Elon Musk has always been considered a genius when it comes to envisioning new technology. The knock against Musk is that he has always had issues bringing that technology to life and making it practical for everyone. His company Tesla puts out electronic cars that are not affordable enough for the general public, and his space travel company Space X only caters to billionaires.
When Tesla announced a few years ago that it was going to change the residential housing market with its new solar roofing panels, there were a lot of skeptics. But it looks like Musk and Tesla may have a home run with this new roofing product, and Musk may finally be recognized as the innovator he has always tried to be.
What Are Solar Roofing Panels?
Solar roofing panels are solar energy collection devices made of smoothed glass and shaped to look like standard roofing tiles. An entire solar roof from Tesla comes complete with a battery storage system and a power distribution element.
A solar roof is meant to replace the need to buy electricity from the local utility or at least cut down on the need for grid electricity significantly. Tesla is making a wide variety of tiles that mimic the current array of asphalt, wood and clay tiles to give consumers a common frame of reference. In a bold move, Tesla is offering a lifetime warranty on their solar roofs that is good for the life of your home – or infinity. Tesla does not state whether the warranty is transferable from one homeowner to the next.
Why Are People Talking About Solar Roofs?
If Tesla does allow the solar roof warranty to be transferred from one owner to the next, then that could be a significant selling point for any homeowner. Solar roofs, as with any other type of solar installation in a residential setting, are expected to raise property values considerably, and a transferable lifetime warranty only makes the deal sweeter.
A big reason why solar roofs are getting so much attention is because they are said to be, in the long run, more affordable than standard roofs. As an example, covering a 2,000-square-foot home in New York State with a solar roof would cost around $50,000. As with many solar products, solar roofs come with tax investment credits that make the product less expensive. In a span of 30 years (the course of a normal mortgage), that roof will generate approximately $64,000 in electricity.
That number works out to around $178 per month in electricity costs, which can seem high in any part of the country. But if you convert your entire home to electricity, from the furnace to the central air system, then you would recognize an incredible savings on your energy costs.
How Is The Solar Roof Changing The Residential Roofing Industry?
You would think that a roof with a lifetime warranty would be making residential roofing contractors nervous, but the solar roof still has some hurdles to get over before it becomes widely used. For one thing, the entire roof is not made of solar panels, which means that the consumer will have to pay to have expensive glass tiles installed to give their roof a consistent look.
A solar roof is the next step in alternative energy products, and the Tesla roof is only the first entry in that arena. The introduction of the Tesla solar roof is an indication to residential roofing contractors that the market is shifting, and contractors will need to do their homework on solar products if they want to stay competitive.
As with his other ventures, Musk has once again created a product that is only accessible to people with considerable financial means. While that is a nice market to work in, it does limit your possibilities for growth. This is especially true when your product carries a lifetime warranty.
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