Tesla is now accepting deposits for its new solar roof system that will integrate solar power into its roof coverings. The company says installations will begin in June.
Tesla is taking $1,000 deposits toward work that includes removing a house's existing roof, installing the solar tiles and equipping the home with a battery to store power.
The solar tiles will be offered in a variety of styles, from slate and terra cotta to smooth or textured dark gray.
The solar roof tiles are made of quartz glass. But not all tiles on a house with the system will be actively gathering the sun's energy. Tesla's roofs will have a mixture of solar and non-solar tiles. From the street, the company says, the two look identical.
Potential customers can use the company's online tool to estimate the solar roof's costs and savings, based on their roof's square footage.
For a two-story house in Raleigh, N.C., with 2,467 square feet — the median size of a new, single-family home in the U.S., according to recent Census Bureau data - the upfront cost of replacing a roof with the solar tile system comes to $46,400. That figure was calculated using Tesla's online tool.
A federal tax credit drops that amount by nearly $14,000, but Tesla's Powerwall battery adds a $7,000 expense. With 60 percent solar coverage on the roof, the system would generate $38,100 worth of energy over 30 years, according to the estimate, leaving the homeowner with a net cost of $1,400. Depending on the local energy market, a similar home in another area could generate a profit.
The price per square foot varies with the proportion of solar and nonsolar tiles. Tesla says active tiles will cost $42 per square foot, while inert tiles will be around $11 per square foot. The active tiles have three main layers, with a base solar cell beneath a colored louver film that's covered by tempered glass.
The company will offer an "infinity" warranty for its roofing tiles. It covers the glass in the tiles, Tesla says. The company offers a 30-year warranty for other aspects of the system, such as the tiles' power output and the system's ability to prevent leaks.