One of the first known Tesla Solar Roof residential customers has shed some light on the process for installing the unique energy producing glass roof tiles, and its costs. In a conversation with Alex Guberman of YouTube’s E for Electric, Tri Huynh provided several insights on the novel photovoltaic system beyond installation and cost, including the wait time involved, and reaction to the Solar Roof from his neighbors.
According to Huynh, he immediately signed up for the Solar Roof in the Textured finish as soon as they became available, considering his house needed a new roof and he was on the market for a solar system. Huynh further noted that Tesla first reached out to him about a year later, stating that they wanted to do a site survey. The site survey involved two people from Tesla analyzing the details of his roof, including its orientation to the sun, and determining the best system for it. According to Huynh, Tesla also deployed a drone to survey the surrounding area.
The installation involved a surprising 20 people who worked on the Solar Roof for two weeks. Part of the reason why it took so long to get the system installed was due to bad weather. Huynh noted that Tesla is probably still optimizing the ideal number of people it needs to deploy when installing its photovoltaic glass roof tiles.
According to the Solar Roof customer, the difference in price between the photovoltaic system and a traditional roof is substantial. Thus, he does not recommend the tiles for those who are financially-sensitive.
“It’s definitely a premium product. Luckily, I could afford it, so I did it, But the difference is substantial. So if someone is money-sensitive or financially-sensitive, I wouldn’t recommend it,” Huynh said.
Nevertheless, Huynh noted that he loves his Solar Roof tiles and that they are perfect for him. He also stated that his community’s reaction to the Solar Roof tiles has been very positive.
“I’m a big technology guy, and I kinda wanted to be on the front of this. It just looks amazing, and it’s just what I want. So luckily, it worked out for me.
“They (the neighbors) think it’s amazing. They love it, and they asked a lot of questions. During the install, people would walk their dogs here constantly, and just stay here for 20 mins watching everyone install it and talking to the installers, so it’s very cool,” Huynh said.
During the tiles’ unveiling, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated that the Solar Roof tiles could turn out to be a “Keeping up with the Joneses” situation. If Huynh’s experience is any indication, it appears that Musk’s statements would ring true.
“You want to call your neighbors over and say, ‘Check out the sweet roof.’ It’s like, not a phrase that you hear often, but that’s the key to it. People really care about their homes; they love their homes, and they want them to be better,” Musk said.
Solar Roof installations began last year, though the system was only installed in the homes of Tesla’s executives, such as Elon Musk and JB Straubel, and later, to some of the company’s other employees. Considering that Tesla seems to be starting the installation of the solar tiles for residential customers, as well as reports that its solar factory in Buffalo, NY is ramping up hiring, it appears like the Elon Musk-led energy company is finally accelerating the rollout of its Solar Roof tiles.
Watch E for Electric’s interview with Tri Huynh in the video below.