CertainTeed Apollo II Solar Shingles vs. Tesla Solar Roof

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.

Cost

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.

Certainteed Apollo-2 solar shingles roof

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.

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Why Standing Seam Solar Metal Roof Blows Tesla Solar Roof Out of the Water!

Right off the bat, we love Tesla Solar Roof and what Elon Musk is doing to disrupt the solar roofing market.

Tesla smooth solar glass tile roof. Source: Tesla

But, the reality is that despite its revolutionary style, great looks, and the bold promise “to rid your roof of those bulky and unsightly solar panels”, Elon’s new product is way too expensive and unaffordable for a typical American household.

Traditional PV solar panels on an asphalt shingle roof

That’s right, outside of the upper middle class families in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, and other major, affluent tech hubs, most regular people don’t have that extra $50,000 to $65,000 to shell out for Tesla’s new and unproven Tesla Solar Roof.

Furthermore, at this point, the new product from Tesla is completely unproven in terms of the roof’s ability to withstand the elements and remain leak-free for the duration of its intended lifespan.

Granted, every product has to go through a product adoption life-cycle curve, but unless Tesla solar roof pricing changes drastically, we don’t see a mass market adoption of this promising new product happening any time soon.

What’s more, should the government decide to pull a plug on solar tax credits, then Tesla solar tile roof will be dead in the water, again due to its very high cost.

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Tesla Releases Price on Its New Solar Roof: $65,550 or $21.85 Sq. Ft.

“I want a Tesla solar roof. I don’t care what it costs.” When we last visited Elon Musk and his proposed solar roof that was the sort of customer that seemed most likely for Tesla’s great-looking, electricity-generating roofs composed of tempered glass tiles infused with photovoltaic cells.

At the time of Musk’s announcement of the solar roof last year, there was no accompanying price for the project which led to intense speculation and number crunching.

Now that Tesla is officially taking orders (with a $1,000 deposit) the company has released a solar price calculator for anyone contemplating a new solar roof.

Two of the four styles will be available in June, gray smooth glass and black textured glass.

Tesla smooth solar glass tile roof. Source: Tesla

Slate glass and Tuscan glass are scheduled for a 2018 appearance. Now that consumers can crunch their own numbers, has the pool of potential customers for the Tesla solar roof deepened?

Clan Slate. Source: Tesla

The Solar Roof Calculator

To use the Tesla solar roof calculator all you really need is your address (don’t worry – a Tesla roof salesman will not come knocking on your door). The calculator then factors in such variables as the size of your house, the climate in your area, the public utility information for your municipality, a 30 percent Solar Investment Tax Credit and so to arrive at an upfront cost of your new solar roof and the amount of energy savings your solar roof will realize over the life of the roof.

Tesla’s sample home assumed a 3,000-square-foot roof in the Mid-Atlantic region which would require one PowerWall battery used to store the energy generated by the glass tiles.

Cost of Tesla Solar Roof

The cost for that roof would be $65,550 (before adding the cost of the battery at $7,000) or $21.85 per square foot. While that sounds pricey, when the cost of electricity is factored into the equation the Tesla solar roof would save the homeowner over $15,000 in the course of a 30-year life span for the roof. Those savings only escalate from there since a Tesla solar roof is guaranteed for “infinity, or the lifetime of your house, whichever comes first.”

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