Kelly Roofing is proud to be a Tesla Certified Installer. We’ve helped countless Florida homeowners start harnessing their own solar energy with Tesla Solar Roofs and Powerwalls. Recently, Ken Kelly had an opportunity to discuss Tesla products on the Not a Roofers Podcast. Ken has received many rewards, including the RT3 Innovator of the Year Award for 2021.

As awareness of our partnership with Tesla grows, we find that customers — and other roofers — are continually asking one question: how did it all start? How did Kelly Roofing partner with Tesla and begin providing the best solar roof systems to Florida customers? It certainly is a tale worth sharing.

How It All Began

Kelly Roofing’s involvement with Tesla actually began when Elon Musk announced Tesla’s entry into the solar industry. Ken was immediately interested. Kelly Roofing is always looking for ways to innovate, and partnering with Tesla sounded like a great fit. So, Ken reached out to Tesla, and Kelly Roofing was added to a list of potential future installers.

Prototypes and Development

About one year later, Tesla invited Ken to examine and offer feedback on a prototype they’d developed. Ken was shown a test roof and several prototypes in a remote area surrounded by California vineyards. He and representatives from Tesla discussed various aspects of the roof system. Ken offered input on installation time, flashing materials, and costs.

Training Programs

In the months following the initial trip to California, Ken continued to work with Tesla to improve their Solar Roof products. During this time, Tesla developed a pilot training program. Ken visited California to offer feedback on the training materials and process.

Later, Kelly Roofing flew a crew out to California to participate in a 2-day training seminar. They were the only roofing crew present at this training. Two other crews, both with a background in electrical work, also participated. Both parties benefited from this experience. The Kelly team learned the ins and outs of installing Tesla Solar Roofs, and Tesla gained helpful feedback on their training protocols.

Bringing Tesla to Florida

By early 2020, Tesla was ready to quickly expand their Solar Roof market. Kelly Roofing was again invited out to California to help them install 100 roofs in a week. Our crews worked side-by-side with Tesla’s engineers and installers to learn the process.

Florida’s code approval process is known to be slow, which meant Florida was one of the last states to approve Tesla Solar Roofs. In September 2020, Kelly Roofing was finally given the go-ahead to install Tesla products. Since then, we’ve slowly taken over more and more of the process. We now handle every step, from design to activation, in-house. However, we continue to collaborate and communicate with Tesla every step of the way. We have weekly conference calls with their engineers, and we continue to innovate together. 

An Aligned Partnership

The number one reason why our partnership with Tesla has been so successful is because we’ve been aligned from the very beginning. Kelly Roofing has always taken pride in innovation. Our core values have been to help others, do what is right, and continually improve. Tesla shares these values. They are always looking to progress, move forward, and do better as a company. Their overarching mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy — something we at Kelly Roofing very much agree with.

Partnering with Tesla has allowed Kelly Roofing to continue to put our clients first. For the first time ever, we have customers deciding to replace their roof not because they need to, but because they want to. When someone points to one of our Tesla shirts or hats, we are proud to explain why we wear this apparel.

Advice for Future Partners

Tesla is a nimble, constantly improving company. They are looking to continue growing their share of the solar roof industry. As such, Ken suspects Tesla will be looking for new Certified Installers in the months and years to come.

If you own a roofing company and are thinking about partnering with Tesla, there are a few things you should know. The roofing industry is known for being slow to adapt to new technologies. Tesla is quite the opposite. They operate much like a startup. They are constantly improving, changing, and adapting, and they are looking for partners who share this dedication to growth. The partnership can be incredibly rewarding, but it is also demanding.

Tesla is careful about who they work with. Becoming a Certified Installer requires a thorough background check, plus a review of your experience and financial backing. It isn’t for everyone, but it can be a perfect fit for some.If you’re interested in joining Tesla, contact Kelly Roofing in Florida for more information. We’re proud to be Tesla Certified Installers, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to help grow and develop this new facet of the roofing industry.