Tesla Solar Roof Tiles: The Ultimate Buyers Guide

Tesla is known for being one of the worlds leading tech giants, but how much do you know about their solar technology?

Until recently, Tesla Solar Roof Tiles were only available to US customers; however, Tesla has recently announced that they plan to open up their ordering system to UK customers as soon as this year. 

If you have been considering investing in solar tiles, you might be curious to know how the Tesla tiles perform and how they shape up against other competing solar tech companies’ inventions. 

In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know, from the estimated UK cost of Tesla tiles to the installation process and the pros and cons. 

Without further ado, let’s explore the technology behind Tesla’s solar roof!


What’s On This Page:

  • What Are Tesla Solar Roof Tiles?
  • How Long Do Tesla Solar Tiles Last?
  • What Do Tesla Solar Tiles Look Like?
  • How Do Tesla Solar Tiles Work?
  • What Are Tesla Solar Tiles Made From?
  • Are Tesla Solar Tiles Available In The UK?
  • Does Tesla Install Their Solar Tiles?
  • What Is The Tesla Powerwall?
  • How Much Do Tesla Solar Roof Tiles Cost?
  • What Are The Pros Of Tesla Roof Tiles?
  • What Are The Cons Of Tesla Roof Tiles?
  • What Are Some Alternatives To The Tesla Solar Roof?
  • FAQs

What Are Tesla Solar Roof Tiles? 

Tesla solar roof tiles are an alternative to traditional solar panels, with a few notable differences. 

Unlike solar panels, which usually appear as separate planks on the roof, solar tiles integrate solar technology into the tiles themselves. Tesla solar tiles have been designed to blend seamlessly into the overall design and structure of your home, offering a variety of style options. 

On their website, Tesla also emphasises that their solar tiles differ from other brands, as they are engineered for all-weather protection and claim their tempered glass tiles are three times stronger than standard roofing tiles.

How Long Do Tesla Solar Tiles Last?

Solar panels usually last between 25-30 years. Tesla advises that their solar tiles should last a minimum of 25 years and to provide peace of mind, Tesla includes a 25-year Tile and Power warranty, ensuring the longevity of the Tesla roof. 

However, it’s important to note that the warranties advertised on their website currently apply to the United States only. They may offer a different warranty when they launch in the UK. 

What Do Tesla Solar Tiles Look Like?

Tesla’s power roof combines solar tiles with non-solar tiles, resulting in a uniform appearance from the street level. The number of solar tiles required depends on the energy needs of the home.

There are four styles of solar shingles available from Tesla: Textured, Smooth, Tuscan, and Slate. This diverse range ensures the solar energy generation system can harmonise with any architectural style. 

How Do Tesla Solar Tiles Work?

Tesla solar panels function similarly to traditional solar tiles from other brands to convert sunlight into usable electricity. Some of the key functions of Tesla solar tiles include:

  • The Tesla tiles are made from individual roof tiles with embedded solar cells. They are typically made of monocrystalline silicon, known for their high efficiency in converting sunlight into electricity. 
  • When sunlight hits the solar cells, it generates a flow of electrons, creating an electric current. This process is known as the photovoltaic (PV) effect.
  • The electric current produced by the solar cells is then transferred to an inverter. The inverter converts the direct current (DC) generated by the solar cells into alternating current (AC), the type of electricity used in homes.
  • This electricity is used to power the home, or excess electricity can be stored in a battery. In a Tesla set-up, this is usually the Tesla Powerwall battery. 

It’s important to note that Tesla solar tiles should be installed by professional roofers or solar power experts trained in handling and installing solar roofing systems. This will ensure that proper wiring connections, weatherproofing, and structural integrity will provide a safe and reliable solar energy solution.

What Are Tesla Solar Tiles Made From?

Tesla solar tiles are primarily made of tempered glass. The solar cells, which capture sunlight and convert it into electricity, are embedded within these glass tiles. 

Tesla boasts that their glass tiles are designed to be durable, weather-resistant and capable of withstanding various environmental conditions. This tempered glass is known for its strength and ability to protect solar cells from impact and weather damage.

The combination of solar cell technology and tempered glass allows Tesla solar tiles to generate electricity while providing the appearance of traditional roofing materials.

Are Tesla Solar Tiles Available In The UK?

Tesla solar roofing is currently only available in the USA.

Does Tesla Install Their Solar Tiles?

No, although Tesla manufactures the roof tiles, they do not install them. You must find a trusted external installer to help you properly fit your new solar roof. 

What is the Tesla Powerwall?

The Tesla Powerwall is a home battery system designed and manufactured by Tesla. It is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that stores electricity for residential use. 

The Powerwall is designed to be paired with Tesla’s solar roof tile set-up to store excess energy generated during the day for use during the evening or during a power outage.

How Much Do Tesla Solar Roof Tiles Cost?

