your home to confirm the roof complexity, size and a few other details.

Obstructions in your roof can raise the cost of a Solar Roof.

After you and Tesla agree on a design, it will pull permits and put you on the schedule to install. Tesla reportedly has some in-house teams, even while bringing on more third-party installers.

Cost Reduction In Teslas Solar Roof V3

These are Teslas stunning new solar roof tiles for homes  TechCrunch

Based on a 2,000 square-foot roof, the price of the Tesla Solar Roof V3 starts at $34,000, roughly £30,000 based on todays exchange rate. This includes installation and Powerwall, making it 36% cheaper with the new solar tiles. Whilst it is still an expensive product, it does compete with other new premium roofs.

While it may set you back quite a bit initially? These Solar Roofs clearly pay for themselves in the long run. Is it time to consider investing?

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Alternative Options To Tesla Solar Roof Tiles

Tesla solar tiles unavailability and high prices should not discourage you from generating your own renewable energy. In this regard, solar panels are a more affordable alternative. Also, bolt-on solar panels efficiency is typically 16-22%. This is slightly higher than that of solar tiles in general.

However, if you are keen to integrate less aesthetically disruptive solar energy systems into your home, you may consider other solar roof tiles brands already operating in the UK.

For example, GB Sol and Solecco Solar are UK-based companies offering great alternatives to Tesla solar roofs. Nulok Roofing System headquartered in Sydney, Australia also offers solar tiles all over the UK and across Europe.

If you have decided to install solar roof tiles, solar panels, or any other green energy solution, we can help you find them for your home. In practically no time, we will provide you with up to 4 tailormade offers from suppliers near you. Comparing them can help you get the best price and save on installation costs. Get started by selecting your region below.


What Is The Tesla Solar Roof

One of the biggest issues homeowners have with solar panels is how they look. As a response, in 2016, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tesla Energys new product – the Tesla Solar Roof – on the set of then-popular television series Desperate Housewives of all places .

The Solar Roof was designed to function like photovoltaic solar panels while seamlessly integrating into a roof. This way, homeowners could still enjoy the benefits of solar energy, like electric bill savings and using clean energy, without having to sacrifice their homes aesthetics.

In order to get a uniform look, a homes entire roof is replaced with Tesla shingles. Not all of these shingles will generate electricity , but the whole roof will be covered in Tesla brand shingles. Tesla Solar Roofs generally include three pieces of equipment: active solar shingles, inactive shingles, and a Tesla solar inverter.

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Breaking Down The Price Of Teslas Solar Roof

Tesla Solar Roof systems are designed entirely with Tesla-exclusive equipment. The total cost of a Solar Roof installation consists of three main components:

  • Active solar shingles

Heres the breakdown of how each one of these contributes to the final price:

1. Active solar shingles

Cost: $1.80 per watt

Teslas active solar shingles are tempered glass shingles that contain solar cells and generate electricity.

It costs about $1.80 per watt to install the active Solar Roof tiles. If you installed a 7 kilowatt Tesla Solar Roof, the active shingles alone would cost $12,600 before any incentives are considered. The bigger the solar system you need, the higher the total price will be.

Regular solar panels cost around $3.00 per watt on average, so the solar portion of the Tesla roof is technically cheaper than solar panels.

Each active shingle is 15 by 45, and designed to have a similar look to slate shingles. According to Electrek, Teslas solar shingles are 71.67 watts in size, meaning youd need about five shingles to produce the same amount of power as one 370-watt solar panel. However, Tesla doesnt list any official power ratings or performance specs on their website.

2. Inactive shingles / non-Solar Roofing materials

Cost: $13.30 per square foot – $18.54 per square foot

Tesla divides roofs into three different complexity tiers, and each comes with its own vague set of criteria:

Table 1. Tesla Solar Roof – Roof complexity tiers

Complexity tier
Many Steep

3. Roof tear off

Solarcity Faked Sales Numbers

What Happened To Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles?

