College - Author 1

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Department - Author 1

Construction Management Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Construction Management



Primary Advisor/Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Philip Barlow, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Construction Management Department


This paper is a detailed cost analysis of standard photovoltaic panels and Tesla’s solar tiles. This analysis is specifically for the San Luis Obispo area, and focuses on comparing and contrasting new and old styles of residential solar for the average single family dwelling. This is important because there will become more consumers of solar in this area as the price becomes more favorable, and as sustainable practices become the norm. This trend is set to continue because of the movement to combat climate change. Solar energy fits into this movement because it is a source of energy that is emissions free, and seamlessly ties into our national electric grid to slow the use of other harmful energy sources such as natural gas and coal. This cost analysis focuses on the initial cost to the homeowner, the total life of each system, government subsidies and tax benefits of owning solar, and relevant finance and interest rates. The paper focuses on four main scenarios confronting a home owner considering installing solar on their home. The cost analysis is based on the assumption that it is a guide for the median home owner with the average electric bill, average available roof area, and average roof shading. Finally, this paper is a definitive guide for potential solar consumers, and details the challenges, risks, and outcomes of buying and installing solar in a residential setting.