Homeowners have been moving towards increasing the efficiency and sustainability of features within their homes. In the roofing industry, new technologies have made solar energy possible. The addition of solar powered panels has multiple benefits, including improved value on the home, positive environmental impact, and lower costs on utility bills. This is a beneficial direction to go in with your home to conserve energy and move towards environmental efficiency.
If you decide to embark on this journey with your roofing material, there are two main options: solar panels and solar shingles. Solar shingles are a recent development by Tesla and CertainTeed that fuse with roofing material. Solar panels are more commonly used in residential homes, which are installed in brackets on top of an existing roof. Both types have added benefits, with differentiations that make them unique choices for solar powered roofing.
Solar shingles, also called solar roof tiles, are a more recent innovation by Tesla. In 2005, Tesla introduced their solar roofing with limited availability to homeowners. CertainTeed also recently released the Apollo® II solar shingles. Solar shingles have recently been made more available to homeowners, although their prices are still high. They differ from panels in that they can be used with traditional roofing material, which is called building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV). A solar panel shingle will produce between 13 and 63 watts of energy.
Benefits to Solar Shingles
- Newer technology
- Panels permanently attach to the roof
- Gives off a polished appearance
- Made to look like asphalt shingles
- Color choices
- Infinite tile warranty
- Ideal for new construction
Because solar roof shingles resemble asphalt, they can come in black or blue, with more color choices on the horizon. They give off a nicer appearance than solar panels and are known to last about 30 years. Tesla offers an infinite tile warranty, which will cover the lifespan of your roof. Solar shingle installation is ideal for new construction, as the solar shingles will be permanently installed on the roof. This can be more difficult for homes that are having a roof replacement, as not every roofing material will be compatible with solar shingles. An advantage to solar shingles is that they cover the surface area of the entire roof, so they can catch angles of the sun that solar panels cannot.
Disadvantages of Solar Shingles
- Expensive: estimated $21.5 per square foot
- Relatively new technology: not all disadvantages are known
- Not suitable for every roof design
- Slower installation process
Solar shingles are relatively more expensive than solar panels. This comes because of their newer technology, the amount of material needed, and their sleeker design. Because this is a newer innovation, not all is known about what disadvantages accompany solar shingles. Solar shingles are also not suitable for all roof types, and the installation process may take a while, as not all roofing companies offer solar shingle installation.
Solar panel installation is much more likely to be found on residential homes. They’ve been around longer and are known for helping increase energy conservation in the home. More homeowners have turned to solar panel installation for the added environmental benefits and the cut to utility costs that comes with solar panels.
Benefits of Solar Panels
- Can be installed on an existing roof
- Stable technology
- Less expensive to install
- More effective in producing solar energy
- Cuts utility costs
Solar panel systems are installed with brackets on top of an existing roof. This can be beneficial for homeowners who simply want to add solar panels to their roof, without removing what’s underneath. Because solar panels have been around longer, the technology is more known. It’s also easier to find roofing companies that will install solar panels. Solar panels are more effective in producing solar energy, as they can turn to face the sun. Over time, solar panels can cut utility costs because of the energy they produce. Solar panel costs for installation are also lower than solar shingles, but may still cost $10,000 – $40,000 depending on the size of your roof.
Disadvantages of Solar Panels
- Not as visually appealing
- Limited mobility
- Not as long lasting as solar shingles
Because solar panels do sit on top of the roof, they’re not as visually appealing as roof shingles. Roof shingles resemble asphalt shingles, which gives a cleaner, sleeker look. Solar panels are bulky and may cause limited mobility. If you need repairs, you’ll have to contact the company that installed it and may need to replace panels. It’s thought that solar panels do not last as long as solar shingles, but they usually come with a 20-25 year warranty.
Solar Roof Installation Near You
If you’re thinking about solar panel or shingle installation, it’s a wonderful way to move towards environmentally-friendly features that will complement your home. Contact Perimeter Roofing Athens today or make an appointment online. We are very familiar with solar roofing options and can help you make the best decision for your home.