When most people hear the word “Tesla,” they think of electric cars. Some people may even know about Tesla Powerwall batteries that back up traditional solar arrays. But fewer still realize that Tesla makes a beautiful solar roof.
The Tesla Solar Roof is a building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) system that replaces a traditional roof with photovoltaic cells (solar cells) that are integrated into the roof tiles themselves. The Tesla Solar Roof BIPV system looks similar to slate tiles but has solar built in. In fact, the Solar Roof itself is probably one of the most beautiful tile roofs available on the market today.
Solar Roof Benefits
The Solar Roof has a lot of benefits compared to that of a traditional solar system. Here are a few of the main ones:
Solar Roof tiles are textured tiles that complement a home’s aesthetics. Not all tiles are active photovoltaic cells. Tiles with active cells are indistinguishable from tiles with inactive cells, which gives the roof a uniform look. Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles are also slightly hydrophobic which makes them shed snow, allowing the roof to start producing power shortly after a snowstorm.
Because Tesla’s tiles replace traditional shingles, there are no exposed wires or hideaways for rodents to nest in. Replacing shingles also reduces the weight of the overall system. Many older homes require an engineer to conduct a structural analysis to determine whether or not the roof can support a solar array. But Tesla Solar Roof tiles only weigh 3.34 lbs/sq ft which is the same as a standard composition roof. So, adding a Tesla Solar Roof is considered a net zero gain. This is great for older homes that can’t bear the weight of a traditional solar system.
Safety and Durability
Tesla’s Solar Roof is the most durable roof on the market. Solar Roof tiles are made of tempered glass making them three times stronger than traditional roof tiles. Because they are made of tempered glass, they won’t wear down or get brittle over time or even propagate the growth of moss.
Solar Roof tiles are also the safest on the market. Roofs are given fire ratings, and Tesla’s Solar Roof meets the specifications for Class A, the highest safety rating. In addition, Tesla’s Solar Roof has a Class F wind rating, also the highest safety rating. Finally, it has a Class 3 hail rating, which means it can withstand a 1.75″ steel ball dropped from twenty feet high, simulating golf ball size hail.
Several factors will make a Solar Roof more convenient to own and operate. All of Tesla’s products can be controlled through an app on your phone. The Tesla Solar Roof app will monitor your home’s energy use and your roof’s energy production. When paired with one or more Tesla Powerwall backup batteries, the Solar Roof system can be controlled to optimize energy production or storage.
The Powerwall also has a Storm Watch mode that quickly fills the Powerwalls when the NWS issues a weather warning and keeps them full until the warning expires. This smart feature will automatically make it so that you stop exporting solar energy to the grid and instead fully charge the batteries and keep them charged in case of an outage.
How Much Does Tesla Solar Roof Cost?
Cost is the only downside to a Tesla Solar Roof. The Tesla Solar Roof is more expensive than a traditional solar system. Giving average pricing data for solar installations is tricky because there are so many factors to consider. For example: Is most of your roof south facing? How many pitches, eaves, or dormers does your roof have? How steep is your roof? What’s the usable square footage for solar? To truly determine the cost, it’s best if you reach out to us directly for a customized quote.
That being said, we will take a swing at it. The average cost for a traditional solar array on a 1700-square-foot home is around $30,000, not considering the cost of roof replacement. The cost of a Tesla Solar Roof on a very basic 1700-square-foot home would be around $60,000, but includes roof replacement. According to Roof-life of Oregon, the replacement cost of a roof for a 1700-square-foot home with asphalt shingles would be $17,000 ($47,000 vs. $60,000). That’s not to say a $13,000 difference isn’t a lot of money but keep in mind that because the roof tiles are part of the solar system, the entire cost of the Tesla Solar Roof can be claimed for the federal tax credit. After factoring in the Federal Tax Credit, and other solar incentives in Oregon, the gap narrows even further.
The Tesla Solar Roof System is the most comprehensive residential solar solution on the market. It offers an aesthetically pleasing look while also being the safest and most durable option. Although the cost is high upfront, it is the only residential solar system that will pay for itself in the long run. Plus, the roof itself will greatly increase the value of your home and reduce or even eliminate your power bill entirely.