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Tesla Solar Panels Review (2024 Guide)

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Author Image Written by Tamara Jude Updated 04/17/2024

After researching Tesla’s solar products and reading customer reviews, we recommend Tesla to customers interested in going solar. The Tesla Energy division offers high-quality residential panels, solar roofing, and battery solutions to help homeowners save on energy costs by leveraging renewable energy, as well as a price match guarantee for similar solar offerings. In our in-depth Tesla solar review, we’ll explore the company’s solar products, warranty coverage, cost, and customer reviews to see how it stacks up to the industry’s other top solar companies.

Important note: Tesla doesn’t install its own solar panels. Choose from one of the Tesla-certified installers listed further down the page to have your Tesla solar panels installed.
Tesla Solar
4
BBB Rating: NR
  • State availability: Nationwide
  • Warranty: 25-year performance warranty, 10-year comprehensive warranty covering product and workmanship.
  • Payment options: Full purchase, loan
Pros
  • Offers up to 10 Tesla Powerwalls with each installation
  • Provides transparent online quotes with full pricing details
  • Sells solar roofing options that replace your entire roof
Cons
  • Customer reviews mention long wait times for repairs and installation
  • Lacks customization options, limiting system size to four options
  • Only offers third-party installation services

Tesla produces monocrystalline solar panels, manufactured by Hanwha Q CELLS. In addition to solar panels, Tesla also sells solar roofs and Powerwall batteries.


How We Rated Tesla Solar

We used a detailed methodology to score Tesla’s solar products and services in key categories. The company earned an overall 3.8 out of 5 stars. Here’s how we rated it in each category:

Tier 1 panels
5 / 5
5 / 5
Cost per watt
5 / 5
5 / 5
Efficiency
3.6 / 5
3.6 / 5
Panel options
1.6 / 5
1.6 / 5
Warranty period
2.5 / 5
2.5 / 5
  • Tier 1 panels: Tesla earned full points in this category for being considered a Tier 1 solar company, meaning a company with a secure enough business standing to meet warranty expectations. 
  • Cost per watt: The brand received full points in this category for having a low cost-per-watt for the industry. 
  • Efficiency: Tesla lost some points in this category due to having an efficiency range below 22%. 
  • Panel options: We deducted points for the company’s lack of options. Tesla sells only monocrystalline solar panels. 
  • Warranty period: Tesla’s 10-year equipment warranty is lower than many competitors, lowering its points in this category.

What Do We Think of Tesla?

Overall, we’re pleased with Tesla’s energy efficiency and power production, which customers can monitor 24/7 through the Tesla app. Compared to other solar providers we’ve reviewed, Tesla’s costs are lower than those of many top brands, and the company backs this up with its price-match guarantee.

We’re not as impressed with Tesla’s lack of panel options and that it doesn’t provide an equipment warranty for the length of its typical panel life span.

In 2024, we surveyed 1,000 homeowners who purchased solar panels in the last three years and found that 19% chose Tesla, making it the No. 4 choice out of all companies in the industry.

Pros
Sells high-quality monocrystalline panels
Makes a range of solar products, including batteries
Offers a panel price-match guarantee
Cons
Has a shorter equipment warranty than many brands (10 years)
Doesn’t provide in-house solar panel installation
Doesn’t sell polycrystalline or thin-film solar panels

What We Think Sets Tesla Apart

What Are the Downsides of Tesla?

Tesla is a leader in innovation. The company doesn’t just make solar panels—it’s also one of the few manufacturers that makes solar shingles, known as the Tesla Solar Roof, and the industry’s most well-known solar battery, the Tesla Powerwall.

The company is known for its sleek, modern designs for homeowners who want a more low-profile look. Its solar arrays are installed with a skirt to hide hardware and panel edges, and everything is all black for a uniform appearance. Tesla’s rail-free mounting keeps your panels close to your roof, minimizing any negative impact to curb appeal.

If you want more affordable thin-film or polycrystalline panels, Tesla isn’t the right solar brand for you since it only makes monocrystalline options. While the brand offers an impressive 25-year performance guarantee, its equipment warranty is only 10 years.

