At the moment, solar power is one of the few reliable options for sustainable energy in the world. Elon Musk, maker of Tesla, has developed an amazing product to help the average person tap into this extraordinary energy.
When it comes to renewable energy, Mr. Musk is at the forefront of design and technology. His mission is to make the world a more environmentally friendly place. Ideally, he’d like the average person to produce less waste, make less of an impact on the planet, and be self-sufficient.
Musk has just recently created a stir in the roofing industry by creating solar powered roofing tiles. Why are people so excited about Tesla’s solar roof? Part of it is his track record of making amazing products but part of it is that Musk has said that the solar tiles will be lighter and stronger than regular roof tiles.
From a roofing company’s perspective, Tesla’s solar roofs are very exciting concept and we welcome this new technology. If Elon Musk’s solar roof tiles are the way of the future, we at Arbutus Roofing want to be able to install them for you. However, unfortunately this technology isn’t available in Canada yet and there is no work as to when they will be.
These roofing tiles will be created under SolarCity Corporation which is a subsidiary of Tesla, Inc. that specializes in solar energy services and is headquartered in San Mateo, California.
How Affordable Will These Solar Shingles Be?
This is really the million dollar question. SolarCity representatives are saying that their solar roofs are going to be priced to cost less than an equivalent roof type when utility bill savings are factored in. But the types of roofing materials they’ve shown are mostly high-end materials like slate, terra cotta, and Tuscan clay. Those are on the higher end of the budget when you’re getting your roof redone.
This means if you have the extra money upfront, these solar roof tiles would be a good choice! But most residential roofing customers don’t want to spring for the extra cost and want to keep things affordable. They’re looking at usual asphalt shingles, which make up about 90% of the homes we do.
When we compare SolarCity’s panels to traditional solar panels, the solar roof is slightly more expensive. Traditional solar panels provide energy at a rate that averages around $3.25 per watt. Tesla’s roof produces energy at a rate that hovers around $4.75 per watt－46 percent higher than the average.
In other words, the total cost of both replacing your roof and installing regular solar panels could range anywhere from $29,000 at the low end up to $65,000 at the high end. Compare this to the average cost of $11,000 for a traditional asphalt roof and you’re looking at a significant investment. This price tag makes Tesla’s solar roof one of the most expensive roofing and solar options on the market.
Of course, like all solar energy systems, these added costs will be offset by the savings you’ll see on your electric bill. Rebates, tax credits, and other financial incentives will further drive down the real cost of Tesla’s solar roof. But is it worth it? While the price tag will probably come down over time, only you can decide if it’s worth the investment.
What Is the Benefit of Tesla’s Solar Roof Compared To Traditional Solar Panels?
Conventional solar panels have been around for over 40 years. They’re a familiar, time-tested technology with a reliable track record. In fact, the first solar shingle was patented in the 1970s, and they’ve been commercially available since 2005.
If that’s the case, then why are people so excited about Tesla’s solar roof? Musk has said that the solar tiles will be lighter and stronger than regular roof tiles. The tiles also come with two generous warranties, one that covers the physical durability of the tiles for the lifetime of the house and a second that covers the solar functionality of the tiles for 30 years. That’s five years more than the standard 25-year warranty on solar panels.
Moreover, some people consider standard solar panels ugly, and may gravitate towards Tesla’s solar tiles as an aesthetically pleasing alternative.
Unfortunately, however, the same tinting that makes the tiles so attractive also reduces their efficiency, as less light can penetrate the tile and reach the solar cell within. Tile efficiency will also likely be hurt by the fact that the tiles are flush with the roof. Standard solar panels, by contrast, are typically installed with a gap beneath them that allows for air cooling. The solar shingles are likely to reach much higher temperatures, further reducing their efficiency.
While Tesla hasn’t explained exactly how the installation process works, solar shingles are typically easier to install than solar panels. Based on prior examples of similar technology, installation will probably be performed primarily by roofers. That’s why Tesla hired at least 50 additional roofers last year. An electrician will still be required to connect the tiles to an inverter and the grid.
While we don’t have all the answers to Elon Musk’s solar roofs, we can do the best to answer your questions if you want to reach out to us. However, since we are the roofing experts, we can answer any other questions you might have about other types of roofing. Or if would like a free estimate, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll be happy to take a look.