Tesla Solar Panels Review (2024 Costs & Services)

Tesla Solar Panels Review (2024 Costs & Services)

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What’s the hype all about with Tesla Solar?
  • Is Tesla Solar Roof a better option than Tesla solar panels?
  • Does Tesla Solar actually offer price matching?
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Elon Musk has long been known for his electric vehicles, but Tesla does more than just make energy-efficient cars. Tesla Energy has revolutionized the solar industry with its advanced solar panels, home batteries and solar roof tiles. With these systems, you can save on energy costs in style.

Tesla solar panels have similar specifications as its competitors, but to see how it stacks up against the best solar panels for homes and to see if Tesla is right for you, read this comprehensive Tesla solar review.

Our Take on Tesla Solar

Tesla panels have an efficiency rate that is within the average range but are not the most efficient panels on the market. That is why these solar panels are a great choice for homeowners who live in sunny states like California and Florida. But what Tesla panels lack in efficiency they make up for in appearance, cost and inverter efficiency. To learn more about Tesla solar panels, read on.

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Tesla Energy

Best Technology

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost


  • 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

What We Like About Tesla Solar

Tesla’s solar panels stand out in more ways than one. Not only can they be more affordable per watt than the average panel thanks to price matching but their sleek appearances have transformed the solar industry. Traditional solar panels are often seen as an eyesore, but Tesla’s modern and low-profile design adds aesthetic appeal to your home.

The average solar panel cost is $3.33 per watt, but Tesla solar panels cost around $3.90 per watt. However, Tesla offers price matching, which means the company will match lower prices if you can find them elsewhere. If you are looking to save costs on your panel system, the Tesla system is a smart choice. As long as you email the quote to Tesla within 14 days of receiving it, you’ll be able to benefit from these cost savings. You’ll be able to send your email in Tesla’s Question Center though your Tesla Account.

Tesla’s inverter is among the most efficient on the market, which means it can convert solar energy to usable electricity better than its competitors. The 97.5% efficiency makes it so that nearly all the energy your panels absorb will be used to power your home.

What We Don’t Like About Tesla Solar

The wait times for a Tesla solar system are incredibly long. The average wait time for solar installation is about two to six months. But with Tesla, you may wait up to a year to have your panels installed. You will get your panels eventually, but this long wait can be frustrating.

Finally, as we stated earlier, there are more efficient solar panels on the market than Tesla offers. The most efficient solar panels have an efficiency of 22.8%, but Tesla’s panels have an average efficiency of 19.3% to 20.6%. This means that Tesla panels are better suited for regions that get an abundance of sunlight and may not make sense if you live in a state that experiences more cloud cover on average and fewer days of full sunshine.

Tesla solar panels review

Tesla Solar Panels Review

Tesla offers solar power systems in sizes ranging from 4.8 kW up to 17.6 kW, in 0.4 kW increments.

With an efficiency rating between 19.3% and 20.6%, Tesla’s panels are not the most efficient solar panels available. However, these panels are on the higher end of the average efficiency range, so they are perfect if you live in an area that gets a lot of sunshine year-round.

Something that definitely sets Tesla apart from other solar panel companies is its inverter efficiency. Whereas most inverters operate at 93% to 96%, Tesla inverters have an efficiency of 97.5%. The inverter efficiency tells you how well it converts direct current (DC) electricity that is gathered from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) energy that can be used in your home. The higher the efficiency of your inverter, the more solar energy you can convert into usable electricity for your home.

Specification Tesla Solar Panel
Wattage 400 W
Efficiency 19.3% to 20.6%
Operating Temperature -40 degrees F to 185 degrees F
Dimensions 74.4″ x 41.2″ x 1.57″ (including frame)
Design Black anodized aluminum alloy frame

Black solar cells and backsheet

Warranty 25-year performance guarantee
Inverter Power 3.8kW / 7.6kW; 97.5% efficiency
Panel Type Monocrystalline panel

Does Tesla Offer Any Other Solar Products?

Tesla itself is a leader in innovative technologies, so it’s no surprise that it offers several solar solar products, including solar panels, solar batteries, solar roofs, and a mobile tracking app. We’ll discuss each of these products in detail below.

Tesla solar review of roof

Tesla Solar Roof

Moving beyond the conventional solar panels that are associated with household solar power, Tesla has made waves with its Tesla Solar Roof. This system takes the solar panel to a new level, in both aesthetics and durability. But at $45,000 to $90,000, this solar system is pricey.

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.

