Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future by creating products that are so compelling, there is no alternative. Solar energy has always been part of our master plan, and we recognized the need for a roof that is simultaneously affordable, durable, beautiful and integrated with battery storage.
Solar Roof complements a home’s architecture while turning sunlight into electricity. With an integrated Powerwall, energy collected during the day is stored and made available any time, effectively turning a home into a personal utility. Solar energy can be generated, stored and used day and night, providing uninterrupted power even if the grid goes down.
Solar Roof is more affordable than conventional roofs because in most cases, it ultimately pays for itself by reducing or eliminating a home’s electricity bill. Consumer Reports estimates that a Solar Roof for an average size U.S. home would need to cost less than $24.50 per square foot to be cost competitive with a regular roof. The cost of Solar Roof is less. The typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for Solar Roof,1 and benefit from a beautiful new roof that also increases the value of their home.
Solar Roof uses two types of tiles—solar and non-solar. Looking at the roof from street level, the tiles look the same. Customers can select how many solar tiles they need based on their home’s electricity consumption. For example, households that charge an electric vehicle every day may want more solar tiles on their roof.
In doing our own research on the roofing industry, it became clear that roofing costs vary widely, and that buying a roof is often a worse experience than buying a car through a dealership. Initial contracts tend to be overly optimistic, and later customers face hidden costs that were never mentioned up front.
At Tesla, we believe in transparency and putting the customer in control. That’s why we created a Solar Roof calculator that lets homeowners estimate the upfront price of Solar Roof, as well as the value of the energy it can generate for their home. The calculator is based on factors like roof size, the average local price of electricity, and how much sunlight a neighborhood receives throughout the year.
As shown in the graph below, the cost of our non-solar tiles is comparable to regular roofing tiles.2 Although the cost of our solar tiles is more expensive up front, it can be more than offset by the value of energy the tiles produce.3 In many cases, the reduction in a home’s electricity bill over time will be greater than the cost of the roof.
Design & Durability
Solar Roof will be available in a variety of designs, including Smooth and Textured (available this year) and Tuscan and Slate (available early 2018). Made with tempered glass, Solar Roof tiles are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles, yet half the weight. They do not degrade over time like asphalt or concrete. Solar Roof is the most durable roof available and the glass itself will come with a warranty for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.
Customers may place an order for Solar Roof today on the Tesla website. Installations of Solar Roof will begin in the U.S. this summer and we expect installations outside the U.S. to begin in 2018.
1 $21.85 per square foot is the price of a Solar Roof derived using similar methodology, roof size, and energy costs described in Consumer Reports’ research. This price does not reflect any solar incentives. The price was calculated for a roof where 35 percent of the tiles are solar (solar tiles cost more per square foot than non-solar tiles), in order to generate $53,500 worth of electricity, which according to Consumer Reports would make a solar roof more affordable than an asphalt shingle roof.
2 Average roofing costs were derived from data available on Home Advisor and Homewyse. In each case, there is a wide range of roofing costs and we report the midpoint in each case. Ranges for roof tile types from Home Advisor were derived using information from roofing contractors that included all equivalent components of a Solar Roof (such as installation labor, materials, existing roof tear-off, and underlayment). Range of fully installed costs per square foot from Home Advisor were: Slate, $13.00 – $21.00; Metal, $9.60 – $21.40; Tile, $7.80 – $16.00; Asphalt, $4.40 – $8.70. Costs from Homewyse were derived using their online cost calculator, averaged across 3 representative zip codes (Albany, NY 12220; Fort Worth, TX 76122; Bakersfield, CA 93314) and resulted in the following cost ranges per square foot: Slate, $12.03 – $17.57; Metal, $11.22 – $16.24; Tile, $11.85 – $17.34; and Asphalt, $3.28 – $5.45.
3 In the bar chart, the “Solar Roof with Value of Energy” is calculated based on a roof where 50 percent of the tiles are solar; 30 years of electricity production; and a grid electricity price of 13.7 cents per kilowatt-hour in year one (the average electricity price in Q1 2017 across California, Texas, and North Carolina — the states referenced by Consumer Reports), escalating at 2 percent annually. The calculation also reflects the inclusion of one Powerwall 2 battery. The ability to realize the full value depends on a household’s electricity usage, the amount of energy storage available, and local utility regulations.