solar shingles vs solar modules  

“Do you guys install Tesla solar shingles?” We keep hearing this question more and more. People have been asking about the Tesla roof shingles and why Cotuit Solar doesn’t offer them in addition to the standard solar modules. Well, we need to consider efficiency, cost, and aesthetics. 

Embedding photovoltaic cells into glass roof tiles in not a new concept. It has been tried by Sun Power and Dow Chemical Company but both stopped offering them as they were much too expensive and not as efficient as conventional modules.

It appears that Telsa is trying to capture a market share by their acquisition of Solar City.  Accordingly, they will have the largest manufacturing plant in North America by 2019. This has the potential of driving down the cost of the solar roof – which at this time is formidable.

The numbers are coming from Tesla, so it is a bit challenging to verify them.  Time will tell. From their early numbers, the Tesla roof could be as much as 50% more expensive compared to a conventional PV System with solar panels. If you aren’t considering building a new home or re-roofing then it absolutely makes no sense in the current market.

In addition,  the amount of wiring in the multiple roof shingles could be a significant challenge to trouble shoot if something goes awry. Here is an Elon Musk slide show. Are looks everything when it comes to sustainability? 

We think beauty can be in the eye of the beholder and standard solar modules can be beautiful! To see more examples of the beauty of conventional solar modules, visit our website gallery. 


The bottom line is:  if you have a great deal of money, aren’t concerned with the efficiency of your solar system, want a 7+ year return on investment, and want to pay twice as much as a conventional PV system then, the Tesla Solar Shingles are for you.
For cost efficiency, a great return on investment, reliability, and a time tested product- we recommend you stick with conventional photovoltaics!

If you’d like to explore standard solar array possibilities, Cotuit Solar can make it easy. Give us a call 508-428-8442 or drop us a line at


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