I Just Ordered a Tesla Solar Roof (Updated 01/03/2020)

I Just Ordered a Tesla Solar Roof (Updated 01/03/2020)

It has been a while, but I have some news and need to update. FYI, I put a deposit on a Tesla Solar Roof in August 2017.

I was hopeful this past August (2019) when my Tesla Energy contact asked for some additional information about my house. Unfortunately, Tesla was installing the “Textured” roof tiles and I need the “Slate” tiles. My contact said he would update my file to reflect the correct tiles.

As background I recently noted on the Tesla Energy site that Solarglass installations in California were beginning in November 2019, with Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Hawaii, and Florida in December 2019. In 2020 it is expected to expand to “additional states”. I am hopeful Virginia will be included in 2020 as when yesterday I clicked my “Solarglass Roof” “MANAGE” box I was pleased to find a new request to provide a “Home Assessment”.

The home assessment asked if my home is part of a Home Owners Association and for me to forward photographs of my electric meter, external and internal shots of my circuit breaker panel, a closeup view of MAIN circuit breaker itself, and a panoramic view of my garage wall. Progress, I hope.

The next part of the process is the “Confirm Order: Coming Soon” where it states ”We are designing a system based on your unique energy needs. We’ll let you know when your order is ready for confirmation.” I love that Tesla “Coming Soon” part.

I have owned a Tesla Model S since June, 2014. Although my residence Home Owner's Association in Fairfax County, Virginia, is not too friendly with "visible from the street" solar, it posed little objection if the components are approved by the internal Architectural Review Board (ARB). Like many, I believe solar is a good way to go. When Tesla announced the Tesla Solar Roof using solar tiles I thought this to be a good way to get solar that would satisfy me and my ARB.

Last month I received a Tesla "Weekend Social" invitation which was "…to join other Tesla owners for an exclusive look at a home powered by Tesla. Our team of specialists will be available to discuss how combining Solar Roof and Powerwall provide you with the ability to produce your own energy, reduce your reliance on the grid, and sustainably power your lifestyle." I figured it was a no-brainer so I went to Bethesda and met with about 60 other owners. The presentation was well done and the Tesla team answered virtually all of the questions posed by the audience.

This month I made an appointment with Tesla Energy Advisor, Nick Stone, 1-702-749-1203, who works in the Tesla Gallery at the Tysons Corner Center. Nick asked for an email copy of my electric bill to assist in his workup. A few days later, Nick came to my house and conducted a walk around and we sat down to discuss the project. So far my electric company, Dominion Energy, has no viable net-metering program as any extra energy produced I sell to them at wholesale price and they sell back to me at retail when I am on the grid. I have time to do a bit more homework on Dominion to determine any options. Given my geographical location and placement/direction of the house my solar roof will probably provide from 50 to 70% of my household needs. Much better than nothing, but there will not be too much selling back anyway.

I specified to Nick that the best appearing covering for my house would be the slate tiles and I asked that two Powerwalls be installed. After previously running the cost numbers on the Tesla Energy site for my 2600 square foot roof I wasn't surprised at Nick's estimated installed price. If the tax credit is still available when my roof is installed sometime in 2019, I may still come out ahead of the game. Notwithstanding, solar is the way to go and I am content to do my part.

A couple of days after our the meeting "Solar Roof" showed up on my My Tesla page. It says:
"What's Next?
When we are ready to begin installations in your area, a Solar Roof product specialist will reach out to you to answer any questions you may have and discuss the next steps for your project.
Your Solar Roof
Textured glass tiles, 2 Powerwalls
For immediate assistance, please contact us (link).
Your order is fully refundable until you confirm your final design.You may cancel your order (link)." Pretty cool stuff

The countdown has begun and I feel akin to the Model S early adopters who waited years for their cars to be built and delivered. I only have two years to wait. Sounds…soon.

Mike83 | 16/08/2017

Cool. Keep us informed.

SCCRENDO | 16/08/2017

Yes please do

Tropopause | 16/08/2017

Have you presented the solar roof product to your HOA? I'm assuming they would be thrilled and want others, who want solar, to follow suit.

warren_tran | 16/08/2017

so the cost is?

bucfan11 | 16/08/2017

I thought a HOA could not legally stop solar panels, tv antennas, cloths lines, etc.

