Skip to content
GAF Energy Review: Your Best Solar Roof Option. Integrated solar roof systems

GAF Energy Review: Your Best Solar Roof Option. Integrated solar roof systems

    GAF Energy Review: Your Best Solar Roof Option

    The largest roofing manufacturer in the US now offers rooftop solar power options. Here’s what you get from GAF Energy.

    Andrew Blok has been an editor at CNET covering HVAC and home energy, with a FOCUS on solar, since October 2021. As an environmental journalist, he navigates the changing energy landscape to help people make Smart energy decisions. He’s a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State and has written for several publications in the Great Lakes region, including Great Lakes Now and Environmental Health News, since 2019. You can find him in western Michigan watching birds.

    GAF Energy

    Don’t like

    Since GAF Energy debuted its Timberline solar shingles in 2021, roofers have installed them in 16 states. The technology could mark a major change in how homeowners access solar energy on their roofs.

    energy, review, your, best

    There are 5 million new roofs put on homes each year, and 1.5 million of them use GAF shingles, said Rey Holmes, GAF Energy’s vice president of services and product. Converting even some of those roofs to GAF Energy’s solar shingles would mark a significant increase in residential rooftop solar in the US. But what would it mean for you, the homeowner? We’ll try to answer that question as best we can below.

    Though CNET wasn’t able to go through the purchasing process and engage in hands-on testing in our review process, carrying out a review of GAF Energy.- which is based on data from the internet and an interview with a GAF Energy representative.- is less straightforward than it is with other solar companies. GAF Energy’s product and business model are unique among the companies we’ve reviewed so far on the site, making head-to-head comparisons trickier. Even so, I’ll do my best to situate the company within the industry and determine how it stacks up against its competitors. When the comparisons fall short, or I can’t say something for sure, I’ll note it in the review.

    Can solar panels save you money?

    Interested in understanding the impact solar can have on your home? Enter some basic information below, and we’ll instantly provide a free estimate of your energy savings.

    What do I get from GAF Energy?

    Instead of dealing in solar panels, which get mounted to roofs on metal racks, GAF Energy sells solar shingles, called Timberline Solar, that nail into roofs like any old asphalt shingle. The shingles sit flat against the roof, with electrical components housed in conduit on the front of each one. It makes for a less obtrusive look than solar panels, but not as seamless as the sleek-but-pricey Tesla Solar Roof.

    Because solar shingles and solar panels are different technologies, it’s not as useful to compare the energy-generating specs of Timberline Solar and the offerings from other solar companies. But GAF Energy is able to meet the energy needs of homeowners with Timberline Solar installed on their roofs.

    Can solar panels save you money?

    Interested in understanding the impact solar can have on your home? Enter some basic information below, and we’ll instantly provide a free estimate of your energy savings.

    All solar panels produce less energy over time. Timberline Solar’s warranty says it won’t decrease in production more than 2% in year one or more than 0.55% per year after that. After 25 years, Timberline Solar should still produce at 84.8% its original level. That rate of decline is in line with many solar panels in use today, but lags behind some top-of-the-line offerings.

    energy, review, your, best

    GAF Energy also guarantees no leaks from manufacturer defects for 25 years, and extends a 15-year warranty against winds up to 130 mph.

    Timberline Solar comes with two enhanced solar warranties buyers can add on. With a Solar Plus warranty addendum, you receive a one-year guarantee of the electrical workmanship and 10 years of coverage for third-party electronics. With the Solar Max warranty addendum, you receive a 10-year guarantee on the electrical workmanship and 25 years of coverage for third-party electronics.

    With Solar Max coverage, you also receive a 25-year solar power generation guarantee. This guarantees that your Timberline Solar system will generate a specific number of kilowatt hours by certain points throughout the 25 years. The value of this guarantee depends on how many kilowatt hours are promised. Such decisions are made from project to project, and I don’t have a clear idea of how aggressive those goals are.

    If a production benchmark is missed, GAF Energy, which will be monitoring the system, will correct any issues with the system and then make that customer whole, Holmes told CNET.

    Holmes also said that while GAF isn’t focusing on backup batteries just now, the systems are compatible with all major battery brands, and customers will be able to add one.

    GAF Energy partners with Delta for its inverter needs, yet has the flexibility to use other brands. Delta inverters have efficiency rates as high as 98%, which matches other leading inverters. Timberline Solar is installed with string inverters, which typically wring a little less energy out of solar panels. However, because string inverters are installed at ground level, not on the roof, they’re more accessible for maintenance.

    GAF Energy, like most other solar companies, offers an app for monitoring your solar production that is web-based (not mobile-based).

    Is GAF Energy’s Timberline Solar a good deal?

