Tesla, mostly known for its electric cars, has recently revamped its solar business with new pricing and products, like the solar roof tiles, also known as Solarglass.
In this post, we look at the pricing and how to buy those products.
Tesla Solar Panel Prices
The company has grabbed many headlines for its Solar Roof, which is a great product if you need to have your roof replaced relatively soon or are doing new construction.
However, solar panels remain the best option for most homeowners.
Commodity panels are more efficient and economical if your roof is still good for another 10+ years. Adding solar panels will actually increase the life of your roof and keep it cooler.
Tesla bought its way into the rooftop solar installation business through its acquisition of SolarCity back in 2016 and over the next few years, it completely revamped the business model.
Since 2019, it is fully integrated into Tesla’s own operations and it now offers more competitive pricing and greater quality products. It has done this with a less customized, more commoditized approach.
In 2020, Tesla even updated its solar offering with a new more efficient solar panel and reduced pricing:
With the new prices, Tesla’s “Small” system costs $2.44 per watt, “Medium” is $1.95 per watt, and “Large” and “Extra Large” are $1.93 per watt and $1.84 per watt, respectively.
All those prices are before the federal tax credit which currently is at 26% and will drop to 22% in 2021. That’s off from a high of 30% for the past few years.
The prices after incentives are pictured above in blue.
For example, a ‘large’ 12.2 kW system from Tesla in a California is going to cost $17,390:
With a system of this capacity, a homeowner can expect savings of more than $60,000 over 25 years, which is the time that the solar panels are under warranty.
The financial benefits will change depending on your local electricity rates, but the cost of solar has gone down enough that it is financially viable in most markets.
Outright buying the system from Tesla is ideal to optimize saving over time, but if you don’t want to have to take a loan or have a big upfront cost, you can also use Tesla’s solar subcription service starting at just $50 per month:
|State||Monthly Subscription (Small)||Estimated Annual Generation||Net|
You are going to start saving on electricity bills right away with no upfront cost. Tesla comes to your home and installs a solar rooftop system.
All you have to pay is the monthly subscription cost, but Tesla owns the system on your roof.
How to Order
Ordering a Tesla solar installation is fairly simple.
You go through Tesla’s online configurator on the company’s website.
Tesla will take your address, your current electric bill cost, and they are going to charge $100 on your credit card:
This will get the process started toward your Tesla solar installation.
In order to reduce costs, Tesla is asking a little bit more out of homeowners ahead of an official quote and installation. They will ask to send some pictures of your house and things like your electrical panel in order to learn more about your needs.
Before or as you go through that process, you should also seek a quote from another solar company or many if you have the time.
Tesla does price matching since 2020 and you could be surprised by some local solar installers.
We suggest using our partner Understand Solar (click here) who compares many installers in your area. You enter the same information that Tesla is asking and they will match you with a top solar installer in your region who will give you a quote for free.
After having both the Tesla quote and one from another supplier, you can negotiate the best deal and decide with which company you prefer to do business before you give the green light for the installation.
Why Choose Tesla over other Solar Companies
To be honest, Tesla doesn’t really offer that many advantages over the competition when it comes to solar rooftop installations.
Other companies use similar panels, offer similar warranties, and all the same features.
Tesla has commoditized the solutions a little more than local installers, who might be able to add some extra panels or give extra options, usually at a higher price.
But one thing that I really like about Tesla’s solar system is their user interface:
Other companies have similar mobile apps to monitor your solar system, but I’m a big fan of Tesla’s design.
Some would also say that the Powerwall is also a Tesla advantage, but the company also supplies the home battery pack to many other solar installers.
There’s no major advantage to buying the Powerwall from Tesla directly. You still get the app access if you buy it from another company.
Also, if you decide to go with a Powerwall, the wait time will be greater and return on investment could be longer.
Although, if you want to protect your household against power outages and maximize your solar power, it’s a great product. Also if your local energy company offers incentives for time shifting your energy usage, you could save a lot of money by powering your house off the powerwall during peak periods.
Tesla Solar Roof
The solar roof tiles are where Tesla differentiates itself with a unique product in the solar industry.
Again, it’s not for everyone. It addresses the market of people who want residential solar power and also need a new roof relatively soon.
The solar cells are embedded into roof tiles – creating a very aesthetically pleasing roof that produces solar power:
Last year, Tesla launched version 3 of its Solar Roof tiles, which they now also call Solarglass, and it saw a significant price decrease through optimization and faster installation.
A 12.3 kW system, the same as the solar panel system quoted above, ends up costing $48,128.
It is expensive but it needs to be compared to a brand new premium roof and a 12.3 kW solar system.
The ordering process is the same as the Tesla solar panel as described below. You can also use our link and code here (Frederic5610) to get a $500 award with your solar roof.
However, Tesla solar roof tiles are not available in as many markets as Tesla’s solar panels and lead times may be longer.
The company is still hiring and training roofers in many markets and it is expanding fast.
Tesla’s regular solar panel installations are more easily available.
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