SCCRENDO | 16/08/2017

I think it depends on the state. In California I believe they cannot stop it but can get you to change it slightly if they don't like the aesthetics as long as the cost does not go up by more than 10% and does not change the efficiency by more than 10%. I had my solar roof approved by my HOA in 2014 and my solar pool heater approve in June. The approved it as is on bothe occasions but it can take up to 45 days. They also require a $500 deposit to ensure clean up and this can take up to 60 days to return. I have waited over 30 days so far and they still have not returned my deposit.

achilles992000 | 16/08/2017

very exciting! keep us posted

Coastal Cruiser. | 16/08/2017

Great post! Made at the right time. Good luck with project.

(I love the name of your utility. Not surprising they don't have a great metering plan)

Nexxus | 17/08/2017,

That's funny, we have a net metering plan with Dominion Energy that rolls back the meter whenever we overproduce and pulls from the grid when we don't. No selling the overage, just pay for what we use @ $.11/KWh. We didn't install a second meter to show production, but we've been doing fine with a very minimal electric bill. We used only $352 of electricity for all of last year. So far this year we've used maybe half of that. | 17/08/2017

Thanks for all the positive comments.
@Tropopause - I have not yet submitted as there may be changing requirements in the next two years.
@warren_tran - given the size of coverage and two Powerwalls and after tax credits it may be around $75K. I should be able to recoup my costs over the life of the roof. The ecology is a huge positive.
@Nexxus - I hope I can equal your success. Dominion is not very friendly to local solar as there is a profit thing. Perhaps I can get a better deal as I get closer to installation. Notwithstanding obstacles I am moving forward.

Nexxus | 17/08/2017

@grins, Yeah, we installed a little over 7 years ago and there weren't that many homes in VA doing solar. Now, I guess, they are reluctant to hook up more and more onto the grid and their terms might have changed. | 17/08/2017

Yup. They only allow 1 percent of their total annual output in buy back credits or "cash". Unless that percent is changed by the utility commission my current thinking is the nearly all of my solar output will be directed toward my own usage or Powerwall storage. Still good.

SUN 2 DRV | 17/08/2017

Grins: Like most NetMetering programs, Dominion's allows homeowner's solar production to offset their consumption over the course of a full year at full retail rates. And unlike many they also allow you to roll any excess over from one year to the next.

So that's a pretty good program, if you can get into it... It's basically a free unlimited size powerwall except it doesn't provide backup power when the grid is down. But it's a great (free) way to shuttle energy from your solar panels into your Tesla (or any other usage) without incurring the efficiency loss of going through a powerwall.

NKYTA | 17/08/2017

Excellent @grins!

McLary | 17/08/2017

The OP didn't tell us anything about the home powered by Tesla. Also, some actual information about the solar roof specs would be nice.

warren_tran | 18/08/2017 That is expensive for solar roof. Why didn't you consider solar system instead.

I just got 3.6KW installed for $18.1k but roughly $8k after all the tax credit. It should provide 85-90% of my electricity usage. PGE have net metering program for our area. | 18/08/2017

@McLary - i gave you the square footage of my roof. Look on the Tesla web site for more information about the program:

@warren_tran - the Tesla Solar Roof IS expensive in the short term and perhaps the cost will be less when I install in 2019. Over 30+ years it may be less so. My children will reap the benefits. The number of solar panels I could fit on the back side of my roof (non sun side) would not be worth the expense of the energy gained.

garyjtate | 19/08/2017

Anyone have an idea when tesla will start offering solar panels in the Memphis TN areas. Everytime I request a quote I’m told “not offered in my area yet.”

