Tesla Solar Roof. A Good Deal?
Beware! There is wonky math involved. “solar tiles are cheaper than everything else, but only when accounting for energy generation”. Also, lifetime warranty seems better than what you’d get normally.
One drawback I can see is similar to buying a performance computer. Everything just keeps getting cheaper so you could ‘lose’ money by buying in too early but yet you’d want to buy in to be able to experience an eventual savings.
In this case the roof would cost $45k more than a regular roof – the lifetime warranty could be the deal maker perhaps? But then most people on average only stay in their house 6 years. 1/3 of Americans for 10 years. An average roof would cost about and lasts for 15 years and let’s say $10k (it’s likely cheaper).
Is the value proposition there? Where is the breakeven?
At face value, before taking into account energy production you’re looking at a payoff period of about 82.5 years compared to regular roofs. Ok climate deniers don’t cheer yet, we knew that was going to come out to an insane number.
Let’s see what this looks like using the money you’ll save. In order to break even you’ll need to hold onto that Tesla roof and live in that house for about 30 years.
But – don’t forget that this constitutes a home improvement – and (realtor/insurance friends please chime in) this _should_ increase the value of your home overall – and you could recoup your costs upon sale of the home. Solar adds about $15k to most resale values on average. This dramatically reduces the breakeven to around the 20 year mark – but this still is only a very small part of the population. That needs to be around 10 years to compete head to head with a normal roof otherwise consumers are being asked to commit to staying in the home longer. At 11 years there is about a $14k differential. But don’t forget that $12k tax credit! Now it’s looking more like a head to head match with regular roofs on a 10 year battlefield – There is still a premium around 10 years of about $2,000 or 25% – but one much more palatable to the consumer.