Solar Panels Versus Tesla Solar Roof – Which Is Better?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

What Are the Options For Solar Out There?

Disclaimer: Unfortunately, Tesla Solar Roof are not yet available in Singapore as of the writing of this article.

With a growing excitement for green energy solutions, homeowners are turning toward solar power to fuel their homes. The surge in interest has paved the way for two clear options: traditional solar panels, or something entirely new – Tesla Solar Roof. In this article, we will explore these choices, discussing their differences in looks, installation, costs, and environmental advantages of both options. By providing their respective pros and cons, this will enable you to determine whether the established tried-and-true choice can hold its own against Tesla’s innovative vision.

For those who prefer visual explanations, YouTuber Marques Brownlee has an excellent video discussing his experience on the Tesla Solar Roof on his channel.

Differences in Both Solar Options

Both traditional solar panels and the Tesla Solar Roof serve a similar purpose, yet they exhibit significant differences. The upcoming points delve into the distinctions between these two solar alternatives.

Visual Aesthetic

When comparing conventional solar panels and Tesla Solar Roof, the most apparent distinction lies in their visual appearance. Traditional solar panels, characterised by their signature blue or black tint, are looks we are all too familiar with, needing no introduction. Though their proficiency in capturing solar energy is undeniable, their bear a distinct look which might not seamlessly harmonise with a home’s overall aesthetic style.

In contrast, Tesla Solar Roof showcase a clever blend of solar technology and roofing materials, meticulously designed to be both sleek and discreet. Available in a variety of styles, these solar-integrated tiles are designed to mimic the look of familiar roofing materials such as slate and clay, offering an unobtrusive design. Such a seamless integration allows for capturing solar power while ensuring a cohesive and elegant appearance that conventional solar options may struggle to achieve.

Installation Process

When it comes to typical solar panels, the installation process entails securing the panels onto chosen positions on the existing roof. This involves wiring them to an inverter, which then converts the harnessed solar energy into usable electricity for your home. Despite the process being well-established, it does present several challenges. These challenges may include roof penetrations, waterproofing to prevent leaks, and the necessity for scaffolding to facilitate safe roof access.

As for the Tesla option, the solar product’s nature necessitates a complete remodelling, involving the total replacement of your existing roof. This thorough process can be challenging, particularly when adapting to roofs with distinctive shapes, in contrast to simpler, flat roofs. Also, there are fewer skilled roofers trained in this craft, resulting in limited installation choices for customers residing in rural areas.

Both options come with their own distinct installation intricacies. Factors to consider include the design of your home, your personal preferences, and, notably, the cost – a topic we will delve into next.

Costs and Savings

As a relatively new innovation, the Tesla Solar Roof has limited alternatives available in the market. This also means that customers who want the seamless look for their roofs will have to pay a premium. The Tesla option could be appealing for homeowners replacing an old roof or constructing a new house, offering a “kill two birds with one stone” scenario. However, for most, it might not be the most cost-effective choice. Therefore, conventional solar panels emerge as the clear choice for homeowners who are less concerned with the visual appeal of their roofs.


Unfortunately, homeowners in Singapore are currently limited to the conventional option, as the Tesla Solar Roof is not yet available. However, this limitation might inspire a sense of anticipation, with the hope that advanced solar solutions, like the Tesla Solar Roof, could potentially emerge on the horizon for homeowners in the future.

Similarities in Both Solar Options

While traditional solar panels and Tesla Solar Roofs differ across various comparison factors, they also share several similarities.

High Upfront Cost and Breakeven Point

For many homeowners, the substantial upfront cost of solar conversion may pose a challenge, as it entails a significant investment that yields returns over an extended period. This financial commitment can be difficult to digest initially. The concept of the breakeven point, where the cumulative energy savings eventually offset the initial expense, plays a pivotal role. Reaching this point typically takes 6 to 8 years or more, underscoring the patience required for the transition from investment to “free electricity” after recouping upfront costs. This reality prompts a thoughtful evaluation of long-term benefits versus initial financial considerations.

Maintenance Risks and Costs

Similar to any equipment, solar panels also undergo depreciation over time and necessitate maintenance. Therefore, another challenge in solar conversion is the responsibility of bearing insurance and repair costs throughout the years. This arises from the fact that installers often have limited incentives to offer post-installation support without imposing significant charges on homeowners. Additionally, navigating the technicalities of solar technology can be demanding for the average homeowner. This emphasises the importance of acquiring a comprehensive understanding of the long-term implications and commitment linked with the adoption of solar energy.

It is to note that in this area, Tesla’s track record in customer service can be concerning, as unresponsive call centres have been reported. Contacting the company for repairs and maintenance could potentially present an added challenge for homeowners to.

Rent-To-Own Solar: A Worry-Free Option For Solar

Addressing the common barriers to solar adoption among homeowners, an innovative rent-to-own model has surfaced in recent years.

Rent-to-own solar represents a worry-free alternative, offering homeowners a practical pathway to harnessing sustainable power. This pioneering approach allows homeowners to embark on their solar journey in a risk-free, worry-free manner.

How does rent-to-own ensure a risk and worry-free experience? First, rent-to-own cleverly bypasses the need for an upfront purchase, which can easily accrue to $15,000 to $20,000, by charging a flat monthly fee for your system instead. By doing so, rent-to-own provides instant monthly savings on your electricity bill, compared to the traditional offer where one has to upkeep the system for 6 to 8 years to break even. Keep in mind that this does not take into account the ambiguity about system maintenance and failure, which may further lengthen its breakeven period.

GetSolar‘s Rent-To-Own

With rent-to-own solar offered by GetSolar, homeowners will have solar panels installed on their property with affordable monthly payments, which are even lower than their potential electrical savings. Gradually, these payments contribute towards the full ownership of the solar panels. This innovative model not only facilitates a greener energy future but also eradicates the initial financial obstacle often associated with conventional solar installations.

With appealing 5 or 10-year rent-to-own plans, all installation, maintenance, and repair costs are covered, with the added benefit of zero upfront costs for the latter option. It’s a compelling opportunity that empowers homeowners to embrace solar energy seamlessly and with confidence.


In summary, the decision between conventional solar panels and the innovative Tesla Solar Roof is multifaceted, considering factors like aesthetics, costs, and environmental impact. While conventional panels offer familiarity, the Tesla Solar Roof blends solar technology with architectural beauty. However, it’s important to note that as of now, Singapore homeowners do not have the Tesla option.

Are you still in the midst of considering whether to get your first solar panel system? At GetSolar, we have developed a free solar panel calculator to help you gauge how much you can potentially save with solar and how much it costs.

Click the button below to get your free quote today!

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