In July 2018, three former employees filed a lawsuit against SolarCity, alleging that the corporation had approved the creation of “fake sales accounts”, which resulted in an “unreasonably high valuation of SolarCity” for investors. After allegedly informing management, including CEO Elon Musk, of these incidents, the employees were fired, which they argue contravenes California’s whistleblower protection laws. Tesla denied the allegations of contravening whistleblower protections and, in June 2020, the case was dismissed with prejudice.

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Frequently Asked Questions About The Tesla Solar Roof

While the cost of switching to solar is high, and the news and information surrounding Tesla Solar Roofs can be confusing or nearly obsolete, its important to research each product, company, and topic before making a decision. Learn more about the Tesla Solar Roof by reading these commonly asked questions:

Is Tesla currently installing solar roofs?

Depending on your location, Tesla will send its own installers or contractors to set up your system after purchasing a Solar Roof.

Are Tesla roofs durable?

Tesla claims that their shingles are three times stronger than the average roof tile and are built to endure all weather conditions. They have the highest fire rating and are built to withstand 110 mph winds , so you can feel confident even in extreme weather conditions.

How long will a Tesla Solar Roof last?

Tesla offers a 25-year warranty on the systems tiles, power, and weatherization. Plus, its inverter has a 12.5-year warranty, giving homeowners peace of mind regarding their investment.

Is A Tesla Solar Roof A Good Deal

Compared to other solar panel installations, a Solar Roof will be pricier. The price may be more or less justifiable depending on the condition of your current roof. If you’re due for a new roof, you’ll be writing a large check for that anyway.

If your goal is to generate solar for the least amount of money possible, a Solar Roof isn’t for you. Tesla’s online estimate for a house in Dallas, Texas, offered 12.46 kilowatts of solar generation and a Powerwall battery for $168,400. Tesla estimates 12 kilowatts of solar panels and a Powerwall at the same location will cost $26,966.

Another factor that could alter the price of your system is the complexity of your roof. Steep pitches, multiple levels and a lot of obstructions could drive up the cost.

Roof size does significantly affect the overall cost of a system. A small roof in Illinois could cost around $54,000 to $58,148 after the federal tax credit, Tesla estimates. That’s $3.78-$4.05 per watt, much closer to the cost of solar panels, though still more expensive .

Tesla recommends regular maintenance by a professional, though the details of that recommendation aren’t clear.

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Tesla Solar Roof: The Sleekest Solar Option Isn’t Your Best One

It’s solar you might not notice from the curb.

Andrew Blok

Associate Editor

Andrew Blok has been an associate editor at CNET covering HVAC and home energy, with a focus on solar since October 2021. As an environmental journalist, he navigates the changing energy landscape to help people make smart energy decisions. He’s a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State and wrote for several publications in the Great Lakes region, including Great Lakes Now and Environmental Health News since 2019. You can find him in western Michigan watching birds.

  • Really expensive
  • Customer service concerns

Homeowners are adding solar panels to their rooftops at an increasing rate. As solar installation prices continue to fall, analysts expect adoption to speed up, especially as long as the federal solar tax credit sticks around.

Tesla made its biggest inroads into this market when it purchased SolarCity back in 2016 and boosted its solar installation capacity. Its share of the market has shrunk in recent years, but it’s still one of the largest solar installers in the United States. But beyond its traditional solar panel installations, which are some of the cheapest in the industry, Tesla offers Solar Roof, which replaces a traditional roof with shingles that generate electricity.

Tesla’s Solar Roof generates solar electricity while looking mostly like a regular roof.

Solar Roof Efficiency Vs Solar Panel Efficiency

Tesla Ramping Up Production Of V3 Solar Roof Tiles To 1,000 Systems ...

