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I want to install the new solar roof tiles from Tesla!

Alison Inge
April 21, 2017
The roof has a few spots that are leaking and we are trying to get a hold of a new Chevy Bolt which is cheaper than the Tesla EV and what would be better than to change our old roof for a new solar panel one. The car that we've ordered they said will not likely be a 2017 but an '18. I wonder if there are any other options or if people have alternative suggestions since the roof has to be done now. Tesla has started to have a waiting list for orders. There are different styles. I just wonder who will install it and what the cost will be as well as if it will be waterproof or do they need a barrier underneath it. They say it will be cheaper than shingles because they are lighter so for transportation they'd be easier but I need it done ASAP. So many questions and it would be so cool to be the first one in my area to have this :)
Comments (53)
  • hatetoshop

    Change your settings, on Houzz, to reflect your location. Click on "Your Houzz/edit profile" in upper right hand corner of this page. Then click on "Contact Info" on left hand side. Then update your city/province, etc.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    My understanding is that this product is not yet ready for sale and even if it is , there will have to be an installer in your area. These will certainly cost more than a shingle roof by the time all the install is factored in.

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler

    It's a pipe dream. Solar costs more than it generates. Think of 20 years of utility bills. Now, pay that up front. Now. Plus the cost of installation. And maintenance. Now, have that last 15 years. That is solar. Bought into the boondoggle. Never again.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I think it depends on what you use the solar for , we heat our pool with solar and save a huge amount of money. The cost of the panels paid for itself in 2 yrs of savings.

  • Alison Inge

    I would like to refer to the above article.

    Also if one switches to LED lighting in their home from fluorescent or regular incandescent lighting, the savings are phenomenal. Depending on how long a LED light is used it can be less than $1.50 per year.

    I'd recommend checking your area.

    The thing is this pipe dream is becoming less expensive. Like all technology, ie: just look at your cellphone/computer for example and it gets better over time. Including the cost.

    It takes some research but in the end I believe the savings are greater over time. You might not see it initially, but in the long term it will be there.
  • Alison Inge
    This article also talks from a perspective of breaking down the cost of their product.

    However, I believe that if the government can offer more incentives here in Canada, such as certain electric vehicles getting a reduction of cost by about $14,000 than we can come up with alternative solutions into incentives for people who want to go more green.

    If the government in the US can apply a bailout to the automakers, how come the same can't be done for people who want to reinvent green energy?

    Yes this means a shift in the dynamics of the economy but a shift has to come sooner than later.

    We are adaptable to our climate however our environment isn't. We can see the effects around us.

    There is good news however. There will be a ban of gasoline vehicles in some European by 2030.

    Shouldn't we get a jump start in catching up with them?

    There is a huge economical shift happening.

    Thomas Edison once said:
    Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

    It's time to get the overalls on. Don't miss that opportunity.
  • Kim

    Alison Tesla will not start delivering the new solar roof before secondhalf of the year. And properly not before close to the end of the year. So this dosent sound like a solution for you. Besides taht expect the roof to be quiet pricy.......

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler

    Hipsters ain't teaching old hippies any new tricks. We've been there, done that, and have the tie dye T shirt. Proselytizers are really funny trying to tell the original solar adopters about solar.

  • barncatz

    I take it you're using your flip phone to post?

  • Alison Inge
    Umm I've an iPhone ... my apologies if my texting does not look the greatest :)
  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.

    @Alison - where in Canada are you located and which vehicle are you looking at? The dealers who sell electric vehicles often have contacts as to solar dealers who will help install a recharging system at your home. Where you live and which vehicle you purchase will dictate your options.

    Tesla helps out quite a bit with home-based charging systems, where as Nissan and and the lower priced e-car makers are not as helpful.

    I applaud you for getting a home charging station. We know there are several areas in Canada where the electricity grid cannot handle the extra strain of electric vehicles (Saskatchewan has already stated it cannot handle the added strain if e-cars become too prevalent over the next 20 years).

    I would recommend getting your roof repaired so that your home charging system can have a solid foundation to sit on. You may have to contact a local solar power supplier/installer in your area and then find out if they have roofing contacts that they LIKE to work with (ie. both parties know what is needed to get things work together). This may make things a little smoother for you.

