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Sr. Member
Nov 7, 2012
546 posts
176 upvotes
TORONTO

Tesla Solar Roof

I saw a post on my FB feed today about this.

https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/solarroof

Apparently they're super strong with a lifetime warranty. I personally don't own a Tesla and I'm not sure if the amount of sunlight we receive here in the GTA is enough to offset total costs of hydro but this is a HUGE step forward. No more ugly massive solar panels on top of your house!
23 replies
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Oct 14, 2004
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Except it costs about $100k for a decent sized house. Terrible ROI.
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May 12, 2004
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James_TheVirus wrote:
Jun 2nd, 2017 8:17 am
Except it costs about $100k for a decent sized house. Terrible ROI.
Why is it a bad investment with terrible ROI? I paid just a hair under $3000 in hydro last year. Granted we like the house nice and cool in the summer and can afford it.

So $3,000/$100,000 = 3%.
Higher interest savings account are paying at best 2.5% and to get that you need to move your money every few months.
The best GIC I saw is 2% for 5 years.

Don't be the typical RFDer and tell me to buy index funds or stocks...I have enough money in there and other riskier investments as it is. I want to diversify not take on more risk. My hydro prices aren't going down...ever. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but yours aren't either.

Find me another investment guaranteed to bring me 3%...I'm all ears.
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Jun 5, 2017
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At the Circus
Cas77 wrote:
Jun 9th, 2017 9:16 am
Why is it a bad investment with terrible ROI? I paid just a hair under $3000 in hydro last year. Granted we like the house nice and cool in the summer and can afford it.

So $3,000/$100,000 = 3%.
Higher interest savings account are paying at best 2.5% and to get that you need to move your money every few months.
The best GIC I saw is 2% for 5 years.

Don't be the typical RFDer and tell me to buy index funds or stocks...I have enough money in there and other riskier investments as it is. I want to diversify not take on more risk. My hydro prices aren't going down...ever. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but yours aren't either.

Find me another investment guaranteed to bring me 3%...I'm all ears.
You asked. Oaken pays 3.25% for a 5-year GIC

http://www.financialpost.com/personal-f ... nnual.html
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Jun 5, 2017
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At the Circus
This thing about spending a very large amount of money for solar panels reminds me of the following quote; "Do you ever wonder if it makes sense to buy light bulbs lasting more than 20 years when you are over 65?"
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Cas77 wrote:
Jun 9th, 2017 9:16 am
Why is it a bad investment with terrible ROI? I paid just a hair under $3000 in hydro last year. Granted we like the house nice and cool in the summer and can afford it.
Are you sure you will be able to make the equivalent of $3000 in hydro? We are putting in a 10kw system which cost ~30k and we expect ~$3k/yr with a generous payout of $0.288 per kwh. During the winter, it will generate next to nothing, but in the summer, you can get some decent months. A powerwall really doesn't change it that much - during the winter it likely won't generate as much as you use.

So is it even 3%?

Also, not sure if you know that if you a on net-metering, you get paid the lowest price per kwh (regardless of the time of day its generated) and you still have to pay HST on the entire amount of hydro that you use. Solar will not be appealing once Microfit ends at the end of this year.
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Cas77 wrote:
Jun 9th, 2017 9:16 am
Why is it a bad investment with terrible ROI? I paid just a hair under $3000 in hydro last year. Granted we like the house nice and cool in the summer and can afford it.

So $3,000/$100,000 = 3%.
Higher interest savings account are paying at best 2.5% and to get that you need to move your money every few months.
The best GIC I saw is 2% for 5 years.

Don't be the typical RFDer and tell me to buy index funds or stocks...I have enough money in there and other riskier investments as it is. I want to diversify not take on more risk. My hydro prices aren't going down...ever. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but yours aren't either.

Find me another investment guaranteed to bring me 3%...I'm all ears.
$100k up-front though.

