Rooftop, Solar

Listen Up: Tesla Solar Roof Tiles — Customer and Installer Perspectives

There’s no doubt in my mind that the home of the future will be solar powered. Intuitively it would be great if the roofing material provided that solar power. But historically it’s been a challenge to combine efficient solar cells with a durable roofing material at an affordable price. Tesla’s new solar tiles hope to solve these challenges.

Without a doubt, Tesla’s solar tiles are the best looking solar roofing products I have seen. Using Tesla’s solar roof calculator and information for a 2,000-square foot home in California with a 2,500-square foot roof and $200 monthly electric bill, here is how their roofing solar tiles compare to an ordinary rooftop solar panel installation:

Of course, I expect the cost for Tesla solar roof tile installations to come down in the future, so their economics are likely to improve. Nevertheless, at these high prices it is clear to me that Tesla really has a product that only makes sense for new construction on high end homes. For the average homeowner considering solar, by far the best choice is a traditional rooftop solar power system. For more about Tesla’s solar tiles, Listen Up to this week’s Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

About the Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

This podcast was originally produced by Spice Solar and was presented here with permission.

Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr