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Cost of Tesla Solar Roof Tiles

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by Green Pete, Oct 30, 2016.

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  1. Green Pete

    Green Pete Member

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    I've been trying to find some informed speculation on the expected cost of the newly announced Tesla solar roof? Im surprised nobody has jumped in with informed estimations, at least of what the tiles would cost in comparison to asphalt and slate. I tried to find information and to me it looks like raw material cost of tempered glass per square foot greatly exceeds that of slate, but I am guessing that there are a lot of other considerations that go into that and I was hoping someone with some knowledge would want to weigh in.
     
  2. flamingoezz

    flamingoezz Member

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    Nothing announced. Elon did say though that the cost of the solar roof minus the savings from electric power would roughly be equal to what a traditional roof costs..I'm not sure if we're talking over the course of 20 or 30 years..

    I would guess its somewhere around 30% more than buying a traditional roof of the same sq ft.
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    "Informed speculation" is indeed very hard to find...
    (Caveat: I do not claim to have an "informed" opinion on this topic in the sense that am not a professional roofer or solar installer) I took his statement more along the lines of (paraphrasing!) "The cost of the Tesla Energy solar roof would be less than a comparable roof after factoring in the energy savings over the lifetime of the roof".

    Slate tile roofs are very expensive by most people's standards, and they are uncommon. Spanish tile roofs can also be costly. The dark "glass" solar tiles shown at the event don't really have a traditional material to compare them to.

    Then one gets into the question of what is a "traditional" roof material. I would say wood shingles or asphalt tar and gravel are two examples. The Tesla Energy solar tiles are very likely to be more expensive than those two materials even after factoring in the energy savings and the longer lifetime of the solar tiles.

    The bottom line is that at this time we just don't know what Tesla Energy is going to charge for their solar tiles. So speculate away, "informed" or otherwise...
     
  4. bak_phy

    bak_phy Member

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    Doesn't that make them kinda worthless?
     
  5. winfield100

    winfield100 Active Member

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    ''Hard slate will last anywhere from 75 to 200 years, while soft slate will last only 50 to 125 years,''
    my roof was re-shingled in 1999 with 25 year asphalt shingles, (which need replacing)

    My PV array was then installed, 1999

    The --->> NORTH roof, shingled in 1999 with 25 year shingles, needs reshingling, again.

    I could easily, (and others), go with "shingle the house ONCE", not again and again,
    generating electricity for my house and car and local microgrid and local VPP (virtual power plant)


     
  6. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    That is really the big question. At least in this part of the country, 99% of houses have asphalt shingles. I don't see how it's possible for the Tesla solar roof to cost the same (even after energy savings) as asphalt shingles. So how much more it costs than this type of "normal" roof will really be determinative for many people.
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    The best answer to the OP question I've yet found has been in the newer (31 Oct) Bloomberg article from Tom Randall, No One Saw Tesla’s Solar Roof Coming

    There was, according to Electrek's Fred Lambert, little in the way of meat and potatoes at the post-event press conference, but Randall was able to glean enough to present some $ #s in the article.

    Here's a Musk quote that came, I think, from the press conference as I don't recall those words in his public reveal: “It’s never going to wear out,” Musk said, “It’s made of quartz. It has a quasi-infinite lifetime.”
     
  8. zag2me

    zag2me Member

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    Should be pretty easy to work out...

    The cost to replace a roof in the UK is about £5 to 8k according to a quick google search. If you want a full Solar system setup you are probably looking at around 6k to 9K from experience on a detached property. So you would be looking at a total maximum cost of about £17,000
     
  9. GlmnAlyAirCar

    GlmnAlyAirCar Member

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    Was on the phone with solar city yesterday. We had a PPA agreement ready for installation when the solar roof was announced. I told them we wanted to wait on the conventional solar panels until we got more information about the solar roof, as our current asphalt roof it 22 years old and will likely need replacement in the near future.

    The woman on the phone gave me an admittedly wild ball park figure. She said, take the cost of a conventional solar installation and add 120% of the cost of a conventional roof. So, that puts us up in the 40-50k range, which is way, way more than just a roof replacement.

