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The True Cost of the Tesla Solar Roof: Pricing, Benefits, and Savings (2024)

Find out how much solar costs to install on your roof

Tesla’s solar roof allows homeowners to enjoy solar without having to change the aesthetic of their home. Image courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

A typical Tesla Solar Roof costs upwards of $100,000, depending on the size and complexity of your roof and how much solar power you need. 

If that price looks expensive, it’s because it is. The Tesla Solar Roof requires a complete roof replacement to ensure the solar shingles don’t stand out on your home, contributing to the high price. Even so, getting conventional solar panels and a roof replacement would be substantially cheaper than a Tesla Solar Roof system. 

Because of the Solar Roof’s premium price tag and design, a Tesla roof isn’t a practical choice for most homeowners, and it serves as a luxury choice for homeowners who value aesthetics and Tesla’s branding.

Find out how much rooftop solar panels cost for your home

Key takeaways

  • The Tesla Solar Roof integrates solar panels into regular roof shingles, so homeowners can generate solar power on their roofs without worrying about solar panels changing the look of their homes.

  • An average-sized Tesla Solar Roof will cost a total of $99,500 before incentives are applied.

  • Tesla charges about $15 per watt of solar installed or $63 per square foot of roof space for the Solar Roof, but the actual price depends on your roof characteristics, how much solar is installed, and if you purchase directly from Tesla or through a local installer.

  • A typical Tesla Solar Roof will save about $35,600 over its lifetime, but actual savings will vary based on the size of the system. 

  • Compared to a traditional solar panel and roof installation, the Tesla Solar Roof is substantially more expensive and won’t provide as much savings, but it looks great. 

  • The Tesla Solar Roof is not the best solution for most homeowners looking to go solar; instead, it is best suited for those looking for a luxury roof. 


How much does a Tesla Solar Roof cost?

An average-sized Tesla Solar Roof will cost a total of $99,500 before incentives are applied; this works out to about $15 per watt of solar installed or $63 per square foot of roof space

Remember, the Tesla Solar Roof acts as a solar installation and a roof replacement, so these costs include installing a new roof and tearing off the existing roof. 

The total cost of a Tesla Solar Roof installation will vary considerably depending on the company that installs it, the size and complexity of your roof, and how much energy your home uses. 

The following table outlines cost estimates of different-sized Tesla Solar Roof systems:

Tesla Solar Roof size

Tesla Solar Roof cost*

4 kW

$64,000

6 kW

$96,000

8 kW

$128,000

10 kW

$160,000

12 kW

$192,000

14 kW

$224,000

*Based on averaged costs from Tesla’s website for different roof sizes and complexities

When purchased directly through Tesla, the Solar Roof has to be paired with at least one Tesla Powerwall battery. According to Tesla, adding a Tesla Powerwall costs $10,700 . When Tesla solar shingles are installed through a certified partner installer, the Powerwall is not required. 

Expert insights! Based on estimates provided on Tesla’s website in 2020, the total cost of a Tesla Solar Roof has increased by about 170% over the past four years, with significant increases happening around Q4 of 2023. Some of the price increases can be attributed to Tesla’s pivot away from direct installations and relying on third-party installers. Still, it seems Tesla may have underestimated the costs of material and labor for its shingles.

Calculate how much solar panels cost to install on your roof

Factors that impact Tesla Solar Roof prices

Much like with regular home solar panels, the cost of installing a Tesla Solar Roof system will depend on various factors unique to your home and energy needs. Here are some things that have the most significant impact on the cost of installing Tesla solar shingles: 

  • Energy usage: The amount of solar roof tiles that need to be installed depends on your home’s energy usage. Tesla charges different rates for the active solar shingles that generate electricity than the other roofing materials, meaning the amount of solar you need will impact your total installation price. 

  • Roof size: The size of your roof will have the largest impact on the cost of a Tesla solar shingle installation. Tesla’s solar roof requires a full roof replacement, so the bigger your roof, the higher the cost. 

  • Roof complexity: How complex your roof is dictates the design and labor required for a solar shingle project. If your home has multiple roof faces, many obstructions like skylights, chimneys, vents, or a steep roof pitch, it might require more labor or materials to install. Even the number of stories will change how much you’re charged for a Tesla Solar Roof!

  • Installer: Tesla has drastically reduced its direct service area for Solar Roofs. Most Tesla solar shingle installations are completed by Tesla-certified installer partners, who aren’t beholden to Tesla’s pricing model. Getting a Solar Roof installed directly from Tesla will be slightly cheaper than doing so through a local installer, but not by much.

  • Location: Where you live can affect the cost of a solar roof tile installation. For example, labor costs may be higher in one state than another, or permitting and inspection costs may differ. 