One of the most notable downsides of choosing Tesla panels is that the company doesn’t provide in-house installation, so you’ll have to arrange installation through a third party. The risk of this is that, while your product warranty will come from Tesla, your workmanship or labor warranty will come from the installer. This can lead to discrepancies or delays if you ever need to file a warranty claim. However, if you use a Tesla-certified installer and clarify warranty terms upfront, this shouldn’t become a major issue.


What Type of Solar Panels Does Tesla Sell?

Depending on the model, Tesla sells monocrystalline solar panels with efficiency ratings between 19.3% and 20.6%. Monocrystalline panels provide excellent energy production and have the longest life span. Based on our research of other solar providers, we found that Tesla panels are not the most efficient but offer above-average energy production levels, making them a solid investment. 

Tesla also includes in-house inverters for its solar systems. The solar inverter helps convert the direct current (DC) energy received from the sun into alternating current (AC) energy for your home. Its inverters operate at 97.5% efficiency, much higher than the average 93%–96% range. Higher inverter efficiencies lead to better energy conversion for your home. 

What Other Solar Products Does Tesla Sell?

In addition to rooftop panels, Tesla makes the following solar energy products for residential installations:

  • Powerwall: The Tesla Powerwall solar battery has become a favorite among homeowners due to its excellent energy storage capacity, life span, and warranty. It comes in two models: the Powerwall 2 and the Powerwall+. While Tesla batteries work best as an addition to existing solar systems, the Powerwall+ integrates well into a new energy system. This battery is ideal for storing energy for use during power outages. Depending on which model you choose, the Tesla Powerwall is available at a few different prices.
  • Solar roof: The Tesla solar roof is an alternative to traditional rooftop panels. It offers the durability of traditional roofing material with the power of solar technology. These sleek solar roof tiles blend into your home’s design, providing a less noticeable installation than traditional rooftop panels. The Tesla roof is an excellent solar option when building a new home or replacing your current roof.

How Much Do Tesla’s Solar Panels Cost?

We requested a quote from Tesla for a single-family home in Atlanta, Georgia, with an average monthly electric bill of $160. We received two system quotes: “Meet Current Needs” and “Future Needs.” 

The “Meet Current Needs” quote included a 9.2-kilowatt (kW) system with 23 panels and 103% estimated energy offset for $25,116 before applying tax incentives. Energy offset is a measurement of the yearly difference between the amount of electricity generated by your solar panels and the amount of electricity your home uses. Electricity in excess of your needs can be sold back to the utility company in states that offer net metering. The “Future Needs” quote included additional options to anticipate increasing energy usage. These options included the following scenarios:

  • Electric vehicle (add up to four)
  • Home addition (enter additional square footage)
  • New pool
  • Increased family size (add up to four)

We added a new pool and one family addition to our quote, which increased it to a 12-kW system with 30 panels and an estimated 134% energy offset. Tesla also provides a custom quote option and the option to add up to 10 Powerwall batteries to each system.

We recommend contacting Tesla by phone or via its website for a quote to understand what you can expect to pay for your energy needs. It is also worth noting that Tesla offers a price match guarantee for similar solar systems. If you are between Tesla and another solar option, and the alternative is cheaper, its worth inquiring about a price match.

Tesla products are eligible for all common solar incentives, including the solar federal tax credit, which can lower the costs of going solar.


What Are Customers Saying About Tesla?

We’re surprised that Tesla doesn’t have many customer reviews online for its solar products, given how big of a name it is. We looked at the company’s profile on Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot and found opposite ratings. 

Tesla has an A+ rating* on BBB and 5 out of 5 stars from customers. Customers on the site report smooth installations, attractive and well-performing panels, and professional representatives. Reviewers Patry. D. and Katrina F. noted an easy experience with good communication. 

Tesla’s profile on Trustpilot paints a different picture, with the brand scoring 2.1 out of 5 stars. Reviewer Adam cited that his solar system never worked as promised. Ghada wrote that customer service was poor, noting panel performance issues and difficulty contacting the company to resolve issues. 

*Ratings and reviews are accurate as of May 2024. 


How Does Tesla Compare to Other Solar Companies?

We’ve reviewed and scored 68 solar power companies against our methodology. See how Tesla compares to other top brands in the solar industry.

