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Installing Solar Panels On Slate Roofs: Benefits Challenges And Best Practices…

Installing Solar Panels On Slate Roofs: Benefits Challenges And Best Practices…

    Installing Solar Panels On Slate Roofs: Benefits Challenges And Best Practices

    As the demand for renewable energy sources continues to rise, many households are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint and save on their monthly energy costs. One popular option is to install solar panels on rooftops, but this is not always possible due to the limitations of traditional roofing materials. Slate roofs, for example, have a unique composition that raises some important questions when it comes to solar installation. Can solar be installed on a slate roof? The answer is yes, but there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. In this article, we will explore the benefits and potential challenges of installing solar on a slate roof, as well as the best practices for ensuring the most efficient and cost-effective solar installation.

    Are solar panels on a roof safe to install? When you choose a solar installation from an expert, you will be able to provide clean and dependable electricity to your home much sooner than you would expect. If you drill through your slate roof tiles, the crack may occur, causing the tiles to leak or void your warranty.

    What Kind Of Roofs Can You Not Install Solar?

    Natural materials such as wood and slate are unsuitable for use in solar panels. One disadvantage of these roofing materials is that solar panel installers cannot simply walk around on top of them like they normally do. As a result, the installation process is more difficult and, as a result, more expensive.

    What is the best roofing material for solar panels? George from Spirit Energy explains the various types of energy in greater detail. Because the roof is the most exposed spot to the sun and would normally be unused for a photovoltaic system, it is the best location to put one. You do not need planning permission to install solar panels, but if your property is listed, you will need to apply. Despite the challenges of installing solar panels on asbestos roofs, it is possible. In the United Kingdom, the best solar PV angle is 35-40 degrees to the horizontal, but any roof with a pitch outside that range will only see a slight drop-off in generation. Roof panels on flat roofs are installed with a 10 degree angle to maximize space and allow for shaded views.

    Go Solar: Installing Panels On Any Roof Type

    Many homeowners are curious about whether they can get solar panels installed on their roof because renewable energy has grown in popularity. Yes, you can install solar on any roof, though the installation process and mounting hardware may differ depending on the roofing material. Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing materials on homes because they are flexible and durable, making them the best choice for roofs for solar panels. The installation of solar panels on metal roofs is also possible, but many homeowners are concerned about leaks. You have several options for mounting solar panels without drilling into your roof. Furthermore, it is a good idea to check the condition of an asphalt shingle roof before installing solar panels. If your roof is more than 10 years old, you may want to schedule a roof inspection to see if it still functions properly to install solar panels. Despite the fact that solar panels can be installed on almost any roof type, there are still many homeowners who enjoy the benefits of solar panels.

    What Is The Biggest Problem With Slate Roofs?

    Natural slate roofs, in general, have a difficult time being built due to their heavy weight. Except for clay tiles, there is no other roofing material heavier than clay tiles. Slate weighs between 675 and 1,870 pounds per roofing square foot (or 100 square feet).

    When a slate roof has been in use for a long time, there is a good chance that a few missing or broken slates will fall, or that the slates will prematurely fall. It is your responsibility as a concerned homeowner to keep your roofing systems in top shape. Hiring the services of roofing and siding experts will assist you in selecting the appropriate slate for roofing. Water is frequently trapped between roof planes in order to keep it from entering valleys, chimneys, and other weak spots on the roof. Slate shingles are also frequently positioned between different roof planes.

    When it comes to roofing materials, many people are forced to make a difficult decision: between a classic, timeless look with natural slate and a less expensive material made of man-made materials. Slate roofing is one of the most expensive options in the marketplace because a full-sized slate roof will cost at least two or three times as much as an asphalt shingle roof. Slate’s price begins to appear significantly more appealing when you consider long-term costs. Man-made materials may appear to be less expensive upfront, but they do not last as long as natural slate – with man-made alternatives such as fiber cement, concrete, and clay tiles requiring replacement several times over a century. Slate roofing is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a roof that will last for many years and is simple to maintain.

