#4 – Up On The Roof: Tesla Solar Tiles
The thought the comes to mind with Tesla Solar Roof tiles is that age-old inquiry during long road trips, “Are we there yet?”
Tesla announced its Solar Roof in late 2016. Hindered by what the company called “an imperfect process” in manufacturing, those who put down a deposit in 2017 and up until mid 2018, should finally see installation by mid-2019 as production finally goes into full volume.
Tesla’s Solar Roof tiles are made of solar and non-solar glass, designed to create a beautiful, traditional-looking tile roof that integrates with a home’s architecture (rather than PV panels which adhere to a roof but aren’t physically part of it) and include a warranty “for the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.” The tempered glass is being promoted as three times stronger than “regular” roofing tiles. Tesla also recommends that every installed roof include a Powerwall battery.
When introduced over two years ago, Elon Musk said Tesla’s Solar Roof would cost less than ordinary roofs. Last December, Tesla announced its per square foot cost at $21.85. Is that cheaper than installing an ordinary roof? A homeowner must factor in solar energy financial benefits such as the 30% Solar Investment Tax Credit, additional state or city incentives and reduced electricity cost as well as where their home is in the roof-replacement cycle. There is also the question of how to set a value on these tiles being in harmony with a home’s architectural style.
Whether less expensive or not (the jury seems to be out as the answer is dependent of many variables), the tiles become part of a home’s structure, are available in various styles, will last for the life of the house and seamlessly blend into a home’s aesthetic. All of those are big advances in solar energy, making them worth the wait.
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Steven J. Schleider, MAI, LEED-AP BD+C
President, Metropolitan Valuation Services