Tesla Solar Roofs Releases Pricing and You’re Going to Be Amazed

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Tesla Solar Roof
All photos courtesy of Tesla

If you’ve assumed Tesla Solar roofs would be priced sky high, prepare to be amazed.

The company opened up ordering last week and they priced, on average, at $21.85 per square foot. That’s less than the cost of a regular roof, taking into consideration the energy savings over a 30-year period.

These roofs aren’t 100 percent solar tiles — they’re a mix of non-active tiles and active solar tiles, depending on the energy needs of a house. Non-active tiles cost $11 per square foot; active solar tiles cost $42 per square foot. So for a house needing 35 percent solar panels, the cost works out to $21.85 per square foot. There are lots of variables in determining the percentage of active tiles, of course, like the location of the home and shape and height of the roof.

To put this in perspective, Consumer Reports estimated that a solar roof needs to be $24.50 per square foot to be competitive with other kinds of roofing materials.

Tesla Solar Roof

tesla solar roof

You can calculate your home’s exact energy needs using the Tesla energy calculator. This looks at the 30-year production of energy of a solar roof, the flat cost to purchase the roof, estimated tax credit, and adjusted cost based on the cost of electricity.

That tax credit, by the way, is a 30-percent Solar Investment Tax Credit, which applies to the cost of the solar tiles and associated solar energy equipment, as well as the cost of the Powerwall batteries. The Powerwall battery costs $7,000 and stores energy from the solar roof for use on cloudy days or during nighttime.

The Tesla solar roof is made from tempered glass over a photovoltaic substrate. The company says the tiles are three times stronger than things like slate or asphalt tiles. They’re also half the weight of other roofing materials. They are currently available in a gray smooth or black textured material. Next year, Tuscan and slate-look tiles will become available.

What about a warranty? Tesla glass solar tiles are warrantied for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.

Installations will start in June, beginning with California and rolling out to additional markets over time. Tesla will do the installations themselves.


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Leah Shafer

Leah Shafer is a content and social media specialist, as well as a Dallas native, who lives in Richardson with her family. In her sixth-grade yearbook, Leah listed "interior designer" as her future profession. Now she writes about them, as well as all things real estate, for CandysDirt.com.

Reader Interactions


  1. CRITIC says

    Will TESLA replace the tiles after a hail storm?
    If the TESLA tiles survive Texas hail storms our homeowners insurance rates should be adjusted lower

    • Rebecca says

      A hail-resistant roof that’s warrantied forever AND generates electricity? More expensive in the short term, but much less so in the long run.

  2. Jon Anderson says

    Tesla’s calculations so far are for houses that install a roof that meets the individual home’s electricity requirements. However, the payback changes if you install a 100% solar roof and are able to sell excess electricity back to the utility (quite common). This would make it a more cost-competitive solution faster (considering most of us won’t stay in the same home for the total life of the roof). The quicker payback might make it cost-competitive with asphalt during the average residency in a home.
    Finally, the only constant in technology is that it gets cheaper. This is just the first salvo.

  3. Cody Farris says

    OK, so for a 3,000 square foot single story home, with a 400-square foot two-car garage, and 200 square feet of covered patio, the roof is an prepare-to-be-surprised-low $78,660. Huh? I understand it’s going to be a slow payback, and as Jon said, this is the first salvo – but this has got to come down. If you save $200 per month on your energy bill, you’ll get your money back in about 33 years. If you save $300 monthly, it would ‘only’ take 22 years. WOW. I remember reading somewhere that solar panels (though unsightly) pay for themselves after about 8 years. Glad to see this long-awaited product finally becoming available, but for now, this is out of reach for most.

    • Jon Anderson says

      If I might build on your example…
      The question is whether a 3,000 sft home needs 100% coverage (3,600 sft) for it’s own electricity needs. If at 100% coverage ($78,660) the home saves $300/month for the homeowner and sells $300/month back to the utility, the payback drops from 22 years to 11. Still a little longer than the average person lives in a home these days, but I think the economics would also garner a seller a higher price.
      Also, we’re all thinking about asphalt roofs. In the table, the Tesla roof is already said to be cheaper than tile, slate and metal roofs. Like most technologies, it will gain foothold in the luxury market before percolating downward as prices drop.

      • The_Overdog says

        A regular shingle roof plus solar installation for a house that size would be around $60,000, and the roof would wear out in less than 30 years. It needs to come down some, but not that much comparatively.

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