The brand new solar roof will be entirely manufactured in the United States. Tesla plans to manufacture all of their solar tiles at their Buffalo facilities using solar cells provided by their partner, Panasonic. Peter Rive, the CTO at SolarCity had previously claimed the efficiency of one of their solar tiles was equivalent to a standard panel. However, according to SolarCitys website the colored film of the solar tile allows the cells to blend into the roof while minimizing solar efficiency loss. While it appears this would mean the efficiency of solar tiles would be lower than those of solar panel, this isnt necessarily the case.

Currently, Panasonics N3300 HIT modules have an efficiency of 19.7%. The have developed solar cells as efficient as 23.5% in their labs. The solar industry average for solar panels is approximately 16%, while Pick My Solars installers come in at around 19.5%. So even if the colored film of the solar tiles lessens the efficiency by a few percentage points, the solar tiles efficiency still may be equivalent to that of standard solar modules.

When it comes to the efficiency of Teslas solar roof in comparison to standard solar panels, there is no clear cut winner. Just make sure that if your home is very limited in regards to roof space, you go with the highest efficiency module possible to power your home.

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How Long Is The Installation Time For A Tesla Solar Roof

Exact installation time depends on the size of your roof and how difficult the installation process is. However, Tesla states that most installations take approximately one week to complete. Keep in mind that the entire process may be delayed if there are issues with third-party authorizations, financing or even the weather.

Things You Need To Know About Tesla Roof Shingles

On October 25, 2019, Elon Musk and his inner circle of tech engineers announced that their revolutionary new solar roof shingles were finally ready for mass market. Teslas photovoltaic glass tile is the companys third attempt at perfecting a market-ready system and now they feel theyve got it. With fewer parts and sub-assemblies, its a simpler design than previous prototypes. The product has already been installed on a handful of homes. Musk is right on time with his revolutionary innovation, as state after state considers bills to require that new home and commercial construction, as well as renovations, incorporate energy-wise roof systems.

1) What are solar roof shingles?

Tesla solar roof shingles incorporate Panasonics ultra-efficient solar cells. The roof system connects to a Tesla Powerwall a battery backup for your house that ties into grid power for automatic power fail-over and for use when electricity cost is high. Elon Musk has hyped his innovation by comparing Tesla solar shingles to standard roofing, declaring that they look better, are better insulators, last longer, are more durable and cost less when energy savings are factored in.

2) How do the upfront costs for Tesla solar shingles compare to conventional roofing?

3) Are Tesla solar shingles available to roofing contractors?

4) Is every shingle in Teslas solar roof system a mini solar panel?

5) How are solar roofing shingles installed?

6) What do Tesla shingles look like?


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How Long Does A Tesla Solar Roof Last

Since Tesla has only been producing and installing its solar roofs since around 2018, there are no real-life statistics for the longevity of the solar tiles. However, Tesla offers a 25-year tile warranty as standard. This is also the standard warranty length for a traditional solar array.

Tesla feels confident in offering such a long warranty as they have engineered their tiles to be, and we quote, “durable, strong and engineered for all-weather protection.”

Each tile is 15 inches by 45 inches and has met a suit of industrial standards. They meet the requirements of ASTM D3161 Class F for Wind resistance, ANSI FM 4473 Class 3 for hail, and have also achieved the highest fire-resistance rating of Class A.


This not only means they are highly durable, as Tesla claim, but are an excellent alternative to conventional roof materials in any case.

For reference, the most common types of roofing in the USA are concrete tiles, asphalt shingles, manmade slates, or ceramic tiles. Of these, asphalt shingles are by far the most common, and they typically have a life expectancy of 15 to 25 years.

Are Solar Roof Tiles For You

The Problem With Teslas Solar Roof

The Tesla Solar Roof is an option for homeowners who are concerned about the aesthetics of their rooftop because the tiles look like a traditional rooftop. The tiles do come with a high price tag, though, and will make a Tesla Solar Roof cost prohibitive for many homeowners. Solar panels are still a reliable, tested, and durable option for homeowners who are looking for a great return on investment.

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