While those solar panels are apparently going to generate $3k in electricity every year (for argument's sake we will ignore the taxes you'll pay on the power generated, which are considerable), that $100k (if you didn't spend it on a roof) would be sitting in a bank compounding interest. Arbitrarily picking 30 years, and a 2% guaranteed rate on your $100k, you'd be at $182k in 30 years. In that same time, you'd presumably have generated $90k in electricity ... so you'd "only" be up by $8k. Imsmarterthanyou found a 5 year GIC for 3.25%, meaning there should be a few in the 2.5% range available. 30 years @ 2.5% = $211k. If you could somehow continuously find a GIC @ 3.25%, you'd be at $264k

As well, you'd probably be pretty hard pressed to get $3k out of those tesla panels in a year.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
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Dec 10, 2008
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Pro: you don't need to re-shingle your roof ever again
Con: Lifetime warranty doesn't mean anything if the company goes under
Let's hug it out
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May 5, 2007
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North York
I'm being quoted $31k *after HST deduction for 10Kw and $20K for 6Kwh

I only use about 400-500kwh a month so I was thinking a 6kw system might make sense. But then again after my basement rental starts soon I expect a rise in usage which might make my usage to 700-800kw which still might not justify a 10Kwh system. I'm just confused as to future proofing as it might be costly to add to the system later.

would like your thoughts.
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afshaikh wrote:
Jun 18th, 2017 11:49 am
I'm being quoted $31k *after HST deduction for 10Kw and $20K for 6Kwh

I only use about 400-500kwh a month so I was thinking a 6kw system might make sense. But then again after my basement rental starts soon I expect a rise in usage which might make my usage to 700-800kw which still might not justify a 10Kwh system. I'm just confused as to future proofing as it might be costly to add to the system later.

would like your thoughts.
You got a quote of $31k for a 10kW installed Tesla Solar Roof? That seems insanely cheap.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
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afshaikh wrote:
Jun 18th, 2017 11:49 am
I'm being quoted $31k *after HST deduction for 10Kw and $20K for 6Kwh

I only use about 400-500kwh a month so I was thinking a 6kw system might make sense. But then again after my basement rental starts soon I expect a rise in usage which might make my usage to 700-800kw which still might not justify a 10Kwh system. I'm just confused as to future proofing as it might be costly to add to the system later.

would like your thoughts.
ChubChub wrote:
Jun 19th, 2017 12:07 pm
You got a quote of $31k for a 10kW installed Tesla Solar Roof? That seems insanely cheap.
That's definitely not a Tesla roof. They haven't started quoting anyone yet...let alone coming up with designs for buyers.
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May 23, 2009
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ChubChub wrote:
Jun 19th, 2017 12:07 pm
You got a quote of $31k for a 10kW installed Tesla Solar Roof? That seems insanely cheap.
From the info posted in another thread, it did not sound like Tesla Solar. It was a panel sold by Solar Brokers through Lowes
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Nov 25, 2014
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ChubChub wrote:
Jun 12th, 2017 2:26 am
$100k up-front though.

While those solar panels are apparently going to generate $3k in electricity every year (for argument's sake we will ignore the taxes you'll pay on the power generated, which are considerable), that $100k (if you didn't spend it on a roof) would be sitting in a bank compounding interest. Arbitrarily picking 30 years, and a 2% guaranteed rate on your $100k, you'd be at $182k in 30 years. In that same time, you'd presumably have generated $90k in electricity ... so you'd "only" be up by $8k. Imsmarterthanyou found a 5 year GIC for 3.25%, meaning there should be a few in the 2.5% range available. 30 years @ 2.5% = $211k. If you could somehow continuously find a GIC @ 3.25%, you'd be at $264k

As well, you'd probably be pretty hard pressed to get $3k out of those tesla panels in a year.
That was a pretty one-sided comparison. You forgot to include appreciation and compound interest on the savings. If it increases value by the same amount as the investment and appreciates 2% each year, it already matches a 2% GIC. Then assuming you contributed the $3000 saved each year at 2%, that ends up as $122K (not $90K), and you'd be up $122K (not $8K). Big difference. Even assuming zero return on the property ($82K difference), that's still up $40K. Even with 2.5%, you could be "down" $110K on the property but "up" $132K on the savings. You're also forgetting that the amount saved will itself increase with electricity prices.