    Of course, this would be a fantastic system if its longevity is as promised. But well out of our price range for now.
     
  10. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Elon lives in a different zip code :)

    Realistically, this product is going to sell mostly to expensive households with south facing fronts. Plus perhaps more expensive new subdivisions.

    I hope they plan to make an architects guide.
     
  11. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Interesting. You have a big roof. If they can do a big roof with the new solar for $40-50K that is a great price.
     
  12. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    The chance a version 1.0 working well for 50 years is just about zero.
     
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  13. Boourns

    Boourns Member

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    No doubt. To use an analogy -- Solar City until now was the Roadster. This new roof is the Model S. The most important product in terms of getting solar in the hands of the masses will be the next one. But this one has to be successful to get there.
     
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  14. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    The real question will be how does the cost compare to the cost of a usual roof + usual solar panels.
     
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  15. zdre

    zdre 40kWh Model S P6415

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    The savings vary greatly depending on the cost of electricity in your region and your consumption.
    Here is my wild guess for a 2500 sqft roof:
    Assumptions: 2000 sqft single story 3br house, Midwest, natural gas air and water heaters.
    Roof Assumption:10kW solar roof

    Cost of shingle roof (very high estimate): $20,000
    Electricity savings per year: $1250 (12¢/kWh average)
    Savings in 20 years: $25,000
    For the purpose if this estimate, assume loan interest cancels out increase in savings due to inflation.

    Cost of solar roof: $45,000
    Please feel free to tear this apart.
     
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  16. bradbissell

    bradbissell Member

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    As a totally uneducated guess, I'd say at least 3x the cost of a "normal" roof. They stated it would cost roughly the same as a roof + the cost of electricity. Based on my roof and solar install, the total cost of the system was approximately 3x the cost of only the roof. 10k for roof + 20k for solar.
     
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  17. nativewolf

    nativewolf Member

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    To me the roofs are most attractive in new builds, go ahead and finance the thing at 4% or less.

    Now wait...brainstorming here (watch out world), this does raise questions to me about the tax credit which may completely revalue that discussion. The federal tax credit is not my area of expertise but it could really change the economics of a roof. Say you switched from a shingle roof to a solar slate roof and increased your resale by 5-10% right off the bat, combined with taking a huge tax credit. I mean if you are flipping homes it could be positive NPV right away, pretty amazing to think. In fact, if I am a flipper I'd look for homes with bad shingle roofs in neighborhoods where most homes have expensive metal/tile/slate roofs and you could maybe justify the flip just on that....yes tesla board you are welcome because that is a great great idea. Not only that market but the fire proof roofing market for those that want to live in the tinder friendly western conifer forest.
     
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  18. macbeth

    macbeth Member

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    Interesting set of assumptions and mirrors my own assumptions. I had quotes for architectural shingle on my home and composite slate for $23-$30K, I was thinking $45-50K for the solar roof as well on my property. I wonder if Elon includes full removal of existing roofing product, install of solar roof, electrical hookup and a PowerWall.

    How would the federal tax incentives factor into this? I would be happy to pay $50K for the roof, if I can get 30% back on my tax return. The net effect would be a premium on a conventional roof, but a premium that could be recovered very quickly through utility savings.

    The other big advantage would be that I would cover both sides of my roof and the eves on the dormers, the size of the tiles allows for significant customization, and the aesthetics allows for whole roof coverage, which I would not have done with conventional solar panels. The solar roof seems to be an easy decision if the costs are a reasonable premium over a conventional roof.
     
  19. bak_phy

    bak_phy Member

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    I think that if you just have a normal roof this isn't really for you. Just get regular solar panels. These are for people who are willing to spend big on a premium roof which they would rather not mess up with solar panels.

    Wouldn't you want to replace the roof before putting solar on in any case?
     
  20. Eberhard

    Eberhard #421 Model S #S32

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    There is a producer for slate style pv-modules. Home in germany. The Quad40 shingles are rated for around 40W and one shingle covers around 2.5 sqft. For 10kWp you will need 250 shingles or 625 sqft. The cost can be somewhere between €16.000 and €20.000 (or between €1.600 and €2.000 per kWp). I expect for the tesla solar roof to compete with this price.
     
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