Our team has researched and reviewed the Tesla Solar Shingles Cost and tesla solar panels price to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying solar roof tiles for outdoor use
Tesla Solar Shingles Cost
The price is currently $21.85 per square foot, compared to the $5 per square foot for a typical roof. This is very expensive. Then again, a typical roof doesn’t produce solar energy.
We can get an estimate of the total cost of a Tesla solar panel roof by using the cost estimator on the Tesla website. I entered details for a 2,000 sq ft home in Long Beach, CA with an electric bill of $150 per month. The estimate also assumes 40% of the roof is solar tiles while the other 60% are regular roof tiles. (The solar tiles, which generate the solar energy, are naturally more expensive).
Tesla’s estimate says your solar roof will cost $46,800 before incentives. Since only the solar producing tiles are covered by the federal solar tax credit, only $7,300 is taken off the total price (instead of the full credit). The $42,300 at the bottom of the picture above is the total amount you’ll save over 30 years after repaying the cost of the roof. By comparison, a conventional solar panel system can save you nearly $100,000 over the same time period.
Note, that the price of your solar roof installation could be different depending on the time of reading. Tesla’s estimate also doesn’t factor in potential permitting costs.
What roofing materials are used in Tesla’s solar roof?
They’re made of textured glass tiles designed to appear much like terracotta, asphalt or wooden roof tiles. Beneath these layers of glass are the crystalline silicon solar cells used to generate solar energy.
Image source: Tesla
You can elect to have untextured glass as shown in the bottom right frame, they just look a little more like solar cells.
Are the Tesla solar roof tiles worth it?
Honestly, Tesla’s solar shingles make little economic sense compared to the returns of a regular solar system.
It’s cheaper to buy a regular solar system and have a new roof installed separately. To eliminate a $150 power bill you’d need a roughly 5.35kW solar system which after the federal solar tax credit is only $12,600. If you also need a new roof you can get asphalt shingles installed for about $5/sq ft or $10,000 for the whole roof. The final price of your roof and the solar system is $22,600 which is still $16,900 cheaper than the Tesla solar roof!
If you really have your heart set on a solar roof, do so more for their aesthetics rather than for financial reasons. The Tesla solar roof isn’t a bad investment per se, it’ll just take 5-6 years longer to pay for itself.
How much does a normal solar system cost?
Depending on location, incentives, and your power bill the cost of your solar system can vary substantially. In most cases, you should be able to get a fully installed solar system for $3.00 – $3.50 per watt, this means an average 6kW residential solar system will cost between $18,000 and $21,000 before incentives.
For a free estimate on the cost of your solar system with local incentives, enter your zip code below.
Request obligation-free quotes from solar installers near you!
Does Tesla sell regular solar panels?
SolarCity (Tesla’s biggest subsidiary) sell Tesla solar panels but they’re actually made by Panasonic at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York.
Are solar panel shingles covered by the federal solar tax credit?
Yes, but only the shingles that produce solar power. In the estimate shown above, the solar tax credit is only for $7,300, far less than 26% of the total solar roof cost.
Do I need a Tesla Powerwall with my solar roof system?
The Tesla Powerwall isn’t a great financial investment either, not while net metering exists. Since net metering stores the value of your excess solar energy without the large upfront investment, in most states batteries won’t save you much money.
Is the Tesla solar roof the best solar roofing product?
In terms of a ‘roof-like’ appearance then absolutely, they are the best product around. Unfortunately, they’re expensive.
A more cost-competitive option is the RGS Powerhouse developed by Dow Chemicals. Their solar shingles cost an estimated $4.15/watt compared to Tesla’s $8.00/watt. The real difference is how well their shingles blend in, you can compare their differences below.
The Powerhouse’s strongest sell point is that it’s cheaper than buying a whole new roof and a conventional solar system.