How much is it going to cost?

Towards the end of last year, Tesla revealed a new upcoming project, which it was secretly working on unbeknownst to most; solar roof tiles. Unlike the traditional mode of solar tiles which sit on the roof, these would replace the customer’s roof.

If everything went according to plan, they would look just as good as the tiles they replaced. As of today, the project seems to have reached completion as customers all over the world are now able to order a solar roof on the firm’s American website and installations are to begin in California. Those ordered outside of the U.S. are to start in the following year.

The glass tiles were revealed by the company last fall before it merged with solar panel maker SolarCity Corp. They are made to seem the same as the usual type of roofing but there are options which resemble the terracotta or slate tiles, which are popular options for the current market. The solar roof tiles also have photo voltaic cells that are not visible from the street.

How much is it going to cost?

Now the first thing, which everyone asked after coming to terms with the concept, was the cost of installation. Tesla’s website was useful enough to provide a pricing point calculator for interested buyers so they are able to estimate the costs of a solar roof according to the size of their home, the amount of sunlight the neighborhood gets and the federal tax credits involved.


They may also put down a refundable $1000 deposit in order to reserve a place in line. The company placed the tiles at a $42 per square foot price point for installation which makes them more costly as compared to slate that is about $17 per square foot.

Though, the homes may only need between 30 to 40 percent roof tiling and the rest would be for non solar tiles, which are cheaper, and blend with the solar ones. According to Tesla, the average homeowner would expect to pay $21.85 per square foot for a Tesla solar roof. Over the course of time, the roof would pay for itself due to the savings in electricity.

The calculator maintains that a typical 1700 square foot roof in Southern California with half the roof covered in ‘active’ solar roof tiling would mean $34,000 to the customer after federal tax cuts. According to Tesla, the same roof would be able to generate $76,700 of electricity over the course of 30 years.

Aesthetics of the Solar Roof

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, was quick to market his product claiming one of the disadvantages that came with home solar installations in the past has been the panels themselves. He did have a point considering they are shiny and a bit awkward in the residential scenario, but these are different, allegedly.

The company claimed buyers would want to buy this roof because it looked better than a normal roof. Musk added, “When you have this installed on your house, you’ll have the best roof in the neighborhood.”

The roof is guaranteed for the life of the home which happens to be longer than the average 20 year life cycle for the usual roof that is not solar. Apparently, it has also gone through the same fire, hail and hail testing that normal roofs go through.

[See More: Eco-Evangelist Elon Musk and The SolcarCity Solution]