Tesla opened orders for its first two styles of solar roof tiles this week and the company plans to start installations within the next two months.
Through its acquisition of SolarCity, Tesla has now access to thousands of installers, but there are significant differences between installing solar panels and a whole roof. Roofing is more labor intensive and Tesla is now looking to train and hire a lot of roofers.
Before being acquired by Tesla, SolarCity put a lot of work into reducing its installation time in order to try to make more than one installation per day per team, but that’s not going to be possible for a solar roof installation.
Tesla expects that it will take as long as a typical new roof installation, 5 to 7 days, which is not bad considering it’s both a new roof and a solar installation.
In order to support this new business unit, SolarCity is currently listing 6 technical training jobs to train new roofers in California and Connecticut. It looks like the company is looking to hire over 50 roofers.
Tesla only confirmed that installation would start in “certain regions of the U.S” in June, therefore, the locations of the job postings might give us an indication of where Tesla plans to make its first solar roof installations.
Unsurprisingly, most of the roofing jobs are in California, the biggest solar market in the US, but there are also a few in Texas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut.
For the area of Wilmington-Boston, Tesla recruiter Scott Wareing wrote in a job listing for a ‘Roofer I’ position:
“SolarCity is now a Tesla Company. Offering Roofer positions with benefits and an opportunity to work on new Tesla products like the solar roof.
If you are tired of bouncing between projects, we’re offering Roofers a career track to work on cutting edge projects with a company that is defining next generation homes.”
He listed experience in a wide variety of roof types as a plus, including “comp, shingle, concrete tile, clay tile, metal, and wood shake.”
There are around 5 million new roofs being installed in the US every year and Tesla expects that its new product will be popular. Of course, most of those roofs are made of asphalt, which is not a market Tesla is going to compete with.
Based on the pricing information released this week, Tesla’s new solar roof tiles are going to be highly competitive, but only in markets where houses already have strong valuations and where electricity rates are high – hence why California and Connecticut seem to be on top of the list.
Tesla solar roof products are perfect for homeowners who want solar and need a new roof relatively soon, but a regular solar panel installation is still a good solution for people who don’t need a new roof. Solar and energy storage prices are highly dependent on your market (electricity cost, gov incentives, etc.) and your property. We suggest to get quotes from more than one installer to make sure you get the best energy solution for your place. UnderstandSolar is a great free service to link you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates for free.