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Elon Musk: Tesla Solar Is like Having a Money Printer on Your Roof

UTC by Teuta Franjkovic · 4 min read
Elon Musk: Tesla Solar Is like Having a Money Printer on Your Roof
Photo: Shutterstock

Elon Musk relaunched Tesla’s residential solar-power service: for $50 monthly, you get all the necessary panels and other hardware, plus installation, support, and ongoing maintenance.

Tesla (TSLA) is trying to fire up its solar-panel business by letting consumers rent their rooftop systems rather than buy them.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the offering in a series of tweets saying that it’s “like having a money printer on your roof”.

The company will allow residents of six U.S. states to rent solar power systems with the prices that start from $50 a month – or $65 a month in California – for a small set-up. $50 monthly goes for the small system, rated at 3.8 kW. The medium is rated at 7.6 kW, and the large system is rated at 11.4 kW but the monthly cost of those pricier options haven’t been mentioned.

As per Musk, users will be able to cancel the service anytime, although there will be a $1,500 charge to remove panels and restore the roof to its previous condition included.

Apart from California, rentals will be made possible in Arizona, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Mexico.

Electric car maker Tesla bought residential solar installer SolarCity for $2.6 billion back in 2016 but recently this sector has gone pretty down so the company has even withdrawn solar systems from Home Depot stores. Now, Tesla is relying almost entirely on direct sales to power its solar business.

With SolarCity, customers were charged no money up front for installation and setup, but it turned out to be not really a cost-effective option because company’s debt grew to more than $3 billion in 2016.

Musk also announced that this solar system will be available in Europe next year.

Hopefully, this will go more efficiently as it was the case before. A lot of customers were arguing that there was no timeline set and some were even cancelling their orders after they didn’t get any feedback from the company.

SaiMan Wong made his solar roof deposit in August 2017 and is now close to canceling his reservation.

His roof is 42 years old and needs to be replaced soon. Since he made his solar roof reservation, he’s been emailing Tesla but every time the company answered they didn’t know when his solar roof would be ready.

The solar roof is basically an integrated collection of tiles hiding solar cells inside, but has reportedly been delayed by aesthetic issues and durability testing.

In June, speaking about the issue, Musk said that this represents quite a hard technology problem — “to have an integrated solar panel, or solar cell, with a roof tile, and have it look good and last for 30 years.”

He added:

“It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof, which is a quite difficult engineering challenge and not something that is available anywhere else.”

Sam Jaffe, a managing director at Cairn Energy Research Advisors, says Tesla could have predicted those problems. The thing with the solar roof tiles is that they are much harder to make than traditional solar panels because the tiles have more complicated designs and wiring architectures.

Last month Musk said that Tesla will be producing around 1,000 solar roofs per week by the end of 2019.

Latest quarter results showed that Tesla had experienced another round of financial losses. According to the information provided by the company, sales of its solar energy products declined. Tesla combines these into a single line item, and said they generated $368.2 million in revenue from energy generation and storage products in the second quarter, a 2% decline over the same period last year.

As for the company’s shares, at the time of writing, Tesla shares (TSLA) are trading at $225,58 being up 2.54%.

Business News, Editor's Choice, Market News, News
Teuta Franjkovic

Experienced creative professional focusing on financial and political analysis, editing daily newspapers and news sites, economical and political journalism, consulting, PR and Marketing. Teuta’s passion is to create new opportunities and bring people together.

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