Tesla Photo voltaic Roof Evaluate: A Glossy Have a look at a Stiff Worth – CNET



Tesla Photo voltaic Roof


  • Strong wattage per sq. foot

  • Robust warranties

  • Glossy and discreet

Do not like

  • Actually costly

  • Decrease wind score than different photo voltaic roof choices

  • Cannot be angled

  • Customer support considerations

Tesla is finest recognized for its electrical automobiles however has additionally change into one of many largest photo voltaic panel installers within the US. Nonetheless, one among Tesla’s latest photo voltaic improvements, the Tesla Photo voltaic Roof gives an alternate method to get photo voltaic in your roof, by making photo voltaic a part of your roof. Whereas it does not fairly appear like an everyday roof, Tesla’s Photo voltaic Roof is certainly extra discreet than conventional rooftop photo voltaic panels

If you happen to’re bothered by the look of photo voltaic panels in your roof (and are changing your roof anyway), the Photo voltaic Roof is an answer. But it surely comes with an enormous price ticket. You will get the identical solar energy manufacturing for a lot much less cash, even once you think about the price of a brand new roof. 

Tesla now not runs a press workplace, so the knowledge beneath is proscribed to what’s publicly accessible on-line. Tesla didn’t reply to requests for remark despatched to its still-listed press e-mail. And whereas we researched Tesla’s Photo voltaic Roof to the most effective of our capacity, we didn’t check it in any hands-on or empirical approach. Photo voltaic merchandise are troublesome to evaluation within the conventional sense. At any time when doable, get a number of quotes from a number of installers, together with these native to your space.

Can photo voltaic panels prevent cash?

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What do I get from a Tesla Photo voltaic Roof?

Tesla pitches the Photo voltaic Roof as a breakthrough of know-how and design. And whereas it isn’t the primary time somebody has included solar energy right into a constructing’s design, the Photo voltaic Roof is without doubt one of the highest-profile situations. It is also one of many higher photo voltaic roof merchandise we have checked out. 

A photo voltaic roof is basically a roof made up of mini photo voltaic panels that look and performance like conventional roof shingles. So once you order a Tesla Photo voltaic Roof, you do not get common photo voltaic panels to place in your roof, you are getting a brand new roof made from common and photovoltaic shingles. Not each shingle in your roof goes to be a “photo voltaic shingle” — it’s going to be a mixture of photo voltaic and common shingles. The result’s a masking that powers your own home and retains you dry all whereas trying like a traditional roof to the common passerby.

However this implies scrapping your present roof. Whereas Tesla has just lately mentioned it can set up Photo voltaic Roofs on prime of newer, single-layer roofs of some designs, most roofs should be changed to put in the Tesla Photo voltaic Roof. Tesla additionally requires the set up of at the least one Tesla Powerwall battery with the Photo voltaic Roof. 

Tesla Photo voltaic Roof specs

Class Description
Wattage per shingle 71.67 W
Wattage per sq. foot 15.3 W
Wind score 110 mph
Hail score Class 3
Effectivity Not specified


Your Tesla Photo voltaic Roof is nicely lined by three warranties. You will get a 25-year product guarantee, a 25-year weatherization guarantee and a 25-year efficiency guarantee. Of the few photo voltaic shingle producers in the marketplace, Tesla gives the most effective photo voltaic shingle warranties. No different photo voltaic roof firm we have discovered gives a 25-year weatherization guarantee. And whereas different firms supply 25-year efficiency warranties, we discovered Tesla’s to be a bit stronger.

Guarantee particulars

Class Years lined Description
Product guarantee 25 Protects towards producer defects in design and/or materials.
Weatherization guarantee 25 Protects towards injury from wind and rain.
Efficiency guarantee 25 Tesla ensures that your Photo voltaic Roof’s efficiency will not fall to lower than 95% in 5 years and will not lower greater than 0.5% per yr for the next 20 years.


Each particular person photo voltaic shingle comes with a wattage score, exhibiting how a lot energy every photo voltaic shingle can output below supreme situations. The wattage of your photo voltaic roof determines how a lot energy your roof will be capable of generate. Certainly one of Tesla’s photo voltaic shingles is 71.67 watts, which is not too dangerous compared to different photo voltaic shingle merchandise accessible. 

