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Solar Roof, big price increase

RainMeister

Member
Feb 22, 2020
26
47
Orange County, CA
God save us all... you just can't make this stuff up. ;)


Tesla has signed what could be described as a breakthrough deal to deploy solar roofs and Powerwalls on a “large scale” in a new community being built by Brookfield Asset Management and Dacra in Austin. With the launch of the Tesla Solar Roof Tiles, the company has not only been trying to address the market of existing houses in need of a new roof, but it also wanted to expand to the new home market. Now, Tesla Energy, the automaker’s energy division, has reached an even greater deal with Brookfield and Dacra, two large real estate companies, to develop a new “large-scale” community with Tesla solar roofs and Powerwalls in all new homes:

While the companies didn’t release the number of targeted new homes, the project appears to be a significant development for Tesla Energy entering the new home market. The community is located in Austin, Texas, near the local international airport. Tesla CEO Elon Musk even commented on the announcement:

This actually makes a lot of business sense. By working with a home builder on a new development, Tesla can have early input on the roof design (preferably the same standard shape) and pre-configure every roof piece using a cookie cutter design for every single home in the tract. It will be much more efficient than trying to custom retrofit a solar roof on an existing home with varying degrees of complexity and design. Tesla should be able to considerably reduce manufacturing and installation time => reduced labor costs.
 

wjgjr

Active Member
May 11, 2020
1,298
1,034
Silver Spring, MD
This actually makes a lot of business sense. By working with a home builder on a new development, Tesla can have early input on the roof design (preferably the same standard shape) and pre-configure every roof piece using a cookie cutter design for every single home in the tract. It will be much more efficient than trying to custom retrofit a solar roof on an existing home with varying degrees of complexity and design. Tesla should be able to considerably reduce manufacturing and installation time => reduced labor costs.
Yes - this is what I have always thought was the best way to deploy the solar roof - on new construction, preferably with a standard design and at scale. Not only will Tesla presumably have input on the design, but they should also be able to save on labor just by installing multiple systems in the same location and dealing directly with the builder. Of course, it seems like even for individual projects, Tesla would want to be involved in new home construction, but they previously seemed to be difficult to work with (not committing to schedules and unwilling to work with builders in a way that made it easier for the new home owner.) It will be interesting to see if anything changes for new, individual home construction.

The question (and we probably won't get a direct answer) will be whether the price the developer is able to get justifies the extra expense. If so, and Tesla is able to scale up for this, it will also be interesting to see if it impacts their existing model - will the scaling allow them to roll back some of these increases, or might they even decide to cut back/stop installs on existing homes in favor of focusing on new construction.
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
Yes - this is what I have always thought was the best way to deploy the solar roof - on new construction, preferably with a standard design and at scale. Not only will Tesla presumably have input on the design, but they should also be able to save on labor just by installing multiple systems in the same location and dealing directly with the builder. Of course, it seems like even for individual projects, Tesla would want to be involved in new home construction, but they previously seemed to be difficult to work with (not committing to schedules and unwilling to work with builders in a way that made it easier for the new home owner.) It will be interesting to see if anything changes for new, individual home construction.

The question (and we probably won't get a direct answer) will be whether the price the developer is able to get justifies the extra expense. If so, and Tesla is able to scale up for this, it will also be interesting to see if it impacts their existing model - will the scaling allow them to roll back some of these increases, or might they even decide to cut back/stop installs on existing homes in favor of focusing on new construction.

Depending on the level of roof complexity this may be a good test case.

BTW, I spoke to a Tesla Energy representative who said the new RoR (rest of roof) panels, which are now steel instead of glass, are problematic. Like their steel edging it interlocks in a way that requires it be removed from the top down. So if a RoR panel gets damage during installation a large section of roof may need to be removed, which can result in more damage. To me steel RoR panels area step backwards. Compared to neutral standing seam panels they have all the cons and none of the pros.

