Tesla Solar Roofs in Australia: What You Need to Know

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Tesla has a reputation for being at the forefront of sustainable energy solutions that don’t sacrifice style or performance. From its renowned range of electric vehicles to its cutting-edge Tesla Powerwall home batteries, the company is always innovating and challenging the status quo.

It’s almost impossible to talk about Tesla without mentioning Elon Musk, the company’s visionary founder, CEO and product architect. Tesla is his brainchild, and he’s constantly pushing the envelope to bring new technologies and products to market.

tesla solar roof australia

The Tesla Solar Roof is a prime example of this innovation. Tesla solar roofs are unlike any other solar panel solution currently available, and they have the potential to revolutionise the way we generate renewable energy at home. Musk’s long-term vision for the future is one where it’s “odd” for a roof not to collect energy to power the building within. But what exactly are Tesla solar roofs, and how do they work? How much do they cost and are they currently available in Australia? And perhaps most importantly – are they worth the investment?

Below, we answer all of these questions and more.

Energy Matters has been a leader in the renewable energy industry since 2005 and has helped over 40,000 Australian households in their journey to energy independence. 

Let us discuss and choose the best quote that suits your needs and budget, and we can connect you with our trusted local installers, who will provide up to 3 FREE quotes for your home and business solar energy system.

What is a Tesla solar roof tiles?

A Tesla Solar Roof offers a unique dual-functionality. Solar Roof tiles look much like regular roof tiles, but they’re made of tempered glass and contain photovoltaic cells that collect solar energy and convert it into electricity to power your home. The Solar Roof is designed to be a complete replacement for your existing roof, meaning that once installed, it will protect your home from the elements just like any other roof would.

The Solar Roof system comprises several components; while the champion feature is undoubtedly the innovative solar PV tiles, the package includes non-PV tiles, metal flashings that enhance the aesthetic of the roof, a solar inverter and a Tesla Powerwall battery.

Tesla solar roofs are available in four different styles – Textured Glass Tile, Slate Glass Tile, Tuscan Glass Tile, and Smooth Glass Tile. Each style is designed to complement a different type of home.

How do Tesla solar roof tiles work?

Utilising solar PV technology, Tesla’s solar tiles work by absorbing sunlight and converting it into direct current (DC) electricity that is then sent to a solar inverter. The inverter converts the electricity to alternating current (AC) that can power your home. Unlike conventional solar panels, the tiles are composed of three individual layers; a high-efficiency solar cell, a film that conceals the cell and an external layer of tempered glass.

The Solar Roof is connected to Tesla’s Powerwall, which stores excess electricity generated by the solar tiles. This means that any excess power your Solar Roof generates during the day can be used at night or during a power outage.

How do Tesla solar roof tiles work?

The new higher efficiency ‘Phase 2’ solar tiles utilise technology developed by Musk’s SpaceX dubbed “Satellite Sunshine”. According to Musk, this technology – allows Tesla solar roof tiles to generate electricity even after sunset.

Using the Tesla app, you can monitor your energy production in real-time and control your system from anywhere with instant alerts and remote access.

Are Tesla solar roof tiles available in Australia?

While the Solar Roof launched in the United States in late 2016, the global rollout has been notoriously slow due to numerous setbacks. Musk admitted the company made “significant mistakes” in assessing how hard it would be to install certain roofs.

Australians interested in making the investment have had to wait patiently, but Tesla finally started taking reservations for the Solar Roof in Australia last July with a $1,000 deposit. However, despite this, the product is nowhere to be seen.

In the US, supply chain issues have meant that most installations have been paused. Today, the only option currently available on the Australian Tesla website is to register for “updates”.

Given the limited information available, it’s hard to say when – or if – Tesla Solar Roofs will begin to be installed Down Under.

How much do Tesla solar roof tiles cost in Australia?

Let’s be frank – Tesla solar roof tiles are VERY expensive. This is not a run-of-the-mill purchase, and it’s certainly not one that everyone can afford.

Although the official Australian prices are yet to be released, an article from US website Electrek last April claimed that a 400 square metres ‘Phase 1’ tile roof with a solar capacity of 12.3kW cost between $100,000 to 130,000 Australian dollars. This price is more than twice the money you would pay for a high-quality tile roof and a standard solar system in Australia.

The cost is largely influenced by the complexity of the installation. Complexity is determined by the pitch and levels of your roof as well as any obstructions, obstacles and crowding of the mounting plane. The cost will also vary depending on the proportion of ‘active’ PV tiles vs non-PV tiles used.

