Tesla has a new way to harness and use solar power in single family homes – solar panel roofing tiles. This new style could convince more homeowners to try solar, and may become a popular feature among home buyers in the near future.
Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) both agree that solar panels add to a home’s value, assuming an owner isn’t leasing the panels. Homes with solar panels generate much lower energy costs and sell for more as a result.
Whether your sellers or buyers are concerned about the environment and skyrocketing CO2 levels, or they simply want to save money on their energy costs, there’s a new option in solar from Tesla that could spur widespread adoption of solar installation in homes around the country.
When you think of solar-powered homes, you probably imagine the large solar panels installed on top of a roof, a glaring difference from other homes in the neighborhood. Elon Musk notes that homes can have a “beautiful roof” while still generating and using clean energy. Tesla’s new solar roof bills itself as powerful, beautiful, and affordable – three things that any homeowner would want.
Instead of the bulky panels we’re most familiar with, these are solar panel roofing tiles made to look like any other roof in the neighborhood. They came in four options: Tuscan, Slate, Textured, and Smooth glass tiles. The cells aren’t visible to the eye but are exposed to the sun, creating a polished, traditional look while still harnessing the sun’s power for the home.
Millennial buyers are looking for “green” homes while sellers want to get the most value from their home. Solar has long been a good choice for both, while also drastically reducing energy costs for homeowners. But the savings and increased value only occur if an owner purchases their solar panels. Most of the value and savings is lost if they’re leased.
According to Musk, his solar panel roofing tiles will have a “lower cost than a traditional roof when combined with projected utility bill savings.” Ultimately, a solar roof will cost less to own over time. These roof tiles are made to last long and be installed better due to their design and will work in conjunction with a battery pack that will store necessary power when the sun isn’t out.
Tesla’s purpose in adding solar powered homes to it’s line of products is not just to make a new energy efficient product but to allow a homeowner to scale their energy savings. The roofing tiles will look good and be more affordable than traditional options while also storing power. The battery pack will transfer that energy throughout the home when the sun isn’t out. It can also be used to charge electric cars, allowing a homeowner to turn away from fossil fuels completely and use their home to power their life and save a lot of money.
The benefits to a homeowner can translate easily to benefits for sellers and buyers. Sellers will see an increased value of their home which means a higher asking price. Buyers who want a green home and to spend as little as possible on their energy costs will have more options in the marketplace without having to do major renovations after closing.
Will Tesla’s new solar panel roofing tiles raise solar’s popularity? Only time will tell but integrating the solar cells into the traditional look of a home’s roof may be the first in a long list of good ideas to encourage more owners to go solar.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.