    The short answer is probably yes. Once again, comparing between Timberline Solar and conventional solar panels is difficult. While conventional solar panels go on top of your roof, Timberline Solar is part of your roof. That means you buy a new roof and Timberline Solar at the same time.

    Though vary by market and by project, getting a new roof and solar from GAF Energy costs about the same as a new roof and traditional rooftop solar panels, the company said. So getting Timberline Solar only makes financial sense if you’re ready to replace your roof. If you’re at that point, there are some potential advantages to Timberline Solar.

    I haven’t seen reliable hard data on the number of roofs that leak after getting conventional solar panels, but leaks can occur. Timberline Solar installs with nails instead of large bolts and doubles as a roof. Avoiding leaks is one key selling point, and the roofs are guaranteed to not leak for 25 years.

    You’re also getting the convenience of killing two major projects with one stone. Instead of purchasing a new roof and then purchasing solar, it’s all the same crew. Again, this makes price comparison a bit trickier.- it’s always Smart to get multiple quotes for solar installations.- but the installation process is much simpler.

    You can also walk on Timberline Solar shingles, which is another advantage over conventional solar panels, as it provides flexibility in installation location and makes them easier to service should problems arise.

    In terms of aesthetics, while I personally don’t put much stock into the idea that solar panels are ugly, Timberline Solar is certainly more subtle on a roof than traditional panels.

    Does GAF Energy operate in my state? How do I order?

    GAF Energy makes Timberline Solar, but it’s installed by GAF-certified Master Elite roofers. That means while some customers come to GAF Energy directly through its website, most customers engage exclusively with their contractor.

    Timberline Solar is available in 16 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

    If you’re in the market for a roof and specifically looking for Timberline Solar, you can fill out an online form on GAF Energy’s website, which will connect you with a local installer, or add you to a waitlist to be notified when Timberline Solar becomes available in your area. From ordering to installation, GAF-certified roofers handle the project, though they work with local electricians to handle the side of the project that involves inverter installation and necessary wiring, for example.

    Is GAF Energy the best choice?

    As far as solar roofs go, a Timberline Solar roof from GAF Energy is likely your best choice. The other major solar roof player, Tesla Solar Roof. looks sleeker but comes at a fairly steep premium (though cost varies based on your roof’s complexity and size). Timberline Solar from GAF Energy should match up well with conventional solar on price, too.

    Though it’s difficult to find hard data on roof leaks caused by solar panels, it does make sense that solar components integrated into the roof (and attached like all asphalt shingles) are less likely to leak in the long term than bolts drilled through the roof. CNET’s Brian Cooley saw Timberline Solar go on a roof and had solar panels installed on his own and came to the same conclusion.

    Timberline Solar’s performance over time is comparable to many conventional solar panels on the market today, though higher-performance solar panels have higher guaranteed performance later in their lives. There isn’t yet a Timberline Solar product that matches that. It’s possible that a Timberline Solar system could squeeze more energy from your roof because the solar shingles can be placed in areas of the roof larger solar panels won’t fit. That might open up more optimal roof space for a solar array.

    Ultimately, what we think is the best solar roof company may not be the best fit for you. It’s always important to gather multiple quotes before spending thousands of dollars on a major upgrade.- albeit one that can save you money in the long run.

    Residential Integrated Solar Roof Tiles – Mission Hills, Kansas

    Our client was in the process of completely rehabbing a 50 year home in Mission Hills, KS and expressed a desire to install an integrated solar roofing tile system such as the Tesla Solar Roof Tile.

    Client’s Perspective

    Our client was in the process of completely rehabbing a 50 year home in Mission Hills, KS and expressed a desire to install an integrated solar roofing tile system such as the Tesla Solar Roof Tile. We informed them at the time, winter of 2018, that this particular product was not available in our market. In addition, the City of Mission Hills has specific requirements for maintaining a home’s exterior appearance. Traditional solar modules were not a viable option for this project.


    However, CertainTeed Solar APOLLO II Solar Roofing System was the perfect solution for this client. The APOLLO II Solar Roofing System is a high-efficiency solar shingle designed for integration with all asphalt shingle roofs. It is designed to function both as a roof system and a solar array. The black on black construction and slim profile provides a clean integrated aesthetic look. The system has built-in water management features for water shedding. Installation of the solar shingle system is accomplished by an experience roofing contractor. All the wiring, inverter installation and commissioning is accomplished by the solar installer.

    The result is an aesthetically appealing and efficient solar PV system that functions as roof that produces energy.

