Tesla’s much-hyped solar roof is now available to pre-order, with Australian installations expected to commence from 2018.

The solar roof comprises solar energy generating glass tiles that connect to a Tesla battery. The roof is indistinguishable from traditional tile roofs and even comes in four different varieties – textured, smooth, tuscan and slate.

Users can customise the amount of energy generated through using a mix of solar and non-solar tiles, which look indistinguishable. Tesla says the cost of the roof is expected to be US$21.85 a square foot for a roof with 35 per cent solar tiles, a price Bloomberg said was cheaper than expected (though a traditional roof with solar is estimated to still be 30 per cent cheaper).
This translates to about AU$320 a square metre.

Tesla says because the roof generates electricity, it is cheaper than a traditional roof.

“Although the cost of our solar tiles is more expensive up front, it can be more than offset by the value of energy the tiles produce,” it said in its announcement made on Thursday.

“Solar Roof is more affordable than conventional roofs because in most cases, it ultimately pays for itself by reducing or eliminating a home’s electricity bill.”

It is also expected to increase the value of a property, with research from the Berkeley Lab finding that home buyers were willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with a typical PV system.

As an added bones, the roof tiles come with an infinite warranty.

“Made with tempered glass, Solar Roof tiles are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles. That’s why we offer the best warranty in the industry – the lifetime of your house, or infinity, whichever comes first.”

The power and weatherisation warranty is for 30 years.

Cameron Jewell | 11 May 2017