    The Weight Of Time: Understanding The Life Expectancy Of Slate Roofs

    Slate roofs are both beautiful and long-lasting roofing materials. Nonetheless, it can fail for a variety of reasons, just as any other roof. Slate tiles are one of the most common causes of failure, owing to their weight. As a roof ages, its nails deteriorate, allowing the tiles to fall off. Slate roofs typically have a lifespan of 50-200 years, depending on the type of slate used. In general, hard and soft slates have a lifespan of 75-199 years, whereas soft slates have a lifespan of 50-125 years. Before making any decisions about repairing, restoring, or replacing a slate roof, it is critical to determine the type of slate used so that appropriate steps can be taken.

    Solar Panels On Slate Roof

    Installing solar panels on a slate roof is a great way to take advantage of natural energy sources and reduce your energy costs. Slate roofs have been used for centuries, and are known for their durability and longevity. By installing solar panels on a slate roof, you can be sure that your renewable energy source is safe and secure for years to come. Since slate roofs are also fire resistant, the panels will be better protected from damage. The panels are also easy to install and relatively lightweight, meaning they won’t add extra stress to your roofing structure or detract from the overall aesthetic of your home. With solar panels on a slate roof, you’ll be able to harness the power of the sun and save money on your energy bills.

    Solar Roof

    Solar roofing is a great way to save energy and money. It uses photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity, and can be integrated into the roof of a home or building. It is more efficient than traditional roofing materials and can generate enough electricity to power an entire home. Solar roofing also adds to the aesthetic appeal of a home, as it looks modern and sleek. Solar roofing is also an environmentally friendly option, since it reduces the amount of energy needed to power a home and helps reduce air pollution. Finally, solar roofing can be an excellent investment, since it increases the value of a home and can provide a long-term return on the initial cost.

    Tesla’s Solar Roof, which is a solar panel that generates electricity, replaces a traditional roof with shingles. Despite its lack of appearance, the roof does provide shade; solar panels may appear similar, but they are discreet. Even when taking into account the cost of a roof replacement, you can generate the same amount of solar energy for significantly less money. Tesla Solar Roofs have a 25-year warranty against shingles that are damaged. The Tesla solar inverter achieves a 97.5% efficiency, which is at the top end of what is typically achieved. Tesla also manufactures Powerwall Plus, which has an integrated battery and an inverter. Tesla estimates that the Solar Roof will cost between 26,966 and 176,600, depending on the panel and the Powerwall battery.

    A roof replacement may cost more or less depending on the complexity of your roof and the state of your current roof. An estimate for a house in Dallas, Texas, for a power bill of 168,400 includes 12 kilowatts of solar power. Tesla uses satellite imagery of your roof to design a system and a price estimate, which will be determined once a Tesla representative visits your home. Although the Solar Roof and Tesla’s Solar Panel installations are not comparable, Tesla has made solar panel installations more affordable. This is by far the most technologically advanced solar product available. Tesla’s Solar Roof is exciting, but most people don’t need it. Another company may be able to provide better pricing for panels, batteries, and inverters.

    In testimonials on, it is clear that the company’s solar panel customer service was subpar. It will be more difficult to accept the price if the customer service is even worse for Solar Roofs. Tesla has a referral program as well. Your referral link will give you 500 if someone orders a Solar Roof through it. SaveOnEnergy is a corporate partner of CNET that can assist you in finding the right energy solution for your home.

    Invest In Solar Roofs For Long-term Savings

    Solar roofs can be costly, but they can also be very beneficial in the long run. Solar shingles have been shown to reduce energy costs by up to 60% by installing on your roof. Furthermore, you may be eligible for federal and state tax incentives, making installation less expensive. A solar roof’s average cost per square foot is between 16.15 and 25.40, or 1,615 and 2,540 for roofing square feet. For a typical-sized home, this equates to a total cost of 32,300 to 50,800. Solar roofs typically last between 20 and 20 years on average, depending on the manufacturer and the installation, and they are frequently backed by power guarantees. Solar power is now the only viable source of energy for a whole house with the advancement of modern solar energy systems. When selecting a solar roof, consider both the long-term cost savings, tax incentives, and the power of your solar energy system against the upfront cost of installation.