Tesla-David | 20/08/2017, thanks for posting. Please keep us informed as you move to get everything installed. The $75k estimate I assume includes the two Powerwall-2s. We paid $83k for our 13.2 kWh solar system five years ago, so your costs seem reasonable to me given you get a new roof, solar, and Powerwall-2 backup battery system for less than our original solar system. I am also waiting to get 2-Powerwall-2's installed, hopefully within the next several months. | 21/08/2017

@Tesla-David - yes, two Powerwall2s. That $75K includes a presumed $22K tax credit. Hopefully there will still be a credit in 2019. My system may be nearer to 10kWh. Do you suppose there may be a Powerwall3 by 2019? ;-)

Tesla-David | 21/08/2017

Not sure. I originally signed up for the Powerwall-1, and waited to no avail for that installation. I signed up more than one year ago for the Powerwall-2, and was finally contacted by Tesla last month and notified that they are finally starting to move into Northwest. I hope to be one of the first installations in Seattle area. I expect they will continue to innovate and improve their Powerwalls, so there may well be an updated improved version by your installation date in 2019.

Tesla-David | 21/08/2017, just wanted to say after reading this article and watching the utube video of EM, that I think you are going to love your solar roof and Powerwall-2 installation. I have been incredibly satisfied with the solar installation we did 5 years ago, and have been Net-positive for the past five years, producing all the electricity we need to power our all electric home and charge our MS (205% in 2016). | 21/08/2017

@Tesla-David - looks like you are getting great results and in the Seattle area. Hope mine are at least half that good. Time will tell.

Bnlucent | 23/08/2017

I put the $1000 down for the Tesla Roof a couple months ago and still waiting to here from Tesla. I'm in San Diego , Ca and thought the installation would start back in July. I did call up Tesla and was able to speak to a representative and was inform that the solar roof is still in testing phase. I hope to hear from Tesla soon with good news because my electricity bill is a bit high this past couple of months. | 29/08/2017

It is my understanding that there is only one one house that has a working Tesla roof installed and that house belongs to Elon Musk. Good place for the test bed. | 29/08/2017

...only one house....

spmeister | 29/08/2017

For a point of comparison, I'm also in VA (although I'm on NOVEC, not Dominion) and I had a 10.5kW solar panel setup installed last Fall, and a dual PowerWall setup this summer. My roof was fine, so that did not need replacement. The total installed cost for everything ended up at $41,352, excluding tax credits. I do not know how much it would cost to replace my roof.

The calculator on the Tesla site says that a Solar Roof would run about $44,200 by itself, but the calculator is overly simplistic. My roof has a complex shape, and I have a detached garage, so those factors would likely change the price quite a bit. Here's an aerial shot of the first iteration of my installation. I later had them reconfigure the panels on the detached garage, adding 3 more (which I included in the total above).

solar-nova .com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Lovettsville-VA.jpg

(remove the space before .com)

Looking forward to hearing more about your installation,!

spmeister | 29/08/2017

*the total cost includes the dual PowerWall setup as well as the solar panel installation, if that wasn't clear.

Tesla-David | 29/08/2017

@spmeister, can you comment on how your PW2 installation is working with your solar installation? Two examples from Australia on another thread were overwhelmingly positive. Would love to hear how U.S. PW2 installations are working out for early adopters. I am wait listed for PW2 installation hopefully next month.

Bighorn | 29/08/2017

I think JB got the solar as well. The rep at the service center was showing me aerial views.

Bighorn | 29/08/2017

Also Kimball in CO. | 30/08/2017

@grins: nice write-up. Thanks for sharing. Don't know about VA but in FL state law supports homeowner installation of solar. HOA cannot block the use of solar. They can offer advice as to where to place it but the homeowner can ignore that advice if it reduces the efficiency of the installation.

spmeister | 30/08/2017

@Tesla-David: It works really well! There was a bit of difficulty at the beginning since my solar panels are on separate buildings (house, detached garage). At the PowerWall installation, the techs put a Neurio current sensor out in the garage on the AC feed from the garage solar panels, but it was out of range of the receiver in the Tesla Electric Gateway on the main house, so the Gateway didn't know where that extra power was coming from & things didn't work well.

So I had my solar contractor come out & adjust the wiring a bit so that the garage and main house AC feeds both entered the breaker box on the main house that SolarCity/Tesla had installed, meaning that as far as the Gateway was concerned there was only one source of solar, and that solved all the issues.