Having owed a Solar Roof for six months now and experienced this, I now view a Tesla Solar Roof as an expensive niche product that will result increased home repair cost if roof access is necessary. The difficulty of working on a solar roof no only increase labor cost it makes simple jobs time consuming and difficult, which also results in poor workmanship. Tesla came and repaired my siding--parts of which they did not do because it required too much disassembly. In the first attached photo is an area I had to make them redo at twice. The corner post was damaged when Tesla installed the metal flashing. I told them 3 times to repalce it. The vertical j-channel in the picture was they first tried to splice. Tesla removed the non self-sealing screws sans (neoprene washer) and left the holes exposed because installing self-sealing screw would have been visible. Tesla response to the rough workmanship was “It looks good from the street” (that's 200 feet away). Viewed this way not only ignores sidings intended purpose, weatherization, it discounts form.

The second photo shows the flashing under the siding they did not repair, (it requires too much effort). The headwall flashing is at about 2 inches away from the wall and there is no counter flashing.

To do the repairs right requires removing all material and redoing it. It took five works 2 days to achieve the quality of workmanship and results depicted above (not even considering the countless hours Tesla employees and I argued over this and multiple site visits). Tesla should not be in the roofing/home improvement business.
 

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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,911
551
auburn, ca
Depending on the level of roof complexity this may be a good test case.

BTW, I spoke to a Tesla Energy representative who said the new RoR (rest of roof) panels, which are now steel instead of glass, are problematic. Like their steel edging it interlocks in a way that requires it be removed from the top down. So if a RoR panel gets damage during installation a large section of roof may need to be removed, which can result in more damage. To me steel RoR panels area step backwards. Compared to neutral standing seam panels they have all the cons and none of the pros.

Having owed a Solar Roof for six months now and experienced this, I now view a Tesla Solar Roof as an expensive niche product that will result increased home repair cost if roof access is necessary. The difficulty of working on a solar roof no only increase labor cost it makes simple jobs time consuming and difficult, which also results in poor workmanship. Tesla came and repaired my siding--parts of which they did not do because it required too much disassembly. In the first attached photo is an area I had to make them redo at twice. The corner post was damaged when Tesla installed the metal flashing. I told them 3 times to repalce it. The vertical j-channel in the picture was they first tried to splice. Tesla removed the non self-sealing screws sans (neoprene washer) and left the holes exposed because installing self-sealing screw would have been visible. Tesla response to the rough workmanship was “It looks good from the street” (that's 200 feet away). Viewed this way not only ignores sidings intended purpose, weatherization, it discounts form.

The second photo shows the flashing under the siding they did not repair, (it requires too much effort). The headwall flashing is at about 2 inches away from the wall and there is no counter flashing.

To do the repairs right requires removing all material and redoing it. It took five works 2 days to achieve the quality of workmanship and results depicted above (not even considering the countless hours Tesla employees and I argued over this and multiple site visits). Tesla should not be in the roofing/home improvement business.
At least you are honest. To me the most important part of my home starts with the roof. IMO, it needs to be KISS. Anyone can work on. I just feel sorry for folks who spent all that money and are expecting no issues for 25 years? Sometimes buying niche products is, well, ....
 
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jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
At least you are honest. To me the most important part of my home starts with the roof. IMO, it needs to be KISS. Anyone can work on. I just feel sorry for folks who spent all that money and are expecting no issues for 25 years? Sometimes buying niche products is, well, ....
And if things change I will also. But the ethos I sense under this whole experience can make one a cynic. Tesla acts as if they are being generous but actually exabit all the trappings of self-interest. Musk's self-portrait of a nobility is at best lip service.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,911
551
auburn, ca
And if things change I will also. But the ethos I sense under this whole experience can make one a cynic. Tesla acts as if they are being generous but actually exabit all the trappings of self-interest. Musk's self-portrait of a nobility is at best lip service.
Now I sure would go that far. I think Musk is a genius. The type of personalities he attracts to his bleeding edge products and technology is interesting.
I just love how so many brag about the price they got, but then bitch about the lack of customer service or the ability to do custom things. Even though I love bleeding edge stuff, I am smart enough, usually, to balance emotion from logic!
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
Now I sure would go that far. I think Musk is a genius. The type of personalities he attracts to his bleeding edge products and technology is interesting.
I just love how so many brag about the price they got, but then bitch about the lack of customer service or the ability to do custom things. Even though I love bleeding edge stuff, I am smart enough, usually, to balance emotion from logic!