  • Alison Inge
    Now that I think about it since the Bolt is not in stock til the new year and we would have to put in a down payment, we might go with a Volt instead. That way we still get the 14k incentive, it's a hybrid, and we don't have to worry about the long trips to the cottage.

    I would love to go with a car from Tesla and their roof, as well as their home power station but in reality people are right they are right now too expensive.

    Their cars start around 160k and up to about $250k Canadian.

    The government gives an incentive of up to 14k. However I don't have any idea what the incentive will be in the new year, or if it will exist or if Chevy will get their Bolt out. I called directly to GM and they still continue to make it. Their battery size will stay the same and their battery is around the same size as Tesla! So it's 1/2 the price... or less.

    The Volt is even less expensive it starts in Canada for about 38k (no bells or whistles) - around 44 for the premier.. give or take on taxes... I'm still learning about that one...

    So the money I save on the cost of the car means I can put more to the roof, for adding panels, and the installation of the faster boosting station which the government of Ontario will cover 50% of the installation fee and the cost of the charger. It's a 240 V fast charger that can charge it in 4-6 hours.
  • Alison Inge
    Of forgot I said it before but minus that 38-44k off of that price... 14k off
  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    Am I reading an advertisement or a political campaign.?

    Alison be honest now, are your running for the Greens?

  • Alison Inge
    um no, though I have supported every govt body except for the conversatives

    And yes I am texting on my iPhone so please forgive my chicken scratch of a reply
  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    **editted to remove a judgemental presumption**

    Changes to govt have to be made from within. Maybe you should consider it, you seem knowledgeable, passionate, and articulate.

    But I think the timing is wrong for Tesla solar panels, for you. I'm excited about that too. The idea that the technology hasn't evolved since the 80s is silly, and sometimes the right thing isn't the easiest thing. It's not all about $$ and if the hippy boomers had remembered that the world could be so very different right now.

  • ritasj
    Alison...I think Sophie drew the flip phone comment...not you...you are obviously trying to do the right thing for the environment.....with the added caution of trying to find the best deal...this is so new it seems that you are on your own with the exception of further inquiries from the experts...hopefully to find expert opinions from people who are not pushing a product....the one element of caution would be to beware of getting into anything so new that it is unproven ....that the next few generations may be much better after the flaws and problems are identified and fixed...the other factor is of course re-sale value and how long do you really plan on staying in your present home...the solar option has a lot of appeal to most people today...so find the comfortable spot in your selection...
  • Alison Inge
    Fortunately I'm one of the late millennials that has been able to get into the market early, who almost has their mortgage paid off, and isn't working at the moment but will return soon. So yes right now my dreams are big, my income and way of living is frugal, and I am trying to make a difference with what I have. It's not an immediate thing, but a potential... my husband is retired early (medical reason is that he has a brain tumour) and I took time off to deal with it. Since this isn't our forever home, we will probably compromise with our roof, and getting a hybrid (a bit more of a insurance that it will run if not charged). But running for the Green Party, no not going to happen or any party for that matter even though I love politics my calling is in education.
  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    Well Alison, if you change your mind you've got my vote!

    I feel we need people like you leading us: not career politicians, articulate, fiscally responsible, and a strong social conscience.

  • barncatz

    Oh my gosh, Alison, I'm so sorry!! I feel awful. I was not directing snark at your post or your posting technique!! I totally support your viewpoint. My comment was totally inarticulate and I apologize to you and to all posters who misunderstood me. My fault. I knew you were keen on solar and think that's wonderful. Far from denigrating change, we hope to install solar panels on an addition this fall.

    I should have made it clear I was responding to Sophie Wheeler. She seemed to me to be pooh poohing those of us adopting solar technology today based on what I took to be her prior experience with it in its early days. To me, the fact that she was an early and disappointed solar adopter doesn't mean she can evaluate and dismiss today's solar. I was trying to use the outdated flip phones to point out that technology progresses by leaps and bounds and can't be judged historically. I was trying to say if her phone has changed so dramatically with what it can do, the solar she used back in the day can't be today's solar.

    Wow. I apologize again for detouring your thread! Next time, I'll try to post my whole thought, not leave my post so vague it can be interpreted any number of ways. I'm always concerned about being too long winded. :(( Best of luck.

