Tesla makes advanced solar panels that are able to supplement homeowners’ energy needs with sustainable power. The company is also transparent about its solar panel offerings, informing online customers about the design, capabilities, and estimated cost of each system.
Tesla provides installation to most areas nationwide either directly or through its Certified Installer Program, which includes some of the nation’s highest quality local and regional installation companies. Read our in-depth review of Tesla’s warranties, panel design, related products, and sample customer reviews to find out if it’s the best solar provider for your home.
Our Take on Tesla Solar Panels
We scored Tesla 79 out of 100. We found it to be the most available provider, serving all 50 states.
Tesla offers solar panels with a sleek design that blends into your existing roof. Tesla’s transparent pricing information and detailed website makes it a smart choice for customers who want to learn more about solar panels without the help of a sales representative.
Compare the advantages and disadvantages of Tesla solar panels below.
Pros and Cons of Tesla Solar Panels
✔ Allows customers to receive an instant online quote
✔ Offers a solar panel price-match guarantee
✔ Provides 24/7 solar panel monitoring through their mobile app
✘ Customer service can have long wait times for repairs
✘ Powerwall battery systems are not available for separate purchase
Tesla Solar Panel Design Options
Tesla designs its minimalistic solar panels with no visible grid, a concealed edge, and a low profile. The panels interlock when installed, forming one solid solar panel array. The panels are also durable, withstanding temperatures of up to 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tesla streamlines its design process by offering solar systems in standardized sizes: small (12 panels), medium (24 panels), large (36 panels), and extra-large (48 panels).
Tesla Solar Panel Specifications
- Wattage: 425 watts
- Weight: 47.4 pounds
- Dimensions: 82.4 inches x 40.9 inches x 1.57 inches (including frame)
- Frame type: Black anodized aluminum
- Operating temperature: -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 185 degrees Fahrenheit
Other Solar Products Offered by Tesla
Tesla offers solar roofs and solar batteries in addition to its solar panel offerings.
- Powerwall: Solar batteries store excess energy generated by your solar panels to use at night, on low-sunlight days, or during power outages. Tesla’s battery, the Powerwall, is one of the most popular available. It comes in two models: The Powerwall 2 and the Powerwall+.
- Solar roof: The Tesla solar roof is an alternative to solar panels that replaces your current roof with solar shingles that act as mini solar panels. This is a good option if you’re already considering installing a new roof.
Tesla Solar Warranty Options
All Tesla solar panels come with a 25-year performance guarantee which promises at least 80% power capacity for the warranty’s duration. This is somewhat vague language compared to other solar installation companies’ warranties that state your guarantee is good for 25 years with no power capacity conditions.
Tesla also includes a 10-year comprehensive warranty. This applies to all solar system components including solar batteries, inverters, and any roof leaks or roof-mounting problems.
Tesla Solar Reviews
Tesla, Inc. isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and currently has a C- rating. It should be noted that some companies decide not to obtain accreditation from the BBB because it costs money.
Critical customer reviews mention difficulty scheduling maintenance or installation appointments. Other reviews praise Tesla’s friendly and helpful customer service representatives and the amount of savings.
Read what some Tesla Solar customers have said about their experiences below:
“The whole procedure was smooth and easy for me. Neal was an excellent advisor, clear, concise and knowledgeable. The installation company kept me up to date via email. It took very little effort on my part. My electricity bill has [been] $0.00 for the last three months!”—Randy W
“[Tesla Solar] had the statistics and details for me to ultimately negotiate the deal. Once I made my decision, the professional workmanship and wonderful customer service has been second to none. The install team really takes pride in their craft, and the communication has been first[-]rate.”—Al H.
“Recently bought a home that already had SolarCity / Tesla solar panels on the home. With the purchase of the home, there was an amendment to adjust the pricing per kWh for our new contract. We closed in June’21 and now in Oct’21 we still have been charged the original rate, and not the amended rate that was agreed upon on the transfer agreement. I have contacted Tesla many times, only to continue to be told I am right, it should be changed soon….”—Brandon S.
“I needed my solar panels removed because of needed roof repair. I informed Tesla of the issue and submitted the signed removal/installation documents on two occasions however I never received a scheduled date for the work. Due to the urgency of the needed work, I used a certified independent contractor to removed the solar panels and I informed Tesla beforehand of the removal and requested that Tesla reinstall the panels.”—Robert F.
*BBB information accurate as of September 2022.