I’m basing my opinion on Tesla’s workmanship during the installation of my solar roof and the repair of the damage to my home. Aside from the poor outcome so far the amount of hubris I’ve experienced is stunning. Innovative roof—yes. However, that’s no excuse for damaging someone’s home, taking six months to even attempt to repaired it, and then not fixing everything. It’s not Musk’s intelligence I question it’s his wisdom.

As someone who has worked on homes their whole life I’m approaching this from a home maintenance perspective. Yes, I went in knowing there are a lot of impractical aspects to this roof. A Tesla Solar Roof must first and foremost function as a roof. It must protect a home with a wind-resistant watertight sea. That’s a roofs job, same goes for siding. However for Tesla is seems function follows form. It is one thing to be beholding to Tesla for the solar energy aspect of the roof, but it’s decidedly different to be trapped in a service and support malaise of blunt mediocrity. Regardless of Musk’s IQ, the local after sales service and support problem is one he has not solved or seems to care to address.

Fixing production problems in the field for an automobile is one thing, doing the same for possibly the single most important component to protecting one’s home from the elements is another. I have more than one car, and although I do have a vacation home it’s not practical for my wife and I to live there year round. The point is for a home prompt and quality service is paramount. If Tesla can’t meet this obligation then they will never be able to scale this product and it will become a white elephant.

There are other roofing materials that are as equally problematic to work with. However, currently with a Tesla Solar Roof one is held captured and stuck with the speed and quality of their service. With other complex products there are options. Relying on Tesla and its current quality and service levels is a considerable risk. This matters most if there is a structural failure and roof access is required. So the siding on my home needs to be put on correctly now. Tesla’s imprudent attitude that function can get lost in the form of complexity is comparable to one of a charlatan and a bit arrogant to say the least.

Once when my roof leaked and no one showed up to repair it I called Tesla’s emergency number. A heavy storm was predicted over the weekend. I had called Tesla days before and they said someone would be out before the storm. After some coordination with operations I was told they would come Saturday just before the storm would hit to repair the leaks. After no one showed at about noon on Saturday I contacted Tesla emergency response representative they could not reach anyone to address the issue. The representative reached out to their supervisor who informed them I needed find a local roofing contractor and have them install tarps over my entire home. This would typically take a little time but finding a contractor at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon proved impossible. Luckily the worst of the storm moved north. So the wind and rains were minimal. My roof leaked and only one piece of siding became dislodged. However things would have been much worse had the rains and winds been as predicted.

Good or bad, high IQ or average, I think with Tesla decision making there seems to a preoccupation with a particular worldview. One shrouded in a malaise of excessive self-confidence. This is just my opinion the final analysis will be dictated by the net results.
 
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h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,911
551
auburn, ca
I’m basing my opinion on Tesla’s workmanship during the installation of my solar roof and the repair of the damage to my home. Aside from the poor outcome so far the amount of hubris I’ve experienced is stunning. Innovative roof—yes. However, that’s no excuse for damaging someone’s home, taking six months to even attempt to repaired it, and then not fixing everything. It’s not Musk’s intelligence I question it’s his wisdom.

As someone who has worked on homes their whole life I’m approaching this from a home maintenance perspective. Yes, I went in knowing there are a lot of impractical aspects to this roof. A Tesla Solar Roof must first and foremost function as a roof. It must protect a home with a wind-resistant watertight sea. That’s a roofs job, same goes for siding. However for Tesla is seems function follows form. It is one thing to be beholding to Tesla for the solar energy aspect of the roof, but it’s decidedly different to be trapped in a service and support malaise of blunt mediocrity. Regardless of Musk’s IQ, the local after sales service and support problem is one he has not solved or seems to care to address.