  • Incentives: Local solar incentives may offset some of your Tesla Solar Roof installation costs. However, it’s likely that only the costs associated with the solar portion of the installation are eligible, not all of the reroofing costs. 

The Tesla Solar Roof is eligible for the federal solar tax credit! The 30% federal solar tax credit can be applied to the costs related to the solar portion of a Tesla Solar Roof installation, providing thousands of dollars in savings. Based on estimates from Tesla, the tax credit can be applied to about 70% of Solar Roof installation costs, however, you should always consult with a tax professional.

Calculate how much a solar installation will cost for your home

Tesla Solar Roof vs. traditional solar panels

A Tesla Solar Roof installation costs about $15 per watt of solar installed, whereas traditional solar panels cost about $3.00 per watt. Let’s examine some differences between the Tesla Solar Roof and a conventional solar installation. 

Cost

A Tesla Solar Roof is almost five times more expensive than a standard solar panel installation, but the cost of Tesla’s roof does include a full roof replacement. So, to really compare the price, we need to see how much a Tesla Solar Roof costs to how much it costs to install solar panels and get a roof replacement. The following graph outlines the difference:

Graph comparing the $106,573 cost of a Tesla Solar Roof to the $40,260 cost of a traditional solar installation and roof replacement

An average-sized Tesla Solar Roof will cost about $106,000, while traditional solar panels and a roof replacement will cost just over $40,000.

Even when you consider the average cost of a roof replacement and a typical solar installation, the cost of a Tesla Solar Roof is still 90% higher. We even compared the reroofing price of premium copper roofing to try and match Tesla’s luxury steel shingles, and the Solar Roof still came out nearly $7,000 higher.

Find out what a solar installation would cost based on recent installations in your zip code

Performance

Solar shingles usually produce less energy than solar panels because they have to lay flat against the roof, meaning the shingles have to be installed at the same angle as your roof, which might not be ideal for generating electricity. 

Traditional solar panels, on the other hand, are mounted on racking systems so the panels can be positioned for maximum solar energy production. This also allows airflow beneath the panels to keep them cool and operating as efficiently as possible. 

The following table outlines the energy production for difference-sized Tesla solar roof systems vs. production estimates of solar panels:

System size

Est. annual Solar Roof energy production

Est. annual solar panel production

4.54 kW

4,850 kWh

5,836 kWh

6.62 kW

7,070 kWh

8,509 kWh

7.78 kW

8,310 kWh

10,000 kWh

8.64 kW

9,228 kWh

11,106 kWh

9.79 kW

10,456 kWh

12,584 kWh

11.88 kW

12,688 kWh

15,270 kWh

Each Tesla Solar Roof tile produces 72 watts and is about one-quarter the size of a traditional solar panel

Savings

An average-sized solar roof will provide about $90 in monthly electricity bill savings, or roughly $35,600 over the system's lifespan. However, actual Solar Roof savings will depend on where you live, how much energy the Solar Roof produces, utility net metering policies, and local electric rates. The same-sized solar panel system would give $106 in monthly solar savings.

Graph comparing long term electricity bill savings of the Tesla Solar Roof and solar panels

The high upfront costs of the Tesla Solar Roof make it unlikely that you will ever see a return on your investment. Based on Tesla’s pricing and production estimates, by the end of the Solar Roof’s 25-year lifetime, the system will have only generated enough electric bill savings to cover about one-third of its total cost. 

Solar panels generate enough electricity to pay for themselves after about 12 years, providing another decade of free energy.

Calculate how quickly solar panels on your roof would pay for themselves

Aesthetics

The one category where the Tesla Solar Roof has solar panels beat is looks. The Tesla Solar Roof is designed to look like a roof, and the difference between solar and non-solar shingles is nearly indistinguishable. This means you can enjoy the benefits of solar without sacrificing your home’s curb appeal.

Conventional solar panels are a bit more noticeable on your roof because they aren’t completely integrated with your shingles. 


What equipment gets installed with a Tesla Solar Roof?

Graphic of house showing the equipment installed with a Tesla Solar Roof

The Tesla Solar Roof is composed of a few different pieces of equipment, with each of them contributing to the total cost of the Solar Roof installation. There are four key components of the Tesla Solar Roof, each with a different price and function:

Tesla Solar Roof equipment

Est. installation cost

Active solar shingles

$1.80 per watt

Inactive steel shingles + roofing materials

$50 per square foot*

Tesla Powerwall

$10,700

Tesla inverter

$4,100

*Price estimated per square foot of total roof space for various complexities

The active solar shingles contain photovoltaic solar cells and make up the portion of the roof that generates solar electricity, while the inactive shingles cover the remaining roof area. Tesla’s solar inverter converts the electricity generated by the Solar Roof into electricity a home can use, allowing the system to interact with the utility grid

The Tesla Powerwall battery stores excess solar energy your Solar Roof produces so you can use it later in the day or save it for backup power during a power outage. Solar Roofs installed and ordered directly through Tesla are required to be paired with a Powerwall, while those ordered through a third-party installer are not.