Tesla Solar Installation
Tesla handles your residential solar panel installation from start to finish. Here’s how the installation process works:
- Site assessment: Tesla surveys your roof using remote aerial technology to measure its area and slope.
- Design: Tesla designs your system to fit your home’s structure and energy needs.
- Permitting: Tesla ensures all necessary permits and inspections are completed before installation.
- Installation: You can choose an installation date that works with your schedule. Tesla says that most installations are completed in one day, and you only need to be at the house during the first hour. If you ordered a Powerwall battery, it will be activated and configured to Self-Consumption Only mode. This means that the Powerwall will produce only enough energy required to power your home and charge itself.
- Inspection: Tesla will work with your local building department to arrange an inspection after installation is completed.
- Energization and activation: Tesla then works with your local utility company to receive Permission to Operate (PTO) for your Tesla system. The company states that depending on your location, this may take one to six weeks.
Tesla Solar App
The Tesla app allows you to manage your Tesla solar system and other Tesla products 24/7. This allows you to integrate your solar panels, Powerwall, and Tesla electric vehicles into one user-friendly space.
The Tesla app displays a real-time power flow, showing how your Powerwall, grid connection, and solar system work together to provide energy to your home. Here are some of the energy preferences you can customize your Tesla Powerwall with using the Tesla app:
- Self-powered: This setting lets you minimize your carbon footprint and become more energy independent.
- Time-based control: This setting helps lower your utility bill and maximize your economic benefit if your energy usage varies throughout the day.
- Storm Watch: This setting enables your Powerwall to react to inclement weather events that may cause a grid outage.
- Vehicle charging during power outage: This setting makes your Powerwall and Tesla electric vehicles balance charging and energy needs during any power grid outages.
Tesla Solar Payment Options
Tesla allows customers to buy their system up-front 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.
Tesla provides a cost calculator to estimate solar panel installation costs based on your location and average monthly electric bill. We requested a quote for a single-family home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with an average monthly electric bill of $170.
|System Size||Wattage||Total Price||Price After Incentives|
|Solar roof (6,106 square feet)||13.40 kW||$137,300||$96,110|
*Prices do not include the cost of a Powerwall home battery.
We received a quote of $10,442 for a Tesla solar power system. This includes installation costs and discounts from the federal solar tax credit, which provides a tax reduction equal to 30% of your installation costs. Only customers who own their solar panels can take advantage of the federal tax credit. Some states offer additional rebates to solar customers.
Tesla is a solid choice if you’re looking for a solar panel company with transparent pricing information and a modern design. Customers can install Tesla solar panels with a third-party installer. Enter your ZIP code below to get matched with installers near you.
Compare Tesla to Other Solar Providers
|Provider||Tesla||Semper Solaris||ADT Solar (formerly Sunpro Solar)|
|Solar services||Solar panel sales and installation, battery back-up, solar roof||Solar panel installation, battery back-up installation, solar maintenance services||Solar panel and battery back-up sales and installation|
|Service areas||Nationwide (installation availability varies by zip code)||California||Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas|
|Panels offered||Tesla||Silfab, LG, Panasonic, Solaria||N/A|
|Warranty length||25-year performance guarantee||25-year bumper-to-bumper warranty||25-year power production, panel, inverter, and labor warranty|
|Payment options||Buy, finance, solar subscription||Buy, finance, power purchase agreement||Buy, finance, lease|
- Company name: Tesla Inc.
- Company type: Public
- CEO: Elon Musk
- Years in business: 17
- Address: 3500 Deer Creek Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304
- Phone: 1-888-518-3752
- Website: https://www.tesla.com/
Frequently Asked Questions About Tesla Solar Panels
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparent reviews and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. Our rating system for solar providers is on a 100-point scale based on five factors:
- Payment options (40 points): Options include purchase, loan, lease, and Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). Companies receive points for each of those four options it provides.
- Solar services (30 points): Does the company provide in-house installation of solar panels and battery backups? Can the company also monitor energy production and perform energy-efficiency audits to ensure system performance. The more options available, the higher the score.
- Warranty options (10 points): The success of a residential solar system depends on the workmanship, performance guarantees, and length of product coverage. We score companies based on the number of warranty options available. The more warranties a company offers, the higher the score it receives.
- State availability (10 points): We award the most points to companies with the broadest service area and state availability.
- Reputation (10 points): We factor in how the Business Better Bureau (BBB) scores each company. We deduct points for any alerts or pending lawsuits.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at email@example.com.