Tesla Prices Its Solar Roofs Low Enough To Pay For Themselves

In announcing the price of its Solar Roof packages, Tesla says it’s come in low enough to make them “in most cases” pay for themselves.

Citing Consumer Reports’ take on the matter, in order to be cost competitive with a conventional roof, an average U.S. house would need a solar roof to cost $24.50 per square foot, and Tesla’s price of $21.85 undercuts that estimate, Tesla says.

What’s innovative about the roofs is they do not look like added-on solar panels, but rather replace and serve as shingles or tiles for a discrete and aesthetically pleasing look that also stands to mark down or eliminate an electric bill.

In a blog post yesterday noting orders can now be placed on its website, Tesla said U.S. installations will begin this summer.

The first two styles to be released of four styles that have thus far been shown of the glass tiles are “black glass smooth” and “textured.”

In “early 2018 a “Tuscan” style and another that looks like slate are due.

In common with the tiles is they consist of three layers, being a high-efficiency solar cell, a film layer designed to conceal the cell from viewers, and a high-impact glass top layer.

Tesla says the tiles are intended to dovetail with its other products including Powerwall energy storage

“Solar Roof complements a home’s architecture while turning sunlight into electricity,” said Tesla’s post. “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.”

Source Tesla.

Some analysts had expressed skepticism that Tesla’s innovative roofs could be priced competitively, but it again showed itself determined to prove naysayers wrong.

“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,” says Tesla. “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.”

The fine print on the estimate $21.85 per square foot follows Consumer Reports’ methodology.

“This price does not reflect any solar incentives,” says Tesla. “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.”

Adding to the affordability factor Tesla makes the case for, is durability for tiles that are said to be more robust than other shingles.

“They do not degrade over time like asphalt or concrete,” says Tesla. “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.”

Installations outside the U.S. are expected to begin next year.

Tesla blog


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