  • Alison Inge
    Hey Barncatz I got your message, no worries.. don't know where it went if it was a direct message but no need to apologize I misread it as well :)
  • miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)

    And after reading your explanation, @barncatz, I will edit my post in order not to call you out.

  • PRO
    Solar Texas

    Don't hold your breath waiting for Tesla roof tiles. They might go into production and they might not. Elon Musk is very good at getting in front of the media with one claim or another and Tesla's stock price usually goes up as a result. These types of roof tiles have been produced before and the companies that manufactured them weren't small, yet they discontinued the product. So you're not getting anything new.

    There are a number of issues to overcome:

    - There's a lot of breakage in handling and transportation. You expect it with clay and concrete tiles. It's expensive with solar tiles. Glass sheets don't like touching other glass sheets. Tempered safety glass might be strong against a perpendicular hit. It hates getting tapped on the corner edges. There's going to be more breakage in the shipping and handling than the whizkids at Tesla expect and particularly at the endpoint when tiles are removed from the packaging and dragged over each other.

    - Every tile has to have an electrical connection on the roof; hundreds, if not thousands of connections that have to remain dry and dirt and corrosion free. And rats and mice are known to get in under tiles and they're known to chew on electrical cable insulation. I don't know how Tesla is planning on avoiding shorts by encasing the wiring somehow.

    - Glass is slippery. Installation will be an issue for installers.

    - Who does the distribution: roofing supply companies or electrical companies?

    - A master electrician needs to be on site during the entire installation.

    - How do you deal with leaks or broken tiles? Clay and concrete tiles can be replaced or patched. What happens if you have a few broken solar tiles and Tesla stops production? Roofing companies can store old, unused tiles for decades in a back yard. They don't lose money. That's not going to happen with solar tiles, which deteriorate and lose value with time. What happens if you can no longer find installers willing to work with Tesla tiles?

    - What do you do for the north side of the house? Is Tesla manufacturing the same looking tiles without solar capabilities?

    - Who checks for non-producing solar tiles? Someone will need an IR camera and they aren't cheap. Then someone will need to go on the roof to change out the tile/s...and have I mentioned, glass tiles are slippery? And when they break underfoot, the glass shards will cut into the underlayment and get stuck in shoe soles and score other tiles as the worker/s negotiates the roof.

    - Who does the installation? In the US, roofers can knock over a shingle roof in a day, but now you'll need several days and installers with more than just a basic education, a pickup, some basic tools and a trailer. With solar tiles, they'll need an entire range of new tools and several vehicles.

    - Canada has generous subsidies at taxpayer expense. If those subsidies are ever substantially cut and if the utility companies do away with net metering, you won't think much of solar under those circumstances.

    - Clay and concrete break but essentially remain together so you still have some remaining protection on the roof and any leak is typically small. It needs to be addressed, but it's not usually catastrophic. Tempered safety glass shatters. Rain water will pour into a 12" x 12" hole. Secondly, how do you clean the glass shards from your backyard, gutters and elsewhere?

  • PRO
    Solar Texas

    Hey Sophie: I fully support your sentiments, but the next generation will have to find out for themselves. I must admit to some smug voyeurism for the exact same reasons you mention.

  • Alison Inge
    Sophie you raise a whole bunch of awesome points dealing with the product. I'm glad that you're able to put your input in. I understand where you're coming from. New technology (well this isn't new exactly as you have pointed out) is always more expensive in the beginning than when it is a mass produced product.

    This is why I have been hesitating with having solar attached to current home. Right now government incentives do not exist for solar microfits in Ontario, (from what I've heard from my cousin who has panels on his house). During the winter sometimes he only makes $30, but in the summer $800, so is it worth it? It depends. He's locked in at a specific rate, the company who was financing the initiative went bankrupt, the panels were costly for him at the time... but again perhaps the price has come down.

    There are so many questions that I have about it, but sometimes I wonder if it's too little too late.

    I was just watching on the news that Lake Ontario was flooded with 6 foot waves. Driftwood and Granite rocks being pushed around like pebbles... it's what's to come in the future... perhaps there are other alternatives...
  • PRO
    Solar Texas

    I'm assuming you meant Solar Texas and not Sophie. I don't know what incentives are offered in Ontario, so that is a decision I'll leave to you. Some observations though:

    - Your cousin shouldn't be making any money from his solar panels. He should be breaking even if anything. If he's selling more electricity back to the utility than he's using, then he wasted money putting more panels on his house than he needed.

