Smart Home

Tesla's Solar Roof gets a price

Tesla is now accepting orders for its Solar Roof, and a calculator on its site can tell you how much yours will cost.

Tesla asegura que sus techos solares se verán muy similares a los actuales.
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Following this morning's news that Tesla will begin taking orders for its Solar Roof, the company laid out a few more details via a blog post published this afternoon, including long-awaited pricing information.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk first announced the Solar Roof project in October 2016, promising a glass roofing tile with the same appearance of traditional building materials, but which would generate electricity for a home by way of a solar cell embedded in each tile. At the time of the announcement, Musk claimed a Solar Roof would have a similar cost to a standard roof "plus electricity."


The company says Solar Roof will cost $21.85 per square foot of Solar Roof tile for a 3,000 square foot roof, using the same calculation method in a Consumer Reports roof tile comparison from November 2016. To compete with the costs of a non-solar roof, Tesla, extrapolating from the Consumer Report study, said the Solar Roof would need to come under $24.50.

The number Tesla generated is based on a combination of both active and passive Solar Roof tiles. Building codes, and how much sun exposure your roof gets can dictate where you install active solar cells. To account for that issue, Tesla will also sell Solar Roof tiles without the costly photovoltaic cells embedded in them. Those tiles, which Tesla said look the same as the active versions, will sell for $11 each. On a media briefing call today, Musk said the active Solar Roof tiles will cost $42 each.

For specific details on costs to install in your own home, Tesla has an online Solar Roof calculator that lets you research based on your location, the amount of energy consumption, and other factors. Using my own roughly 2,000 square foot home here in Louisville, Kentucky, the Tesla calculator estimated a Solar Roof with the maximum density of active tiles would cost $66,700, plus an additional $7,000 for a Powerwall battery to store the energy generated from it. Subtract the cost of an estimated $18,000 tax rebate and $45,000 in energy bill savings over the next 30 years, and the total cost of a new Solar Roof on my house nets out to $10,700, according to Tesla's calculator.

The company is accepting preorders for the smooth and textured variants of the Solar Roof tiles today, with the slate and Tuscan styles becoming available later this year.

Available styles from left to right: Tuscan glass, slate glass, textured glass and smooth glass.