We may be compensated if you purchase through links on our website. Our Reviews Team is committed to delivering honest, objective, and independent reviews on home products and services.More
A close-up image of Tesla solar tiles on the roof of a home

Tesla Solar Panels Review

Get a personalized solar estimate

Invalid Zip Code

Join the 10,601 people who have received a free, no-obligation quote in the last 30 days

Author Icon By Tamara Jude Updated 01/31/2024

Known for its electric vehicle innovation, Tesla expanded its advanced technology to the solar industry. The Tesla Energy division offers high-quality residential panels, solar roofing, and battery solutions to help homeowners save on energy costs. In our in-depth review, we’ll explore Tesla’s solar products, warranties, and customer reviews to see how it stacks up to other top solar installers in the nation. 

Important Note: Tesla makes solar panels and batteries but it doesn’t install them. Choose from one of the Tesla certified installers below to get your Tesla batteries or solar panels installed.

Sunrun
4.4
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

*Certified installers vary by region—we always recommend requesting multiple quotes.

Our Take on Tesla Solar Panels

Tesla has developed innovative residential solar tech, including low-profile efficient panels, advanced solar roof tiles, and its exclusive Tesla Powerwall battery. We found navigating Tesla’s website for a sample quote easy. Its transparent pricing and streamlined ordering systems made it simple to shop for a new system without the help of a sales representative. 

The company offers long-term product and performance coverage for its systems, but its 10-year comprehensive warranty falls short of other providers. In addition, we learned that many customers were dissatisfied with the company’s poor customer service, waiting months for technical support and servicing.

light bulb

Tesla Solar Overview

  • BBB rating: A+
  • Year founded: 2015
  • State availability: 50 (availability varies by ZIP code)
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty for product, inverter, and roof leaks and 25-year performance guarantee
  • Payment options: Full payment, solar loan (select areas)

Best Solar Companies of 2024

These are the best solar companies that include Tesla according to our research and ranking methodology. 

​​Get your solar quote today.

Star Rating Best For Location Presence Link
SunPower SunPower
Best High-Efficiency System 50 States Get Quote
Sunrun Sunrun
Best Solar Panel Leasing 20 States Get Quote
Blue Raven Blue Raven
Most Reputable 18 States Get Quote
Momentum Momentum
Best Solar Panel Installation 12 States Get Quote
Palmetto Palmetto
Best Customer Support 19 States Get Quote
Freedom Solar Power Freedom Solar Power
Most Complete Warranty 5 States Get Quote
Green Home Systems Green Home Systems
Best Solar Roofs 22 States Get Quote
Elevation Elevation
Best Energy-Efficient Upgrades 5 States Get Quote
Tesla Solar Tesla Solar
Best Solar Tech 50 States Get Quote
SunPower
Logo SunPower
Star Rating
Best For Best High-Efficiency System
Location Presence 50 States
Get Quote
Sunrun
Logo Sunrun
Star Rating
Best For Best Solar Panel Leasing
Location Presence 20 States
Get Quote
Blue Raven
Logo Blue Raven
Star Rating
Best For Most Reputable
Location Presence 18 States
Get Quote
Momentum
Logo Momentum
Star Rating
Best For Best Solar Panel Installation
Location Presence 12 States
Get Quote
Palmetto
Logo Palmetto
Star Rating
Best For Best Customer Support
Location Presence 19 States
Get Quote
Freedom Solar Power
Logo Freedom Solar Power
Star Rating
Best For Most Complete Warranty
Location Presence 5 States
Get Quote
Green Home Systems
Logo Green Home Systems
Star Rating
Best For Best Solar Roofs
Location Presence 22 States
Get Quote
Elevation
Logo Elevation
Star Rating
Best For Best Energy-Efficient Upgrades
Location Presence 5 States
Get Quote
Tesla Solar
Logo Tesla Solar
Star Rating
Best For Best Solar Tech
Location Presence 50 States
Get Quote
Company
Star Rating
Best For
Location Presence
BBB Rating
Best High-Efficiency System
50 States
A+
Best Solar Panel Leasing
20 States
A+
Most Reputable
18 States
A+
Best Solar Panel Installation
12 States
A+
Best Customer Support
19 States
A+
Most Complete Warranty
5 States
A+
Best East Coast Installer
6 States
A+
Best Northeast Regional Installer
10 States
A+
Best Solar Tech
50 States
NR

Pros and Cons of Tesla Solar Panels

Pros 24/7 solar panel monitoring through its mobile app Instant online quotes available Solar panel price-match guarantee
Cons Long wait times for repairs, per customer reviews Shorter equipment warranty than other providers Third-party solar system installations only

Tesla Solar Services and Panel Options

Tesla uses its own solar panels for installations. Its all-black, minimalistic panels have no visible grid, a concealed edge, and a low profile. The panels interlock when installed, forming one solid solar panel array that blends with your home’s aesthetics. 

