Tesla’s New Solar Roof


Tesla, Inc. started taking $1,000 deposits for its new solar roof tiles back in May and will begin installing roofs in California any day now. So, what do you need to know about their new technology, and what does it mean for us here on the Peninsula? Read on to find out.


Currently two of the four roofing styles are in production, including smooth and textured glass tiles which are aesthetically pleasing and immensely more attractive than traditional solar panels on a roof. After all, that is one of the key selling-points for Tesla’s roof—form and function together in one package. The roof is intended to look like a regular roof and perform the same functions, but better. Testing has shown it is more durable and will outlast a traditional roof; it is guaranteed to last longer than the life of your home, while the solar cells’ production of power is warrantied for 30 years. Conversely, most other roofs last 15-40 years and only offer 10-year warranties.


The cost was a strong focus for Tesla and, with its current pricing, is set to appeal to the mass market. According to the Tesla calculator on their website, a roof and Powerwall battery on a two-story house of 2,000 square feet will cost $41,300, minus the $10,200 tax credit, leaving a net total of $31,100. While significantly more expensive than a traditional roof, $31,100 is quite a bit cheaper than a regular solar-panel roof with back-up batteries. Furthermore, the accuracy of the calculator has been verified by a third party, Consumer Reports, validating Tesla’s claims.

More important than the cost of the roof is the amount of savings from energy generated by the roof. According to the same calculator on Tesla’s website, the Tesla roof will generate $49,100 worth of energy over the course of 30 years, off-setting the cost of the roof and resulting in a net gain of $18,000, which is simply amazing. If you decided to add the cost of the roof into your mortgage, you would be able to write off the additional interest paid and generate the equivalent energy value of $136 a month. The total cost of including a Tesla roof into a mortgage would result in a net monthly gain of $2. This is quite a feat in pricing and beats the cost expectations predicted earlier by analysts and tech enthusiasts.


Production has begun at Tesla’s Fremont solar plant in California, but is set to move to Tesla’s new factory in Buffalo, New York, at some point in the future. Initial sales will be limited by manufacturing capacity as Tesla increases its production volume over time. Installation time is expected to take around five to seven days—similar installation timing for a regular tile roof.

My Take

Here at DeLeon Realty, we pride ourselves with being at the cutting edge in everything we do, especially existing amidst Silicon Valley’s thriving innovations. The Tesla roof makes so much sense that it would be silly not to give it strong consideration if your roof needs replacing, or if you are building a home from the ground up. However, as with any new technology, there will be some bugs that will eventually get figured out because nothing is perfect the first time around (think how far we have come since the first iPhone).

Tesla is a solid and growing company whose acquisition of SolarCity Corp. last year means they will have a powerful amount of carry-over expertise, which should mitigate some of the risk with the new roof. I believe that Tesla will stand behind their product, and the risk is well worth the potential benefits in the long term.

Please feel free to give us a call with any questions; our team members are happy to talk to any of our clients about what roof will work best for your situation.

Images Source: Tesla Press Kit