    Tesla Solar Panels Slate Roof

    Tesla Solar Panels Slate Roof is an innovative new roofing product that combines the beauty and longevity of a traditional slate roof with the benefits of solar energy. This product is designed with an integrated photovoltaic system that converts sunlight into electricity, making it an ideal choice for homeowners looking to reduce or eliminate their electricity bills. Tesla Solar Panels Slate Roof is also low-maintenance, easy to install, and comes with a 25-year warranty. With its sleek, modern design, Tesla Solar Panels Slate Roof is an attractive addition to any home, providing both energy efficiency and aesthetic appeal.

    Tesla and SolarCity’s solar roof system integrates solar cells and modules into the structure of the roof. With a 30-year power generation guarantee, the appliance will have a 30-year house warranty. Tesla estimates that its solar roof will be less expensive than a standard tile roof or generate far less electricity than a standard tile roof. The cost of solar and energy storage is heavily influenced by the of your real estate and the location of your solar panels. Compare quotes from multiple providers to select the best energy solution for your home. Understand Solar is a fantastic free service that connects you to a number of reputable solar contractors.

    Tesla Solar Roof: No Longer An Option For Flat Roofs

    Tesla Solar Roof tiles have proven to be an excellent choice for homeowners looking to improve the appearance of their homes while also providing energy from the sun. Tesla has had to halt the installation of its Solar Roof due to supply issues. The Tesla Solar Roof is not available to those who have flat roofs because the minimum roof pitch for solar roof installation is 3:12 (or 14 degrees). Tesla Solar Panels can be installed on almost any roof type, including asphalt shingles, clay tiles, and slate tiles. With Tesla Solar Roof, you can increase the energy production of your roof while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your home. The tiles used in Tesla Solar Roof are made of a combination of glass solar tiles and architectural-grade steel tiles that are virtually indistinguishable in color and appearance.

    installing, solar, panels, slate, roofs

    Solar Slate Solutions

    Solar Slate Solutions are a cutting-edge answer to the growing need for renewable energy sources. Solar Slate Solutions offer a unique and efficient way to harness the power of the sun – with roof-mounted technology that works in tandem with traditional roofing materials. These slates are designed to be durable, and they can be installed on any type of roof, including metal, tile, and slate. Not only do they generate solar electricity, but they also provide a sleek and attractive look to any home or business. The slates are designed to be easy to install and maintain, and they can even be integrated with existing solar panels if desired. Solar Slate Solutions are a great way to reduce energy costs while also reducing the environmental impact of our energy usage.

    Slate roof tiles are made of stone and are commonly used in roof tiles. There is no need to disregard them, but they must be handled with caution. Slate roofing tiles may be cracked or damaged when they are subjected to sudden impact or stress in the incorrect location. Despite the overwhelming demand for solar installations on solar roofs, a new solar installation system has been developed. With over one million professionals in over one million cities, you can hire a trusted Solar Panel Installation Company for your next project on Houzz. Have your say by reviewing reviews from Billerica homeowners who are pleased with their decision. The Solar Panel installation quotes you received from the various companies will be displayed on a single dashboard.

    Solar Slate Plate

    Solar Slate Plate is a revolutionary new product that makes it easy to harness the power of the sun and convert it into energy. This flat, lightweight plate is made from an advanced material that is designed to absorb and retain the sun’s energy. The captured energy can then be used to power a variety of electronic devices, from cell phones to computers. It is an ideal solution for anyone looking for an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective way to generate energy. The Solar Slate Plate is also easy to install and requires minimal maintenance, making it a great choice for anyone looking to reduce their energy costs and reduce their environmental footprint.

    How Efficient Are Solar Slates?