    Client’s Feedback After Having System for 2 Years

    We are very pleased and proud of our solar installation. Our electric bills are nothing compared to our neighbors. Sometimes they are negative, meaning I have a credit for future use. That being said, I should say that the payback for the initial investment is very long. I estimated it would be around 17 years so you need be committed for the long term. I would definitely do it again! Not only do I power our home, I drive and power an electric car, an electric/battery operated lawn mower, blower and trimmer. Annually I produce more energy than I use so I’m proud to be contributing to a cleaner environment for our grandkids!

    Ask the Expert if Solar Makes Sense for You

    Do you have a complex residential or commercial solar problem you are trying to solve? We’ve got the solution you’re searching for.

    Solar Roofing Services

    Resnick Roofing Contracting provides top-of-the-line residential roofing services, including solar shingle installation options. Committed to the highest level of industry expertise and training, we’re an A BBB-rated exterior remodeling company with a 5.0 average rating across Google and

    We offer start-to-finish customer support with a FOCUS on the ultimate customer experience. Together with federal energy tax credits and Pennsylvania’s solar renewable energy credits, Pittsburgh solar services will put money back in your !

    Budget for Your Remodel with Flexible Financing

    You shouldn’t have to wait on the home remodel you need! That’s why we offer a variety of flexible financing options through Dollar Bank and Service Finance

    Flexible Financing Options for Your Roofing Project

    Our number-one goal is to ensure each and every one of our clients has a positive, stress-free experience!

    Flexible Financing Options for Your Roofing Project

    Get a 30% Federal Tax Credit on Solar Installation

    There is no better time to go solar than when you’re getting a new roof!

    Get a 30% Federal Tax Credit on Solar Installation

    Comprehensive Warranty Coverage for Your Remodeling Project

    Comprehensive Warranty Coverage for Your Remodeling Project

    Superior Solar Products and Installation Services

    The highly trained team at Resnick Roofing Contracting can install roof-integrated solar panels with skill and efficiency. As a GAF Master Elite Contractor, we strictly adhere to GAF’s Pro Field Guide standards in order to deliver flawless results for your home while integrating your roofing system with the solar components.

    Solar Shingle Installation

    energy, review, your, best

    An annually certified Project Manager from our team can guide you through every step of the solar shingle installation process. Our top-rated solar roofing services cover every step of the process: permitting, inspections, as well as electrical hook-up.

    The GAF Energy Timberline Solar™ Shingle roofing system available from Resnick Roofing Contracting’s offers a sleek, ultra low profile aesthetic and installs just like a traditional asphalt shingle. This elegant look will complement your home’s curb appeal and won’t interfere with your roof’s water-shedding capabilities like traditional rack-mounted systems that place holes in your shingles.

    Traditional Solar Panels

    Why Choose Solar Shingles from Resnick?

    Are you interested in solar for your home? You no longer have to sacrifice aesthetics for solar panels as Resnick Roofing Contracting offers GAF Energy’s Timberline Solar™ shingles. The lowest profile and best looking solar product on the market is available today as we continue to provide our local homeowners with The Best Products, The Best installations, and The Best Warranties in the region. Our expert team will provide hassle-free support and flawless results.

    Over the last few years, solar panels have become a more practical and affordable option for the average homeowner. Thanks to federal tax credits and Pennsylvania’s net metering law, you can offset your solar panel cost faster than ever! To start the process, a certified specialist from Resnick Roofing will come out to your home, assess your needs, and provide a detailed solar panel estimate.

    At Resnick Roofing, our number-one FOCUS is to deliver an exceptional customer experience. That’s why our superior solar shingle installation includes:

    • Roof-Integrated Solar Shingles (not-panels): Our solar shingles install directly to the roof deck just like traditional asphalt shingles, with the same moisture blocking performance.
    • A Dedicated Project Management Team: From start to finish, our knowledgeable team will handle every aspect of your installation.
    • Expert Installation: Every single one of our installers is annually certified in accordance with GAF specifications. Training is our core!
    • Extensive Warranty Protection: We provide comprehensive protection for your solar shingle installation, including a 25-year power output coverage and a 25-year solar power generation warranty.


    Over the years, the experts at Resnick Roofing Contracting have delivered sleek solar panel installations to homeowners across Pittsburgh.

    Will GAF Energy beat Tesla on integrated solar roofs?

    The sister company of roofing giant GAF has sector-spanning smarts and thousands of installs to date.

    SAN JOSE. California — GAF Energy has installed several thousand integrated solar roofs. That’s more than Tesla Energy has installed despite the ambitious promises of its CEO. Elon Musk. In fact, GAF Energy President Martin DeBono believes that his company’s just-launched photovoltaic roof shingle design positions it to solarize millions of residential roofs.