Company Star Rating Warranties Payment Options Link
4.4
25 years Full purchase, loan GET QUOTE
4.4
10–25 years Full purchase, loan GET QUOTE
4.4
10–25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.5
10–25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.4
25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
4.6
25 years Full purchase, loan, lease, PPA GET QUOTE
No results were found.

What Are Tesla’s Warranty Coverage and Payment Options?

Tesla solar panels include a 25-year performance warranty that promises at least 80% power capacity for the warranty’s duration. The company also has a 10-year equipment warranty. This applies to all solar panel system components, such as solar inverters, batteries, and any roof leaks or roof-mounting problems.

Tesla customers can pay upfront in cash or take out a loan in select states. Solar loans work similarly to a home or auto loan, with customers paying a monthly fee to own their panels and benefit from solar incentives and rebates. These incentives, such as the federal solar tax credit, can reduce your total cost by thousands of dollars.


What Is Tesla’s Installation Process?

Tesla doesn’t offer in-house installations. The company uses third-party certified installers for its solar projects, so installation costs and experiences may vary. Below is the typical installation process for home solar panels:

  1. Site assessment: The Tesla-approved installers survey your roof using remote aerial technology to measure its area and slope.
  2. Design: The installer designs your system to fit your home’s structure and energy needs.
  3. Permitting: Your installer ensures all necessary permits and inspections are completed before installation.
  4. Installation: You can choose an installation date that suits your schedule. Tesla says most of its panel installations are completed in one day, and you only need to be at the house during the first hour. If you order a Powerwall battery, it will be activated and configured to Self-Consumption Only mode. This means the Powerwall will produce just enough energy to power your home and charge itself.
  5. Inspection: The installers will work with your local building department to arrange an inspection after installation is finished.
  6. Activation: Your installer works with your local utility company to receive your Tesla system’s Permission to Operate (PTO). The company states that depending on your location, this can take one to six weeks.

QUICK Tip

While Tesla’s panels are considered energy-efficient, they’re not the most efficient in the market. If you have hefty solar needs, such as a large home with many appliances to power, you may want to consider going with a company with a 22% or higher efficiency rating, such as SunPower. Our complete analysis of SunPower goes into more detail on what you can expect from their panels.

As you shop for a solar installer, we recommend getting quotes from at least three providers to find the best match for you. Learn more about one popular solar provider, Sunrun, below.

Sunrun
4.5
BBB Rating: A+
Sunrun is our top Tesla certified installer
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Year founded: 2007
  • State availability: 20 plus Washington, D.C, and Puerto Rico
  • Warranty: 10–25 warranty for product and workmanship (varies by contract)
  • Payment options: Full purchase, solar loan, solar lease, PPA
Pros
  • Additional insurance policy covering panel theft or damage protection
  • Free maintenance on Tesla Powerwall battery
  • Solar panels, batteries, and EV chargers available
Cons
  • Poor customer service, according to several recent BBB reviews
  • Shorter warranty coverage for cash and loan customers
  • Website does not clearly state how solar leases can impact incentive qualification

Sunrun installs monocrystalline solar panels from various manufacturers. In addition solar installations, Sunrun services include the following:

  • Sunrun battery storage
  • Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
  • System monitoring
  • Multiple solar panel options

FAQ About Tesla

How many years do Tesla solar panels last?

According to the Tesla website, Tesla solar panels last at least 25 years, producing 80% of their listed power capacity.

Is Tesla getting out of the solar business?

No, Tesla’s Energy division is still fully operational, producing solar panels, solar roofs, and solar batteries.

Why are Tesla’s solar panels so cheap?

Tesla’s solar panels may seem cheap to some compared to competitors due to the company’s recognizable brand name and simplified ordering process. Tesla is an established brand with a loyal customer base, leading to guaranteed sales. The company offers a streamlined ordering process, eliminating most sales personnel and advertising costs. Tesla also offers price matching, allowing homeowners to save more on solar energy costs.


Our Rating Methodology

We are committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. After over a thousand hours of research on solar companies, interviews with experts, and common customer needs, we’ve created a detailed rating system for solar providers based on six factors:

  • Solar equipment, installation, and services (25%)
  • Warranty and performance guarantees (25%)
  • Brand reputation and certifications (15%)
  • Financing options (15%)
  • Experience (10%)
  • Availability (10%)

Total scores are divided by 20 for a final 5-point rating scale.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.