Tesla’s solar shingles can be installed as a new roof or on top of existing asphalt shingles, integrating 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, however, there are also some downsides that could turn you away. Check out our full review of the Tesla Solar Roof to learn more about whether this is a better solar solution for you than Tesla Solar Panels.

review of tesla solar panels with powerwall

Tesla Powerwall

The Tesla Powerwall battery has an energy storage capacity of 13.5 kWh, a long 20-year lifespan, and a comprehensive 10-year warranty that makes it 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) and have power stored up in case of a utility outage.

Tesla Powerwalls are not cheap at about $11,500 per battery, and are more expensive than other solar batteries. However, this higher cost is worth it because of the higher storage capacity, technology and ability to have power during a power outage.

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, such as more continuous battery power and backup power. The key differences between these two options include the following:

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

If your solar panels generate more energy than your home can consume, a Powerwall is one of the best investments you can make. This system helps you get the most out of your solar panels and has settings that can save you even more money on energy bills.

For example, you can set your Tesla Powerwall to Time-Based Control mode. Then your battery stores energy when energy costs are lowest and uses solar energy when costs are highest.

Tesla Solar App

tesla solar monitoring app

Tesla’s solar technology comes with all the bells and whistles — including a sleek app that can act as the hub for your home’s clean energy system. The app can be used for an entire system of renewable energy products including your solar panels, Powerwall and EV charger. Here’s a quick look at the benefits of the app:

  • Monitor your solar system’s live performance and historical production
  • When you use it with a Powerwall, you can manage your home’s energy even during an outage
  • Track the amount of electricity you send back to the grid

The goal of the Tesla app is to help its customers take control of their home’s energy use and increase their energy independence. The app is capable of a lot, so be sure to ask your solar installer how to best utilize it. Typically, your installer will help you set it up during the commissioning of your system.

How Much Do Tesla Solar Panels Cost?

The all-in price of a Tesla solar system (including equipment and installation) can vary a lot based on system size. For example, you might pay an average of $26,208 for a 9.6 kW system, or around $39,312 for 14.4 kW after the 30% federal solar tax incentive is applied. Starting at about $3.90 per watt on average, the Tesla solar panels cost more than the national average of $3.33 per watt. However, the company’s pricing can be lower thanks to price matching.

A Tesla Solar Roof will have a higher price tag, typically in the ballpark of $45,000 to $90,000. A Tesla Powerwall (for backup power) will be about around $11,500 per 13.5 kWh battery.

Tesla Solar Financing Options

There are two main ways to pay for your Tesla solar system: Cash payment or solar loan. If you choose to pay cash, you immediately own your system and pay the full purchase cost. If you have the option to pay cash, we recommend doing so because it’ll save you the most money each month. You save immediately and don’t have to worry about monthly payments.

If you take out a loan, you still own your solar system, but you can pay for it in monthly installments. Even though you may pay more over time due to loan interest, the loan option is the best choice for many homeowners and is recommended if you can’t afford to pay the full amount for your solar system.

The loan option keeps more money in your bank account, and you still save on energy costs each month. According to the Tesla website, the monthly loan payment for solar is often lower than your monthly electric bill, so you can start seeing savings right away.

Here’s what each financing option includes at a quick glance:

System Ownership
Maintenance Included 10-year comprehensive and 25-year panel performance warranties 10-year comprehensive and 25-year panel performance warranties
Upfront Cost
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, check out our solar financing guide. It’s full of information on solar payment options and recommendations tailored to your needs.

How Can You Save Money with Tesla Solar?

Tesla solar panels are expensive, and like many homeowners, you’re probably wondering how you can save the most money on your purchase. There aren’t typically any sales in the solar industry, but you can use any of the following options to save money on your solar panel system:

  • Solar incentives
  • Financing options
  • Combine solar purchases

Solar Incentives

Solar incentives are complicated — and although every American can qualify for the federal solar tax credit on a solar array, they won’t necessarily cover any Tesla solar product. For instance, solar batteries are only eligible for the solar tax credit if installed along with solar panels.

That being said, there are usually some incentives available to the average consumer. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Federal solar tax credit: All solar photovoltaic (PV) installations, regardless of state, are eligible for the solar investment tax credit (ITC) of 30%.
  • State tax credits: There are around 10 states that offer some form of solar tax credit that can be used in addition to the federal credit. These mostly appear in states supporting renewable energy like New York, Oregon, Arizona and Maryland.
  • Net metering: Depending on your utility provider, your solar installation may be eligible for net metering (NEM). NEM is an incentive through which your utility credits you for the excess energy your home solar system returns to the grid.
  • Local solar incentives: Your local city, state or utility company may provide additional incentives in the form of additional tax credits, rebates or even direct payments.

