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12 things to know about Tesla’s solar roof — including how much it costs!

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Tesla solar roof on home
Image Credit: Tesla
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Finally, the wait is over.

Tesla is now accepting orders for its solar roofing shingles — about a month after it originally planned to start doing so.

Read more: Tesla set to begin production on solar shingles

What you need to know about Tesla’s solar roof

After missing its self-imposed deadline to start taking orders in April, Tesla has now opened the floodgates and is taking deposits for its solar shingles in advance of their June arrival.

As previously reported, the shingles contain solar cells within to power your home. Two styles are available right now and two more styles will be available in 2018.

Early on the morning of May 10, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about the imminent arrival of his next big thing.

Let’s dig into some info about the innovative new solar roofing tiles from Tesla…

How much do the solar shingles cost?

“The typical homeowner can expect to pay $21.85 per square foot* for [a] solar roof and benefit from a beautiful new roof that also increases the value of their home,” Tesla notes in a new blog post.

That price tag includes materials, installation and the removal of your old roof. Not included in that price are taxes, permit fees and additional construction costs such as significant structural upgrades, gutter replacement and skylight replacement.

* The actual cost of solar tiles is $42 per square foot including materials and labor. But that’s before accounting for the money you’ll save from energy generation over time. When you factor that in, you arrive at the estimate of $21.85 per square foot. Also of note, not every shingle on your roof will be solar-enabled. Some will be inactive. Tesla charges $11 per square foot for those inactive shingles.

Listen: Clark talks about the solar shingles on The Clark Howard Show podcast

Can I get a quote customized to my roof?

Yes. Tesla now has a new online calculator to help you.

Just enter your street address, the square footage of your home and the number of stories your home has. With that info, you can get an estimate of how much you’ll be responsible for out of pocket, the value of the energy the roof will generate, how much the roof can save you over 30 years and more.

Is there a tax credit here?

Yes. There’s a 30% federal investment tax credit that you can qualify for.

Any other tax credits available?

Maybe! There could be possible state tax credits. Check to see if any are available where you live by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

Is there a warranty?

Yes. It’s called the Infinity Warranty.

“Made with tempered glass, solar roof tiles are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles,” the company writes online. “That’s why we offer the best warranty in the industry – the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.”

What do the solar shingles look like?

Textured glass tiles and smooth black glass tiles will be the first two styles available.

Textured
Smooth

Beginning in 2018, you’ll also be able to order two other styles:

Tuscan
Slate

When will the roofs be installed?

Look for the installs to begin in June and to start in Tesla’s home state of California. Installation in additional states will be phased in throughout the rest of the year and in 2018.

Who handles the installation?

Installations will be done by Tesla’s wholly owned subsidiary SolarCity.

How long will installation take?

The company estimates installs will take between five to seven days — comparable with install times for a traditional roof.

Do I have to put down a deposit?

A $1,000 deposit is required if you’re interested in moving ahead with an order for Tesla’s solar roof.

Will the shingles impact my resale value?

The answer is most likely — and in a pretty favorable way!

A few years back, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory conducted an eight-year study of home resale values where whole house solar was involved. The study found the typical home with whole house solar sells for $17,000 more than a home that doesn’t have it.

Anything else I should know?

Yes. When you get your quote online, you’ll see a Powerwall battery is included in the price. Removing it from your quote will lower your total cost.

Tesla includes it in the quote because the Powerwall is a desirable thing to have. It’s used to store energy collected during the day. With a Powerwall, you’ll never have to worry about your power being interrupted — even in the event the grid goes down.

Read more: 10 easy energy saving tips for your home

Solarcity and Tesla introduce solar roof

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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