However what it is best to actually take note of is its wattage per sq. foot, which is a measure of how a lot energy you’ll generate inside a certain quantity of house. The upper a shingle’s wattage per sq. foot, the much less roof house is required to fulfill your energy wants. And also you would possibly avoid wasting cash since you may be putting in fewer shingles. 

Tesla’s photo voltaic shingles generate about 15.3 watts per sq. foot — not the most effective, however definitely not the worst.     

Wind score 

Each model of photo voltaic shingle comes with a wind score, telling you what wind speeds your photo voltaic roof will be capable of stand up to. The Tesla Photo voltaic Roof can stand up to wind speeds of as much as 110 mph. That is decrease than what different photo voltaic roof producers supply. The commonest photo voltaic shingle wind score we discovered is 130 mph, with the very best we discovered being 200 mph. 

Whereas Tesla’s wind score is decrease than competing manufacturers, we nonetheless would not essentially name it dangerous. However if you happen to stay someplace vulnerable to excessive climate, a photo voltaic roof with a better wind score may be a greater possibility. 

Tesla Powerwall

If you happen to determine to put in the Tesla Photo voltaic Roof, you may additionally need to buy at the least one among Tesla’s Powerwall batteries. Tesla has three Powerwall batteries: the Powerwall 2, Powerwall Plus and Powerwall 3, which was solely just lately introduced and will not be accessible till 2024. 

At present, you will get the Powerwall 2 and Powerwall Plus fashions. The Tesla Powerwall 2 is a battery, whereas the Powerwall Plus is a battery with an built-in photo voltaic inverter. By way of specs, they’re comparable. The principle distinction is that the Powerwall Plus has a a lot increased backup (off-grid) energy output. Each batteries can maintain as much as 13.5 kWh of power storage and are lined below the identical unlimited-cycle guarantee.

Tesla Powerwall specs

Class Tesla Powerwall 2 Tesla Powerwall Plus
Capability 13.5 kWh 13.5 kWh
What number of can I stack? As much as 10 items As much as 10 items
Spherical-trip effectivity 90% 90%
Depth of discharge 100% 100%
Steady energy output (on-grid) 5 kW 5 kW
Steady energy output (off-grid) NA 7 kW – 9.6 kW
AC- or DC-coupled? AC DC
Worth $9,000 – $14,000 NA

How a lot does a Tesla Photo voltaic Roof price?

In comparison with different photo voltaic panel installations, a Photo voltaic Roof will probably be pricier. The worth could also be roughly justifiable relying on the situation of your present roof. If you happen to’re due for a brand new roof, you may be writing a big verify for that anyway.

In case your objective is to generate photo voltaic for the least amount of cash doable, a Photo voltaic Roof is not for you. Tesla’s on-line estimate for a home in Dallas provided 12.46 kilowatts of photo voltaic era and a Powerwall battery for $168,400. Tesla estimates 12 kilowatts of normal photo voltaic panels and a Powerwall on the identical location will price $26,966.

One other issue that might alter the value of your system is the complexity of your roof. Steep pitches, a number of ranges and lots of obstructions might drive up the associated fee.

That Photo voltaic Roof estimate breaks right down to $176,600 for the photo voltaic a part of the roof and $29,600 for tearing off the previous roof. (This home does have a big, 8,313-square-foot roof.) Optionally available Powerwalls are $10,500 every. The ultimate worth contains receiving $48,800 again from the federal authorities in tax credit. With out batteries, the system prices a whopping $12.87 per watt. This may be a operate of roof measurement. Different estimates returned a lot decrease prices. 

OGI Tesla Solar Roof OGI Tesla Solar Roof


A Photo voltaic Roof with out batteries in Illinois had an estimated price of $5.72 to $6.54 per watt relying on roof complexity. One other estimate from Texas ranged from $6.05 to $6.77 per watt. All of those are increased than the common price of residential photo voltaic within the US in 2021, as reported by consulting agency Wooden Mackenzie: $3 per watt for an 8-kilowatt system.

Roof measurement does considerably have an effect on the general price of a system. A small roof (1,594 sq. toes) in Illinois might price round $54,000 to $58,148 after the federal tax credit score, Tesla estimates. That is $3.78 to $4.05 per watt, a lot nearer to the price of photo voltaic panels, although nonetheless costlier. (Tesla photo voltaic panels there would price $2.54 per watt after the federal tax credit score.)

