Tesla gets OK to offer solar panels, roofing leases in Florida

Sunshine State to use its resources for energy


ORLANDO, Fla. – Tesla can now help Florida grow even greener with new residential solar equipment leases.

The Florida Public Service Commission announced Tuesday that state residents can purchase solar panels and roofing from Tesla's SolarLease because it does not constitute the sale of electricity.

The new lease to Florida homeowners will not cause Tesla to become a public utility under Florida law, which allows the company to proceed with its new venture in the state.

PSC officials also said the solar equipment lease will not subject Tesla or lessees to commission regulation.

The commission also said it ultimately allows leasing of renewable energy products as long as the lessor is not effectively selling electricity to the customer, only the equipment.

“While today’s declaration is limited to the facts in Tesla’s petition, companies operating under the same facts can rely upon this declaration as well,” PSC Chairman Art Graham said.

Tesla Solar Roof turns sunlight into electricity, allowing the integrated Powerwall battery to collect energy during the day and make it available at any time, according to the Tesla website. It also said the glass solar tiles are so durable that they come with a lifetime guarantee.

The solar panels produce renewable, clean energy while securing low utility rates, according to Tesla. Officials also said the panels exceed industry standards for durability and lifespan.

To accompany the solar roof or panels, the Tesla Powerwall is required to charge with energy produced by solar panels or roofing, then makes that energy available day or night. Powerwall also enables the solar panels to produce energy during power outages, officials said. 

For a 1,400-square-foot, one-story house, the solar roof can generate $153 of energy per month over 30 years for 60 percent solar coverage, according to the website. The net cost of a 30-year loan would cost $55 per month, just under $20,000 in total, in comparison to $38 per month for traditional roofing, officials said.

The website suggests a 60 percent coverage to meet your home’s energy needs.