Tesla’s Solar Roof Panels

Have you been thinking of going solar, but you’re unsure how it could impact the value of your house down the road? In our area, the use of solar is increasingly more popular, and clients often ask me how I feel it could affect the sale of their home. While I am 100% in favor of renewable energy, we have had the feedback that some buyers do not like the “look” of current panels. Well, now Tesla may have the answer to this conundrum with the debut of their solar roof tiles that you will actually want to use on your home. The key distinction here is tiles instead of panels. In a presentation last fall, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would be joining Solar City to begin making panels that “look better, last longer, and provide better insulation than a conventional roof.” Musk shared that one of Tesla’s goals has always been “to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy.”

Musk gave the presentation in a Universal Studios lot surrounded by examples of their four types of roof styles: smooth glass tile, textured glass tile, Tuscan glass tile, and slate glass tile. Unlike the current solar panels we see on the market, these tiles can be selected with the home’s architecture or style in mind. Even a French slate roof, which would be seemingly difficult to transfer to solar tiles, is doable with hydrographic printing. In this case, each tile is unique, and as a result, all of the roofs with differ from each other. The smooth glass tile looks totally opaque from our vantage point, but to the sun it is transparent. With the Tuscan panels, the darker panels are solar. In his presentation, Musk pointed out that if you look closely enough you can see the cells beneath the glass. During the day the house feeds off of the solar power generated from the sun and at dusk and dawn the energy shifts to the battery pack, known as Powerwall 2, that has been storing the energy.

Tesla has formed a solar cell manufacturing partnership with Panasonic, and they just announced this past Friday that they will begin taking orders in April. It is still not entirely clear how much these roofs will cost. One Consumer Reports writer projected the costs to initially fall in the $70,000 range, but obviously cost saved from electricity bills will be a huge factor. Tempting, right?

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Riverside Realty Group
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