A year after Tesla announced its decision to acquire clean energy company SolarCity, the results of the move are clear. A massive Tesla solar farm now powers the entire island of Ta’u in American Samoa, with similar projects planned for Hawaii. The company’s solar roof, unveiled in May, came with a price tag lower than the average installation of several solar panels on a single roof, and offered a 30-year warranty. The product also sold out quickly, and the market won’t see its return until well into 2018, with Tesla moving production to a new factory to keep up with demand.
Keep in mind that even if you’re able to order next year, it may be an additional year before the company can install the roof. One thing Tesla has over traditional panels: Its entire-roof concept comes in the form of glass shingles that appear as a standard roof from the street. Companies such as Suntegra and CertainTeed offer similar products, but not at as competitive a rate. The process of outfitting a house with solar power may seem daunting, but it’s not all that different from any other home project: It requires a few calculations and patience. Last year saw a 97 percent jump in solar power installation across the United States, and this year appears to be headed for another record. Here’s what you need to know before going solar.
First, solar panels are not priced by square footage, like most renovations in your hom