These monocrystalline (mono) solar panels have efficiency ratings between 19.3% and 20.6%, depending on the model. This type of panel offers excellent energy production and has the longest life span. Based on our research of other solar providers, we found that these panels are not the most efficient panels available. However, they offer above-average energy production levels, making them a solid investment. 

Tesla also includes in-house inverters for its solar systems. The 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 range of 93%–96%. Higher inverter efficiencies lead to better energy conversion for your home. 

Other Solar Products Offered by Tesla

In addition to rooftop panels, Tesla offers additional renewable energy products for residential installations:

  • Powerwall: The Tesla Powerwall solar battery has become a favorite among homeowners due to its excellent storage capacity, life span, and warranty. It comes in two models: the Powerwall 2 and the Powerwall+. While they work best as an addition to existing solar systems, the Powerwall+ integrates into a new energy system well. 
  • Solar roof: The Tesla solar roof serves as an alternative to traditional rooftop panels. They offer the durability of traditional roofing material with the power of solar technology. These sleek, solar tiles blend into your home’s design, providing a less noticeable installation than traditional rooftop panels. The Tesla roof is an excellent option when building a new home or when replacing your current roof.

Tesla Solar Installation Process

Tesla does not offer in-house installations. The company uses third-party certified installers for its solar projects. Here’s how the installation process works:

  1. Site assessment: The Tesla 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 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 completed.
  6. Energization and 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 may take one to six weeks.

Tesla Solar Panels Reviews

Tesla Energy maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) but isn’t accredited. 

When we analyzed customer reviews, we found that homeowners praised Tesla for its excellent installation process and system performance. Negative customer reviews mentioned long-term system issues and delayed service repairs. 

Read what some Tesla Solar customers have said about their experiences below:

“I met with over a dozen companies before deciding to “bite the bullet” and go with Tesla Solar. Oh my goodness, did I make the right choice! To begin with, their presentation was unlike any other company I interviewed; it really impressed me, and the interactive approach was A+! I’m overjoyed to have gorgeous black solar panels on my roof! The solar panel installation was painless, and the installation crew was extremely friendly and professional!”—Vance A. via BBB

“When the presentation was done remotely, I was skeptical at first, but the solar designing technology Tesla Solar Energy quickly dispelled that concern. The presentation was outstandingly professional. The installation was quick, and my system is already producing as expected.” —Landon via BBB

“Tesla works great when it is working, but if it breaks down, you are out of luck.  [B]een down 7 months now with no end in sight. [After] 4 service calls, they came out once [but it’s] still not working.”—Dale N. via Best Company

“I have had permission to operate for 20 months. It has been dead for 5 of those months, with 3 inverter failures. Tesla provides platitudes and blames the maker of the inverter. If it were a new car, the dealer would provide a loaner for outages of this duration. I cannot recommend Tesla to others at this point.”—Thomas T. via Best Company

*BBB information accurate as of December 2023.


Tesla Solar Payment Options

Tesla allows customers to buy its 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 Solar Panel Cost

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 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 incentives. The “Future Needs” quotes additional options to anticipate any energy usage increases. These options include the following scenarios:

  • Electrical 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.

System SizeSolar Production Energy OffsetNumber of PanelsTotal PricePrice After Incentives

9.2 kW

16,523 kWh per year

103%

23

$25,116

$17,581

12 kW

21,552 kWh per year

134%

30

$32,760

$22,932

*Prices do not include the cost of a Powerwall battery storage.


Tesla Solar Warranty Options

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


Tesla State Availability

Tesla services all 50 states, but availability varies by ZIP code. Find additional solar providers in your area using the list below. 

Find A Solar Installation Company in Your State


Compare Tesla to Other Solar Providers

Compare Tesla to other leading solar providers.

