Residential solar power has not kicked off on the Canadian West Coast; however, Tesla’s Solar Roof is on the verge of changing that. In the last 40 years, the cost of photovoltaic power has decreased from 77$/W to approximately $0.64/W [1]. This 99% decrease in price has driven Tesla’s initiatives to develop roofing tiles for residential homes. Hydro has fluctuating rates, and the consumer is at the mercy of the power authority. With Climate Change becoming ever more apparent, and society’s push for clean energy sources, British Columbia is an attractive market to for emission free power generation. The big selling points of this product are the excellent warranty, durability, ease of install, and economic practicality.

There is some economic benefit to this system if you’re considering roofing & solar panels already. It’s more expensive than a traditional roof, but it’s not much more than a traditional roof + traditional solar panels – with the benefit that you won’t need to replace your roofing 20-25 years later like you would with asphalt. The product is more in line with the lifespan of metal roofing when comparing costs.


Tesla guarantees the solar tiles for the lifetime of your house – what they call the Infinity Warranty. They also include a 30 year warranty for power generation, and weatherization [2].


The Infinity Warranty suggests a rugged design that will, in fact, last forever. Tesla boasts that the newly designed tempered glass tiles – available in a Smooth or Textured finish – are three times stronger than conventional roofing tiles [3], and absorb the impact of a 5 cm hailstone traveling at 160km/h.

blankEase of Install
The ingenuity we have come to expect from Tesla does not disappoint with this product. The Tesla tiles are engineered for installation time equivalent to conventional roof tiles. The tiles are a third of the weight of conventional tiles, allowing installation without structural reinforcement – as seen with other conventional roofing tiles.

Economic Practicality

A Tesla Solar Roof will cost you five to ten time’s a traditional shingled roof – estimated by Tesla at approximately $25/ft2. The economic incentives arise from the offset of power taken, and resale of excess electricity generation, and from provincial and federal tax exemptions and deductions. British Columbia has developed a range of incentive programs – following U.S. states such as California, Oregon and New York [4] – to promote residential solar power generation. Rebate systems [5], PST exemptions, and BC Hydro’s Net Metering System exist to offset the cost of an installation. For businesses, an accelerated Capital Cost Allowance provides opportunity to write-off the cost of an installation over the course of its lifetime – a federal income tax incentive is also in place to promote commercial investment [6].

The Tesla Powerwall is designed to accompany the roof tiles, and provide means for a dwelling to live off-grid. If the trend of increased affordability continues – and there is no reason to think it won’t – the Solar Roof complete with the Tesla Powerwall will quickly become a household item, and the industry standard. “These tiles offer our clients the opportunity to collect sustainable energy, and take control of their power costs” says David Moss, owner of Patriot Electric, “we view the Solar Roof as a resource for sustainability”.

Read about our latest Passive House project!


By Jeff Mandick, Patriot Electric Ltd. & Interactive Construction


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