Since then it's been working great! If not for my electric car (Chevy Bolt), I'd probably be averaging a net of close to zero or even negative kWh usage across a month. For example I used 645kWh of grid energy for the month of August (the meter is read around the 25th), which averages to 21.5kWh/day and that's on the low end of average daily charging for the Bolt.

I'm seriously considering eventually adding 1 or 2 more PowerWalls as well as more solar panels, although it'll be a few years before that happens. | 30/08/2017

@george - it works the same way here. I just don't want to get sideways with my HOA as I plan to live here for a while. ;-)

@spmeister - thanks for the details. Does NOVEC have a good net metering program and/or are you using all the power you generate? Thanks.

spmeister | 30/08/2017 -- NOVEC doesn't directly pay me or give refunds for power sent back to the grid. Instead, I get credit towards future bills when I send power back to the grid, but it doesn't roll over when the calendar year changes. The main issue I have with them is that they don't provide a way for me to see how much I've sent them on their website. I have to call & get the info sent via e-mail. Hopefully that'll change as they get more solar customers.

Mike83 | 30/08/2017

spmeister Thanks for the info.
We also are considering adding more panels and a few powerwalls to help with charging the Model 3.
I hope the utility companies continue to go green as that will happen in most states I believe.
I recall some places in the EU give Powerwalls to customers as backup for the grid as it helps reduce costs considerably along with more stable power.

nadurse | 30/08/2017

Maybe by the time I need a new roof in 10 years it will be available and able to be installed in Ohio

Tesla-David | 31/08/2017

@spmeister, Thanks for the detailed feedback, very useful to know. I hear you about the Bolt charging requirements, I am averaging about half of our electricity demand to charge our MS, and that will only tick up when we get our M3. Fortunately I overbuilt our solar system (13.2 kWh), and were able to produce 204% last year relative to our total electricity energy demand, which also included charging our MS. We send the excess energy back to the grid via Net Metering.

Mike83 | 31/08/2017

Looks like production is moving ahead. 1.2 million ft.2 factory. This looks awesome. | 15/09/2017

I tried to delete my second entry of this same topic, but could not. Sorry. | 15/09/2017

Never mind. I just figured it out. I will delete this topic in "General" once I am sure it will not be deleted in "Tesla Energy" at the same time. Thanks.

Twye | 18/09/2017

Is the solar roof a concept design or a real product? I just filled out the quote request form and got some guys in a noisy call center that gave me a verbal quote for $230,000 with a $50K federal rebate to do a 11,000 SQ ft house. But he cannot give me a real written quote for system, when it could be design & installed, any warranty info etc. But also said there talking deposits! Sounds like a concept product only at this point? The sales guy in call center was Santiago Ortiz. | 18/09/2017

@Twye - to my knowledge only Elon and JB have installed Tesla roofs. Everyone else is waiting.

If you used the Tesla Energy site I can presume the person who called you is monitoring it. My 2600 square foot roof cost is $75K after rebate. Your cost for 11,000 square feet sounds correct. I should suggest that you call Tesla Energy and ask someone to visit your home and explain the program. You can get first hand information. As I said, my installation will take place some time in 2019. Enjoy the wait :-)

Twye | 18/09/2017

thanks for the feedback.

cquail | 22/09/2017

Would Tesla put a solar tiles on a church in the Midwest?

izorpo | 14/11/2017

Deposit for 2 houses the day they started taking them. Inquiries now result in Tesla telling me to call Solarcity and Solarcity telling me to call Tesla. Emails result in, at best, we will be in touch.

Kenz | 20/12/2017

When will Tesla go nation wide?
All I get for Indiana is not available.

dschneidermd | 20/12/2017

we put the $1000 down to order a roof but never heard back from anyone? How do I rectify this? | 20/12/2017

Call the advisor who came to your house and finalized your down payment.

erw698 | 25/12/2017

Please do yourselves a favor and get some quotes from local installers.

The price point on this hypothetical solar product is substantially more than what the market gets for standard modules. Triple black panels don't look bad. You don't have to reroof. And even if you do, mods are still cheaper AND substantially more efficient.