What are Solar Roof Tiles?
Solar tiles are the latest, and possibly greatest innovation of Solar City, a subsidiary of Tesla. It can power one’s home with solar energy, act as a roof and at the same time complement the architecture of the building they are installed on.
Solar roof tiles are available in slate, smooth, textured and Tuscan styles which gives potential users plenty of choices. By opting for the right solar tile, people can increase the beauty of their home. Besides this, the roof tiles are made from tempered glass which means that they are considerably stronger than the traditional roof. According to data gathered from Homenova, they also have the best wind, hail, and fire rating on the market, which is why Tesla offers tile warranty for an infinite amount of time.
Every solar roof tile contains a solar cell which is embedded such that it won’t be even visible. Each tile can collect around ninety-eight percent of the solar energy and power your home. What’s even better is that it offers off-grid reliability as it comes with an integrated power ball battery that stores energy and provides it whenever it’s needed. On top of this, the installation process is similar to conventional tiles so you don’t have to worry about the installation damaging the house.
Is it worth it?
It’s important to note that this calculation is an estimate based on the example from the Tesla page, it is not exact because we are working with averages, but never the less we believe it’ll be useful for determining whether the roof will be worth buying. The example given on the Tesla payment options page mentions that a typical home in Maryland would generate $52,900 in energy value over 30 years with a 50% solar tile coverage. If we divide $52,900 by the $0.14/kWh dollar value of electricity used in this example, we get 377, 857 kWh generated over 30 years or 12,595.24 kWh per year. With inflation, the actual amount of power generated will be less, but for the sake of simplicity, a 50% solar tiled roof will generate 12,595 kWh of power annually. To put that into perspective, the average cost of electricity in Maryland currently, according to Electricity Local, is $0.1284/kWh. The average home in Maryland uses within the range of 6372 kWh/year to 15,048 kWh/year. At 12,060 kWh used per year. The roof will generate a net positive of 535 kWh per year or $74.90 annually if we assume electricity is valued at $0.14/kWh. Over 30 years the average home will see a return of $2,247. It should also be noted, that the Powerwall, the equivalent of a giant battery for storing electrical power, comes separately for an additional $7000. The governmental incentives mentioned in the Tesla article are only for the United States, it will pay for 30% of the cost of the Powerwall and 30% of the Solar tiled parts of the roof.
The final word
After taking into account the estimates provided above and the fact that cheaper options are available it can be said that the solar roof is not worth it for everyone everywhere. Hence, it is not recommended that you go for Tesla’s Solar roof right now.