Tesla Solar Review Guide (Costs, Services & More) 
In this EcoWatch review guide on Tesla Solar, you’ll learn:
- Whether Tesla Solar products are worth the hype
- How Tesla Solar Panels differ from the Tesla Solar Roof
- Why Tesla Solar products are so cheap
- How Tesla Solar customers view the company
This review guide has helped thousands of homeowners decide whether Tesla Solar is best for their home, saving them time and money in the process. Let’s get started!
Why You Can Trust EcoWatch
We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other solar site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites.
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
- Solar Panels
- Solar Batteries
- EV Chargers
- Solar Roof Shingles
- System Monitoring
Is Tesla a Good Solar Company?
Tesla Solar is one of the top solar companies and is the first-place choice for many households (which is unsurprising given their success in the electric vehicle market). Based on our market research and data, we’ve found Tesla Solar to offer the best technology in the solar industry. We also like that you can get a free quote, order products and match with a certified installer directly through its website.
|Tesla Solar Pros||Tesla Solar Cons|
|Price-match guarantee and affordable financing options||Customer service is reportedly spotty|
|Advanced solar panel technology with sleek design and long-term durability||Tesla installations have struggled with safety issues in the past (Tesla systems have caught fire in a small number of cases).|
|Offers one of the solar batteries on the market (the Tesla Powerwall II)||Cannot purchase Powerwall battery separately|
How Did We Rate Tesla Solar?
|Category||Tesla Solar Star Rating|
|Cost & Financing||4.75|
Tesla Solar is one of the top solar companies, but they’re up against some other great contenders. The inherent diversity in the market is a great opportunity for potential customers to shop for their best option and identify what specific offerings best align with their energy needs and budget.
If you want to see how much a Tesla solar panel system would cost for your home, you can use the company’s design feature.
How Did Tesla Enter the Solar Industry?
Tesla enterprise has sought to become the first and foremost name in U.S. solar rooftop installations. These efforts started back in 2016 when Tesla acquired the company SolarCity.
At the time, SolarCity was the leading residential solar installer in the country, and it just happened to be founded by cousins of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla and SolarCity have accomplished some amazing things, including powering an entire island with solar. But numerous other solar manufacturers have made strong plays in the residential solar market, and some of those leaders, such as Sunrun and Vivint Solar, have jockeyed back and forth with Tesla for being the market leader.
Rankings vary depending on the year, quarter or even month observed, though no single provider ends up providing more than 15% of the market share. Still, Tesla remains a top spot for many households.
|Tesla Solar Fast Facts|
|Service Areas||50 states (installation availability may vary)|
|Service Types||Solar panel, solar battery, solar roof shingles and EV charger installations|
|Backup Battery Options||Tesla Powerwall|
|Certifications||Tesla Certified Installer|
|Better Business Bureau Rating||N/A|
What Solar Products Does Tesla Offer?
The basic offerings that Tesla solar has become known for are:
- Tesla solar panels: Standard rectangular panels most people associate with solar installations
- Tesla Solar Roof: Rather than panels on top of the roof, these systems use solar shingles designed to cover the entire roof and look like the roof tiles themselves
- Tesla Powerwall: Rechargeable home battery Tesla can install in conjunction with new solar systems or add to existing systems to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of home energy use and protect you in cases of power outages
Tesla Solar Panels
The most basic offering, and the one the majority of customers are envisioning when considering solar energy for their household, are standard Tesla solar panels. These work the same way as any rooftop solar panel, but the main features that set Tesla solar panels apart from competitors’ products include:
- 24/7 monitoring: You can keep tabs on your panels at any time and from anywhere through a mobile monitoring app. The app tracks your panels’ performance, efficiency and generation, as well as detects any issues with your system.
- Aesthetics: Tesla prioritizes the design of its rooftop panels in a way competitors don’t, creating a sleek, blended, low-profile installation that brings direct curbside appeal.
- Streamlined pre-installation: As part of Tesla’s solar panel installation process, homeowners send in photos of their equipment and system spaces rather than having a crew come out to inspect these areas. This helps bring Tesla’s prices below the national average.
