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Are Tesla's Roofing Tiles Legit?


February 16, 2018

While Elon Musk has been busy launching a Tesla into outer space, his company has been perfecting one of his latest ventures to help those on this side of the atmosphere. Tesla has created solar roofing tiles, which they hope will offer a visually attractive alternative to solar panels for homeowners. They opened reservations to the general public last May and the tiles started to be installed in August of 2017.

Tesla states that in many cases the roof will actually pay for itself in electricity savings over the 30-year life of the warranty. However, the durability of solar tiles has yet to be tested, and in most independent tests the solar tiles performed at a much reduced rate than less expensive solar panels.

The team at RSG Construction is always researching the latest options for roofing replacement, and we’ve completed significant research regarding Tesla’s solar roof option. Here’s a few questions to ask yourself if you are considering Tesla’s solar roof for your next roof replacement:

  • How will you cover the upfront cost? For the same size home, a traditional asphalt shingle roof replacement might cost around $8,000, that home with solar shingles will cost around $25,000. While this could be looked at as an investment, it would take a significant energy savings to recoup the difference of the roof, even after 30 years. And in most tests, the solar tiles only produced around 75% of the energy produced by solar panels—making them a more expensive and less productive choice.
  • How much sun does your home get? Do you have lots of tall, mature trees? Do you live in a subdivision with lots of tall houses close to each other? The Midwest doesn’t get a lot of sun in the winter months, and our cold climates make that a prime time for maximal energy use to heat our homes. You can type your home address into Google’s Project Sunroof site to see whether your home is a good candidate for solar—whether it’s panels or tiles.
  • How long do you plan to own your home? Because solar tiles require the investment up front, the amount of energy savings your will receive greatly depends on how long you stay in your home. The National Association of Homeowners states that the typical owner of a single-family home typically stays put for 13 years. That’s definitely not a break-even point for your roof. Also, while you might think that a solar tile roof is a fantastic upgrade, there is no guarantee that future homebuyers will see it the same way, and it might actually be a deterrent to selling your home in the future.

 To get the best value for your money, we suggest that our clients stick with proven asphalt tiles, and look into placing solar panels as an additional energy source if this is important to you. However, there are always homeowners that would prefer to have the newest technology possibly, and if that is you—and you need a new roof—solar tiles from Tesla might be a good fit. Know that with any new technology there are bound to be hiccups, and historically solar tiles have been hard to install and resulted in mixed performance. While Tesla has a great reputation for being innovative, and they are also known for working closely with their early adopters to correct quality issues.

If you are ready for a new roof and would like to know more about your options, give the team at RSG a call at 816-866-4235 or just click HERE to schedule your complimentary consultation. 



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