Friday, May 24, 2024

How Much Does Rooftop Solar Cost

Is It Worth It

What are Solar Roof Shingles and how much do they cost?

All of these hidden costs of rooftop solar panels certainly add up and should be taken into consideration when calculating potential pay-back periods. For homeowners who want the benefits that come with solar energy, without acquiring all of these hidden costs, community solar projects are continuing to grow and offer a viable alternative.

Clearway Community Solar offers community solar projects in five different states across the country. Our active solar farms have produced over 70 million kWh of clean solar power to date, and support over 15,000 subscribers. By signing up for a Community Solar Project, homeowners can avoid the potential setbacks and obstacles that routinely come with rooftop solar PV systems, avoid the hassles that often come with installation of the panels themselves, and see economic rewards more immediately.

Breaking Down The Price Of Teslas Solar Roof

Tesla solar roof systems are designed entirely with Tesla-exclusive equipment. With every Tesla solar roof install you can expect at least these four things:

  • Active solar shingles
  • Tesla Powerwall
  • Tesla solar inverter

Heres the breakdown of how each of these pieces of equipment contributes to the total price.

1. Active solar shingles

Cost: $1.80 per watt

Teslas active solar shingles are tempered glass shingles, containing solar cells that generate electricity. It costs about $1.80 per watt to install the active shingles. Each shingle is 15 by 45 and designed to have a similar look to slate shingles. According to Electrek, Teslas solar shingles are 71.67 watts in size. However, Tesla doesnt list any official power ratings on their website.

If you installed a 7 kW Tesla solar roof, the active shingles alone would cost $12,600 before incentives. The bigger the solar system you need, the higher the total price will be.

See what solar incentives and rebates you qualify for

2. Inactive shingles

Cost: $15.29 per square foot – $21.30 per square foot

Teslas inactive shingles do not contain solar cells, they simply cover your roof like a traditional shingle and allow the active solar shingles to blend in with the rest of the roof. Because the inactive shingles do not generate electricity, they are priced per square foot, not per watt. The average home has a 1,700 square foot roof, so it would cost between $22,610 and $35,275 for inactive shingles and roofing materials alone.

Does The Gaf Solar Roof Require Maintenance

The GAF solar roof doesnt require any serious maintenance.

The solar shingles may collect dust and debris over time, but your typical rain shower will wash this away. If you havent had any rain and notice that your solar shingles need a rinse, you can do so yourself with a garden hose. You could hire a professional if you want, but thats probably not necessary.

Keep in mind that snow can prevent the solar shingles from generating electricity. If you dont want to wait for the snow to melt, you can brush it off your GAF Energy shingles with a soft bristled brush.

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Would Gaf Solar Shingles Really Be Cheaper Than Traditional Solar Panels

Again, since we dont have any official pricing from GAF, we cant say with 100% certainty that GAF solar shingles would be cheaper. However, it seems likely that GAF will be able to keep their prices pretty low.

Theres two main reasons for this. For one thing, GAF doesnt really have to worry about customer acquisition costs like most solar installers. GAF is a trusted name brand in the roofing industry, so when homeowners are looking to replace their roof, GAF is already on their radar. A GAF installer can simply mention to homeowners, Hey, youre already getting a roof replacement, do you want to try solar shingles?

The second reason is that GAF solar shingles are designed to be installed by roofers. Instead of having to deal with two separate companies for a roofing and a solar installation, it can be done by one team. That cuts down on the amount of time and labor needed to complete the project, which brings down the price.

See which incentives and rebates you are eligible for to reduce the cost of a solar system installation

How Much Do Gafs Solar Shingles Cost

How much does a Solar Rooftop Cost?

As of January 2022, GAF has not released any official pricing for their solar shingles.

However, GAF Energy President Martin DeBono told the Washington Post that a full roof replacement and GAF solar shingle installation would cost $42,000 for his home. Once incentives are considered, the price would drop to $30,000.

Frankly, these numbers dont really mean anything because we dont know the size of DeBonos roof or solar system. He did compare it to a traditional roof replacement and solar panel installation, which he says would cost about $52,000 before incentives, and $44,000 after.

So, according to DeBonos estimates, getting a roof replacement with GAF solar shingles would be cheaper than getting your roof replaced by a roofing company and a separate solar installation by a solar company. It would also be cheaper than installing a Tesla solar roof, which would cost the average home around $50,000, as well.

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How Much Do Rooftop Solar Panels Cost

A rooftop solar array can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 upfront for a medium to large home further north. Accounting for the 30% solar tax credit given to rooftop panel owners brings these numbers down to about $10,000 and $25,000, respectively. Still, its important to recognize that every home is unique and will earn a different quote.

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Factors That Contribute To The Cost Of Solar Panels

There are many factors that contribute to the cost of solar panels. Understanding the how and why of any cost variance will help you plan your solar installation accordingly. Lets review the elements that impact the overall cost of your solar system and how you can use them to your advantage.

