Blog Category - Solar

Denver solar experts share information on solar panels, solar roof shingles, solar roof and solar tiles. We compare solar options, how to make the best choice for your home, and what to consider when installing solar. If you are interested in solar and would like to learn more about our services, visit our Solar page. 

Comparing 4 Solar Shingle Alternatives to Tesla's Solar Roof Tiles

Comparing 4 Solar Shingle Alternatives to Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles

With all of the sunlight we get in Colorado, plus the available local and federal tax incentives, it’s easy to understand why so many people are adopting solar energy technology. Solar energy is good for the environment, and it can save you quite a bit of money over time.

Many property owners in Colorado have added solar panels on their roofs, but they aren’t the only technology available. Solar shingles are another technology for capturing solar energy, and they’re growing in popularity. The solar roof concept has been around for years, and so far the best known is the Tesla Solar Roof. It debuted in 2016, making it one of the oldest solar roof options available, and since then, competing technology has emerged.

Read on to learn more about solar shingles and solar roof tiles and how the different options stack up.

What are Solar Shingles and Tiles?

Building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) are, in the simplest terms, materials capable of generating solar power that replace ordinary building materials. They become part of the building–not just an extension. This allows for more seamless integration into your property’s appearance.

Like regular roof shingles, solar shingles protect your home from the weather and other elements. These shingles are not only energy-efficient, but they also offer a more attractive aesthetic to your home.

Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels

Solar shingles work in a similar way to solar panels. They both absorb the sun’s rays, converting the light to thermal or electrical energy. The angle where they are placed in relation to direct sunlight provides the maximum energy output and may determine the best option between the two.

Still, perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that solar roof shingles replace your existing roof, arguably making them more attractive. Solar shingles are also more durable with a higher impact-resistant (IR) rating. As a result, they’re easier to maintain and have a longer lifespan than solar panels.

But before making a comparison between solar shingles and conventional solar panels, you also have to know something about the condition of your roof. If you need work done to your roof or need a roof replacement, it can be more cost effective to install solar shingles than to replace the roof and install roof-mounted solar panels.

Installing Solar Shingles

Solar shingle installation is similar to installing a new roof, although it can take a bit longer to complete—some solar shingle installations can take up to a couple of weeks. Solar shingles are attached directly to your roof decking with subsequent shingles overlaid to cover the deck screws. In many cases, not every shingle is designed to collect solar energy (although they are intended to look the same and blend in). A specialist determines the best design to maximize solar energy efficiency and create an aesthetically pleasing look.

Solar Roof by Tesla

Tesla revealed its Solar Roof in 2016, and it took a while for the technology to become effective and popular. Tesla has an entire in-house installation team that handles every aspect of design and installation (including removal of your existing roof, if necessary). A Tesla Solar Roof has a 25-year warranty, sleek app for monitoring energy levels, and 24/7 outage protection. But Tesla has paused solar roof installations due to massive drops in solar deployment, which has created a customer service issue with roof projects, roofs that are leaking, and poor communication with their customers.

CertainTeed Solar Roofing

CertainTeed offers solar shingles (Apollo II), and solar tiles (Apollo Tile II). One design coordinates with asphalt shingles and the other coordinates with concrete roof tiles.

CertainTeed solar shingles are capable of being installed with either a new or existing asphalt shingle roof, and offers clean energy without the look of racks and panels, but instead blending into your roof line.

CertainTeed Solar tiles are engineered to be installed with a new or existing concrete tile roof. They are designed to match the profile of flat concrete tiles that visually blend into your roof. The tiles are installed directly into the roof sheathing or battens, without the need for structural reinforcement.

Luma Solar Roof

Luma Luma Solar offers an upgradeable roof, which is helpful as they continue to improve the technology over time. They’re also intended to be a high-end, beautiful option custom-designed for every roof. Most importantly, Luma solar roofs have a high-efficiency rating and are incredibly durable, able to last through category five hurricanes.

SunTegra Solar Shingles

SunTegra solar shingles are designed to be easy to install and blend in with asphalt or concrete roofs, and they’re more economical than some other options. They also offer a tile option, which can be installed on an existing roof without a total replacement. This is an option for those looking for a more budget-friendly option in solar roofing. It’s simple, lightweight configuration integrates with both asphalt or concrete roofs.

GAF Timberline Solar

The Timberline Solar roofing system is made up of shingles, not panels or heavy tiles. It’s like a roof with solar and meant to make solar simple. The solar shingles are a lightweight, nailable shingle. They’re highly durable, can withstand 130-mph winds, and are incredibly water-resistant. It has a sleek and low-profile look. The roofing system is also designed to be easy to install by qualified roofing installers.


Solar shingles typically cost more than solar panels because of the amount of materials needed for installation when you factor in a roof. But, with that said, it can be more cost-effective to install solar shingles if you’re already planning on a new roof installation. Prices generally range from $15,000 to $20,000 for most of the options included in this list. However, Tesla Solar Roof cost can be as much as $70,000 or greater, depending on the installation requirements and timeline.

The tech of solar shingles is better than several years ago, and the cost is lower. Solar shingles can qualify for local and federal tax incentives, helping to lower the total cost of installation.

Let’s Discuss Your Solar Roofing Options

The first step toward going solar is setting up a consultation with an expert, including a full roof inspection. Installing solar shingles is an investment, but it will pay off in time if done correctly by an experienced roofing team.

No matter which option you choose for your solar roof, you should go with a local roofer with the right experience and knowledge to help you through the process. This can help you avoid expensive removal costs down the road.

J&K Roofing services the Northern Colorado, Denver Metro, Front Range, and Colorado Springs areas. No one knows the roof like we do, especially when it comes to how to install and replace items on or integrated into your roofing system. We work with all solar manufacturers to make installation a breeze, and we have specific certifications in all materials we use. Get in touch with us today by calling 303-425-7531 or clicking here.

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