Many homeowners who have researched solar panels for their home have inevitably come across the Tesla Solar Roof. The solar roof tiles developed by Tesla, while not revolutionary, are making waves in the solar and roofing industries.

The Tesla Solar Roof has come a long way from its initial designs and promises great savings for homeowners. However, there are still many questions that remain unanswered and cost estimates that don’t pan out in the end.

What Is The Tesla Solar Roof?

The Tesla Solar Roof is a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product that functions as both a roofing material and a photovoltaic solar panel system. The solar roof tiles can be installed in place of regular roofing material with the same protection value, and they come in various designs resembling terra cotta tiles, slate, and composite shingles.

The solar roofing tiles come in two formats: energy producing and non-energy producing. Energy producing tiles incorporate solar cells that produce energy when exposed to sunlight. Non-energy producing roof tiles do not produce solar energy, rather they look nearly identical to the energy producing solar tiles and serve to complete the roof’s protection and aesthetics.

The solar roof shingles available today are the third version developed by Tesla since its initial product came out in 2016. According to Tesla, the latest version of their solar shingles are larger, more efficient, easier to install, are cheaper to produce, and have fewer parts.

While Tesla is not the first company to develop solar roof tiles, it is by far the largest player in the game today.

 

HOw Much Does The Tesla Solar Roof Cost?

Deciphering the ultimate cost of a Tesla Solar Roof can be a tricky task. As with any solar install, many factors contribute to the cost of a solar project. Add to this conflicting numbers between cost estimates from Tesla and real-life solar installs, and the task is even more challenging.

However, we can use numbers provided by Tesla and numbers provided by real-life solar estimates from Tesla to compare the costs of a Tesla Solar Roof versus a conventional solar installation.

According to Tesla, their Solar Roof costs $21.85 per square foot with the assumption that 35% of the roof will be covered by non-energy producing tiles. That means a 2,000 square foot roof would cost about $44,000. Keep in mind that this includes the cost of replacing the entire roof material in place of solar tiles.

However, according to actual solar estimates from prospective Tesla customers, the actual cost of a Tesla Solar Roof comes out to approximately $35 per square foot. That adds over $26,000 to the cost of a 2,000 square foot roof.

As you can see, the pricing difference between what Tesla estimates and the ultimate price can be quite different.

The unfortunate task of getting a true price estimate for a Tesla Solar Roof is that not many have been installed yet. Tesla, not known for their transparency, has not provided numbers about how many Tesla Solar Roofs have been installed, nor provided much information about the ultimate costs of those installs.

How Does Tesla Solar Roof COmpare To Other Roofs?

To compare the price of installing a Tesla Solar Roof to reinstalling other roofs, we need to break down two components: the cost of installing solar panels and the costs of reinstalling a roof.

For a conventional solar installation, the average cost per Watt is approximately $2.75/Watt. That means, for an average home that installs a 7 kW solar panel system, the cost would be $19,250 (before solar incentives, such as the 26% solar tax credit).

As you can see, the cost of installing solar panels is much less than the cost of installing a Tesla Solar Roof. If you were not considering reinstalling your roof, just installing solar panels would be your best option.

However, what if you are also considering reinstalling your roof along with installing solar?

The average cost of replacing an asphalt shingle roof for a 2,000 square foot home comes out to approximately $7,000, according to homeguide.com. If we add this to the cost of installing solar panels ($19,250, before incentives), the estimated cost would be $26,250.

On paper this example of installing solar panels and reshingling the roof would cost less than installing a Tesla Solar Roof. However, what if your roof is not made of asphalt shingles?

Below are cost estimates from homeguide.com for reinstalling different roofing materials. As you can see, the costs can vary quite a bit, but it can give you a good idea of the potential costs of reinstalling your roof. Combine this cost with the cost of installing solar panels (estimated $2.75 per Watt), and you will have an idea of how the price might compare to a Tesla Solar Roof (estimated $21.85 per square foot).

Is The Tesla Solar Roof Worth It?

As you can see, there are many variables and many numbers to consider when comparing the Tesla Solar Roof with a conventional solar panel installation. It can be difficult to truly compare apples to apples.

In many cases, homeowners are not looking to reinstall their roof along with installing solar panels. Most of the time in this case, just installing solar panels is a better option than installing a whole Tesla Solar Roof.

However, if you are considering reinstalling your roof along with installing solar panels, the pricing becomes more competitive. It would be a good idea to analyze the chart above to estimate how much reinstalling your roof might cost. From there you can speak with both your local solar company and Tesla to get an estimate of how much installing solar panels vs installing a Tesla Solar Roof might cost.
To get a free solar estimate, or if you have any questions about how solar works, Green Ridge Solar is here to help. Contact Green Ridge Solar today for a free solar analysis, or check out our Solar Calculator to see how much you could save with solar.

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