    - Solar panels will last about 20-25 years. Your inverter will last about 10. Cost to replace the inverter in the US is about $3K plus labor. Warranties on most solar panels indicate power loss of about 10% after 10 years. Plan for it.

    - Solar panels are heavily subsidized, both in terms of the initial expense, and when linked to the grid, in their running costs. They aren't and never will be self-sustaining as a practical source of power in comparison to coal, nuclear, hydro or gas power plants. They are only viable for grid use at the pleasure of our governments. A change of policy will cause the entire justification equation for their acceptance to be thrown out.

    There are several other points I could make, but they put me (further???) into the area of political commentary which I am loathe to do on here.

  • Alison Inge
    Please continue there's too much knowledge that people hold back than exchange nowadays.
  • PRO
    Solar Texas

    Okay, just a little. In my mind, there are only three reasons for going with solar electricity:

    1. You've got money burning a hole in your pocket.

    2. You want to save the world.

    3. You want electricity in an isolated area and you are happy to compromise with an intermittent supply perhaps smoothed with battery storage compared with the expense of installing a grid-tied connection.

    Government and utility subsidies have skewed the economic equation, so there are sound economic reasons for acquiring solar electricity now; it's just that someone else is paying. Justification varies for each and every household though.

    If you're going to get solar panels, get your roof fixed first and just install panels through a reputable contractor.

  • sharayak
    I read an article saying it will cost about $72,000 Canadian to have 70% of an average home's roof done with tesla tiles.
  • PRO
    Cancork Floor Inc.

    @sharayak...that sounds like 4-5 times the cost of re-roofing the average house (if you estimate a roof can cost $15K - $25K to have reroofed). And that sounds about right for Tesla solar tiles.

    I believe the traditional solar panels would be significantly cheaper than that. So much so that you could reroof your house AND add solar panels (70% coverage) and still have money to spare (compared to $72K).

    There are parts of the US where the state has incentivized solar panels - to the point where only a modest investment is needed to get a portion of the roof covered in solar panels....the rest are handled by "rebates".

  • Alison
    But if you read the info from Tesla it says only 40% of a roof ends up solar and the other 60% is glass tile. So giving a price for 70% solar isn't accurate
  • jmm1837
    Alison - if you read the second page of the article shayarak cited, you're still looking at over $40,000 USD for a 40 % coverage on an average roof. And Tesla isn't arguing with that number. Maybe it's their sales pitch that's a bit misleading.
  • Alison
    $40k is so different than $70k though and makes it something people would consider
  • wannabath

    SOLAR, SOLAR, SOLAR!!! Anybody who lives in CA is so sick of people ringing their doorbell,being chased down in Home Depot and the endless cold calls in regards to solar. You would think product that saves people so much money wouldn't need such a sales pitch?

    When you ask anyone who has leased or paid upfront what the have saved it never makes sense. $14k is a lot of monthly electrical payments. Leasing is worse as there are limits on monthly savings, maintenance costs, house resale, roof repairs, etc, etc.

    Solar should cost the avg home about $5k to be a true savings. Heating a pool isn't generating electricity and yes the savings from running a heater vs heating the water there is a genuine savings. Then you can raise your pools temps about 5 degrees with a $100 cover.

    These Co's have played on the emotions that they are saving the world. So what your Prius generates more emissions to create and battery disposal then a normal car look at me with my reusable shopping bags and my Prius. Kind of like how they told everyone in CA that giving you a free plastic bag was saving the environment and now charging you .10 cents per bag. Couldn't they just give you paper bags? Oh wait that doesn't put a little white envelope in a Senators pocket.

    Do the math solar does not pay out for over 10 years at the minimum and the warranty is up way before that. Oh, where do we dispose of all the old solar equipment?

