Are Solar Shingles Efficient?
With more interest in reducing energy costs for residential property owners across the country, it’s no surprise that homeowners are turning to solar technologies. In particular, homeowners in Colorado benefit from installing solar roofing shingles because of the more than 300 days of sunshine we receive each year.
But there are many questions around solar technology, and unfortunately there’s a lot of misinformation floating around the web about solar energy, solar panels, solar roof tiles and solar roofing shingles. Here are several terms that are used inconsistently when it comes to solar. Here’s how to .
- Solar panels are installed on top of the roof of your home using mounting brackets, also known as roof-mounted systems.
- Solar roof tiles are glass or monocrystalline silicon solar cells integrated with tile or metal roof materials that match the profile of your roof. The type of solar roof tile depends on the brand. Solar roof and solar roof tiles are terms you will see most often with a Tesla solar roof.
- Solar roofing shingles are a roof system that directly integrates solar technology into the traditional shingle roofing system. They are shingles, not panels or heavy tiles. They install and protect like a roof. GAF Timberline Solar is the brand that has a nailable solar shingle.
To help you get a better idea of what solar roof shingles are, how efficient they are, and how much solar roof shingles cost, we’ve put together this quick guide.
What Are Solar Shingles?
Solar roofing shingles are similar to solar panels in that they harness the sun’s energy, convert it to electrical energy, and create an electric grid that supplies power to your home. The solar roofing system then converts the electrical energy from DC to AC so it can be used as a power source for your home. Any excess energy sent to the grid, allows compensation in terms of a credit, not cash, which can be applied when you need to draw energy from the grid, such as at night, or during times of the year when you generate less solar energy.
But the key difference between solar roof shingles and solar panels is that panels are mounted over your existing roof, and solar roof shingles are both a roofing material and energy generator. Solar shingles are durable, easy to work with and install, and you can walk on them, unlike solar panels.
How Solar Shingles Are Installed?
One misconception about solar shingles is that you need to have your entire roof replaced in order to install them. This isn’t true! Of course, if you’re due for a roof replacement and have an insurance claim for the work, you might be able to have solar shingles installed in place of traditional roofing shingles.
The first step for having solar shingles installed is to leverage satellite imagery to understand where the best location is for roofing shingles to be installed. Note that solar roofing shingles don’t need to cover your entire roof—only areas where ample sunlight shines and can be harnessed for energy. Your roofing contractor will then discuss your options with you to make sure the solar shingle area and output will be sufficient for your energy needs and goals.
From there, the process is fairly straightforward. For example, GAF Energy’s Timberline Solar Roof is installed like traditional shingles: with a nail gun. Then the shingles are connected to each other with a series of electrical connections, and the rest of the setup is completed by an electrical services team. A warranty is also provided so that your roof and solar are covered under the same warranty.
How Efficient Are Solar Shingles?
The total energy output depends on a number of factors, including location, climate, amount of sunlight, size, and capacity of your solar shingles. Each GAF Energy Timberline Solar shingle can generate around 45 watts of power. Depending on the total area of your solar shingle installation, that wattage can add up quickly and cut your energy costs down considerably!
How Much Do Solar Shingles Cost?
The total cost of a Denver solar shingle roof—or a solar roof anywhere in Colorado—will depend on a number of factors. You might hear that solar shingles are more expensive than solar panels, but this statement doesn’t often take incentives and other tax breaks into consideration. An integrated solar roof may qualify the entire roof for investment tax credit (ITC).
Reach out to a roofing professional to get a better idea of how much your project may cost based on your location, preferred materials, and total project size.
Trust the Professionals
Remember, there’s a lot of incorrect and misleading information available on the internet around new and emerging solar technology. Instead, talk with a professional to get the real truth about solar shingles: how they work, installation, performance comparison, financing and savings.
We’ve got you covered at J&K Roofing. Our professional team will work with you on your solar project, keep you informed throughout every step of the process, and always act with your best interest in mind. We’re certified in all materials we work with—including solar shingles—and we can handle any job in the Northern Colorado, Denver Metro, Front Range, and Colorado Springs areas.
Get in touch with us today by clicking here or calling 303-425-7531.