It’s also important to keep in mind that Tesla solar roofs may not be eligible for the Federal Government’s Small-scale Renewable Energy Scheme (SRES), which provides eligible households with solar rebates.

Tesla solar roof tiles installation process

While the installation process in Australia may differ, the US process is briefly outlined on the Tesla website.

After placing an order, Tesla will schedule a Home Energy Assessment where a technician will review your roof and confirm its size and complexity.

Once the final quote has been approved, Tesla will submit for permits and utility approval to install your Solar Roof. Installation time is dependent on the size and complexity of your roof, but most installations take approximately five to seven business days to complete. 

Tesla solar roof tiles warranty

Tesla’s warranty for the Solar Roof is sectioned into three parts – tile, power and weatherisation.

According to the Tesla website, warranties and ratings apply to the United States only, but similar warranties and ratings will be developed for other markets. The tile warranty (25 years) covers the glass in the tiles. The power warranty (25 years) covers the output capability of the solar tiles. Weatherisation (25 years) means that there will be no water leaks or other weather intrusions during the warranty period that result from installation.

Tesla solar roof tiles key benefits

Performance/efficiency: While EnergySage reports that Tesla’s solar tiles are likely about 20 to 30 percent less efficient than normal solar panels, the unique design means you may be able to add more solar to your roof – working around vents, skylights or other obstructions. This helps maximise the amount of solar energy your roof can produce.

Durability: Tesla claims that the solar tiles are three times stronger than standard roof tiles and are engineered for all-weather protection. While there are no guarantees, Tesla states a Solar Roof can last longer than an average roof.

Maintenance: Like traditional solar panels, the Solar Roof is extremely low maintenance. The tiles have been specially designed to ‘self-clean’ when it rains and are easy to repair or replace thanks to their modular design.

Aesthetics: one of the big drawcards for the Solar Roof is its sleek and unobtrusive design. Blending seamlessly to your home’s natural aesthetic styling, the tiles are designed to complement rather than detract from the look of the building.

Tesla solar roof tiles vs solar panels

Before offering a comparison between Tesla’s Solar Roof and traditional solar panels, it’s important to remember just how truly different the two options are. Given the fact that the Solar Roof is a roof, solar system and battery storage solution in one, we are not comparing apples with apples.

With that being said, there are a few key differences between Tesla’s Solar Roof and traditional solar panels that are worth considering. These include:

  • Cost: as mentioned above, Tesla’s Solar Roof is significantly more expensive than traditional solar panels – even if you were to include the cost of a new quality roof and battery storage.
  • Aesthetics: Tesla solar roofs offer a sleek and unobtrusive design that can complement the look of your home. Traditional solar panels, on the other hand, can be quite noticeable and may not be to everyone’s taste. However, modern panels are becoming sleeker and more attractive, with the option of black panels that blend in with your roof.
  • Efficiency: Tesla solar roofs are less efficient than traditional solar panels, but their unique design means you may be able to add more of them to your roof.
  • Maintenance: Tesla solar roofs are designed to be low-maintenance, with the tiles self-cleaning when it rains. Traditional solar panels require very little maintenance, but you may need to clean them from time to time.
  • Warranty: Tesla solar roofs come with a 25-year warranty, while most traditional solar panels have a 20-25 year warranty.
  • Availability: Tesla solar roofs are not yet being installed in Australia, despite opening for reservations last year. In contrast, traditional solar panels are widely available and can be installed by a qualified solar installer within a few short weeks of inquiry.

Are Tesla solar roof tiles worth the investment?

This is a tough question to answer, largely because it depends on your individual circumstances and underlying motivation.

Solar power is typically a great investment, but the Tesla Solar Roof is a more premium solution that comes with a far higher price tag. If you’re simply looking to save money on your energy bills, traditional solar panels are almost certainly a better option.

However, if you’re perhaps building a new home, need a new roofing solution and have been considering a solar and battery storage option, Tesla’s Solar Roof could be worth the investment. Or maybe cost isn’t a factor and you simply love the idea of Tesla’s cutting-edge technology adorning your home.

In the end, it really comes down to personal preference. Everyone has a different set of circumstances and priorities, so you’ll need to make the decision that makes sense for you.

For now, Tesla’s Solar Roof is not yet being installed in Australia and potential customers could be facing lengthy delays and price hikes. If you want a solar solution sooner rather than later, traditional solar panels are still your best bet.

