Elon Musk Says Tesla’s Solar Roof Will Likely be Cheaper Than a Normal Roof

November 21, 2016 | Kelly Tatera

elon musk
Photo credit: Tesla Club Belgium/Flickr (CC by SA 2.0)

“Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and—by the way—generates electricity? Why would you get anything else?”

If a solar roof would cost a fortune compared to a regular one, opting out of the wallet-draining option is understandable. Now, there may be a new glimmer of hope for solar energy enthusiasts on a budget.

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Back in October, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled an upcoming Tesla-SolarCity product — a solar roof that generates electricity. Musk said that the solar roof would be cheaper than a regular roof once the energy savings were taken into account, but if the upfront cost of the roof was much higher than a regular one, many people would probably be discouraged from going solar.

However, following a vote by Tesla and SolarCity shareholders last Thursday (November 17), Musk announced that the upfront cost of installing a Tesla-SolarCity solar roof will likely be cheaper than that of a regular roof.

“So the basic proposition will be: Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and—by the way—generates electricity?” Musk said, according to Bloomberg. “Why would you get anything else?”

The Tesla-SolarCity rooftop shingles are made of textured glass, and transform light into power for the customer’s house and electric car. Although the solar shingles will likely cost less than regular terra cotta and slate roofs, they will by no means be the cheapest option on the market. Compared to cheap asphalt shingles, the roofing materials could cost up to 20 times more.

Still, the long-term savings that could be reaped from going solar are considerable — the value of generated electricity for homeowners with large houses could exceed $100,000, Bloomberg reports.

Musk’s announcement has sparked a cautiously excited buzz around the globe. If his claims hold true, this could be a turning point for the solar industry.

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