Although the exact cost of a Tesla solar roof in the UK is unknown, we can gather an idea of the estimated cost based on the US prices. Take a look at the table below to see how much a Tesla solar roof may cost you:

Estimated Cost Of Tesla Solar Roof (UK)
Size (sq.ft)No. of floorsElectricity Usage (kW)Energy StorageTotal Estimated Cost
100016.311 Tesla PowerwallApprox. £38,250
2000212.572 Tesla PowerwallsApprox. £52,900
3000318.833 Tesla PowerwallsApprox. £67,540
Source: Forbes Advisor 

The cost of your solar roof tiles will also largely depend on Tesla’s international setup. It is worth remembering that things such as tax, customs & shipping from the USA may create a price increase. 

What Are The Pros Of Tesla Roof Tiles?

There are numerous pros which will make the Tesla solar roof a competitive addition to the UK solar-roof market. Some of the key features include:

  • Tesla tiles are aesthetically pleasing, offering an attractive addition to your property. 
  • They help provide clean, free energy by harnessing sunlight for your solar system. By extension, they help you gain energy independence, saving money on energy bills. 
  • The tiles can increase your property’s market value, offering incentives for buyers to pay more for the pre-installed solar system. 
  • They are resistant and durable and require little maintenance to work – making them a great option for those who don’t want to spend too much time or money on upkeep. 
  • Compatibility with the Tesla app allows you to monitor your solar system from afar, keeping an eye on your energy production & usage. This can also be useful if you have an existing Tesla ecosystem (such as a Tesla car and charger), as you can monitor all your electric devices in one place. 

Overall, Tesla solar tiles offer the benefit of helping you embrace energy independency whilst offering a stylish way to blend solar tech into your home design. 

What Are The Cons Of Tesla Roof Tiles?

There are some negatives to the Tesla solar roof which should be considered before taking the plunge and investing. Some of the key things to consider include:

  • Tesla tiles are much more expensive than other equally powerful solar tile options. In comparison to other well-known brands, you do pay extra for the Tesla brand name. 
  • Tesla solar tiles are less powerful than solar panels, meaning, if you don’t mind the aesthetics of panels, you could get better energy production levels from traditional panelling. 
  • Tesla solar systems are not yet available in the UK, meaning you will have to wait if you’re dedicated to getting a Tesla installation. 
  • In most cases, you will require a re-roofing to install these tiles on an existing property. This can raise the cost significantly, so it’s important to factor it into your initial calculations. 

Overall, you might be able to get a more efficient solar system at a lower cost if you are to go with another brand. You may also experience a long wait time, as Tesla has yet to announce when exactly they will launch in the UK. 

What Are Some Alternatives To The Tesla Solar Roof? 

If you’re looking to get your solar tile installation done sooner or are interested in exploring more affordable, higher-powered options, you may consider looking at other brands besides Tesla. 

Options from leading European manufacturers such as MegaSol can be viable alternatives, offering more powerful systems at lower costs. 

MegaSol has a 30-year track record of providing exceptional solar systems; with everything from full panelling to solar tiles and integrated solar tiles available, there are plenty of fantastic, sustainable options available for both domestic and commercial buildings.

And, with UK-based installation available, you can also benefit from UK-government solar grants & incentives in 2023. 

To find out more about the different types of solar systems available to purchase now, get in touch with our Smartly Solar experts. We will be happy to look at your specific needs and advise you on which types of solar systems may best fit you and your property.

Tesla Solar Roof Tiles FAQs

How are Tesla solar roofs priced?

Tesla solar panel systems are priced based on system size and the Powerwall quantity needed. Installation costs will vary depending on the amount of work needed (for example, if the property will need re-roofing).

What is the Tesla app used for?

The Tesla app helps you to manage your Tesla products from anywhere. It will allow you to monitor your solar panels alongside any Tesla vehicles or Tesla electric vehicle chargers you may have. 

How does Tesla design your solar set-up?

On their website, Tesla explains that they use a combination of high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery to create a layout of your solar system. Their designers optimise the layout and amount of solar panels for the highest energy production whilst arranging them in an aesthetically pleasing design.

Would normal solar panels produce more energy than the Tesla roof?

Depending on the amount of solar panels you have, it is likely that they will produce more electricity than the Tesla solar roof. Solar panels are known for having a higher amount of energy production than solar tiles due to their larger surface area, ability to be moved to absorb more light & less susceptibility to solar shading. 

Who can install your Tesla roof tiles?

Tesla has not announced any partnerships with specific installation companies in the UK. In most cases, you will order your tiles from Tesla (who will design your set-up and give you a price for everything you need) and pick an installer to put them on your property. 

Can Tesla solar roofs be installed on top of existing roof tiles?

Tesla’s website explains solar roof tiles can be installed on existing asphalt shingle roofs. However, an expert will need to assess your tile’s condition to confirm they are eligible for the upgrade, as installing on top of old or damaged tiles could lead to the solar tiles slipping off or breaking.

Do you need to buy a Powerwall battery with the Tesla roof?

Yes. The Tesla Powerwall is bundled with Solar Roof, providing you with 24/7 energy security. The amount of Powerwalls you will need will depend on the size of the solar system you order. 

Can you buy a Tesla Powerwall without solar tiles?

Yes. You can buy the Tesla Powerwall battery to work with any other existing solar panel set-up you may have.