ProviderTeslaSunPower ADT Solar (formerly Sunpro Solar)

Solar services

Solar panels, battery backup, solar roof

Solar panels, battery backup, electric vehicle (EV) chargers

Solar panels, battery backup

Service areas

Nationwide (installation availability varies by ZIP code)

Nationwide (installation availability varies by ZIP code)

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Panels offered

Tesla

Maxeon

Canadian Solar, Q Cells, Silfab

Warranty length

10-year comprehensive warranty covering panels, inverters, batteries, and roof leaks, 25-year performance guarantee

25-year comprehensive warranty for product, labor, and panel performance

25-year power production, panel, inverter, and labor warranty

Payment options

Full purchase, loan

Full purchase, loan, lease, power purchase agreement

Full purchase, loan, lease

For an in-depth competitor comparison, visit this page:


Is Solar Worth it?

Several factors affect whether a solar investment is worth it, such as cost, location, and energy needs. Consider the following factors before investing in solar energy.

  • Climate and location: Solar panels work best with ample sunlight and cloudless days. Panels will operate on cloudy days, but your energy production will reduce. Areas with plentiful sunny days see the best cost-saving with solar energy. Frequent cloudy days and inclement weather will impact solar panels’ effectiveness, reducing your overall savings. 
  • Cost: A solar system requires a significant monetary investment, so you want to ensure it’s the right option for your home. Homeowners should consider the up-front costs and estimated solar panel payback period. This period represents the time it takes for solar panels to pay for themselves through energy savings. The typical payback period takes six to 10 years but varies based on your financing options, system costs, and panel quality. 
  • Energy usage and rates: In most cases, solar energy offsets energy costs and lowers your bills. You benefit most when your home has high energy use and electricity rates. Homes with low energy consumption or relatively low monthly bills won’t benefit financially from moving to solar. 
  • Roof design: You’ll need ample space to house your solar array for rooftop installation. Homeowners with limited roof space might not accommodate enough panels to support their home’s energy use. Other limiting factors include roof pitch, skylights, and chimneys. 
  • Solar incentives: Some states offer excellent incentives and credits to promote residential clean energy use. However, availability varies between areas. If your state offers little to no incentives, you’ll have fewer options to reduce installation costs, making your conversion less affordable. 

Solar Incentives and Rebates

As mentioned earlier, we received a Tesla solar panel system quote for $25,116. After applying for the federal solar tax credit, system costs dropped to $17,581. The federal tax credit reduces installation costs by 30%. This credit applies to your owed federal taxes, helping reduce your tax liability. Only customers who own their solar system can use the federal tax credit. 

Some states offer incentives, credits, and debits to help residents offset installation costs. Like the federal tax credit, state solar tax credits reduce your state tax liability. Sales tax exemptions eliminate sales tax from solar costs. With property tax exemption, you won’t incur additional taxes for adding a solar system. Net-metering programs allow homeowners to return excess energy to the grid for energy bill credits. Additional credits and rebates may come from your city, municipality, or utility company. 

Check our state solar incentive guides below to find solar savings in your area.


Tesla Solar Mobile App

The Tesla app allows you to manage your Tesla solar system and other Tesla products at any time. The app displays a real-time power flow, showing how your Powerwall, grid connection and solar system are working to power your home.

Below are the included Powerwall energy modes: 

  • Self-powered: You draw from your energy storage to power your home. 
  • Storm Watch: Tracks weather alerts and charges your Powerwall automatically in case of power outages. 
  • Time-based control: Your system switches to stored energy when utility rates are high.

Our Conclusion

Tesla makes a good choice for homeowners interested in sleek solar panels and advanced solar technology. Although they aren’t the most efficient panels available, they’re priced lower than more expensive brands, such as Maxeon. The company’s performance and product warranties ensure your system lasts for 25 years. Despite having quality equipment, it lacks reliable customer and technical support, based on the Tesla customer reviews we read. 

As you shop for a solar installer, we recommend getting quotes from at least three providers to find the best options.

Get Estimates from Solar Experts in Your Area
Totally free, no phone call required

Other Solar Panel Resources


Frequently Asked Questions About Tesla Solar Panels

How many watts are Tesla solar panels?

Tesla solar panels are 425 watts.

How efficient are Tesla solar panels?

Tesla solar panels offer between 19.3%–20.6% efficiency rates. Although they qualify as high-efficiency solar panels, they fall on the lower end of these panel types. 

Why is Tesla Solar so cheap?

Tesla Solar is so cheap because of the company’s recognizable brand name and simplified ordering process. Tesla has become an established brand with a loyal customer base, leading to guaranteed sales. In addition, 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. 

How much does a Tesla Powerwall cost?

A Tesla Powerwall costs $14,200 for each battery, but the per-unit price drops when you purchase two or more. Most homes require at least two battery backups to be 100% self-powered.

How long do Tesla solar panels last?

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


Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team is 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.