  • Alison
    The Tesla roof has a lifetime warranty so that issue isn't relevant. Also the original poster isn't from California. I believe they said Canada.
  • Alison Inge
    Hi there yes that's right I am Canadian. Managed to get my roof done, but we still have the cottage here to do too... but that's a project all together that will cost a lot more. Perhaps in the future. The trees are more valuable than solar up here. Eventually though, I do want to sell my home and move up here. But that's another story.
  • PRO
    Solar Texas
    Alison, every other product that I've had demonstrated to me that has a "lifetime warranty" also has a catch in plain text that appears innocuous that most enamored customers read right on by, and Tesla is no different at this stage. The Tesla "lifetime warranty" only applies to the glass at this stage. The power produced has another warranty entirely. Many roof tile companies provide a better warranty against weather protection. But hey, it's all hype in my view and if you can get other taxpayers and utility customers to foot a major part of your electricity bill, then why not?
  • Alison
    Change is hard. There are bound to be hiccups and issues with any new product. We are building a new house with a traditional roof ourselves. I think solar will be a necessary change in our future. I applaud those dabbling with it now. I wish nothing but success for Tesla with their product.
  • PRO
    Solar Texas

    Does that mean the issue really is relevant, but you choose to ignore it because change is hard? Thank goodness for government subsidies.

  • Alison Inge
    Well I couldn't wait because my roof was leaking but it would have been nice lol
  • Alison
    The timing is impossible for us to have a solar roof from Tesla. Not to mention we live on rainy North Vancouver on a lot with trees that provide excessive cover. We aren't candidates for solar. That doesn't mean I have to dislike it or can't imagine that it will be the future.
  • ritasj
    Wow ...who would have thought there would be such adamant opinions about solar....while it definitely does not appeal to everyone...it does work quite well under the right conditions..we go to the desert for the winter and it is widely and successfully used there ...along with wind power..

    It is even income producing for some individuals...and whether it is cheaper or not ...it is definitely needed and being tested and perfected for future use and has overall benefits in areas that are ideal for it...

    all new ideas are suspect to some and require stages of development....but the pioneers may well contribute to the quality of life for future generations...

    I for one would like to believe that the problems it creates as well as the damage done by current power sources....will be part of the solution
  • anjanette o'chan

    Every pro/con perspective has been helpful toward my decision to implement solar into our household. For my mother's newly built home (in northern CA), the builders (Pulte) have a very attractive leasing/maintenance agreement for solar panels thru Solar City-Tesla that, after careful consideration of the numbers (based on a numerous factors & scenarios), ultimately made sense to go with. As for my home (also in northern CA), we have a lot of pre-installed skylights along our south side that make it difficult to install solar panels properly. Hence, the research into Tesla's solar roof tiles. I'm not one to jump into first/new tech - especially when we're talking about something as necessary/costly as a roof replacement, so simply keeping informed on any pros & cons keeps me in a comfy place. But, our old roofing is nearing its end of life. So for now, here's one article about Tesla's solar roof tiles that I found helpful:http://news.energysage.com/tesla-solar-panel-roof-the-next-solar-shingles/

    As to costs perspective, here's another helpful article: https://www.inverse.com/article/35106-tesla-solar-roof-actual-price

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs

    We are in the NorthEast and have super high electrical bills. Love excuses….here is the one we get “People living on Cape Cod are at the end of the line, so delivery charges are high.”

    After considerable research we leased the solar panels because the numbers ran suggest that it takes about 20 years to start realizing the savings. We won’t be here in 20 years.

    The back of our house faces South with no interference from any trees. We heat the pool and run everything electric in the house off the solar power. If we have a cloudy month, NStar kicks in, automatically, and our power is never compromised.

    My electric bills easily could run over $500.00 a month. I pay $112.00 a month for the lease and my highest bill has been $126.00. Quite an annual savings.

    Before you lease, keep in mind that the company owns the panels (which is a good thing if something happens to them), but it also means that should you sell your house, the solar company will be involved in the process. You also need to be in good stead with your bank/mortage company, as the lease acts like a lien.

  • Donna Burge

    I have a two story home in Colorado. Totally solar since building 15 years ago. I have a back up generator for emergencies. It was much cheaper to install the two large panels (on poles behind the house) than to pay to run a line. I have minimum annual costs, have replaced the batteries once. Many houses in the area are solar. Sophie shouldn't be so bitter. Things change and circumstances are different for different people.

  • Sierrafoothills

    We've had solar on our house for years, and it's paid off and then some. Best decision we made.

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