Solar Shingles 101: What Are They and How Do They Work?

The thought of having solar panels on your roof may seem unappealing. They can be big and if no one else in the neighborhood has them, they can be considered an eyesore.

If you still want the benefits of solar without looking like a house in the middle of a remodel, then you might want to consider solar shingles.

Here is everything you need to know about solar shingles.

What Are Solar Shingles?

Solar shingles are similar to solar panels, in that they are pieces of equipment needed to produce solar energy for your house. Rather than being panels that are installed over an existing roof, solar shingles are a complete replacement.

This means that you need to replace the entire roof, rather than just installing a few sections of equipment.

They generally take the same shape as shingles. The only way to spot the difference between a normal shingle and a solar shingle is that solar shingles have a glossy finish because of their outer quartz finish. They’re also longer in width compared to shingles, which tend to be longer in length.

Solar shingles are used all of the same technology as normal solar panels, just on a miniaturized scale. For this reason, solar shingles tend to not store solar energy as effectively compared to solar panels, but can still produce the same amount of energy needed.

What Are the Benefits of Solar Shingles?

Because solar shingles are so similar, you get most of the benefits of solar panels but with a more aesthetically pleasing look. They look more like a normal roof, which can be more appealing for resale value.

Beyond the aesthetics, you also gain the benefits of running solar in the first place. You’ll be reducing your CO2 footprint and helping the world go greener by switching to solar. The more ways you make your home go green, the more you help the planet.

Your wallet may end up thanking you as well, as solar has been known to reduce energy bills. This is done by making energy and then sending it to your utility company, where they discount your bill equal to the amount of energy you produced.

In sunny areas like Florida and California, you can even get your energy bill down to zero.

You also get the tax credit benefits of signing up for solar. There are two types of tax credits, federal and state tax credits. Currently, just with federal tax credits, you can receive up to 26% of your purchase as a tax credit when it comes to tax time. This tax credit shall remain at 26% through 2022, wherein 2023, it will decrease to 22%.

What Are the Disadvantages of Solar Shingles?

The biggest disadvantage of solar shingles is the fact that you need to replace the entire roof in the first place. This fact drives up costs and can even offset the ecological gains you’ll be making if you waste a perfectly good roof.

The other problem with solar shingles is how little availability there is for the product. It is still a relatively new concept that is slow rolling. And with 2020 putting most projects on hold, this only slowed down production for solar shingles.

The last disadvantage is the fact that solar shingles are limited to the shape of the roof. For instance, if you’re roof is flat because you have a metal roof, you’ll be limited to only producing solar energy when the sun is at its peak throughout the day.

For those that want to stick to normal solar panels and their reduced cost, be sure to check out this solar company.

How Much Do Solar Shingles Cost?

Because you’re installing a brand new roof, you’ll be paying a pretty penny to get the solar shingles. On average, the price per square foot of solar shingle can range anywhere from $12.50 to $15, depending on the provider of the solar shingles and the tax credits applied.

The cost will also fluctuate on how big your roof is, as someone with a 750 square foot roof is going to pay less than someone with a 1,000 square foot roof. Because of this difference, a complete install of a roof with solar shingles can range anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000. It also comes down to labor and tax credits that are available, which could either drive or lower costs.

How Much Does a Normal Roof Cost With Solar Panels?

Now a normal solar panel roof can range from anywhere between $25,000 to $60,000. This more so comes down to the material of the roof itself rather than the installation process for solar panels.

If your roof is already good to go and doesn’t need replacing, then you only need to order the panels and pay to have them installed. This usually runs someone around $25,000.

If you’re in the process of looking to buy a new roof and like to keep the shingle style, then you should consider getting a solar roof. It will roughly cost around the same to replace a shingle roof and get solar panels installed as it would to just install the solar shingle roof itself.

But, if you want to upgrade past shingles into clay or concrete tiles, wood shingles, or a metal roof, then you’ll start to pay more money. These roofs are already much more expensive than shingles, but they are more durable and will typically last three times longer than their shingles counterpart.

Keep this in mind when deciding on whether or not solar shingles are right for you.

Solar Shingles: Are They the Right Choice for You?

Solar shingles are great for those that want to stick with a shingle-style roof. You’ll pay almost the same price but get a better tax right off because you went solar shingles rather than a new roof with solar panels.

For everyone else that wants a different material roof, stick with solar panels.

If you want to learn more about the way our daily lives are changing, be sure to check out the rest of our blog. If you know someone in need of a new roof, feel free to share this article with them.