The Tesla Solar Roof: Is it Right for You, Now?

Published May 22, 2017

The Tesla Solar Roof

As you may have heard, on May 10 Tesla began taking orders for their new Solar Roof. While there is a great deal of interest in this product, it may be best to wait before jumping online and placing your order. There are a number of factors to consider when looking at the Tesla Solar Roof:

1) Who will install it? Tesla has indicated that they will provide installation services for the Tesla Solar Roof and will not be relying on local companies like LightWave Solar for installation at this time.

2) What additional costs are involved? This is the big question! On a typical solar project, labor and material costs each comprise about half of the total project cost. Since we do not know if this formula will hold true on a Solar Roof installation, getting to your full costs may not be possible at this time.

3) Is my home a good candidate for the Solar Roof? Site conditions have a great deal to do with the viability of any roof mounted solar array. The Tesla Solar Roof is not immune to adverse solar site conditions. Since some of the solar roof shingles contain PV cells and some do not, it is clear that Tesla has planned for a complete roof install taking into account roof areas with adverse solar conditions. Generally, only a physical site inspection of a home’s roof can reveal the potential shade concerns and help you determine which roof areas are likely to produce energy and which areas are not.

4) Haven’t there been issues with solar shingles in the past? Yes. Tesla is not the first company to develop a solar shingle. We do know that PV cells require air flow in order to work properly. There are some concerns that a flush mounted PV cell will not receive proper ventilation in order to produce up to its potential. Dow Chemical recently discontinued production of their Power Roof product after several customers experienced issues with over-heated cells, and the resulting poor production.

Here at LightWave Solar, we know you may be excited about this new product from Tesla, and so are we! However, we are unable to install the Tesla Solar Roof for you at this time due to a large amount of uncertainty surrounding the product.

These many questions have not stopped Tesla from taking a $1,000 deposit on their website. While Tesla states that this deposit is 100% refundable, it may be best to see how the market reacts to this product before laying your money down.

We will continue to monitor Tesla’s roll-out of their new product, but have adapted a “wait and see” approach for now. Stay tuned to our monthly newsletter for updates.