If there’s one thing your energy company doesn’t want you to know about, it’s that you can afford to get solar power and save money.
You can literally save thousands of dollars just by switching over to solar energy.
In the U.S., nearly 5 million new roofs are put up annually. While the cost of solar arrays used to hold interested parties back from making the transition to clean energy, these solar shingles will essentially take down solar costs.
Solar roofs will and make it easier and more affordable to go solar by eliminating a two-step process and making it a simple roof installation.
Homeowners will get a new roof AND save thousands by switching to solar energy.
What Does Elon Musk Have To Do With It?
Elon Musk recently announced that his new solar shingles are available in four different designs that you can hand-pick to match your roof—Tuscan Glass Tile, Textured Glass Tile, Smooth Glass Tile, and Slate Glass Tile—all which fit the look of most modern roofs.
It’s really no surprise that Elon Musk is heading this project up. As CEO/CTO of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla Motors (an American energy storage and automotive company which focuses on electric cars, batteries, and powertrain equipment), and co-founder of SolarCity (now merged with Tesla), his reputation is that of a visionary when it comes to clean energy and the future of humanity.
Musk hopes Tesla can be a beautifully integrated, one-stop storage and solar experience where people can have all their clean energy needs met.
Solar shingles are just a small step for Tesla to make solar easy, affordable, and integrated into everyday life.
When Will Solar Roofs Be Available?
Solar roof reservations began in May 2017; the company installed solar roofs for homeowners at the top of their waitlist in March of 2018. However, the company’s progress on solar roof installations has been slow, which the company has blamed on interrupted work at their Buffalo Gigafactory.
But Tesla plans to increase production by the end of 2018. Which is great, but it may still be a while before your average homeowner can take advantage of these sleek new roofs.
The need for the aesthetic improvement for solar has been in talks with many solar stakeholders. Solar needs to be a practical home upgrade that more homeowners can take advantage of—rather than a prototype-looking panel system.
Tesla hopes to lead the solar industry in progression with smart home, smart car, smart energy integration.
Why Are Solar Roofs Better Than Solar Panels?
The obvious answer is that it’s more aesthetically pleasing—more homeowners will invest in solar if it looks good on their home as an upgrade.
Some homeowners and business simply don’t enjoy the way solar arrays makes their houses and buildings look. Solar arrays may look experimental rather than like an integrated part of energy-efficient and architecturally sleek homes and buildings.
To fully understand what Elon Musk is doing with solar shingles, it might be easier to understand how solar panels have worked thus far.
Solar panels, also called solar arrays, begin with a solar cell. Solar cells, also known as photovoltaic cells, capture sunlight and transforms that light into usable energy. There are about 40 solar cells on each panel and a group of panels (about 10-20) is a solar array.
So instead of unwieldy solar arrays on the roofs of houses and buildings, the solar cells are integrated directly with the glass shingle roof.
(TIP: That being said, if you don’t want to wait for Tesla’s solar roof to start saving thousands on your energy bills, solar panels are still a great investment. Though perhaps less aesthetically pleasing, your professionals will certainly place the panels in the least conspicuous way possible. See picture just above.)
Solar shingles absorb sunlight easily. Musk even claims that these new solar shingles will have up to 98% more ray-collecting ability than typical solar panels.
All about efficiency and saving costs, Musk also mentioned that while all solar tiles will look the same, not all of them will have high-efficiency solar cells. The reason for this is because not every part of the roof gets enough sunlight to be suitable for producing energy.
Various levels of energy-efficient cells means some solar shingles will cost less than others. Overall, the differing levels will save homeowners money on shingles that would have otherwise wasted their money.
Additionally, solar roofs should outlast common roof materials by 2-3 times the typical 20-year life cycle. This is why Tesla can offer an “infinity” warranty on the tiles with 30 years coverage for its power-generating capabilities and weatherization.
Solar shingles are durable, tough, and long-lasting. They’re even better at insulating. Solar shingles outperformed all other roof materials in blocking and preventing damage.
With that kind of durability, you’re going to be protected with solar shingles from hail, falling tree branches, and wind-swept debris better than with any other material.
Roof repairs are expensive and time-consuming. A solar roof actively prevents damage, lasts longer, and helps you save money on your electric bill.
Additionally, solar roof tiles are lighter than typical roofing materials by about 80%, which creates cost reduction in transportation and shingle breakage.
Solar roofs have a greater overall cost/benefit relationship than others.
TL;DR: Solar shingles add value to your home. They are also more affordable since transportation costs are reduced, and you don’t have to replace the roof as often. Solar shingles additionally pay for themselves with the money you save with solar power.
Why A Solar Investment Are The Smartest Thing You Could Do All Year
It used to be that only upper-middle class families could afford the switch to solar to receive the tax rebates and savings that come along with solar power. But solar cell materials are new and improved with years of research—now they are cost-effective yet still efficient.
Tax rebates and government incentives make solar energy even more accessible. Now the families who really need the savings can access them.
Your electric company really doesn’t want you to know about how much you can save switching to solar.
Fossil fuels are not cost-effective, and they are becoming obsolete. They know they’re already standing on shaky ground.
Solar energy is independent of unstable gas/oil prices and politics—totally free from foreign markets and politicking. Going solar as a community makes energy cheaper and safer.
There are various programs to choose from, but the PPA model tends to be very successful for families who don’t want to sink money into solar energy. In fact, you can get solar arrays installed at no-cost to you.
With no-cost installation and an efficient solar provider, you don’t have to put down a lot of money to start saving.
The PPA model alone can save you up to 20-40% on your electric bills. And the savings only get better with other programs such as the lease or buy model.
Even if you don’t get a solar roof now (as it may be a little wait), you can actually take advantage of rebates and incentives today to get access to those savings. You don’t have to shoulder the steep upfront cost of solar panels yourself.
It’s unknown at this point if solar roofs will offer similar incentives when they hit mainstream. So it’s important to investigate your options now with free quotes from your solar professionals. (See below).
With the more affordable costs of solar energy and the many programs available for getting solar installed on roofs, it won’t be long until fossil fuels are an outdated, maybe even barbaric method of getting energy.
The Future Of Integrated Homes
Tesla, is integrating the future, making eco-sustainable cars as well as roofs to combat issues such as global warming and foreign dependency on oil. Tesla’s Powerwall battery (now lasting twice as long as others like it) will power their electric cars and will store surplus energy from the solar roof.
The Powerwall battery is an important connecting piece for Musk, as efficient batteries are an essential part of efficient solar energy. The three points (solar roof, battery, and electric car) work together: the solar roof collects the sunlight during the day, extra energy collected is stored in the Powerwall battery, the battery not only powers the home but also recharges the electric car in the garage.
The idea being that green and sustainable is affordable and seamless in its union. And this is just the beginning.
Clean energy and smart homes aren’t a passing fad. And while good things take time, it won’t be too much longer until smart and clean tech is in mainstream market.
It’s easy to see how those who take advantage of the incentives, rebates, and technology first will start saving money and get ahead of the curve.
In short time clean energy will be smoothly intertwined with smart houses, smart cars, and a smarter society.