The exact nature of the installation chosen for your home will be customized based on your rooftop, power needs, geography, budget and more.
|Category||Tesla Solar Specs||Why it Matters|
|Wattage||42 5W||Most residential solar panels run around 250 W to 300 W. This means you will need to purchase fewer Tesla panels to produce a certain amount of power.|
|Operating Temperatures||-40°F to 185°F||These are the lowest and highest temperatures your Tesla solar panels will operate in. While it’s not likely they will ever reach these extremes, most residential solar panels are rated to similar degrees.|
|Size||82.4″ x 40.9″ x 1.57″ (including frame)||Most residential solar panels measure about 65 inches by 39 inches. Tesla’s are longer, which allows you to purchase fewer modules.|
|Warranty||25 years||Tesla’s warranty is about average for the industry.|
|Inverter||3.8 kW or 7.6 kW||The Tesla Solar Inverter is a key part of the home solar system, as it converts the panel’s direct current (DC) power into usable alternating current (AC) power for in-home consumption. Tesla’s inverters operate at 97.5% efficiency and come with a 12.5-year warranty.|
Tesla Solar Roof
Moving beyond the conventional solar panels that are associated with household solar power, Tesla has made waves with its offering of the Tesla Solar Roof. Note, this is not a new roof, but rather solar shingles that integrate with the look of your existing roof while generating energy to power your home. The Tesla Solar Roof brings with it a host of benefits that makes it more appealing than standard solar panels:
- The solar shingles are three times more durable than standard panels, meaning the risk of damage from hail, storms or other environmental factors is minimized.
- By covering the entire rooftop, even more clean solar energy can be generated for the home.
- The aesthetic appeal of the solar rooftop is undeniable, as no panels appear outside of the existing design of the roof. Note that Tesla used to offer different styles of solar roof tiles, but today it only offers black-on-black tiles.
That said, the decision to go for a full solar roof over standard solar panels is not an obvious choice for all households. These installations bring with them several downsides that may turn customers away:
- Solar shingles are more expensive to create on a per-watt basis, and they usually have a greater total coverage area. This makes the initial investment notably more expensive and out of reach for many customers.
- While a storm is more likely to damage a standard solar panel than a solar shingle, if a storm is severe enough that it can cause Solar Roof damage, repair costs will be higher than they would be for other types of solar panel repairs.
- Solar panels can be readily installed and then removed later on for any reason a homeowner may choose, but the solar roof is a more permanent decision.
While customers may have an untold number of solar panel providers to choose from when going the traditional route, Tesla is among the only companies offering solar shingles today.
The last Tesla solar product that homeowners may be considering is the Tesla Powerwall, which is one of the best solar battery storage systems on the market. By adding a battery to your home solar system, you can use solar energy even when the sun isn’t shining (like at night or on cloudy days), have power stored up in case of a utility outage, and even sell the excess energy back to the grid when energy costs are greatest.
When considering Tesla solar energy storage for a new or existing solar system, customers will come across both the Tesla Powerwall and the Tesla Powerwall+. The Powerwall+ comes with additional benefits (at an additional cost, of course). Key differences between these two options include the following:
|Category||Tesla Powerwall||Tesla Powerwall+|
|Energy Capacity||13.5 kWh||13.5 kWh|
|On-Grid Power||5.8 kW continuous||7.6 kW / 5.6 kW continuous|
|Backup Power||10 kW peak||9.6 kW / 7 kW continuous 22 kW / 10 kW peak|
|Size||45.3″ x 29.6″ x 5.75″ 251.3 lbs||62.8″ x 29.7″ x 6.3″ 343.9 lbs|
|Warranty||10 years||10 years|
All customers who install a Tesla Solar system, whether standard solar panels or a Solar Roof, are required to purchase a Powerwall (or Powerwall) to ensure the highest efficiency and effectiveness of their system. The Powerwall and Powerwall are also available for purchase alone to pair with an existing non-Tesla solar installation, though the homeowner will still need to utilize a Tesla-certified installer.
How Does Tesla’s Solar Installation Process Work?
When you buy a solar panel module from Tesla Solar, you’re a part of the installation process. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from your Tesla Solar panel installation:
Step 1: Order online
On its website, Tesla Solar says it will recommend the right system size for your needs based on your electricity usage and your address.
