So, you want to invest in a new roof with the latest 21st century technology and you plan to spend some serious coin doing so.
You are intrigued by solar power, but do not want to go the route of traditional solar panel roof installation — you want something a bit more pleasing to the eye.
Here is your conundrum. Would you rather go with a company that has been in the roofing business for over 100 years and cut its teeth on asphalt shingles or the company that comes from world of high tech and never put up a roof before 2016?
To further complicate your decision-making the established roofing business is part of one the world’s largest home building products conglomerates that has been in business for over 350 years.
Tesla — the high-tech roofer?
It is part of one of the most eclectic organizations out there, whose owner is more interested in flying to outer space and boring long-distance subterranean tunnels than residential roofs.
Note: Tesla solar tiles are not really a viable product as of yet. Only a handful of these roofs have been installed so far. Future product availability guidance is murky at best and we don’t know if we’ll see the market ready Tesla solar tiles any time soon.
To help you divine an answer let’s take a look at the two players in question, the Apollo II Solar Shingle Roofing System from CertainTeed and the Tesla Solar Tile Roof.
Let’s address the elephant on the roof straight away. The cost of solar in 2018 has dropped to its lowest price since tracking began in 2014 — a national average of $2.96 per watt, when installed by a small local installer.
As with everything measured in the solar marketplace results can vary considerably depending on location.
In some sunny locales the cost of solar is down in the $2.80 per watt ballpark. In most places homeowners can expect to spend between $15,000 and $27,000 for PV solar panels.
Tesla, whose first commercial roofs are just coming online in 2018, delivers solar for $6.40 per watt — more than double the national average.
CertainTeed does not make pricing information public. Since the Apollo II system is more complicated to install than standard solar panels, but is not a pure roofing option like Tesla, it is safe to assume its price will fall between the two poles, probably skewing towards the higher end.
In addition to the variables of climate, final solar pricing is also dependent on house size, local public utility policies, and the existence or future continuance of solar investment tax credits.