    Roof tiles can be purchased for much less than solar slates. They can cost twice as much as solar panel systems with comparable wattage because they have a higher wattage. The efficiency of bolt-on solar panels is lower than that of bolt-on panels. Solar tiles, on average, have an efficiency of 10-20%.

    Invest In A Solar Roof For Long-term Benefits

    Homeowners should think long-term about investing in solar shingles because they are designed to last between 25-30 years. Solar shingles can be used to generate renewable energy that can be sold back to the grid in addition to lowering overall electricity prices. Solar shingles can provide homeowners with significant cost savings, making them an excellent choice for those looking to lower their energy bills while becoming more environmentally conscious. Solar shingles not only save energy and money, but they also provide an aesthetically pleasing roof that increases home values. Homeowners looking to replace their roofs are increasingly choosing solar shingles due to their long lifespan and increased appeal. The long-term cost savings and environmental benefits associated with solar shingles are well worth the investment, as they have a lifespan of 25-30 years. Solar shingles can be an excellent option for homeowners who want to save money while also being more environmentally friendly because of their attractive design, cost-saving potential, and energy-efficient lifespan.

    Are Solar Roof Tiles Worth It?

    Solar roof tiles are an excellent choice for new buildings because they reduce roof space while also increasing solar power efficiency. These solar panels are simple to install, quick to install, and can be done by any reputable roofing or solar company.

    The Value Of Solar Panels: Is It Worth The Investment?

    If you want to reduce your own environmental impact, installing solar panels on your home can be an appealing option for potential buyers, as they will be able to save money on their energy bills and learn about their environmental contribution. Before embarking on such a drastic step, homeowners should consider the possible impact on their property value. How much does solar energy make a house? To answer this question in the broadest sense is to make an educated guess. Solar panels, in general, may increase or detract from the value of a home depending on the local market and the buyer’s perception of its value. When solar energy is widely accepted, the value of a home with solar panels is more than that of one that does not. In some cases, the energy savings generated by the solar panels may be sufficient to cover the cost of installation. Solar panels can be installed at any time, depending on the individual homeowner’s preferences and circumstances. Installing solar panels on a home can provide a long-term benefit to its value and may also have short-term effects on the home, but homeowners should consider the potential effects before making any decisions. It is ultimately up to residents to be aware of any effects that solar panels may have on their home’s value.

    Solar Roof Tile Experts in Dublin

    When most people choose a roof for their home, they want something that’s energy efficient, durable, and long-lasting all in one.

    You can have it all with the help of our innovative, high-quality Nulok solar panel roofing solutions. Our Nulok roofing system is not just compatible with solar roofing – it also lends itself quite well to the use of solar inserts.

    Knowing how to properly install a roofing system is a challenge in itself, but our experienced team of designers have taken it a step further by pioneering a unique, highly efficient process of installing solar panel roof tiles. Nulok solar inserts are implemented through our patented installation technique that has continually impressed and satisfied clients for the past decade.

    Affordable Environmentally Friendly Roofing Options

    Solar tiles don’t have to be ugly. Our staff of industry-leading professionals work to create designs that are sleek, smooth and affordable. We believe that solar panelling can be more than a great way to save energy and help the environment – it can be stylish, too.

    Unlike traditional solar racks, our Nulok solar inserts adhere to the roof panelling. This helps them blend in with the rest of the roof and home.

    Are You Looking For Solar Roof Tile Professionals Near You?

    Because of our innovative installation and manufacturing techniques, we are able to provide some of the most high-quality solar roof tiles Dublin has to offer. Our professional installation team draws upon years of industry experience installing solar panel roof tiles in order to ensure that every job is completed efficiently and properly from start to finish.

    Selecting a roofing company, especially for solar roofing, can be an arduous process. A roof is not only essential to the function of a household, it is also a highly visible element of the home. Improper installation or solar roof tiles in Dublin can make a huge difference in your home’s appearance.

    But with the Nulok roofing system, you never have to worry about improper installation. Your satisfaction is always guaranteed!

    Call Us Today!

    Installing roofing with solar has never been easier, faster, or more cost-effective than it is with our talented designers and experienced installation team. Solar insert roofing options are versatile and customisable, and we make sure that every client we serve leaves satisfied with the final result.

    We believe that every one of our clients deserves the very best, which is why we make sure that our Nulok installation and high-quality products and services are able to turn any house into a home. Call us today for more information on how we can help you create or upkeep the home of your dreams with our quality solar panel roofing options!

    installing, solar, panels, slate, roofs

    Tesla Solar Roof: Everything You Need to Know

    Elon Musk and the Tesla Solar program released the heavily-anticipated solar roof. The release of the solar roof also prompted a complete overhaul of the Tesla website; which you can now read up on information about the solar roof as well as place a 1,000 deposit to claim your solar roof.

    Unfortunately, the unveiling of Tesla’s solar roof left us with a plethora of unanswered questions. Our preliminary findings were that the Tesla solar tiles were more expensive than expected and quite overpriced.

    Besides the solar roof cost, however, there are still numerous other questions that need to be addressed:

    • Solar Roof Cost vs. Solar Panels Cost
    • How Does the Tesla Solar Roof Work with the Federal Solar Tax Credit?
    • Solar Roof Efficiency vs. Solar Panel Efficiency
    • How Much Do Tesla Solar Tile’s Weigh?
    • Can the Tesla Solar Roof Work with a Flat Roof?
    • Solar Roof Durability vs. Solar Panel Durability
    • Who Should Buy a Solar Roof?

    In our comprehensive analysis of the Tesla Solar Roof, we will give in-depth breakdowns of all the topics above. While Elon Musk and Tesla have been historically successful with product releases, the history of solar tile technology has not. This product is the biggest test for Tesla to date, and the fate of this new solar product is still up for debate.

    Solar Roof Cost vs. Solar Panels Cost

    When determining the value of the solar roof for you and your home, you need to take into consideration your roof size as well as your monthly electric bill amount. The higher your bill, the greater your electricity consumption, which in turn will mean you will require a greater number of solar tiles on your roof relative to non-solar tiles.

    To help you understand the potential value of the solar roof Tesla created a calculator to show upfront estimates for their roof. The calculator is fun to play around with but it doesn’t take certain factors into consideration that would provide an actual comparison to the value of standard solar panels.

    Tesla has said in the past that they “believe in transparency and putting the customer in control.” While this may be the case, it seems odd that the calculator doesn’t show you power ratings for the solar tiles. All it shows is total system cost and the ratio of non-solar tiles to solar tiles necessary to offset your monthly electric bill.

    We will provide you with everything you need including required system size, all you need to do is register here.

    Based off of your address we will show you:

    • Usable sunlight hours per year
    • Proper system size
    • Yearly savings
    • The increase in the value of your home

    Equivalent trees planted from switching to solar Once you figure out the necessary system size for the Tesla Solar Roof you can then determine your Price Per Watt (PPW); this is a key number to have when comparing the cost of solar systems.

    installing, solar, panels, slate, roofs
    • Multiply your roof square footage by the percentage of the solar tiles
    • Then multiply this number by 42 (the cost of a solar tile)
    • Finally, divide by the number of watts

    Using these calculations, the cost of the solar portion of Tesla’s Solar Roof comes out to 6.30/watt. With this number, there is a /- of about 0.50/watt since the Tesla solar calculator uses 10% increments.

    These solar tile costs are approximately double the cost of some already available solar options. That leaves the big question of whether or not the aesthetics of a solar roof is worth an extra 25,000-35,000: a Tesla Solar Roof also requires an entire roof replacement.

    So if you think the aesthetics of a solar roof is worth an extra 30,000 or so and you are ready for a roof replacement, you may want to consider visiting the Tesla website to put down your 1,000 deposit.

    How Does the Tesla Solar Roof Work with the Federal Solar Tax Credit?

    When it comes to the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Tesla claims it can be applied to their entire solar roof and their home storage battery the Powerwall. This is not necessarily the case. The issue here is that this type of solar technology doesn’t fit into the structure of the current ITC. For this to change, a special appeal process is necessary to decide which parts of the solar roof fall under the ITC.

    This all depends on how the IRS decides to view Tesla’s new solar roof. If they determine the non-solar tiles are “so specifically engineered that it is in essence part of the machinery or equipment with which it functions,” then the entire roof will fall under the federal solar tax credit.

    Determining the solar roof and its impact on the ITC will certainly be a lengthy process. As customer service advocates at Pick My Solar, we can only hope that Tesla will take care of the entire process for their homeowners.

    The federal solar tax credit, however, is going to start scaling down at the beginning of 2020 and be completely phased out in 2022. When taking into consideration the buying and installation process of the newly released solar roof, a large number of homeowners may miss out on the chance to claim the federal solar tax credit.

    “Taking pre-orders for this unproven technology will undeniably have a negative impact on the adoption of solar,” says CEO Max Aram, “By leveraging Tesla’s sexy brand Elon Musk can lure a few thousand homeowners off the solar market. Many of these homeowners may never get their system turned on before the expiration of the Federal Tax Credit. The difference between Solar Roof and Model 3 is that Tesla has already proven they can manufacture great cars and Model 3 is coming at an affordable price point. With solar roofs, he hasn’t proven either.”

    Solar Roof Efficiency vs. Solar Panel Efficiency

    The brand new solar roof will be entirely manufactured in the United States. Tesla plans to manufacture all of their solar tiles at their Buffalo facilities using solar cells provided by their partner, Panasonic. Peter Rive, the CTO at SolarCity had previously claimed the efficiency of one of their solar tiles was equivalent to a standard panel. However, according to SolarCity’s website the colored film of the solar tile “allows the cells to blend into the roof while minimizing solar efficiency loss.” While it appears this would mean the efficiency of solar tiles would be lower than those of solar panel, this isn’t necessarily the case.

    Currently, Panasonic’s N3300 HIT modules have an efficiency of 19.7%. The have developed solar cells as efficient as 23.5% in their labs. The solar industry average for solar panels is approximately 16%, while Pick My Solar’s installers come in at around 19.5%. So even if the colored film of the solar tiles lessens the efficiency by a few percentage points, the solar tiles efficiency still may be equivalent to that of standard solar modules.

    When it comes to the efficiency of Tesla’s solar roof in comparison to standard solar panels, there is no clear cut winner. Just make sure that if your home is very limited in regards to roof space, you go with the highest efficiency module possible to power your home.

    How Much Do Tesla Solar Tile’s Weigh?

    Per Tesla, their new solar tiles will be approximately half the weight of a standard roof tile. This is a hard claim to make without defining the “standard roof tile” being used in this statement.

    To understand the range of tile weights, let’s look at this:

    • Concrete Tiles – between 9.5 – 12 lbs. per square foot
    • Asphalt Shingles – between 2.5 – 4 lbs. per square foot
    • Spanish Tiles – between 6 – 19 lbs. per square foot
    • Slate Tiles – between 7-10 lbs. per square foot

    Our approximation when taking all of the solar tiles components into consideration is that the tiles will weigh about 15 – 20 lbs. This is a rough estimate due to Tesla’s ambiguity when discussing the weight of their solar tiles.

    We reached out to one of our excellent roofing partners, Chandler’s Roofing, to get their perspective on Tesla’s new solar product;

    “Aesthetically the Solar Roof is beautiful, but we’ll need to wait and see how Tesla will resolve taking it to market,” says Trevor Leeds, President of Chandler’s Roofing, “Roofing is a different animal than solar. There are different variables that have to be considered like waterproofing and the roof-attachment method. Compliance codes for roofing are also much different than solar. Will Tesla figure out how to be a national roofing contractor? Is Tesla looking to assume this liability and overhead? All of these unknowns will need to be worked out.”

