Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled his innovative roof tiles that incorporate solar panels back in 2016. The roofing system was a part of his broader plan to create a more sustainable planet. He called the Tesla solar roof beautiful and environmentally beneficial, but he also said they’d be less expensive than adding solar panels to a traditional roof.
Fast forward to 2023. Tesla solar roofs are still out there, but they aren’t as widely used as Musk might have imagined. Now, after making some changes over the years, they’re gaining in popularity. But even though there are some decent pros for installing a Tesla roof on your new custom home (or adding one to your existing home), there are still some cons to consider, too.
Below, we break down the three main pros and cons for the Tesla solar roof.
Tesla solar roofs: The pros
Solar panels, while an excellent addition to a home for energy efficiency and greener living, are easy to spot, which is arguably one of their biggest cons. The Tesla solar roof, on the other hand, was designed to look like a roof crafted from traditional materials. Additionally, Tesla offers various design styles, including Tuscan, textured, smooth glass and slate, which can complement a variety of homes.
These are roofs that can stand the test of time and whatever weather comes their way. In fact, in a test conducted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Tesla roofs ranked high for their ability to resist hail and received high marks for wind and fire resistance as well.
A lifetime warranty
While most traditional roofs come with a 25-year warranty, Tesla offers a 30-year warranty on the solar roof that covers power, water and weather damage. The company also offers a lifetime warranty that covers damage to the glass within the tile. So, if a glass panel breaks after the 30-year warranty is up, it will still be covered.
This is a big difference from most other solar power company warranties that usually offer a 10-year workman warranty. After 10 years, you’d likely have to cover any product defects on your own. Since the Tesla solar roof is a newer product, this lifetime warranty just might convince homeowners on the fence to choose Tesla’s solar roof over others.
Learn more at Tesla’s website: https://www.tesla.com/solarpanels
Tesla solar roofs: The cons
High initial cost
Perhaps the biggest drawback to the Tesla solar roof is the steep upfront cost. On average, it costs around $70,000 to install the roof on a 3,000 square foot home. Most solar panels, on the other hand, cost about a third of the price to install.
The reason for the high price has to do, primarily, with the fact that you’re installing an entirely new roof on your home; and one that’s markedly more expensive than a traditional roof – even one with solar panels. Of course, if you’re building a new home, the costs might be slightly less to install, as you won’t have to add the cost of taking off the former roof.
Just how much money will you save after adding a Tesla solar roof to your home? Perhaps not as much as you might think. While homeowners can get back a significant percentage of the installation costs thanks to tax credits, your yearly energy savings would likely be less. On average, it takes homeowners about 30 years to recoup the entire cost of the Tesla roof.
Low energy efficiency
Tesla solar roofs are about 18% energy efficient, which is about the same as traditional solar panels. And so far, Tesla has not released performance specifics, so it’s difficult to know just how efficient the tiles truly are.
Another potential issue with efficiency comes with the fact that the shingles sit flush to the roof, unlike traditional solar panels that can be angled to capture as much solar as possible. Many roof and solar energy experts believe that most homeowners will require a large shingle system on their roof to cover energy cost, which also means more costs upfront for the installation.
Bottom line: If you’re ready and willing to take a chance on one of the most innovative roofing systems available today, the Tesla solar roof might be a good investment. But if you’re looking for tried and true energy efficiency, you might want to stick with solar panels.
With money you save you could buy a new, electric car.
Interested in the pros and cons for other types of roofs or anything else related to custom homes and home design? Let the team at Classic Living Homes know. We’ll share what we know here – for you and for others who might find the information helpful.