Ecowatch

2022-05-14 22:54:39 By : Ms. Jenny Zhang

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

By Josh Hurst, Solar Expert

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If you live in an area that gets consistent, year-round exposure to the sun, then you may be a good candidate to install a residential solar system.

Installing solar panels on your roof is by far the most common way to harness the sun’s energy, but solar shingles are another option that’s becoming increasingly popular. So how, exactly, do solar shingles work, and how do they compare to traditional solar panels?

In this article, we’ll explain the answers to these questions and more. If you’re ready to connect with an installer in your area, follow the links below.

You can think of solar shingles like small solar panels that integrate with your existing roof shingles or a new roof (if you need one). They work the same way standard types of solar panels do, but where solar panels are assembled on top of your roof, solar shingles are used to build a roof.

The most obvious benefit to this type of solar energy system is simple aesthetics; while photovoltaic solar panels tend to be pretty obtrusive, solar shingles allow you to have a completely normal-looking roof. Like solar panels, solar shingles absorb energy from the sun, some of which may be stored in a solar battery and some of which is converted into useful alternating current.

This allows you to power appliances and devices throughout your home with renewable energy. Note: Those who prefer the appearance of a “tiled” roof to a shingled one may wish to consider solar tiles.

These work in roughly the same way that photovoltaic shingles do but integrate with roofing tiles rather than asphalt shingles.

As you consider your options for residential solar power, it’s worthwhile to note the pros and cons of both solar shingles and conventional solar panels. Both PV systems can supply your home with energy, but with its own advantages and drawbacks.

Here are some things to keep in mind when deciding whether solar shingles are the best choice for your residential solar system:

Now, consider how standard solar panels compare:

Generally speaking, solar shingles are a better option if you:

If you don’t fit into any of those categories, you may be better off pursuing solar panels, which are the more time-tested, widely available, energy-efficient and affordable option.

To connect with a verified installer in your city, follow the links below.

As a rule of thumb, you can assume that solar shingles will be more expensive than panels. With that said, the exact cost of solar shingles can vary depending on which company you go with.

According to Solar Magazine, the average solar shingle installation cost runs somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000. But of course, there are some outliers. High-end solar shingles from a company like Tesla may cost as much as $70,000 or more for full roof installation.

Before installing, it’s best to shop around and compare rates from at least two or three different solar shingle companies, ensuring you get the best value. Also, keep in mind that the solar tax credits, rebates and other incentives for homeowners who buy solar panels are also available for those that opt for solar shingles. The current federal incentive program will give you 26% of the cost of your system back as a tax credit.

Installation of solar roofing shingles may take up to a week; old shingles will need to be removed from the home, new shingles put into place, and the entire solar system connected through your inverter and solar battery.

Before the installation process begins, an installer will join you at your home to help you assess how many solar shingles you’ll need. There are a couple of factors that will determine how many shingles you need: The size of the shingles you select, the square footage of your home and the amount of energy you need to generate.

One thing to keep in mind is that most homeowners do not need to cover their entire roof with solar shingles; you can intermingle them with traditional roof shingles to cut costs while still generating plenty of solar power.

Solar shingles are still relatively new, which means there aren’t a lot of companies offering them. Some of the heavy hitters in the solar shingle industry include:

Though the Tesla Solar Roof system is one of the most expensive options on the market, many homeowners find it totally worth the cost. Indeed, Elon Musk’s high-efficiency solar shingles may actually be more cost-effective than traditional solar systems, at least in the long run. And while they only come in one style, their sleek aesthetics will be appealing to anyone who prefers a more contemporary look.

A bit less expensive than Tesla’s system, SunTegra shingles are notable for their low-profile appearance, ease of installation and high level of efficiency.

CertainTeed was one of the companies that pioneered solar shingles, and its products are still top-notch. They have a number of options to choose from, including solar shingles as well as solar roof tiles.

Luma’s shingles are efficient and aesthetically pleasing and fall somewhere in the middle of the pack with regard to price.

To connect with a verified installer in your city, follow the links below.

If you’re thinking about switching to solar shingles, here are some other questions you may have:

While it depends on the product, most solar shingles will last somewhere between 25 and 30 years.

While most solar shingles are made to be fairly durable, and can probably accommodate you walking on them, you probably don’t want to walk on your roof any more than is necessary.

Yes, if you want to completely break away from dependence on traditional utilities, Tesla roofs can offer you an off-grid option.

Given the high cost of solar shingle installation, they are unlikely to ever “pay for themselves.” However, they can reduce your monthly electric bills considerably; factor in tax incentives and increases to your property values, and shingles can certainly be a reasonable investment.

Whether solar shingles are worth it for you will likely depend on how much it would cost for you to install a standard solar panel array.

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