Tesla recommends common upkeep by an expert, although the main points of that advice aren’t clear.

In December 2021, it was reported that the Securities and Change Fee was investigating a whistleblower criticism that alleged Tesla wasn’t sincere in its efforts to interchange photo voltaic panels susceptible to catching hearth. Whereas it did change them, it did not supply to close off at-risk techniques or present upfront reasoning to shareholders or prospects, the criticism mentioned. In response to an April request for remark, the SEC declined to remark and Tesla, which doesn’t function a press workplace, didn’t reply.

Does Tesla function in my state? How do I order?

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Zooey Liao / CNET

The easiest way to search out out if you happen to’re in Tesla’s service space is to go to the corporate’s website to enter your tackle for an estimate. Tesla reportedly has expanded its service space for the Photo voltaic Roof to your entire US, although some addresses nonetheless say they’re unavailable once you request an estimate. Tesla is certainly increasing, nonetheless, by way of the usage of third-party contractors. In some areas, Tesla will refer you to the web site or contact info of a licensed installer as a substitute of supplying you with an estimate.

To order by way of Tesla, create an account on-line. Tesla then makes use of satellite tv for pc imagery of your roof to design a system and worth estimate, which will probably be finalized when an Tesla agent visits your private home to substantiate the roof complexity, measurement and some different particulars.

After you and Tesla agree on a design, it can pull permits and put you on the schedule to put in. Tesla reportedly has some in-house groups, even whereas bringing on extra third-party installers.

Is Tesla’s Photo voltaic Roof deal?

As with each main buy, it is essential to buy round. That is very true of photo voltaic techniques, the place an area supplier would possibly beat nationwide photo voltaic firms, which regularly have increased overhead prices. Tesla has made its photo voltaic panel installations cheaper, although the Photo voltaic Roof does not have any one-to-one comparisons.

If you happen to hate the look of photo voltaic panels or love the look of the Photo voltaic Roof, it may be the best selection for you. You’ll have to pay a premium, although how a lot is dependent upon the situation and format of your roof. Whereas the Photo voltaic Roof is an thrilling product, it is not sensible for most individuals. With a Photo voltaic Roof, you may get high quality gear backed by robust warranties, however one other firm could supply a better selection amongst panels, batteries and inverters (together with a few of those who Tesla gives) at a a lot lower cost. And, there are on-line considerations about Tesla’s customer support (extra on that beneath).

Different firms have rolled out their very own photo voltaic shingle merchandise, notably GAF Power, earlier this yr. Whereas GAF costs aren’t public, in January a spokesperson mentioned the associated fee can be about half of Tesla’s Photo voltaic Roof. Extra just lately GAF mentioned a brand new roof with photo voltaic shingles will price about the identical as a brand new roof and photo voltaic panels. Its photo voltaic shingles look much less like an everyday roof than Tesla’s, nonetheless.

Tesla’s photo voltaic panel facet of its power enterprise has a status on-line for poor buyer service. There are no dependable, public sources of customer support for the photo voltaic trade at this level, nonetheless. On-line testimonials present that Tesla’s photo voltaic panel customer support was dangerous sufficient to make some folks remorse their selection, although others have been joyful to economize on Tesla’s low-cost panel installations and put up with the service. If customer support for Photo voltaic Roofs is equally dangerous, it is even more durable to just accept the associated fee. As a result of there are fewer Photo voltaic Roof prospects, it is laborious to get any sort of learn on how customer support would possibly differ.

There may be the possibility that, as Tesla tries to extend installations of Photo voltaic Roofs whereas its share of the photo voltaic panel market shrinks, it values customer support extra for Photo voltaic Roof prospects (although that is all hypothesis).

Tesla solar shingles up close Tesla solar shingles up close


Tesla Photo voltaic critiques: What are prospects saying?

Studying on-line buyer critiques gives an excellent beginning place when making an attempt to gauge which firm has higher service. And whereas these critiques should not be taken as gospel, they may give you a good suggestion in regards to the sort of buyer expertise you would possibly obtain. In Tesla’s case, it’s kind of of a blended bag. 

We have pulled a small pattern of constructive and unfavourable critiques from Tesla Photo voltaic’s Higher Enterprise Bureau and Trustpilot pages. These critiques have been frivolously edited for spelling and grammar. 