    “ What we’ve built is a nailable solar shingle that goes on as fast or faster than a regular shingle, looks great and generates electricity,” said DeBono, who spoke with Canary Media during this reporter’s recent visit to the company’s new 50.megawatt-capacity, 112. 000.square-foot manufacturing facility in San Jose, California.

    GAF Energy is a Standard Industries company and sister company to GAF. one of the world’s largest roofing companies. GAF manufactures asphalt shingles as well as roofing materials such as thermoplastic polyolefin ( TPO ), polyvinyl chloride ( PVC ) and underlayments.

    Standard Industries businesses include operating companies GAF. BMI. Grace, Siplast, Schiedel and SGI. as well as Standard Investments and Winter Properties. Forbes ranks Standard as No. 65 on its list of America’s largest private companies.

    Disrupting the roofing industry

    “ Technology has ripped apart every industry, and technology is going to change roofing. We’re the largest roofing manufacturer in the world; either we’re going to go disrupt the roofing industry ourselves or someone else will,” said DeBono.

    The CEO contrasted the traditional solar mounting process — solar panels installed on racking secured by drilling through the roof and ​ “ trying to hit a rafter” — with the GAF Energy product, ​ “ a shingle that is lapped, installed and booked just like any other shingle would be in order to create a waterproof barrier.”

    DeBono said GAF developed the product by thinking like a roofing company, not a solar company, building a roofing product that happens to have solar capabilities. He said the roofing industry is 20 times larger than the rooftop solar business and has an enormous advantage in scale.

    Residential solar installations exceeded 130. 000 systems in the U.S. last quarter, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, while more than 5 million new roofs are installed on U.S. homes each year, according to DeBono, who also said that GAF commands a 25 percent share of the U.S. roofing market.

    For a traditional solar company, the process of customer acquisition is the most expensive part of a residential solar system, costing far more per watt than the solar panels themselves. DeBono estimates that customer-acquisition costs for roofers are ​ “ typically less than 500. compared to 3. 000 to 5. 000 for a solar roof.”

    DeBono said GAF Energy is making it easier to complete the electrical connections by placing the electronics and wiring on the top side of its shingles. ​ “ GAF Energy does all the electrical services. The roofer does the roof, and at a later date, the GAF Energy employee will come and install the inverter and finish the electrical run,” he said.

    “ As the manufacturer of both the solar and the shingle itself, we want to make sure that it’s done correctly if we’re going to be on the hook for a 25.year warranty,” he said.

    Installation time is one to three days, according to DeBono, which compares favorably to the weeks-long construction process often needed to install a Tesla solar roof (despite that company’s repeated insistence that it takes only five to seven business days).

    Get Caught Up

    Can the US manufacture enough solar panels to meet its surging demand?

    “ Because it’s built as a roofing product, it has to meet roofing standards. It has to be able to be submerged in water; it has to be able to withstand hail; it has a Class A fire rating — all standards that a solar panel does not need to meet but a roof does,” said DeBono.

    It’s a roof and it’s BIPV

    GAF Energy’s solar roofing system is a type of building-integrated photovoltaics, known as BIPV. Bunea said, ​ “ It’s a roof and it’s BIPV. so when we are certifying, we have to certify in both worlds. We have roofing industry standards as well as BIPV standards.”

    She added, ​ “ The testing agencies have become smarter about building-integrated photovoltaics.”

    In September 2021. GAF Energy’s solar shingle achieved UL ’s 7103 certification, which authorizes the company to install its system on residential roofs as a roofing product and a solar energy product — the first product to be recognized as both, according to GAF Energy.

    There’s huge potential for the product. Americans want solar on their homes. Even as the pandemic persisted, residential solar deployment in the U.S. was up 21 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year, reaching a record 3. 9 gigawatts, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    BIPV is a tough business

    But GAF Energy has some competition. In addition to Tesla, there are a number of BIPV designers and installers operating today, including ArteZanos, Atum, CertainTeed, Forward, Heliatek, Lumeta, SunTegra, Ubiquitous Energy and Viridian Solar.

    There is also a long list of less-than-successful BIPV efforts.

    But GAF Energy’s parent company is fully behind its lofty aims.

    “ Realizing our vision of a breakthrough mass-market solar roof has been our mission since we launched GAF Energy in 2019 ,” said David Winter and David Millstone, co-CEOs of Standard Industries, in a press release.

    DeBono notes that unlike the offerings of some other high-profile vendors, ​ “ The product is available today; it’s not vaporware.” He adds, ​ “ Our mission is energy from every roof, starting with composite shingle roofs.”

    Correction: This story initially reported that GAF Energy’s mono PERC solar cells are domestically manufactured. In fact, they are manufactured overseas, not in the U.S. (though not in China).

    Eric Wesoff is the editorial director at Canary Media.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *