Tesla began accepting orders for their new Solar Roof product yesterday and like its vehicles, the outright cost is not cheap. Based on Tesla’s online Solar Roof cost calculator, homeowners living in a roughly 3,000 square foot 2-story home should expect to pay between $50K-60K for a solar roof. While that cost doesn’t take into account solar tax credits and the value of energy over time, it’s a large upfront number that buyers are immediately faced with. Similarly, Model S and Model X buyers are confronted by the same self-imposed question when purchasing their high-priced electric cars. Is it worth the price?
So, you’ve decided you want Tesla’s Solar Roof. Those looking to take on a low monthly payment while still being able to afford the ‘invisible glass’ tile solar system will rejoice knowing that Tesla will offer financing options later this year.
“We plan to offer financing in the U.S. in late 2017. In the meantime, you may be able to finance your Solar Roof with a personal loan, a home improvement loan, a home equity line of credit or other second mortgage product.” – Tesla
The price of a Solar Roof backs out to be approximately $21.85 per square foot or roughly 10% less than the original solar roof cost estimate by Consumer Reports. Factoring in energy savings from the roof and one can potentially save tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the home.
For example, a 2,900 square foot home in Los Angeles, CA can save a homeowner nearly $45,000 over 30 years and generate over $90,000 in electricity savings. A 4,000 square foot home in Boston, MA will save roughly $50,000 over 30 years and generate over $120,000 in electricity savings.
When Tesla initially launched the Model S in 2012, it launched without financing but later partnered with Wells Fargo to offer financing options for its vehicle. One has to question why Tesla would delay the availability of Solar Roof financing. Perhaps the company is to looking to offer financing at the same time when all available solar roof tile options are made available?
Unlike SolarCity’s previous focus on solar leasing, Tesla’s new Solar Roof won’t have a lease option as the product is installed directly onto the home itself and can not be removed. Tesla has since shifted away from a leasing model and now focusing on projects that will help the bottom line and generate more free cash flow.