5 star critiques

“My complete expertise with Tesla Power Photo voltaic was seamless. I truthfully give all that credit score to [the salesperson]. He was very affected person with all my questions. He walked me by way of each single step and adopted by way of on all components. I obtained a number of quotes from different firms and was ignored by others. I might surely suggest Tesla Photo voltaic Power and [the salesperson]!” Rosa G. February 22, 2023

“A neighbor referred me to this agency as I had no thought the place to start out. Being retired, I used to be involved about saving cash within the now. The system that was constructed for me was in a position to save me 50% on my month-to-month electrical energy prices. Each greenback counts at my age, so I’m very happy to just accept these financial savings.” Amirat N. August 8, 2022 

1 star critiques

“We love Tesla automobiles and the philosophy. We made a HUGE mistake in extending that belief to the photo voltaic power unit. It has been the only worst buyer expertise we have had in fifty years. Purchase the automobiles. No matter you do, do not order their photo voltaic system or you’ll go months and months awaiting the smallest inevitable restore.” Owen W. August 10, 2023

“The one factor worse than Tesla service facilities is the service you get from Tesla Power. Tesla instructed us our system would take three days to put in. After not exhibiting up for 15 to twenty appointments, the system took 35 days to put in. The system by no means labored the way in which it ought to. It’s underproducing massively in comparison with what Tesla mentioned it could. Tesla does not monitor the system a lot in any respect. They put in inverters that have been already so old-fashioned that they wanted to improve motherboards after the set up. Certainly one of my inverters stopped working later, and it takes a month or extra to get Tesla to point out as much as repair the problem.” Adam July 4, 2023

How we evaluated the most effective photo voltaic shingles

CNET has not carried out any type of hands-on testing with these merchandise. Photo voltaic shingles are a part of a posh PV system that is built-in into the roof of a home or construction. This makes hand-on testing troublesome. As an alternative, we took the commonest photo voltaic shingle manufacturers in the marketplace, and made comparisons between them to search out the best choice. It is also essential to notice the restricted availability of photo voltaic roof merchandise, making selections for this listing restricted as nicely. This is how we scored the most effective photo voltaic shingles. 

First, we decided what classes we might use to judge every photo voltaic shingle. Every class was given a weight reflecting how essential we felt it was to the common client. After inspecting information supplied by producers and talking with material specialists (who didn’t affect the alternatives that have been made for this listing), these have been the classes we selected to judge every photo voltaic shingle model on.

  • Product guarantee: 20%
  • Wind and weatherization guarantee: 15%
  • Energy output and efficiency guarantee: 20%
  • Wind score: 10%
  • Shingle effectivity: 15%
  • Shingle wattage per sq. foot: 20%  

We checked out 5 of the preferred photo voltaic shingle suppliers in the marketplace, collected the info for every class and in contrast the numbers. Every class (for each photo voltaic shingle) was given a tier-style score to judge which elements of every photo voltaic shingle have been above common (amongst our listing), simply common or beneath common.

Ceaselessly requested questions

How lengthy does a Tesla Photo voltaic Roof final?

The longevity of your photo voltaic roof is dependent upon the producer and the installer. Most photo voltaic roofs are designed to final between 20 and 30 years, which is comparable with conventional photo voltaic panels. Your photo voltaic shingle guarantee may provide you with an thought of how lengthy it can final. In case your photo voltaic roof is warranted for at the least 25 years, that is signal. The Tesla Photo voltaic Roof is warranted for 25 years.

Can the Tesla Photo voltaic Roof trigger leaks?

In case your photo voltaic roof is just not put in correctly, then sure, it will possibly leak and trigger water injury. You will wish to choose an installer that has a confirmed monitor file of putting in Tesla Photo voltaic Roofs on the kind of roof you could have. If the job is finished proper the primary time, leakage will not be an issue. 

Tesla’s Photo voltaic Roof features a 25-year product guarantee towards producer defects and a 25-year weatherization guarantee, masking injury from wind and water. So if you happen to do expertise roof leaks, there is a chance that will probably be lined below guarantee.

Does Tesla use subcontractors?

Sure, Tesla makes use of a community of Tesla-certified subcontractors to put in its photo voltaic merchandise.

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