Tesla Solar Roof Tiles vs. Solar Panels

tesla solar panels roof factory

What To Consider Between Tesla Solar Roof vs. Solar Panels

The introduction of solar roof tiles has brought on a new debate for solar energy consumers—solar roof tiles versus solar panels. Solar tiles were first introduced by Tesla in 2005. They have only recently become available to the public for home installation. Homeowners now have a new option to consider when switching to solar. Each solar option comes with its unique benefits and downsides. We’ve compiled the top questions to consider when comparing traditional solar panels to Tesla Solar Roof Tiles. 

What Are Tesla Solar Roof Tiles?

tesla solar roof shingles home
Tesla Solar Roof Tiles installed on a Home. Courtesy of Tesla

The Tesla solar roof tiles are small scale solar panels, shaped like a typical roof shingle. Solar roof shingles are also called solar roof tiles or a solar roof. The Tesla solar roof tiles replace your existing roof and are permanently attached to the roof of a home. Solar shingles operate in the same way as solar panels using a photovoltaic system to generate solar energy. They capture radiation from the sun and convert that energy into usable energy through an inverter

Do Solar Shingles Cost more than Solar Panels? 

The Tesla solar roof tiles have decreased in cost since the first home installation in 2011. The solar tiles are now about half the original price. However, they are still relatively expensive, especially when considering labor costs, and not readily available. Tesla states that a roof made up of Tesla’s solar roof tiles will cost $21.5 per square foot. If you have a home with a 1,500 square feet roof, putting solar shingles on your entire roof will cost $32,250 without labor costs. The total cost of installing solar roof tiles can be reduced with rebates and federal tax incentives. But Tesla Solar Roof Shingles are much more expensive than solar panels.

san diego adu accessory dwelling unit

In comparison, a solar energy system using solar panels usually cost roughly $400 per solar panel. And including labor costs, a solar energy system can range anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the roof and wattage size. When factoring in labor costs and any applicable tax incentives, the price difference can be substantial. The cost of difference is the most significant factor most homeowners consider when choosing between solar roof shingles and solar PV panels. 

What are the Top Benefits of the Tesla Roof Solar Shingles?

Increase in Home Value and Homes Sell Faster

solar and home value

A new solar system is similar to a home renovation because a solar panel system can increase its overall market value. A solar energy system is the best home improvement renovation because it is the only one guaranteed to pay you back. If you saw two identical homes, one with solar and one without. Wouldn’t you pay more for the home that costs less to maintain every month? 

Based on past data, homes with solar power can be sold for 3% more than homes without. This increase in home value applies to both solar shingles and solar panels. Besides, when analyzing previous home sales, the data has shown that homes with solar energy systems sell faster than others. When getting solar roof tiles, not only can you benefit directly from the solar energy system, but it will improve your home valuation as well. 

Increased Lifespan: Tesla Roof Tiles Come with a Lifetime Warranty

Tesla boasts that solar tiles are more durable than standard roof tiles. According to Tesla, you shouldn’t need to replace your solar roof shingles for about 30 years. The Tesla solar tiles are made of tempered glass, a notoriously hard material. Tesla is so confident about the solar roof tiles’ longevity that they offer a lifetime warranty to everyone who installs it. However, solar roof shingles have not been on the market long enough to accurately test their longevity. Solar panels have a lifespan of about 25-30 years. And compared to the lifetime solar shingle warranties, solar panel warranties are up to 25 years. Also, more parts come with Tesla Solar Roof Tiles, and the chance of one shingle not working is much higher than one solar panel malfunctioning. 

roof repair concrete tile

Environmental Impact - Fight Climate Change

riverside environmental benefits solar

Whether you choose to make the switch from your utility company to generating your electricity with solar panels or solar roof tiles, you’ve made a tremendous step towards improving the environment. Solar energy systems are a form of renewable energy to power your home or business. With more homes and businesses switching to solar, our community becomes less reliant on burning fossil fuels as our primary energy source. You can feel good about purchasing solar roof tiles because you are making a substantial impact on helping the USA realize a zero-carbon goal. By adopting solar power, you can help create a better society by replacing ozone-depleting substances with a green, renewable energy form. 

Polished Appearance - Designed with Solar in Mind

One reason to choose Tesla roof solar shingles vs. solar panels is their modern appearance. Solar panels are generally considered unattractive and can stick out like a sore thumb. Tesla aimed to solve precisely this problem by transforming roof tiles into solar power electricity generators. Letting customers utilize the entire surface of their roof. Tesla’s solar roof shingles were designed to replace roof shingles. Allowing them to blend into the roof’s design seamlessly. This design enables the Tesla solar roof shingles to look inconspicuous and mirrors the appearance of asphalt shingles. They make it appear as though the home’s roof’s aesthetics was designed with solar in mind.

Tesla Solar Roof Tiles provide great appeal for homeowners who want solar energy without looking at solar panels on their roofs. Tesla solar roof tiles currently come in the same colors offered for solar panels, blue and black. Unlike traditional solar panels, Tesla plans to provide more color options for solar roof tiles. 

What Are the Disadvantages of Solar Shingles?

Slow to Get Installed and Takes a Long Time to Install

Since solar roof tiles are a recent innovation, solar roof shingles do not have many installation contractors. To install solar roof shingles, you need to find a solar installation company with expertise in roofing and solar energy. With the limited number of experienced solar tile installers, it can be harder to find a professional solar tile installer, and the vetting process is typically longer. Also, it takes much more labor to install solar roof tiles than solar panels. On average, it takes 5-6 hours for a solar installation team to install solar panels on an average home. It would take the same solar installation team roughly 5-6 days to install the solar roof shingles. 