Consulting with a local solar installation company will be the best way to know for sure what type of incentives you may be eligible to receive.

Pay in Cash

One of the easiest ways to save money is to pay for your entire solar system upfront. Although this may seem backwards, it is the cheapest option compared to the solar loan.

When you take out a loan to pay for your Tesla panels, you can pay anywhere from 6% to 24% in interest. You can expect to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 extra for your solar array if you finance it.

Even if you can’t pay for your entire solar system upfront, you should try to put as much money down as possible. Every dollar you put toward your down payment counts and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Combine Solar Purchases

If you already know you want a Tesla Powerwall and a full solar system, you should have them installed together. Even though it may seem like a good idea to purchase the Powerwall and solar system separately, you may end up paying more.

Each time you need a crew to come to your home to install solar equipment, you’ll pay for labor. But if you have them both installed at the same time, you may save on labor costs.

How Does Tesla Solar’s 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 solar panel size for your home 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. The crew will need access to a few basic things, like Wifi. Use this opportunity to ask the crew how to use your Tesla mobile app.

After installation is complete, Tesla will work with your local building department to schedule an inspection. Tesla will then need to work with your utility company to receive permission to operate your system.

Step 4: Permission to Operate (PTO)

Your utility company will send permission to operate (PTO), usually via email, once you pass your inspection. This gives you the thumbs-up to power on your Tesla energy products and start generating your own electricity.

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

Does Tesla Solar Offer a Warranty?

Your Tesla solar panels should have a lifespan of at least 25 years. However, if you take care of your panels, maintain them regularly and use them as directed, they can last up to 30 years. Tesla offers two warranties that protect the parts and performance of your solar panels.

This means that in the event of an unexpected failure, you may not have to pay for repair costs. Since solar panels can cost hundreds of dollars to repair, this warranty is essential to owning them.

Tesla Solar equipment comes with a 10-year comprehensive warranty and a 25-year panel performance warranty. These warranties are comparable to the industry standard warranty, and you can expect the following to be covered under each:

  • 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. It 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 it, 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.

Where Is Tesla Solar Available?

Tesla solar panels are available in all 50 states, so regardless of where you live, you can get Tesla solar products installed on your home. After you order your solar panel system online, a certified Tesla installer will come to your home to complete the installation.

Click on your state below to connect with a local solar installer in your area:

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Tesla Solar Customer Reviews

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. While poor customer service is not uncommon in the solar industry, there are some companies that take care of their customers regardless of which stage of installation they are in. Tesla Solar also has hundreds of happy customers who rave about the quality of Tesla’s solar installation and products, which is what we would expect from such a prominent installer.

Before we dive into some perspectives, we’d like to mention that, because Tesla is a national company, your experience may vary depending on the installation companies in your area. Further, you may have a different experience if you choose Powerwall Direct instead of using a certified third-party solar installer.

Positive Reviews of Tesla Solar

Many Tesla solar customers have raved about their good experiences with their solar installers on customer review sites. When their Tesla solar panels are installed correctly, customers report no problems with system functionality and impressive energy savings of 30% or more. Some reviews we have seen even mention that they switched to Tesla Solar after consulting with other solar companies and were so grateful that they chose Tesla instead.

Satisfied Tesla customers report friendly and respectful installation teams that efficiently install Tesla panels. The appearance of the panels is also highlighted in some reviews, and customers are surprised at how clean and modern they look after installation.

Negative Reviews of Tesla Solar

Negative reviews of Tesla solar systems typically mention Tesla’s spotty customer service and failure to follow up when something goes wrong after payment and installation. This lack of technical support is particularly concerning, as several customers have reported receiving no support when they encountered a problem that was covered under warranty.

In addition to poor customer service, some customers also complain about unnecessarily long wait times. While it’s not uncommon for customers to wait up to a year or more for some Tesla products like the Powerwall, solar panel customers have waited four to five months between steps in the installation process. In one case, a customer waited several months for Tesla to redesign their solar system, five months for an on-site inspection to be performed, and then another few months for repairs to be made after installation.

Tesla Solar vs Other Providers

Tesla is one of the top solar providers in the nation, and one of the few companies to offer solar roof tiles, not to mention solar batteries, EV charging stations, and electric vehicles. Most providers offer solar panels installation, but few have the additional services provided by Tesla. In addition, Tesla offers solar panels in all 50 states, which we can’t say about every provider.

See how Tesla rates compared to some of our top solar panel companies in the table below.

