Tesla Solar Roof Tiles – Customer and Installer Perspectives

There’s no doubt in my mind that the home of the future will be solar powered. Intuitively it would be great if the roofing material provided that solar power. But historically it’s been a challenge to combine efficient solar cells with a durable roofing material at an affordable price. Tesla’s new solar tiles hope to solve these challenges.

Without a doubt Tesla’s solar tiles are the best looking solar roofing products I have seen. Using Tesla’s solar roof calculator and information for a 2,000 square foot home in California with a 2,500 square foot roof and $200 monthly electric bill, here is how their roofing solar tiles compare to an ordinary rooftop solar panel installation:

Tesla Roof Tiles Ordinary Solar Panels
Up front cost $58,500 $17,556
Tax credit $7,020 $5,267
Net cost $51,480 $12,289
Annual savings $2,002 $1,997
Simple payback (years) 26 6.2

Of course I expect the cost for Tesla roof solar tile installations to come down in the future, so their economics are likely to improve. Nevertheless, at these high prices it is clear to me that Tesla really has a product that only makes sense for new construction on high end homes. For the average homeowner considering solar, by far the best choice is a traditional rooftop solar power system. For more about Tesla’s solar tiles, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.