The cost of solar panels has become more and more affordable as the industry grows. In fact, government incentive programs have allowed homeowners to install solar panels at a reduced cost. However, the type of solar panel system, property location, and the size of the system are variables that greatly impact the overall solar panel cost. When you are considering going solar, you should also consider these factors to determine the right system and method of installation for you.

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How Much Does A Tesla Solar Roof Cost

You can expect to spend anywhere from $35,000 to upwards of $70,000 for the installation of a Tesla solar roof. What goes into this cost is a little bit complicated. Many factors can influence what the total price will be, and honestly the pricing on Teslas website is incredibly vague. With that said, lets get into it.

To cover the costs of a $150 monthly electric bill with a 2,000 square foot roof in California, Tesla recommends a 6.14 kilowatt solar roof with one Powerwall battery. According to their website, this Tesla solar roof system would cost between $52,200 and $64,110, before any incentives are considered.

For the same home to cover a $150 bill in New Jersey, Tesla recommends a 10.26 kW solar roof with one Powerall battery, which will cost roughly between $59,600 and $71,510 to install.

These prices vary widely for a few reasons, one being system size. The more solar shingles needed to offset your electric bill, the more expensive the system will be. What size system you need is directly impacted by how much sunlight your home receives, which is why the home in sunny California can install a smaller system than the home in not-so-sunny New Jersey.

Another major reason why theres such a wide range in pricing is because Tesla charges different prices depending on the complexity of your roof. The more complex a roof is, the more labor and materials are needed to replace it, thus leading to a higher price.

Paying For Your Residential Pv Solar Power System

Raise the roof: Tesla’s solar may cost you less

If youre applying for a loan to cover the cost of your system, there is a unique opportunity you should be aware of. Its called PACE.

PACE is the Property Assessed Clean Energy ProgramPACE programs allow a property owner to finance the up-front cost of energy or other eligible improvements on a property and then pay the costs back over time through a voluntary assessment.

The amount of the monthly payment is determined using an energy assessment of the cost savings from using solar.

In short, PACE funds the purchase of the system. In most cases, the amount of energy cost saved annually is sufficient to make the loan payments.

The PACE program works with private lenders that agree to tailor loans to fit PACE guidelines. Use this map to find a PACE lender.

Did you know? The unique characteristic of PACE is that the loan is attached to the property rather than an individual.

When the home is sold, the new owner agrees to continue with the payments until the loan is paid off. The seller is no longer attached to the loan.

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Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems:

Tesla Solar Roof are the brainchild of Elon Musk, the man behind the Tesla electric vehicle and the SpaceX spacecraft company.

Tesla tiles are tempered glass with a lifetime warranty. Two types of glass tiles are made: Solar tiles equipped with a solar cell and non-solar tiles.

Tesla states that its roof will cost $24-$28 per square foot * 1.5 , though the exact figure continues to change as the tile design has undergone multiple iterations and the total cost of the system has recently increased by a whopping 50% to 100%. The production of new tiles is supposedly underway, but the product availability remains uncertain.

Note: Tesla solar tiles are not really a viable product as of yet. Only a handful of these roofs have been installed so far. Future product availability guidance is murky at best and we dont know if well see the market ready Tesla solar tiles any time soon.

3 IN 1 ROOF BIPV solar tiles are covered here. These innovative roofing tiles are made from closed-cell polyurethane foam topped with a cementitious coating.

The tiles prevent heat gains inside your attic. When your attic stays cooler in summer, the home beneath requires less air conditioning. Total energy savings of up to 38% are built into the roof in this way.

Additionally, when youre running the AC less, the size of the solar power system can be reduced. If, for example, you install a Tesla roof and need an 8.5kW system, you might only need a 7kW system with a 3 IN 1 ROOF.

Solar Panel Cost By Manufacturer

Another way to break down solar panel price data is by the panel brand. The following table was made using data from the EnergySage Marketplace and tracks the average cost of 6 kW and 10 kW solar panel systems by the brand of solar panel used in the installation project.

Table: cost of solar panels by panel manufacturer


NOTE: These ranges are system prices BEFORE the 26 percent federal tax credit for solar.

The price you pay for a solar panel brand is reflective of panel quality to a degree. For example, systems using SunPower panels see the highest average prices , and SunPower is known for producing well-made, high-efficiency products.

Interestingly, there arent that many outliers when it comes to brand pricing, and most manufacturers generally see similar cost ranges. Its important to keep in mind that when comparing system prices based on panel brands, there are so many factors aside from just panel manufacturer that impact the final system price like installer experience, location, racking equipment, inverter brand, and more.

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Can The Tesla Solar Roof Work With A Flat Roof

Unfortunately for homeowners with flat roofs, the Tesla Solar Roof will not be an option for you and your home. The minimum roof pitch eligible for a solar roof installation is 3:12 . This puts the Tesla solar roof at a disadvantage considering solar panels can work on all roof types. All it takes for solar panels to be effective on flat roofs is a tilted racking system.

Solar aside, tiling is not recommended for flat roofs due to leaking potential. This is a very real risk considering the wiring components located inside the solar tiles.