Fixing production problems in the field for an automobile is one thing, doing the same for possibly the single most important component to protecting one’s home from the elements is another. I have more than one car, and although I do have a vacation home it’s not practical for my wife and I to live there year round. The point is for a home prompt and quality service is paramount. If Tesla can’t meet this obligation then they will never be able to scale this product and it will become a white elephant.

There are other roofing materials that are as equally problematic to work with. However, currently with a Tesla Solar Roof one is held captured and stuck with the speed and quality of their service. With other complex products there are options. Relying on Tesla and its current quality and service levels is a considerable risk. This matters most if there is a structural failure and roof access is required. So the siding on my home needs to be put on correctly now. Tesla’s imprudent attitude that function can get lost in the form of complexity is comparable to one of a charlatan and a bit arrogant to say the least.

Once when my roof leaked and no one showed up to repair it I called Tesla’s emergency number. A heavy storm was predicted over the weekend. I had called Tesla days before and they said someone would be out before the storm. After some coordination with operations I was told they would come Saturday just before the storm would hit to repair the leaks. After no one showed at about noon on Saturday I contacted Tesla emergency response representative they could not reach anyone to address the issue. The representative reached out to their supervisor who informed them I needed find a local roofing contractor and have them install tarps over my entire home. This would typically take a little time but finding a contractor at 12:30 on a Saturday afternoon proved impossible. Luckily the worst of the storm moved north. So the wind and rains were minimal. My roof leaked and only one piece of siding became dislodged. However things would have been much worse had the rains and winds been as predicted.

Good or bad, high IQ or average, I think with Tesla decision making there seems to a preoccupation with a particular worldview. One shrouded in a malaise of excessive self-confidence. This is just my opinion the final analysis will be dictated by the net results.
IMO, all these things you bring up should be no surprise. I am just shocked folks keep having them installed.
 

winfield100

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 16, 2013
2,977
11,112
vivant non-traveler
So, is the conclusion of these pages and a few other discussions that BIPV (built in PV) should only be on new construction?

I seem to recall similar conclusions from reading Solar Today about 20+ years ago.
 
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holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,098
1,478
East Bay NorCal
Yes - this is what I have always thought was the best way to deploy the solar roof - on new construction, preferably with a standard design and at scale. Not only will Tesla presumably have input on the design, but they should also be able to save on labor just by installing multiple systems in the same location and dealing directly with the builder. Of course, it seems like even for individual projects, Tesla would want to be involved in new home construction, but they previously seemed to be difficult to work with (not committing to schedules and unwilling to work with builders in a way that made it easier for the new home owner.) It will be interesting to see if anything changes for new, individual home construction.

The question (and we probably won't get a direct answer) will be whether the price the developer is able to get justifies the extra expense. If so, and Tesla is able to scale up for this, it will also be interesting to see if it impacts their existing model - will the scaling allow them to roll back some of these increases, or might they even decide to cut back/stop installs on existing homes in favor of focusing on new construction.


Yep, there's an interesting article about Tesla joining with a developer in Austin to equip all the new homes with the V3 roof and Powerwalls. This community-solar-energy approach may also be a big risk to the local utilities, since it's possible such a community based approach to energy management could remove the need of leaning on the grid at all. Imagine if the community/HOA also put in a powerpack or two + an alternative generation source if solar really becomes a drag.

 

FurryOne

Member
May 1, 2019
120
84
Rome, NY USA
Yep, there's an interesting article about Tesla joining with a developer in Austin to equip all the new homes with the V3 roof and Powerwalls. This community-solar-energy approach may also be a big risk to the local utilities, since it's possible such a community based approach to energy management could remove the need of leaning on the grid at all.
I think if you check you'll find out that most states require that you are connected to the Grid by Law, unless the local Utility requires an outlandish $$ to do so (too far from the nearest lines), or you can't get a required easement. My utility requires a $17 fee each month just for that connection.
 

holeydonut

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
2,098
1,478
East Bay NorCal
I think if you check you'll find out that most states require that you are connected to the Grid by Law, unless the local Utility requires an outlandish $$ to do so (too far from the nearest lines), or you can't get a required easement. My utility requires a $17 fee each month just for that connection.