About Tesla

Tesla was founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive than petrol cars. Today, Tesla builds not only all-electric vehicles but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and storage products. Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.

Tesla Powerwall Battery

Buy Tesla Powerwall: the next generation, revolutionary home battery for Australia that helps you make the most your solar panels by storing energy for when you need it, at night or during an outage.

Tesla Powerwall  is a fully integrated battery that powers your home when your solar panels aren’t producing enough electricity to supply your appliances. For example, in the evenings or on dark, cloudy days.

With a huge demand for Tesla Powerwall in Australia, we suggest you get on the Tesla priority installation list by reserving one today!

Get a quote for solar + Tesla Powerwall 2

Upgrade with a Tesla Powerwall 2 today

All-in-one Battery System

The Tesla Powerwall AC has an inbuilt DC-AC inverter, simplifying installation and reducing install costs.

Tesla Powerwall Benefits

In addition to comprising of state-of-the-art components and backed by a solid 10-year warranty, Powerwall has several features crucial in a top-quality home battery for Australian conditions.

  • Solar self-consumption
  • Backup power
  • Time Based Control
  • Off grid

Store Solar Power Efficiently

Tesla Powerwall has 13.5 kWh of usable energy storage capacity and an output capability of 7kW peak and 5kW continuous.

The battery has a 90% round-trip efficiency. Up to ten batteries may be installed together at one property, for homes or small/medium businesses with greater energy needs.

The wall or floor-mounted system enables Powerwall units to be “stacked” using a special frame.

Safe and Maintenance-Free

Older generations of deep-cycle (home) batteries can be dangerous in the hands of inexperienced users. This is because they are bulky, expensive to install, and difficult to maintain.

In contrast, Powerwall’s lithium-ion battery uses Tesla’s proven technology to power your home safely and economically. And it requires no maintenance!

The system is “touch-safe”, with no live wires or bulky vents.

Sleek, Stylish and Robust

Tesla leads the way with aesthetics, but don’t let its streamlined good looks fool you. The enclosure has a rating for outdoor as well as indoor installations. It can handle whatever Australian conditions throw at it.

Tesla Powerwall 2 AC

Watch Your Powerwall at Work

Monitor your solar electricity use in real-time from your iPhone or Android smart mobile device via the Tesla App.

Tesla Powerwall Retrofit Information

If you buy Tesla Powerwall, you’ll find it can now be easily added to many existing solar power systems. This is thanks to its in-built DC-AC inverter. A separate battery inverter is not required.

Tesla Powerwall Specifications

Certification Powerwall will be compliant with relevant Australian safety and electrical standards at market launch.

Technology Rechargeable lithium ion battery with liquid thermal control.
Capacity 13.5 kWh usable capacity For daily cycle applications
Warranty 10 years
Efficiency 90% round-trip efficiency
Power 7kW peak / 5kW continuous
Compatibility Single phase and three phase utility grid compatible.
Grid Frequency 50 and 60 HZ
Operating Temperature -20°C to 50°C
Operating Temperature -20°C to 50°C
Ingress Rating IP67 (Battery & Power Electronics) IP56 (Wiring)
Enclosure Rated for indoor and outdoor installation in Australia.
Installation Wall or floor mount Requires installation by a trained electrician.
Weight 122 kg
Dimensions 1150mm x 755mm x 155mm
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 3G
Additional Specs Download the Tesla Powerwall Datasheet

*Terms and conditions apply.

Tesla Powerpack

Note that Tesla Powerwall is the Tesla home battery solution. For business and commercial use, the Tesla product is the Powerpack.

Get a quote for solar + Tesla Powerwall 2

Upgrade with a Tesla Powerwall 2 today

Get rooftop solar panels in Melbourne. Energy Matters has a nationwide network of trusted local solar installers in Melbourne that you can access today that can provide you with up to 3 Free Solar Quotes. Complete our quick quiz and switch to solar in Melbourne today.

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Tesla Enquiries

Energy Matters can supply Tesla powerwall to residential and commercial customers as part of full systems. We also supply Tesla powerwall to installers throughout Australia via our wholesale distribution channel.

Get rooftop solar panels in Melbourne. Energy Matters has a nationwide network of trusted local solar installers in Melbourne that you can access today that can provide you with up to 3 Free Solar Quotes. Complete our quick quiz and switch to solar in Melbourne today.