Step 2: Virtual home assessment
As part of Tesla’s solar panel installation process, homeowners send in photos of their equipment and system spaces rather than having a crew come out to inspect these areas before installation (which helps bring total costs below the national average). Then, Tesla Solar representatives will create a solar design for your home, while you remain part of the process. The exact nature of the installation chosen for your home will be customized based on your rooftop, power needs, geography, budget and more.
Step 3: Installation
Tesla Solar states on its website that most solar installations are finished the same day, and you only need to be at your house for the first hour. After installation is complete, Tesla will work with your local building department to schedule an inspection. For systems that come with a Powerwall for energy storage, Tesla will work with your utility company to receive permission to operate your system.
Step 4: Power on
Once you’re given the thumbs up, you’re set to power on your Tesla energy products. What’s cool about Tesla is that you can monitor your solar system’s energy production through the Tesla app, so you can monitor your energy usage, know exactly how much energy you’re generating, and ultimately stay on top of how cost-effective your panels are.
Watch Below: see for yourself what the Tesla Solar Panel installation process looks like
How Much Do Tesla Solar Products Cost?
Tesla offers a price-match guarantee and affordable financing options for its solar panels. You can choose to pay for your Tesla Solar system with cash upfront or by taking on a solar loan through the company. Tesla does not offer solar leases.
At the time of this publication, a Tesla solar system (including equipment and installation) can vary in cost from $11,840 for 8.2 kW of standard solar panels to $22,200 for 16.3 kW (both after tax incentives).
A Tesla Solar Roof will have a higher price tag, typically in the ballpark of $30,000 to $90,000. A Tesla Powerwall (for backup power) will be about $8,500 to $10,500 per 13.5 kWh battery.
These costs represent a wide range of system sizes, local geographies, available tax incentives and more.
What Financing Options Does Tesla Solar Provide?
There are two main ways to pay for your Tesla Solar energy system: Cash or solar loan. By choosing cash, you will immediately own your system and pay the up-front cost of the system in full. By taking on a loan, you’ll still own your solar power system, but you can pay in monthly installments.
According to Tesla’s website, the monthly loan payment for solar is often lower than your monthly energy bill, so you could see immediate savings.
Here’s what each financing option includes at a glance:
|Cash Purchase||Solar Loan|
|Maintenance Included||10 year comprehensive and 25-year panel performance warranty||10 year comprehensive and 25-year panel performance warranty|
|Added Property Value||✓||✓|
|Eligible for Tax Credit||✓||✓|
|Payment Due to||Solar Installer||Loan Provider|
If you’re wondering what’s the best way to pay for solar panels, check out our solar financing guide. It’s full of information on solar payment options and recommendations tailored to your needs. Click here to read more about solar financing.
Do Tesla Solar Products Come With a Warranty?
Tesla Solar equipment comes with two warranties, including a 10-year comprehensive warranty and a 25-year panel performance warranty.
- Comprehensive Warranty: Your Tesla solar system is covered by a 10-year warranty. That means for the first decade after your solar panel installation, Tesla should perform any maintenance or labor request related to your solar system at no cost. The warranty covers issues related to roof mounting and leaks, your Tesla solar inverter and/or your Powerwall.
- Panel Performance Warranty: Your solar panels are protected by what Tesla calls a “panel performance warranty” for at least 25 years following installation. Under this warranty, your solar panels are guaranteed at least 80% of nameplate power capacity. Tesla should process any claims and perform any related labor at no cost.
What Should Homeowners Know About Tesla’s Customer Service?
One of the biggest complaints against Tesla Solar is its reportedly spotty customer service. Business Insider even featured an article detailing how several Tesla Solar customers were reportedly “ghosted or sent in circles” by customer service representatives in 2021. Many of the customer reviews on Tesla Energy Solar’s Yelp page also complained of poor customer support experiences.
What Do Current/Former Customers Think About Tesla Solar?
We’ve covered the basics of what Tesla Solar has to offer in terms of products, services and financing, so now let’s dive into what its customers have to say about the experience. As mentioned previously, a lot of Tesla Solar customers have complained about the provider’s spotty customer service. However, Tesla Solar also has hundreds of happy customers who rave about the quality of Tesla’s solar installation and product.
Before we dive into some perspectives, we’d like to mention that, because Tesla Solar is a national company, your experience may vary depending on the installers in your area. For example, Tesla Solar might be a good choice for homeowners in California, but not in upstate New York. We recommend finding reviews from people in your area, as you’ll likely have a similar installation experience to theirs.
