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Tesla Solar, Tesla Solar Glass & Tesla Solar Roof Review VS. 3 Incumbents (Energysage, Vivint, Sunrun) 2020

Last update: Sat Feb 22 2020

At electrade, we're huge fans of Tesla solar (ex Solarcity). A lot has changed about Tesla Solar since it launched, as Tesla still acts like a fast-moving startup. 2020 is the year they're ramping up their productions, and so we thought it's time to look at and compare Tesla's new offering (built out of Solarcity) vs. the incumbents.

Tesla is a brand synonymous with being pioneers of EV. Not only do they manufacture electric cars that are amazing for the environment, they also produce solar glass and solar roofs. These pieces of innovative technology go on your house and turn sunlight into electricity to run your entire household.

What is Tesla Solar Glass / Tesla Solar Roof?

They don’t just look like solar panels, they actually come in different textured tiles. The newest version (version 3) is also called Tesla Solar Glass. Your roof needs to be built a certain way to enjoy the benefits of Tesla solar panels. With the latest introduction of the Tesla Solar Glass, more and more people are opting for this choice.

It will take quite a while to install and this includes the removal and disassembly of your old roof. While the quotes may vary from home to home, Tesla Solar Glass isn’t too far off your other brand alternatives. To get a quote, Tesla experts will calculate your particular power usage based on your home layout to get the size of your recommended system size to replace your monthly bills plus have some left over!

All the piping and wiring go through conduits that are installed internally (perhaps in your attic) when then reroutes the energy into a DC converter and then from there it heads into your electrical box.

We have to add that aesthetically, the Tesla Solar Glass roof does have a leg up on competitors just with looks alone. You get sleek and textured tiles to hopefully upgrade the exterior of your house if you wish.

The Tesla Solar Glass is insured for 25 years and it will completely phase out your electrical bill once it’s full functional.

What Makes It Special?

Other than the beautiful design from a reputable company, what exactly makes these roofs special compared to other options on the market?

Buying Experience

Naturally, Tesla requires a deposit before work begins. A rep will subsequently contact you about a week or so later to take further steps to proceed. Depending on how large your house is and what you require, Tesla will then give you an approximate installation period (a week, a month, etc). Upon receiving your power bills needed for calculation, Tesla will then send you an order confirmation email. It may only be for one part or for the whole system.

At your convenience, Tesla will send a professional to do a site survey and walk-through. He or she will put up a solar meter for a more accurate estimate on how much solar power your house receives. When that’s through, the contracts will be finalized and final signatures made.

You will then receive an installation schedule via email and your local utility company will be contacted by Tesla to work together on this project. The main panel should be put up before Tesla begins installation. By this point, you should also pay the first half of fee for the system if you haven’t already.

When everything is set up and good to go, your local utility company needs to give the final go ahead before you can fire up the system.

Online-Only Purchase

If you do not want to do this in person, you have the option of making an online purchase. Simply head over to the Tesla website and click on solar roof. From here they will briefly describe to you what exactly the Solar Glass does. The Powerwall battery is responsible for storing the collected energy so you can have access at any time of the day.

As of now, Tesla has unveiled 4 different tiles for different results. You can choose from the textured tile, the Tuscan glass tile, slate and smooth. Then you pick your number of Powerwalls you want with your system. Afterwards, you fill in your contact information and submit the form. Tesla representatives should get in contact with you shortly.

Tesla solar tiles are made with more durability compared to traditional roofing tiles. The Powerwall ensures your home is powered even through outages. The tiles, power, and weatherization are all under a 25 year warranty.

Monitoring

Tesla's app is well-known to be the bleeding-edge of real-time data. See this great overview of what it can do in connection with a powerwall.


Simple Installation

You don’t need to get into the nitty gritty of the installation process as Tesla makes the procedure easy for you.

Everything starts with a deposit of $100. You will then receive a phone call from a representative from Tesla. We would take this opportunity to communicate exactly what it is you are looking for. Once everything is clear, an order will be sent to you for review. All the calculations and specs for your system should be included.

A professional will then be dispatched to your home to do a walkthrough and assessment. Once everything is finalized, your installation will be scheduled. When installation is done and you have the green light to start up the system, you can then download the app from where you can monitor your energy input and output and enjoy ongoing customer support from thoughtful Tesla representatives.


The Competitors

Let’s take a look at formidable foes of the Tesla Solar Glass.




Energysage


Get a quote from Energysage to compare multiple providers for your ZIP code.

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There are over a million people that utilize Energysage each year for research and shopping through the network of over 500 pre-screened installers. They're a great comparison site for solar providers.

You can do everything online and start saving money from there! Their platform gives you access to all the best installers, and you receive multiple quotes to compare. An advisor will provide you with all the details for you to make the best and most informed decision for your home.

Start by creating your property profile, get and compare quotes, select an installer and you’re good to go! The process is simple and easy and can be done 100% online.

A company that does all the hard work for you to review is one that ranks high in our books. Everything is easy and can be done online unless you require person-to-person assistance.




Vivint Solar


Get a quote from the leading solar installer in the USA.

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Vivint Solar aims to equip homes with affordable energy. They offer you a cleaner, safer and more convenient alternative by taking on all the hard work with little to no upfront cost.

They offer solar energy systems that include the designing process and installation. You can also look into storing your gathered energy with their solar storage batteries. If you drive an EV (electric vehicle), Vivint also produces at-home chargers for your convenience. Take full control of your home with the Vivint Smart Home technology to fully automate your residence.

Unfortunately, Vivint isn’t available nation-wide but are available in these states.

If you are not looking to replace your entire roof and just simple upgrades around the house is enough, then Vivint is a good place to start.




Price Comparison

Let’s take a look at how much it costs to install a Tesla Solar Glass roof VS. traditional solar panels.

Tesla Solar Glass

While the accurate price is solely dependent on your abode, Tesla has given as estimate for the average joe. A standard property owner will be looking at dishing out about $21.85 per sq ft. You can do the math from there depending on the square footage of your home. But average households are looking at anywhere between 30-50k.

Whether it’s worth it or not also depends on your unique situation. If you are not looking or don’t need to replace your entire roof, then Tesla solar panels may not be necessary. Installation of traditional solar panels could be viable until the day you decide to replace your roof.

As you can imagine, for those that need their roofs replaced or want it to be replaced anyway, or are looking to build their dream home from scratch could benefit from the overhaul that is required to install Tesla Solar Glass.

The final option is if you have the money to spend, then lucky you and why not replace your roof? It will save you money in the long run (hopefully).

Solar Panels

Solar panels do not require you to uproot your roof, they are a simple (but not so simple to install) add-on to your property. You also have different options for solar panels. You can choose between an off-grid system, a grid-tie system, or a grid-tie and energy storage.

You are looking at about $3/watt. With this tidbit of information, you can then try and calculate your costs based on the system size. In general, solar panels cost less than the Tesla Solar Glass.

The Verdict

So is it worth it? Let’s attempt to answer this million dollar question.

We believe the quality (save initial hiccups since it’s a relatively new product), is superior on Tesla Solar Glass. They are also insured for 25 years and service is available to you all-year round. From our research, Tesla Solar Glass costs more but produces less than 80% of the amount of solar power. However, with stored energy and Tesla’s continuous improvement, it could make for a much more reliable product.