Cost of the Tesla solar roof in 2020 compared to conventional solar

What are Tesla solar roof shingles?

When Tesla announced its
solar roof shinglesthey breathed new life into the
building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) segmentof the solar industry. The Tesla solar roof is designed to make solar possible without changing the aesthetic of a home. In fact, the Tesla solar roof tiles look amazing and the innovation is that the active solar tiles look the same as all the non-solar active roof tiles.

Tesla announced their solar roof way back in August 2016 but the product only began shipping in August 2018. The
Tesla solar roofcomes with a lifetime product warranty and is designed to handle extreme weather conditions. The image below is in order from left to right a Tesla roof tile, concrete shingle, and terracotta tile. They were each shot with a roughly golf ball sized chunk of hail at 100mph, the Tesla roof tile was unscathed.

Tesla hail test

Image source: 

How much do Tesla solar roof shingles cost compared to other solar panels?

According to Tesla’s website, if you have a $200 per month power bill in the
PG&Eterritory, you’d require a $52,300 solar roof to wipe it out.

Let’s compare that with conventional solar panels. If I enter a $200 per month bill into the
solar-estimatecalculator it tells me that you’d need a 6.8 kW system that would cost $24,001 before claiming the
federal solar tax credit. That’s a way lot cheaper. You might point out — correctly — that Tesla’s solar roof doubles as a roof. But combining the average cost of solar panels AND the cost of replacing your roof ($4/sq ft) still works out $16,299 cheaper than the
Tesla solar roof.

Unfortunately, the fact that the
cost of regular solar panelsis so much lower means that Tesla’s solar roofs are unlikely to become a mainstream option…However, money isn’t the most important thing for everyone, and so…

Should you buy Tesla solar panels rather than offerings from other solar companies?

If you enter your zip code into
SolarReviewsyou’ll be presented with a list of the solar installers servicing your local area alongside their reviews and overall star rating. You will note that most solar companies in the list have a far better reputation than Tesla.

Tesla/SolarCity Reviews:

SolarCity solar reviews overall ratings

Tesla/SolarCity has improved their pricing in recent times to be more competitive against other solar providers but their poor reputation for after-sales service is a major concern. This is a strong reason why homeowners are increasingly turning towards smaller, local and family-owned solar companies who have deeper roots in their local communities.

Do I need a Powerwall 2 with my Tesla Solar Roof?

No, while having a battery backup in case of a power outage is handy. A Powerwall 2 makes little economic sense since most states have a program called
net metering. Net metering allows for the sale of your excess solar generation back to your utility. The power your solar system exports during the day compensates for the cost of power your home uses at night, or whenever your solar system cannot power your home.

 Should you install a Tesla solar roof on your home?

It depends on your mindset. If you want the best looking solar system regardless of price then the Tesla solar roof is your best option. However, if all you want is the most economic solar system, that pays for itself the quickest, the Tesla solar roof should be your last choice.