EcoWatch Rating 4.5 5.0 4.5 4.0 4.5
Year Started 2003 1985 2014 2007 2009
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) Solar panel installation, battery installation, monitoring, maintenance Solar panel and solar battery installations
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 22 states, including AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, HI, IL, MD, MA, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, PA, RI, SC, TX, VT, WI, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. 11 states, including AZ, CA, CT, FL, GA, MA, NV, NJ, NY, PA, TX
Better Business Bureau Rating N/A A+ A+ B+ A+
Payment Options Cash payments, loans Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan, lease Cash, loan, lease, PPA Cash, loan, lease, PPA
Read Provider Review Current Provider Read our review of Sunpower Read our review of Blue Raven Solar Read our review of Sunrun Read our review of Momentum Solar

Bottom Line: Will Tesla Solar Systems Work for You?

It’s important to understand that Tesla’s strengths lie more in its technology than its customer service. If you order a solar system directly through Tesla, your representative will outsource the installation to a subcontractor in your area. This will involve a third party which can cause delays and miscommunication.

We firmly advocate for Tesla’s products — specifically the Powerwall and Solar Roof, but we recommend that you hire a local company to design your system and carry out your installation of Tesla’s products. This way, you get to choose exactly who will be doing the work on your home.

There are a large number of companies certified to install Tesla products that can provide you with reliable customer service, maintenance and backend support. In fact, the majority of the solar companies we recommend can procure and install Tesla products.

If you’re ready to connect with a vetted company in your area for either Tesla Solar or one of its competitors, enter your zip code below to get started.

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The cost information presented in this article is derived from a comprehensive analysis, incorporating data from multiple industry sources. The average cost per watt per state was calculated based on figures from Consumer Affairs, Energy Sage, and Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Markets & Policy Department. Additionally, monthly energy consumption and the average monthly cost of electricity were sourced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, ensuring a well-rounded and accurate representation of the information presented.

Methodology: How We Reviewed Tesla Solar

Our goal is to provide you with the best and most accurate information and recommendations possible when it comes to solar installers. To that end, we use a rigorous rating system to rank different solar installers, including Tesla. For the purpose of transparency, we’ll briefly explain how we ranked Tesla Solar below.

  • Reputation (20%): First, we look at a company’s overall reputation by looking at ratings and reading reviews and complaints on the BBB’s website, Trust Pilot, Google Reviews, Yelp and more. We assessed Tesla’s reputation for quality of service and trustworthiness carefully, especially given the size of the provider. Unfortunately, Tesla does have a record of below-average customer service due to third-party installers, so it lost quite a few points in terms of reputation.
  • Cost and financing (20%): Next, we looked at the average cost per watt for Tesla’s panels and installation services, as well as how accessible the company remained with different payment options. Tesla offers price matching, which helps maintain below-average prices, even though its panels are quite pricey at face value. However, Tesla only accepts cash purchases and solar loans. While we don’t recommend leases or PPAs, they do help keep options open.
  • Services (20%): We rank companies higher if they provide a wide range of services, as they will naturally appeal to more customers. Tesla scores a lot of points here because it is a full-service renewable energy company. It manufactures and installs panels, EV chargers and the Powerwall, which is the most popular solar battery available. Additionally, it’s one of the only companies that offers solar roofing.
  • Installation process (20%): As a solar customer, the last thing you want is an installation team that’s rude, doesn’t show up when they say they will and is disrespectful to your property. That’s why we rate each company based on the installation process and the customer experience throughout. Tesla loses quite a few points here because some of its third-party installers are less reputable and can cause minor issues during the installation.
  • Customer experience (10%): Your experience throughout the rest of the process is important as well, from the first consultation with your solar representative through the planning and installation phases and finally with how the company handles interconnection and filing for incentives. Tesla scores rather low in this area, again due, in part, to the fact that it uses third-party installers. Some customers have a great experience, but others complain about a lack of communication and poor customer service.
  • Availability (10%): Finally, we score companies higher if they provide solar services to a wider audience, as they will naturally appeal to more consumers. Tesla is one of the few solar installers that serves all 50 states, so it gets a perfect score in this category.

FAQ: Tesla Solar Products

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 solar@ecowatch.com.

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Article author
Kristina Zagame is a journalist, editor and content writer with expertise in solar and other energy-related topics. Before joining EcoWatch, Kristina was a TV news reporter and producer, covering a wide variety of topics including West Coast wildfires and hurricane relief efforts. Kristina’s reporting has taken her all over the U.S., as well as to Puerto Rico and Chile.
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Expert reviewer
Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.