The cost of solar roof shingles has decreased significantly, and this roofing solution is quickly becoming an accessible way for people to outfit their homes or businesses with solar power. Solar roof shingles are a panel which is available in a wide range of prices. While the panels look the same as a typical roof tile, they can provide electrical support to any type of home or business. This means that the shingles can easily be integrated into any building and used as a tax subsidized option for homeowners to substantially lower their electricity bills.
Easy Replacement for Shingles
Solar shingles are designed using photovoltaic cells which can easily mesh in well with other asphalt roof shingles. If you are already going to be replacing shingles on your roof, this could be an excellent solution to get the most out of roofing tiles without the look of solar panels. You can do a portion of your roof or potentially replace all of the tiles on your shingled roof with these solar roof shingles. They last roughly as long as a traditional shingles and quite a few roofing companies now install these as replacement shingles with ease. Having the option to potentially replace your shingles after 10 to 25 years with new solar panel arrangements could be an excellent way to bring down the cost of operating your home while completing a task that already needs to be done.
Surprisingly, these shingles can mesh very well with regular asphalt shingles. As a result, you can end up with beautiful and aesthetically pleasing shingles that mesh just the same with any other type of roofing installation that you may have. You can replace just a few of your shingles or potentially do the entire roof and your home won't look any different than others in the neighborhood. Many people are quick to dismiss the idea of solar power because they don't want the panels up on the roof detracting from the look of their home. With the beautiful aesthetics of solar roof shingles, your home doesn't have to look any different and your shingles can actually benefit your power consumption. Solar roof shingles don’t look any different than other types of shingles and they blend with both modern and contemporary neighborhoods in many different parts of the world. If you consistently dismiss the idea of putting up solar panels because you don't like the way they look, you should use solar shingles instead.
The History of the Technology
The technology came about in the year 2005 for commercial use. Manufacturers started producing these bolt on solar roof materials as a means to simplify the housing market and the installation market for photovoltaic panels. Maintaining the traditional roofline on any roof is a huge asset to actually improving drainage standards and continuing to improve the aesthetics of a home. While solar installations can drastically add value to a home for resale, this type of new installation can not only cut costs but the panels don’t change the look of the home as well. Since their initial launch in 2005 the demand for these devices has grown substantially. The cost of bolt-on models has become very competitive, and as a result many manufacturers and owners are looking towards re-shingling their properties with the help of these functional solar shingles.
A Weatherproof Option
Solar panels are a relatively resilient construction and even regular solar panel installations offer some merit as far as construction and weatherproofing goes. As a relatively weatherproof option in the bolt-on tiles, the technology can offer some huge benefits to a home. Bolt-on tile producers including Dow have rigorously tested the new Slimline panels to make sure that they can sit flush on the roof as well as stand up to significant and diverse inclement weather conditions. These stand as a weatherproof option that is capable of staying strong through large storms, earthquakes and more. No matter what you may throw at these tiles, they can stand strong and meet the same requirements as any traditional asphalt shingle with the added benefit of improving a home’s energy costs.
An Eco-Conscious Solution
As well as being a set of shingles that can actually save you money, the tiles are extremely eco-conscious due to their manufacturing. Weatherproof solar cells are each capable of generating 12 W per square foot of area. This could offer a considerable savings to a large building and could potentially mean that business owners can sell back some of their excess power back to the grid. If more buildings were willing to use this type of technology, we could reduce power consumption from the electrical grid overall. As more houses begin to get on board with the technology, it can only lead to more of the panels powering not just the homes they sit on but the neighborhoods they are in. Replacing shingles with these eco-conscious solutions ensures that neighborhoods can continue to prosper and that there will be less of a draw on the rest of the grid. With less means needed to produce energy and strong shingles which are built to last, we can produce less waste for landfills and higher levels of efficiency for the environment.
Estimated Cost Savings
Manufacturers like Dow have estimated a roof of these powered panels could actually provide us huge cost savings. 350 solar tiles bolted onto a roof structure could potentially reduce household electricity bills by up to 60%, which could annually cost homeowners thousands of dollars. Installing a solar tile roof commonly runs at over $20,000 but there are plenty of local incentives which are available to homeowners and property owners willing to install the panels. Through the estimated cost savings in the initial installation as well as the ongoing cost savings of around 40 to 60% of your annual consumption for a moderate sized installation, the roof can pay for itself quite quickly.
Subsidies for Installation
If the cost of installing the system seems outside the means for a homeowner, it is important to note that there are many rebate programs available from local municipalities. In determining how much a system may cost, many local municipalities will potentially pay up to 30% in tax credits with no cap on the purchase of the system. This can slash the cost of the installation considerably, and you may continue to receive credits from your local hydro company as well. 27 states are offering additional incentives on top of the 30% credit, which could potentially bring savings up to as much as 50% of the cost of the installation. This can truly make the tiles a viable option if you are planning on replacing your asphalt roof with new shingles. Through the subsidies you could cut the cost of materials and get highly experienced installation professionals to put up the tiles and then tie them to the grid. These savings plus your ongoing savings make the return on investment a few years, whereas you would get no type of payback out of a roof replacement or installation.
Not a Great Off the Grid Option
In many cases the subsidies for these roof shingles are only available for homes which are connected to the electrical grid. The tiles can generate power, but in many cases installers have minimal experience tying them into their own inverters/battery systems for self-sufficiency. Regular or traditional style solar panels will often generate a bit more power and are a much more reliable source for an off grid solution. If you are planning on building a home and separating it from the electrical grid, Dow Powerhouse or CertainTeed solar tiles, which are the most popular brands currently, are not quite in the development stage for self-sufficiency. Consider waiting for the technology to come a bit further or for a fully integrated system to be licensed by these manufacturers before proceeding.
Overall, these panels present a revolutionary way to look at roofs and the wasted spaces of traditional asphalt roofs. It's important to keep in mind that the tile system can be easily laid out across an asphalt roof with the shingles still on, as active shingle replacement or potentially even fill space on a large flat roof. As soon as we start to make good use of some of our wasted space and begin using it to capture solar energy, the closer we can get to using mostly renewable sources of energy to power our world into the future.