What are Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles?

tesla solar tiles.jpegChances are, you’ve probably heard of Tesla’s solar roof tiles before. They’re marketed as a sleak, innovative way of combining traditional roof shingles with solar panel technology. But how do they stack up compared to traditional solar panels? How do they compare to composite shingles? How much do they cost? All your questions will be answered in this guide!

Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles vs. Solar Panels

Though Tesla hasn’t released much data on how efficient their solar tiles are, EnergySage estimates that the solar tiles are most likely 14% – 18% efficient when it comes to energy production. Compared to traditional solar panels, which typically are 22% – 23% efficient, Tesla’s solar tiles probably aren’t the best option if your ultimate goal is to cut down your electric bill. So what are the other benefits of Tesla’s solar tiles?

Tesla’s Solar Tiles vs. Traditional Composite Shingles

One of Tesla’s biggest selling points for their tiles is durability. Made from the same glass used in phone screens (but much thicker), the solar tiles are designed to withstand any type of weather. Tesla also includes a 25 year warranty with each install, which is great considering the average composite roof only lasts for 20 years. They also claim the tiles are 3x stronger than composite shingles, which seems to be a solid claim. So if you’re tired of dealing with composite shingles and would like a sturdier, longer lasting option, Tesla’s solar tiles may be a solution for you.

The Cost of Solar Tiles

So what’s the cost of Tesla’s solar tiles vs a traditional roof replacement and solar panels? To put it simply, the solar tiles are much more expensive. Using Tesla’s price calculator, we ran the numbers to see what installing the solar tiles would cost a 1700 sq. ft., single story home with an average electricity bill of $200 a month. The total came out to around $89,000 including a $26,000 federal solar panel credit, meaning without the deduction, the true cost would be around $115,000!

Now how does this compare to a traditional roof replacement and solar panels? The average cost of a composite roof replacement in the US typically runs from $6,000 to $15,000 depending on square footage and complexity of the roof. The average cost for residential solar panels in the US is around $12,000 including federal deductions. So, using the same 1700 sq. ft. home from our example above, it’d be safe to say a traditional composite roof replacement with solar panels would cost around $20,000. A huge savings compared to $89,000 solar tiles!


Though Tesla’s new roof technology is incredibly innovative, with the tiles being almost 5x more expensive and nearly 50% less efficient than traditional solar panels, it just isn’t a great option for most consumers. The only time we’d recommend considering Tesla’s solar tiles is if you are in need of a full roof replacement and would like a longer-lasting option than composite shingles, while also cutting down on your electric bill. But even then, there are other roof options such as metal, aluminum, copper, and clay that can last just as long as solar tiles (if not longer!), while still being more cost effective. Even adding solar panels to these types of roofs would still be less expensive than Tesla’s tiles.

Conclusion: Tesla’s solar tiles aren’t worth the money at this point in time, however after a few more years of innovation, they have the potential to become a homeowners best friend.

Though traditional composite roofs only last around 20 years on average, they can last significantly longer if properly cared for and maintenced. One simple roof cleaning can extend the lifetime of your roof by up to 5 years! If you’re interested in holding off the large cost of a full roof replacement, check out our Roof Cleaning Page to learn more about how we can save you time, money and stress. We offer free estimates before every job so you always know exactly what you’re signing up for. No obligations, no hidden fee, just 100% transparency – that’s the Bayside guarantee!

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