In October 2016, Tesla announced plans to sell and install solar roof tiles that look very much like normal roof tiles. Today, the company started taking pre-orders for those tiles, with plans to begin installation in US homes sometime later in 2017.
At first, only two of the four announced tile styles will be available to order; the black smooth glass and the textured glass options. The other two tiles (slate and tuscan) will be available to buy in about six months, according to Tesla founder Elon Musk. While the solar roof tiles will be available in the US later this year, starting in California sometime in June, they won’t be installed in other markets until sometime in 2018.
Musk has said in the past that Tesla’s solar roof tiles would be cheaper than a normal roof outfitted with conventional solar panels. He also claims the Tesla solar tiles will last longer and cut the power costs of a home down to zero. Homes will also have to install Tesla’s Powerwall 2 battery to store the energy collected by the solar roof tiles.
Homes will also have to install Tesla's Powerwall 2 battery to store the energy collected by the solar roof tiles.
The Tesla site lets prospective buyers type in their home address, and then it comes up with an estimate of how much your solar roof project would cost plus the cost of the Powerwall battery, and adds any local or federal tax credits you might get from such an installation. The calculator uses Google’s Project Sunroof as a basis for figuring out how much total roof coverage your home has, and how much of it would be used for the solar tiles. It also tries to speculate how much the roof will save on electricity costs within 30 years.
In order to get the ball going on the solar tile project, you will have to pay $1,000 up front, but that amount is fully refundable until you enter into the final purchase and installation process. Before that happens, Tesla will send a person over to your house to get a more accurate estimate of how much the project will cost.
Will you be jumping in and ordering Tesla’s solar roof tiles for your home? Let us know in the comments!