How Much Does A Solar Rooftop Cost

Why rooftop solar costs more than it should  Quartz

Before proceeding to the topic of the cost of Grid Connected Rooftop System you must know the following terms that will help to calculate Rooftop solar cost, rooftop solar cost totally depends on your load capacity.

1) Solar Energy

The energy from the sun can be exploited directly in the form of heat or first converted into electrical energy and then utilized. Accordingly, solar energy is classified in two forms: solar thermal and solar photovoltaics .

  • Advantages of Solar PV System
  • Clean Energy

PV systems use solar energy, a renewable green energy supply, to come up with electricity and so they assist scale back greenhouse emissions and different GHG gas emissions to the atmosphere. Moreover, PV systems, as the other renewable green energy technology, avoid adverse results to the atmosphere that are helpful to the general public health and therefore the surroundings.

  • Reliable System

The lifetime of PV systems is anticipated to be 25 to 30 years and might be put in in varied regions and climates wherever exposure to the sun is perfect.

  • Safety Factor

The PV systems need daylight to work. It doesn’t need any materials which will combust or explode once lighted , or stay noxious for many years, therefore, makes the PV system safer.

  • Reduction in operation prices

PV systems don’t need any fuel for running, rather they need only sunlight that comes at no charge. Additionally, the minimum maintenance is needed therefore reduces maintenance prices.

  • Silence Unlike
  • Modularity

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Tesla Solar Roof Estimate

Rather than directly publishing rates, Tesla provides a Solar Roof calculator on their website that estimates the cost of installing a solar roof on your home. The calculator is based on your current electricity usage and the size of your home, among other factors. We ran three basic estimates to give you an idea of the price differences. Each estimate includes a roof replacement, but does not factor in any incentives.

FYI: All estimates were run on July 13, 2021.


Tesla changes their prices depending on a number of factors, including those listed below.

Solar Power For The Home: Benefits

A significant benefit to PV installation is a lower energy bill, but the magnitude of this benefit depends on the amount of solar energy that can be produced given the available conditions and the way in which utilities charge for electricity.

The first consideration is the solar irradiation levels available in the home’s geographical location. When it comes to using solar panels, being closer to the equator is generally better, but other factors must be considered. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory produces maps for the U.S. showing solar irradiation levels the tools on its website provide detailed solar information for specific locations within the U.S.

Similar maps and data are available in other countries as well, often from government environmental agencies or renewable energy organizations. Equally important is the home’s orientation for rooftop arrays, a south-facing roof without trees or other objects obstructing sunlight maximizes the available solar energy. If this is not available, panels can be mounted on external supports and installed away from the house, incurring additional costs for the extra hardware and cables.

The final benefit is the potential effect on a home’s value due to the addition of a solar array. In general, it is reasonable to assume that solar panels would raise the value of most homes.

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What Changes Were Introduced In 2021

However, the company admitted to making several mistakes in this product, and in March 2021, Tesla updates its solar roof pricing. It was more expensive than it ever had been before.

Even though the cost per watt of solar energy remained constant, they increased the price of the inactive shingles based on the complexity of the homeowners roof. The price went up again within a month, jumping from $9.75 per square foot to $14 per square foot. A complex roof can cost you as much as $19 per square foot.

Moreover, all of Teslas solar roofs have to be combined with Powerwall batteries, driving up the cost even further.

The active solar roofing tiles cost about $2.01 per watt, and the inactive shingles cost varies depending on roof complexity. That ties up to features such as pitch, obstructions on the roof , and others.

You can take a look at this table to understand better the changes in price that Tesla has been rolling out based on roof complexity:

Cost per watt for a traditional solar panel $2.85
Total estimated cost for a Tesla solar roof $40,000

The actual cost of a Tesla roof depends on the size of your home, along with your energy usage calculated every month.

It may also vary depending on the remote inspection done by the Tesla design team to figure out the logistics. Some customers may have to shell out as much as $5,000 to upgrade their electrical panel.

Tesla Solar Roof Cost Varies By Roof Design

How Much Does a Tesla Solar Roof REALLY Cost?

The cost of installing a Tesla roof varies significantly depending on your homes design. In April 2021, Tesla confused and frustrated many of its customers when it sent emails with increased prices to customers that had already signed contracts based on their initial quotes. While the company blamed these price hikes on underestimated roof complexity, Tesla has yet to provide a full explanation as to where its calculations faltered. The company did add a roof complexity estimate to its solar roof calculator, which adjusts the systems price based on the roof complexity. On its website, Tesla divides the complexity into three categoriessimple, intermediate, and complexbased on the following criteria:

  • Simple: single-level roof, uncrowded mounting planes, few obstructions , low pitch
  • Intermediate: multi-level roof , more crowded mounting plane, more obstructions , higher pitch
  • Complex: multi-level roof , heavily crowded mounting plane, many obstructions , steep pitch

You can start to estimate the cost of the Tesla Solar Roof for your property by using Teslas solar roof calculator.

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