Expensive When You Factor in Equipment and Labor Costs

The primary reason you don’t see many homes with Tesla Roof tiles is that it isn’t practical in terms of cost. Solar roof shingles costs substantially more than solar panels. If your primary reason to go solar is savings, solar roof tiles may not make much financial sense. Solar roof tiles often make the most sense when you are planning to replace your existing roof. It would be best to consider the home value and reduced energy costs to assess whether a roof comprised of solar roof tiles makes sense for your goals. 

roofing construction

Lower Productivity - Lower Power Generation

Due to how the tiles need to be installed, Tesla solar tiles do not produce electricity across 100% of its surface. This is because there is tremendous overlap across all of the tiles. Besides, Tesla solar roof tiles are installed to match the existing slope and angle of the roof. If a section of the roof does not get a lot of sun, the solar tiles are less efficient. In comparison, solar panels are individually placed and installed to ensure that they capture the maximum sunlight for 365 days a year. Also, solar panels do not interfere with the roofing material below and can be installed without altering your existing roof tiles. The maximum amount of solar energy output generated from the Tesla solar roof tiles covering an entire 1,500 sqft roof is about 10kWh. A 10kWh system size is the equivalent of 28 360w solar panels. 

Limited Mobility: Difficult to Transfer to Another Home

solar energy rails and roofing

Compared to solar panels, a roof covered with solar tiles is much more challenging to transfer. Since it essentially replaces composition shingles on your roof, it would be extremely challenging to take the solar tiles to your new home if you decide to move homes. Therefore, it would be best if you planned to leave your solar tiles on the house. By keeping the solar roof on your home, you can raise the overall home market price when selling your home.

Greater Chance of Issues: Higher Failure Rates

Since there are many more solar shingles than panels in the same size system, all these shingles need to be electrically connected. This means that with each shingle that is added, the potential points of failure increase substantially. With a traditional solar panel system, you may have 15 solar panels. With a Tesla Roof, you will have to worry about 10x more individual components that could break. This is represented in the higher real-world failure rate of solar roof shingles compared to solar panels.

Are Solar Shingles Right for Me?

Most studies suggest that installing Tesla Roof tiles doesn’t make a lot of practical sense. They cost substantially more and do not produce nearly as much electricity as conventional solar panels. The most significant appeal of the Tesla roof tiles is the aesthetic factor. However, as Tesla continues to innovate its technology, the cost should go down, and efficiency should improve. For most homeowners, Tesla Solar Roof Tiles aren't a great alternative to solar panels unless you face a situation where a completely new roof is needed. But it would be best if you weighed the cost and benefits for yourself.

If you enjoy staying up with the latest technological improvements and looks are your most significant priority, solar roof tiles may be an excellent option for you. Solar roofs are an incredible piece of invention that is growing in popularity. If you are in the market for solar energy and saving money is your greatest priority, solar panels are the way to go. If aesthetics and keeping up with the latest trends in a dynamic market is your goal, Tesla Solar Roof Tiles are the perfect fit. Whatever option you pick, you will be helping the environment and your home by switching to a cleaner, greener form of renewable energy. 

Make the Switch to Renewable Solar Energy

Tesla solar roof tiles might be a good idea, but they are still long from being accessible and sensible for the general public. Forme Solar is ready to handle the latest innovation in the industry, and we are continually adopting new technology to improve the cost and aesthetics of every solar energy system. Regardless of what you are looking for, Forme Solar is ready to support and help you with every roofing or solar energy need. We are an innovative solar energy company that can offer our customers the best possible service and equipment at affordable prices. If you have questions about solar, contact us today or call us at 714-694-2262. Forme Solar is a certified solar panel installer in California. We can help you with any solar panel or Tesla solar roof shingle questions. Make the switch to solar today. 

solar panel installation company


  • Design your Solar + Powerwall system - Only $1.49/Watt for Solar on Existing Roofs. Lowest cost in America. Money-back guarantee. Home Address. Average Electric Bill.  (tesla.com)
  • Solar Roof Conference Call Webcast - Solar Roof Conference Call Webcast. Event Details. Solar Roof Conference Call Webcast Oct 25, 2019 2:00 PM PDT. Webcast Presentation ... (ir.tesla.com)
  • Solar Panels - Tesla solar makes it easy to produce clean, renewable energy for your home or business and to take control of your energy use. Learn more about solar. (tesla.com)
  • Solar Roof - Solar Roof replaces your existing roof and brings it to life with beautiful solar tiles that can power your home for decades with the energy you produce. (tesla.com)
  • Tesla: Electric Cars, Solar & Clean Energy - Tesla is accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy with electric cars, solar and integrated renewable energy solutions for homes and businesses. (tesla.com)
  • Design your Solar Roof - Solar for New Roofs. Costs less than a new roof plus Solar Panels. Home Address. Average Electric Bill. See Recommendation. We won’t spam you in any way ... (tesla.com)
  • Elon Musk: Tesla’s next ‘killer product’ is Solar Roof - Electrek - Elon Musk says that Tesla’s next ‘killer product’ is its Solar Roof and that it will become “obvious” next year. It looks like Tesla is getting ready for it by hiring an army of roofers. During a conference call following Tesla’s Q3 2020 earnings results this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk hyped up the s... (electrek.co)