New solar roof game-changer? This shingle at CES 2022 could cost 50% less than Tesla's, and nails straight into your roof - CNET

2022-05-14 22:54:58 By : Mr. KERRY Chen

Your guide to a better future

A new solar shingle, launched at CES 2022, is installed with just a nail gun. Here's why it could be a big deal.

Andrew Blok (he/him) is an associate editor at CNET covering home energy with a focus on solar. He helps people make smart energy decisions with explainers and reviews to navigate the changing energy landscape. He's a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State. He watches birds in western Michigan.

This story is part of CES , where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

What would you say to faster, easier and dramatically cheaper installation of your solar roof? A solar roofing giant hopes that's a resounding "yes." At CES 2022 , GAF Energy, a subsidiary of Standard Industries and sister company to roofing heavyweight GAF, introduced a new solar shingle, called Timberline, that can be installed with a nail gun directly onto your roof. That means faster installation that could cost about half of what Tesla's solar roof costs, according to a GAF Energy spokesperson. 

Since they'll both go on with a nail gun, Timberline Solar Energy Shingles can be easily installed with traditional shingles. The new solar shingles can also be incorporated with GAF shingles to create a solar roof. Install times are "consistently ... half that required for rack-mounted solar," a GAF Energy spokesperson said, and come in at a comparable cost.

The claim is significant -- installation is typically the largest expense for residential solar energy systems.

Timberline Solar installed on a house.

The electrical components and wiring are located on top of the shingle because of its low profile. This makes for easy access for servicing, the company said. But it also means that while the shingles are less than a quarter of an inch thick, the conduit for the wiring is visible.

GAF shingles go on a lot of roofs (1.4 million each year, the company says). It will be interesting to see if an easy-to-install product paired with such a large network boosts the adoption of solar as the company hopes it will. 

The new solar shingle received an award at CES 2022 for Best of Innovation Award for Smart Cities, in addition to innovation awards in the smart cities and smart home categories.