Many Tesla Solar customers have raved about their great experiences with their solar installers on customer review sites. A few reviews we saw even mentioned that they switched to Tesla Solar after having consultations with other solar companies and were so grateful they chose Tesla instead.
“I couldn’t not be happier with the system and install… [The team] treated my home as if it were theirs. It was a two-day install because the size of the system. (36 panels, 2 Powerwalls, 2 inverters, Gateway, etc.) They ran 1 conduit with the trim of my house from basement to attic. You can’t even tell [it is] there! … They built a wall in my basement for the inverters, gateway, Powerwalls, and two electric panels. Everything was aligned and no wires showing at all!”– Sarin via Consumer Affairs
“We installed Tesla panels two years ago: a 12-panel 3.8 kW system. The installation went seamlessly and the panels save us around 30% of our electric bills. We haven’t had any problems since installing the panels. Highly recommended” – Vladimir via Yelp
Negative Tesla Solar reviews typically mention Tesla’s spotty customer service and failure to follow up if something goes wrong after installation (after payment). Here are a few examples:
“If I could give less than 1 star I would. Tesla solar has the worst customer service of any company I have ever dealt with. If you are reading these reviews because you are considering using Tesla: run, don’t walk, in the other direction. What is amazing is that they are still in business.” – Diane via Yelp
“Once you pay them, they leave you stranded. Panels do not work because National Grid needs paperwork from Tesla and Tesla keeps saying it is complete. It has been months with useless panels, no customer service support, not even a phone number. This is an extremely difficult process spending so much money and not having the ability to utilize the product.” – Michael via Consumer Affairs
How Does Tesla Solar Compare to Other National Providers?
Tesla is one of the top solar providers in the nation, and one of the few companies to offer solar roof tiles. But is Tesla Solar the best solar energy provider? Here’s an overview of how it stacks up against some of its competitors:
|Tesla Solar||SunPower||Blue Raven Solar|
|Best Technology||Best Overall||Best Financing|
|Services Offered||Solar panel, solar battery, solar roof shingles and EV charger installations||Solar panel, solar battery and EV charger installations||Solar panel installations (batteries coming soon)|
|Service Areas||All 50 states||All 50 states||17 states including CO, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, NC, NV, OH, OR, SC, TX, UT, VA|
|Payment Options||Cash payments, loans||Cash payments, loans, leases, power purchase agreements (PPAs)||Cash payments, loans, leases|
|Warranty Coverage||25-year panel warranty; 10-year comprehensive warranty||25-year product, production and workmanship warranties||25-year product, production and workmanship warranties|
In the end, which solar company is best for you will depend on your specific household needs. If you’re ready to get a free solar quote, click below for a no-obligation home assessment.
FAQ: Tesla Solar Reviews
Here are the most common questions we get about Tesla solar products. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at email@example.com.
A Tesla solar system (including equipment and installation) can vary in cost from $11,840 for 8.2 kW of standard solar panels to $22,200 for 16.3 kW (both after tax incentives). A Tesla Solar Roof will have a higher price tag, typically in the ballpark of $30,000 to $90,000. A Tesla Powerwall will be about $8,500 to $10,500 per 13.5 kWh battery. These costs represent a wide range of system sizes, local geographies, available tax incentives and more.
Tesla is able to mass-produce its equipment, use economies of scale and streamline the installation process by recruiting homeowners themselves to contribute to the evaluation of their homes. These are some of the factors that allow Tesla to offer a price-match guarantee, ensuring the company offers the cheapest solar panels in the U.S.
Once installed, Tesla solar panels are highly efficient and effective, which has kept them as one of the most popular solar installers in America and able to offer customers payback periods of just a handful of years.
When you buy solar panels, depending on your location, Tesla will either send its own installers or contract workers from another local installation company to set up your system.
The concept of going solar is fairly straightforward: by installing solar panels or shingles on the area of your roof that gets the most direct sunlight, power is generated for use in your home, offsetting the need for you to purchase that power from your utility company. Doing so will help you save money each month and ensure the energy used within your home is carbon-free. Other advantages include the ability to generate power even during local utility outages and directly increasing the resale value of your home.