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Tesla solar shingles vs. Solar panels

Why Tesla’s solar shingles are getting so much attention:

No wonder everyone is excited about Tesla’s new shingles. They are gorgeous, durable, and fully functional. Historically, it was challenging to combine efficient solar technology with durable roofing materials and there were issues with heat retention and inefficiencies. Tesla’s new solar shingles are made with durable, tempered glass. Tesla shingles are the best looking solar shingles on the market, so why hesitate?

The facts: Solar Shingles VS. Solar Panels

1. If you are thinking about a large investment such as solar energy you need to consider the financial impact. The upfront costs vary greatly between solar shingles and solar panels. Most importantly, you will want to know how long it will take to get a return on your investment. Tesla’s shingles are gorgeous but expensive to build and expensive to install. Below is a cost comparison provided by Third Sun Solar.

Here is how their roofing tiles compare to an ordinary rooftop solar panel installation (50% solar rooftop tiles & no powerwall):

Cost comparison Solar shingles vs. Solar panels

Not only do the Tesla Shingles have much higher upfront costs, but the payback is a whopping 29 years as opposed to the 10 years it would take to pay for classic solar panels. Over time, the costs for a Tesla solar roof should decrease as they become more efficient with production and installation, but as of right now choosing solar panels is by far the more cost effective option.


2. There is no doubt that Tesla’s Solar Shingles are beautiful, but are they efficient? According to Third Sun Solar, “In solar, efficiency is everything; every 0.01% matters. The aesthetic coatings alone could reduce the efficiency by 2%”.

Fire Hazard

3. Will Tesla solar shingles be a fire hazard? Currently, there are not a lot of regulations in place regarding solar energy and solar shingles. A lot of people are concerned that solar roof tiles might actually be a fire hazard and for more reasons than one. First, solar shingles conduct electricity and that creates heat. “One study done in Germany found that systems similar to the Tesla Solar Shingles actually increased the risk of fire by 20 times” (Third Sun Solar). In the event of a fire, there is concern that the shingles might be impermeable to firefighters, or that the electrified shingles might actually pose a threat to the firefighters themselves.


4. Keep in mind, no matter what you choose; you will need maintenance done at some point. Tesla’s Solar Shingles are new, relatively untested, and more likely to need some work down the line. Traditional panels are easily swapped out and replaced, but with solar tiles you might end up removing a whole section of your roof just to replace a faulty tile.


5. Are Tesla Solar Tiles even an option for you? Installations have not yet begun and it could be a long time before they can be installed at a local level. Pilot manufacturing has not even begun and probably won’t begin until late this summer. If you are still interested in Tesla Solar shingles our recommendation to you is to wait until they have been tested. A solar roof is a huge investment, so make sure you are taking all the facts into consideration.


6. Location is something you cannot ignore. If you live in Ohio, then you already know what the weather is like. Solar energy might be unreliable when it comes to long, overcast winters, and the electric costs for Ohio are already relatively low. Not only do you need to watch the weather, but solar energy is an investment, so you are going to want to do your homework and make sure you are not going to relocate for job, health or family.


Getting a new roof can be an expensive investment, but with modern roofing technology you can actually lower your heating and cooling costs with more energy efficient options.  Unlike solar shingles, getting a new asphalt roof can lower your bills without such a large financial commitment. If you are still interested in going green or getting off the grid consider your options with solar panels from Third Sun Solar. Choosing solar tiles makes sense in areas that have high income, high energy costs, and lots of sunlight, but for Central Ohio, you are financially better off with more energy efficient options or investing in solar panels. If you need a roofing contractor in Columbus, OH, call Able Roof for a free estimate.


In the end, the question you are going to have to answer is, how much are you willing to pay for aesthetics? If you a choosing solar energy for the financial, or environmental benefits than it makes more sense for you to invest in solar panels over solar shingles.

“Tesla Solar Roof.” Tesla, Inc,
“Third Sun Solar – Power for Life.” Third Sun Solar,

Able Roofing

Professional exterior renovation company in Columbus, Ohio specializing in roofing, siding, windows, gutters, masonry and insulation.

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