Expert insight! While the cost of solar equipment is cheap, the cost of Tesla’s non-solar roofing materials is not. Joe Roberts, a home improvement expert from Fixr, clues us in on how Tesla’s roofing costs compare to typical roof replacement costs: “Tesla’s $50 per square foot price point is much higher than what most homeowners would pay to replace their roof. The most premium metal roofing options cost about $47 per square foot on the high-end.”


Pros and cons of the Tesla Solar Roof

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages for the Tesla Solar Roof, including: 

Pros
  • Sleek design with unnoticeable solar

  • Tesla’s popular energy management system

  • One warranty for all components

Cons
  • Extremely expensive

  • Lower lifetime solar savings than solar panels

  • Limited availability + potential wait times

  • Limited real-world applications

The best things about the Tesla Solar Roof are its sleek design, access to Tesla’s popular energy management system, and the fact that you’ll only have one warranty for all of the products. There’s no worrying about contacting a separate roofing company or manufacturer - it’s all handled in one place. 

However, there are substantial drawbacks to the Tesla Solar Roof, the biggest being its extremely high upfront cost. Solar shingles also produce less energy than solar panels, providing lower lifetime savings. Also, the Tesla Solar Roof’s availability is limited, and customers have reported waiting upwards of two years to install their systems. 

One of our largest concerns with the Tesla Solar Roof is its limited real-world application. Despite being around since 2016, the Solar Roof has allegedly only been deployed on an estimated 3,000 homes, so we have yet to see substantial information about how it performs over time. 


Tesla Solar Roof maintenance and upkeep costs

The Tesla Solar Roof requires very little maintenance. Tesla’s shingles are slick, and regular rainfall is usually enough to keep the roof dust and debris-free. But if your roof is prone to build-up or you live in a dry area that doesn’t get much rain, you may need to spray down the shingles to keep them operating at their very best. 

Tesla recommends hiring a professional to clean a Solar Roof to minimize any risk of damage to the product and harm to yourself. However, if you choose the DIY solar cleaning route, you should not apply any cleaning solutions to the solar roof. Simply use a garden hose and spray in the direction water would normally flow down your roof, meaning you should not stand on the ground and spray up on the Solar Roof. 


How long does a Tesla Solar Roof last?

The Tesla Solar Roof comes with 25-year warranty coverage. There are technically three warranties that come with the Solar Roof. 

The product warranty guarantees the roof will be free from manufacturing defects. The weatherization warranty covers damages caused by wind and rain through the Tesla Solar Roof. The module warranty ensures the solar shingles will operate at a certain power output as they are used. After five years, the solar shingles will operate at least at 95% of their original output. For the remaining 20 years, the power output won’t decline by more than 0.5% per year. 

These warranty terms are all pretty standard for the roofing and solar industries. The Solar Roof is designed to power your home and protect your roof, coming with the highest wind, fire, and hail ratings possible.  


Is the Tesla Solar Roof worth it?

The Tesla Solar Roof is not a worthwhile financial investment. The savings generated by the Solar Roof won’t recover the installation cost, and in almost every scenario, installing solar panels and getting a conventional roof replacement is cheaper. 

If we were to recommend the Tesla Roof to anyone, it would be people looking for a luxury upgrade to their home who really like the Tesla brand. It may also be one of the few ways to go solar with an HOA, making installing solar panels difficult. The Tesla Solar Roof looks great and matches the vibe of modern homes. Those in the luxury real estate market might also like the idea of purchasing a house with a high-tech roof. 

However, it’s important to note that Tesla’s energy division has a poor reputation when it comes to customer service. Tesla has 2.6 out of 5 stars on SolarReviews, so it seems clear customers aren’t satisfied with after-installation care. Many call Tesla “unresponsive” and report substantial wait times for repairs. These issues might not be as prevalent if you install a Solar Roof through a local installer, but that local service likely comes with a higher price tag.

Overall, except for aesthetics, regular solar panels outshine the Tesla Solar Roof. Installing solar panels is significantly cheaper, generates more electricity, and is widely available. At the very least, you should consider getting solar panel quotes and Solar Roof quotes from qualified installers in your area to get the best deal possible and find the right installation for your home.

Find reliable solar installers near you to see if solar is right for your roof

Tesla solar roof frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Written by Catherine Lane Solar Industry Expert

Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews, where she has been at the forefront of researching and reporting on the solar industry for five years. She leads a dynamic team in producing informative and engaging content on residential solar to help homeowners make informed decisions about investing in solar panels. Catherine’s expertise has garnered attention from leading industry publications, with her work being featured in Sola...

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