Tesla Solar Roof Case Study

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HOW MUCH WILL A TESLA ROOF COST COMPARED TO A TRADITIONAL ROOF?

Last year, Tesla revealed its new solar roof, made from durable photovoltaic, tempered glass tiles. Tesla aims to offer four tile styles, though currently only the smooth or textured glass styles are available to consumers (Hope). A Tesla Solar Roof is composed of solar and non-solar tiles, which are sold at different prices (Hope). A major selling point that has been promoted by Tesla is that the cost of Tesla Solar Roof should be comparable to the cost of a traditional asphalt roof, when factors such as electricity costs saved and tax incentives are taken into account. When the tiles were unveiled last year, Consumer Reports completed a cost analysis for the product, from which
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Earlier this year in August, Consumer Reports published an article looking at the math behind this claim and applying it to three houses of varying size, age, and geographic location. The analysis showed that the amount of money saved (or not saved) by installing a Tesla Solar Roof varied widely depending on factors such as these. For example, one house was built in 1850, in Salisbury, New York (Hope). This house installed 70% solar tiles and 30% non-solar tiles (Hope). It cost the homeowner $38,400 to install the roof and $7,000 to install one powerwall battery (Hope). The homeowner received a $12,500 tax credit, and after 30 years saved $46,800, earning a profit of $13,900 (Hope). While an expensive investment, the homeowner would be able to make profit in over a thirty year period. However, in another cost analysis the numbers were quite different. The home in this situation was built in the 1990’s in Bellaire, Texas (Hope). This house was almost twice as big as the house from the previous analysis. It cost a total of $73,600 to install a Tesla Solar Roof composed of half solar tiles and half non-solar tiles (Hope). As the home was located in Texas, and therefore likely to have the air conditioning running most of the year, the home was given two Powerwall batteries, amounting to a cost of $12,500 (Hope). This house would not be able to make the money back in the allotted thirty year period. The homeowner would receive $21,300 tax return and make $52,100 in savings over thirty years (Hope). This sum would not even allow the homeowners to break even. They would lose $12,700 (Hope). These two examples show that depending on the size of a house, its energy consumption, and its geographic location, Tesla Solar Roofs can save or cost consumers

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