That said though, I do agree it's unlikely you would actually get the full $3000 out of the panels in the first place.
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nmclean wrote:
Jul 10th, 2017 1:13 pm
That was a pretty one-sided comparison. You forgot to include appreciation and compound interest on the savings. If it increases value by the same amount as the investment and appreciates 2% each year, it already matches a 2% GIC. Then assuming you contributed the $3000 saved each year at 2%, that ends up as $122K (not $90K), and you'd be up $122K (not $8K). Big difference. Even assuming zero return on the property ($82K difference), that's still up $40K. Even with 2.5%, you could be "down" $110K on the property but "up" $132K on the savings. You're also forgetting that the amount saved will itself increase with electricity prices.

That said though, I do agree it's unlikely you would actually get the full $3000 out of the panels in the first place.
I see what you're saying: Presumably, if you put $100k into a roof, you'd then have $3k extra per year to put into "something", which would logically be a compounding bank account (for argument's sake, we'll say you can put those monthly payments directly into something that pays whatever interest rate we're talking about). Thanks for pointing that out, but your numbers are definitely wrong; you're ignoring the $100k you're not spending on the roof. Coincidentally, my calculations were also incorrect in the opposite direction; I was adding $100k to the solar roof for some reason ... so that $8k in solar's favour should have been $182k - $90k = $92k in saving's favour, however the omission of the monthly deposit interest on the solar side was a mistake anyways, so it's goofed.

Much simpler: how much money do you have in your bank account based on either an initial deposit + compound interest (asphalt roof), or a monthly deposit of your generated power + compounding interest (solar roof).

For this, you'd need to definitely know how much cash you're getting out of the panels; $3k is definitely generous, but we can stick with that. I'll stick with a generous $3.25% interest GIC as well, since we're talking about extremes anyways, and that is actually currently a potential achievable rate (I'm generating these calculations from here: Click Me ). :

........ best case scenario for both options ........
Roof @ 30 years ($0 initial, depositing $3k/year @ 3.25%): $152k
Savings @ 30 years ($100k initial, depositing $0/year @ 3.25%): $265k (you can minus $10k if you're going to install 2 asphalt shingle roofs in that time as well)
$113k difference in saving's favour

Roof @ 60 years ($0 initial, depositing $3k/year @ 3.25%): $555k
Savings @ 60 years ($100k initial, depositing $0/year @ 3.25%): $701k (you can minus $20k if you're going to install 4 asphalt shingle roofs in that time as well)
$146k difference in saving's favour

........ realistic case for solar, worst case for savings ........
Roof @ 30 years ($0 initial, depositing $2.5k/year @ 2%): $103k
Savings @ 30 years ($100k initial, depositing $0/year @ 2%): $182k (you can minus $20k if you're going to install 2 asphalt shingle roofs in that time as well)
$79k difference in saving's favour

Roof @ 60 years ($0 initial, depositing $2.5k/year @ 2%): $289k
Savings @ 60 years ($100k initial, depositing $0/year @ 2%): $331k (you can minus $20k if you're going to install 4 asphalt shingle roofs in that time as well)
$42k difference in saving's favour

........ best case scenario for solar, worst case for savings ........
Roof @ 30 years ($0 initial, depositing $3k/year @ 2%): $123k
Savings @ 30 years ($100k initial, depositing $0/year @ 2%): $182k (you can minus $20k if you're going to install 2 asphalt shingle roofs in that time as well)
$59k difference in saving's favour

Roof @ 60 years ($0 initial, depositing $3k/year @ 2%): $347k
Savings @ 60 years ($100k initial, depositing $0/year @ 2%): $331k (you can minus $20k if you're going to install 4 asphalt shingle roofs in that time as well)
$16k difference in the roof's favour

... in this unlikely scenario, the solar roof would pay itself off in about 50 years, assuming it never has any issues, and operates @ zero-day efficiencies throughout its lifespan.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.

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