I don’t mean the community completely leaving the grid. I just mean being less exposed to the utility and their BS.

It’s too bad nobody has a biomass generator that can run low scale on food waste, Amazon boxes, and lawn clippings hah.
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
"Tesla does not speak with the media. But they do answer to a local state senator who sits on the Senate Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee. So with the firm's much touted solar roof project, Senator Sean Ryan of Buffalo has some questions about their product focus and implementation.

'"There's an overestimation on Tesla's part of how easy it was to put these roofs on," Ryan said. "It was almost like no one in the company had ever put a roof on a house before. They thought they could just estimate these things based on square footage and make it a like a puzzle piece to put on not realizing how difficult it would be. They could have talked to any roofer in Buffalo who would have been able to tell them how these things work. But it's been taking up to two weeks to put a roof on."'

 
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navydoc001

Member
Jul 8, 2021
20
15
Loganville, PA
Depending on the level of roof complexity this may be a good test case.

BTW, I spoke to a Tesla Energy representative who said the new RoR (rest of roof) panels, which are now steel instead of glass, are problematic. Like their steel edging it interlocks in a way that requires it be removed from the top down. So if a RoR panel gets damage during installation a large section of roof may need to be removed, which can result in more damage. To me steel RoR panels area step backwards. Compared to neutral standing seam panels they have all the cons and none of the pros.

Having owed a Solar Roof for six months now and experienced this, I now view a Tesla Solar Roof as an expensive niche product that will result increased home repair cost if roof access is necessary. The difficulty of working on a solar roof no only increase labor cost it makes simple jobs time consuming and difficult, which also results in poor workmanship. Tesla came and repaired my siding--parts of which they did not do because it required too much disassembly. In the first attached photo is an area I had to make them redo at twice. The corner post was damaged when Tesla installed the metal flashing. I told them 3 times to repalce it. The vertical j-channel in the picture was they first tried to splice. Tesla removed the non self-sealing screws sans (neoprene washer) and left the holes exposed because installing self-sealing screw would have been visible. Tesla response to the rough workmanship was “It looks good from the street” (that's 200 feet away). Viewed this way not only ignores sidings intended purpose, weatherization, it discounts form.

The second photo shows the flashing under the siding they did not repair, (it requires too much effort). The headwall flashing is at about 2 inches away from the wall and there is no counter flashing.

To do the repairs right requires removing all material and redoing it. It took five works 2 days to achieve the quality of workmanship and results depicted above (not even considering the countless hours Tesla employees and I argued over this and multiple site visits). Tesla should not be in the roofing/home improvement business.
Dealing with the same thing on my installation. Despite the discussion with the roofer (tear-off and dry-in) and the Tesla install team, this is the result.

This is going to take a fair amount of time to fix.

20210719_115450.jpg
 

jimm01

Member
Apr 29, 2021
360
402
Devonshire NJ
A
Dealing with the same thing on my installation. Despite the discussion with the roofer (tear-off and dry-in) and the Tesla install team, this is the result.

This is going to take a fair amount of time to fix.

View attachment 685915
All I can say is good luck. Tesla!svworkmanship is part and parcel of their inexperience and being ill prepared in the first place. They’ll just wear you down with. Get ready to face a morass of Byzantine proportions.
 

navydoc001

Member
Jul 8, 2021
20
15
Loganville, PA
epic,
belongs in a home improvement fail video
Oh ... it's going to get worse. Just off center, on the bottom of the photo, you can see where the original gutters met the side of the house ... the stone facing was cut around the gutters. The new gutters are 6 inches while the old ones were 3 inches. I have no expectation that the roofers are going to be able to figure this out. This is the same crew that did the tear-off and dry-in. The same crew that did the sealant work shown in the picture.
 

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