Tesla Solar Roof Price Rise: What Will It Affect?

For the past nine years, Tesla’s solar roof has been the “next big thing.” You may go solar without sacrificing the appearance of your home since the solar roof is made of both active solar shingles that provide electricity for your home and inactive solar shingles that serve as a conventional roofing material.

Great, isn’t that right? But after almost a decade, it appears that the price of the Tesla solar roof and the quantity of Tesla lawsuits are the only things rocketing to the moon.

Tesla increased the cost of its solar roof product significantly in April 2021, both for new projects and for households who had already signed contracts. Some Tesla customers experienced price increases that were two times what they had originally agreed to pay and did not include newer materials or designs.

Many Tesla solar roof customers filed lawsuits against the firm in response to the contract revisions in an effort to reclaim their previous contracts.

What’s the rationale behind Tesla’s price increases? What does this indicate for the Tesla solar roof’s future, then? We’ll go over all you need to know about Tesla’s price hikes for solar roofs, the litigation, and what it all means for the solar roof’s future in this post.

Tesla imposes drastic price hikes for all solar roof projects 

Tesla’s solar roof was fairly pricey when it initially came out. Only those who could afford the new high-tech roof’s $100,000 price tag could use it. The price of the Solar Roof V3 was then significantly lower than the original when Tesla introduced it in 2019.

In other circumstances, installing a Tesla solar roof was less expensive than totally replacing a roof and installing a traditional solar panel system because the current iteration of the solar roof was so much less expensive than its predecessor. It appeared as though the solar roof was about to take off at last.

Everything fell apart in March 2021 when Tesla significantly increased the cost of its solar roof. Some projects would cost more than 40% more than they would have before the pricing increases.

Tesla didn’t stop there, either. In just one month, in April 2021, the cost of solar roofs soared once again. The price has increased by up to 72% since the beginning of 2021. Earlier this year, a solar roof project would have cost about $27,000; today, it practically costs $47,000.

Tesla hiked the price for those who had already signed contracts as well, not simply for new solar roof installations. There were no new materials or designs in the contracts that Tesla sent out with the revised pricing; they were still the same exact plans as before, only significantly more expensive.

Just a few weeks before their installation was scheduled to start, several homeowners discovered installation charges that were more than double what they had agreed to. To put it mildly, they were not pleased. Additionally, many Tesla customers believed that filing a lawsuit was the best way to attract the company’s attention given that it is notorious for providing subpar customer support.

Homeowners sue Tesla for changing solar roof contracts 

Many homeowners chose to sue Tesla after observing such sharp price increases from their initial contracts. This week, a complaint was made in North California, and it read as follows:

Tesla is now telling these customers that they must pay upwards of a 50% price hike on the cost of the Solar Roof if they want to proceed with the installation—and if they do not pay promptly, they risk losing their place in line for installation—in classic bait-and-switch fashion. This is after the sales agreements have been completed and while the customers have been making plans for the installations.

Business Insider reports that a California homeowner signed a $71,000 contract for a Tesla solar roof in March 2021. Tesla informed him in April that the project’s price would now be $146,462. The homeowner was provided with a free Powerwall battery after consulting with a Tesla official, which amounted to a $9,500 consolation prize for a $75,000 price increase.

There are still more lawsuits being brought against Tesla because of the modified contracts. It is currently unknown how the court will proceed or what Tesla’s reaction will be.

Why did Tesla change their solar roof prices? 

The main cause of Tesla’s pricing increases is that the firm vastly underestimated how difficult roofing installations can be.

The more complicated the roof, the more expensive the installation will be for any roof replacement. It costs more to complete the project if your house has numerous storeys, dormers, vent pipes, a chimney, or a steep pitch.

No matter how complicated the roof was, Tesla used to charge a set amount of $7.65 per square foot for their inactive roofing materials before to March 2021. It turns out that’s not economical. At that time, Tesla included “roof complexity” to their ordering system for solar roofs. Decide whether your roof is simple, moderate, or complex in order to get a Tesla solar roof because this will ultimately affect the cost.

It is not unexpected that Tesla has to charge extra for an installation that takes more time and materials. Tesla had to account for roof complexity in their solar roof installations. However, even with simple roofs, the prices increased significantly when roof complexity was added. Now, roofing material costs $14.00 per square foot for a simple roof, but $19.24 per square foot for a complex roof. Also keep in mind that these costs do not even cover the solar roof’s component.

These pricing could make sense if Tesla’s inactive shingles were made of expensive roofing material like slate, but they are painted steel instead. It’s absurdly expensive to pay so much for metal roofing shingles, which typically cost between $7.00 and $10.00 per square foot, labor included.

It’s likely that Tesla is just raising the cost of inert roofing materials in order to maintain the solar shingles’ low cost per watt. So perhaps it explains why there is such a significant difference between Tesla’s and conventional metal roofing. However, it is impossible to be certain.

Tesla’s effort to make the solar roof mainstream crashes and burns 

Even Elon Musk acknowledges that Tesla made serious errors with the solar roof. When it comes to roofing, Tesla’s one-size-fits-all strategy just doesn’t quite work. The business has always been about simplicity, making the ordering process for solar panels as simple as ordering a shirt online.

While this strategy is somewhat effective for solar, roofing is a completely different matter. Not always is simpler better.

Additionally, Tesla historically hasn’t kept many of its commitments regarding the solar roof. They stated that four shingle designs would be offered in 2016. Despite Elon Musk’s assertions that the additional models would be offered six months after the originals, only two actually made it to market.

Tesla isn’t really helping its image by filing lawsuits on top of raising prices. Therefore, it appears that the Tesla solar roof will continue to be a luxury item for the affluent. That is, if you think it’s a luxury to purchase a product for a hefty price that falls short of less expensive alternatives from a business that frequently changes its terms of agreements after you’ve signed them.

No matter how inexpensive it gets or how well it works, Tesla’s ambiguous actions on the solar roof may make it difficult for customers to ever again trust them. You’re better off going solar with conventional solar panels while Tesla works out its issues.

Key takeaways

  • In April 2021, Tesla increased the price of their solar roof for both new projects and customers who already signed contracts.
  • Multiple Tesla customers who saw increases to their solar roof contract prices are filing class-action lawsuits against the company.
  • In some cases, the solar roof now costs 72% more than what it did at the start of 2021.
  • Tesla had to increase the price to take roof complexity into account, however, the price for Tesla’s inactive shingles is much higher than the cost of conventional metal roofing installations.
  • Tesla doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to delivering their promises on the solar roof, and their recent price hikes for customers who already signed contracts could cause consumers to lose more faith in them.

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