Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles have been creating plenty of buzz in the world of solar power, and some people want to know more about these tiles and if Namaste Solar installs them. Namaste Solar does not currently install Solar Roof tiles, but we can help you cut through some of the media hype to decide whether solar roof tiles are a good option for you. In this post we’ll look at the pros and cons of the Tesla Solar Roof for your residential solar energy system.
Tesla Solar Roof: What You Need to Know
Tesla began Solar Roof installations for customers on their waitlist earlier this year. The Solar Roof has been installed only in California thus far, and experts are unsure as to when Tesla will begin installing their roof product on a national scale. The wait may be worth it for some who value the differentiating elements of the product. Other homeowners may want to begin getting the benefits of clean solar energy now, including solar savings.
Pros of Tesla Roof Tiles
Design: The most noticeable difference between solar panels and the Solar Roof is design. Tesla offers four different styles to choose from; textured, smooth, Tuscan, or slate styled solar roof tiles. The tiles mimic the look of a traditional roof so your neighbors won’t even know you have solar on your house (though many of our customers enjoy being solar trendsetters). If you want to maintain the aesthetics of your rooftop, the Solar Roof tiles are a great option for adding solar energy to your home.
Warranty and durability: Tesla roof tiles are made with tempered glass that is more durable than standard roofing tiles. Tesla stands behind the durability of their product with an infinite warranty (or the lifetime of your house). We don’t know the full details of their warranty, but that’s quite a bold offer.
Cons of Tesla Roof Tiles
Cost: To install Tesla’s Solar Roof, you’re required to replace your whole roof – even if you don’t need a new roof right now. That means you’re paying for the cost of both a solar energy system and a new roof. And you’re only getting the 30% Federal Tax Credit on the solar portion of the cost. According to EnergySage, on an apples-to-apples comparison: “Tesla’s solar roof will cost nearly $25,000 more than installing solar panels, and yet will only deliver 77 percent as much solar electricity (due to it being a smaller system size)."
Unknown Maintenance Costs: Since the Tesla roof tiles are a new product, the maintenance costs and processes are an unknown. If you have a roof leak, for example, how complex would it be to fix the leak? Could you call a roofer in your area or would Tesla be the only company able to perform the fix – and how much more would that cost than a regular roof repair? There is also the question of how Tesla will deliver on the infinite warranty for required maintenance. Will the company have the financial strength and longevity to deliver on that guarantee?
Unknown Return on Investment: When you crunch the numbers (like this Forbes contributor did), solar panels still offer a significantly higher return on investment. According to their head-to-head comparison of the Tesla Solar Roof vs. solar panels for the same house, the Tesla Solar Roof cost 48.9% more and yielded just 2.79% of the savings that the solar panels delivered. In other words, with the Solar Roof you pay almost 50% more and get 97% less in savings. Ouch.
Are Solar Roof Tiles for You?
The Tesla Solar Roof is a great option for homeowners who are concerned about the aesthetics of their rooftop. 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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