    Can the Tesla Solar Roof Work with a Flat Roof?

    Unfortunately for homeowners with flat roofs, the Tesla Solar Roof will not be an option for you and your home. The minimum roof pitch eligible for a solar roof installation is 3:12 (or 14 degrees). This puts the Tesla solar roof at a disadvantage considering solar panels can work on all roof types. All it takes for solar panels to be effective on flat roofs is a tilted racking system.

    Solar aside, tiling is not recommended for flat roofs due to leaking potential. This is a very real risk considering the wiring components located inside the solar tiles.

    Solar Roof Durability vs. Solar Panel Durability

    Tesla is extremely confident in the durability of its solar roof. Elon Musk has stated that the Tesla Solar Roof has an “infinity warranty” or for the lifetime of your home, whichever comes first. While the durability of the new solar tiles has not been successfully field testing, there are videos online of the Tesla Solar team launching hail and other heavy objects at the solar tiles to show their durability. Based on a video recorded in a Tesla owned factory, it seems the solar tiles are stronger than a tempered-glass solar panel.

    Standard solar panels, however, are usually warrantied by the manufacturer for 25 years and the panels typically will last longer than the warranty. The expected lifetime of solar panels has also been field tested, unlike the solar roof.

    The biggest question here is what is going to happen when solar tiles start degrading and losing their efficiency? When solar panels need to be replaced or corrected (which is rare) it is a pretty simple replacement. But what happens when there are solar tile problems? How much of the roof is going to have to be replaced? It seems that making any corrections to a Tesla Solar Roof is going to be very expensive and labor-intensive.

    Who Should Buy a Solar Roof?

    The initial appeal of the Tesla Solar Roof will target the wealthy, tech-savvy homeowner with a passion for renewable energy. Due to the solar roof cost, the purchaser of a solar roof will have a deep passion for aesthetics.

    There is certainly a risk-reward aspect of being one of the first owners of a Tesla Solar Roof. The reward is obviously being able to be one of the first owners of this beautiful technology. The risk is the same. Being the owner of the first version of anything comes with the risk of having to be patient while kinks are worked out.

    If you want to be an owner of the Tesla Solar Roof you will need a large amount of expendable cash and an even larger amount of patience as it could take years for the solar roofs to get installed.

    In Conclusion

    There is no doubt that the new Tesla Solar Roof has brought excitement into the solar industry and with manufacturers recently going out of business, maybe the timing was perfect. With the buzz surrounding the new solar roof in full effect, even Elon Musk admitted the solar roof would have some tough challenges in the years ahead. So even with its beauty and PR buzz, we will have to wait and see what the future holds for Tesla’s solar roof.

    For more Tesla and solar industry updates, please subscribe to our blog below.

    The 7 Best Solar Roof Options for 2023

    Leigh Matthews is a sustainability expert and long time vegan. Her work on solar policy has been published in Canada’s National Observer.

    Tesla may have been the first company to introduce a full solar roof, but they weren’t the first to make solar shingles. Here, we give you the basics of solar roofs, as well as our top picks for the best solar roof options, including Tesla, with pros and cons for each.

    Table of Contents

    • How a solar roof works
    • The benefits of a solar roof
    • The look
    • Cost-effective roofing and solar combined
    • A high-performance roofing solution
    • Effective use of space
    • No external wiring
    • Easier to repair and replace
  • Are there any downsides to solar roofs?
  • Cost and efficiency
  • Lifespan and flexibility
  • Other downsides to solar roofs
  • The best solar roofs: our top picks
  • CertainTeed
  • What we like about CertainTeed solar roofs
  • Specifications
  • What we don’t like about CertainTeed solar roofs
  • Tesla Solar Roof
  • What we like about Tesla Roofs
  • What we don’t like about Tesla Roofs
  • SunTegra
  • What we like about SunTegra
  • What we don’t like about SunTegra
  • Forward Solar Shingles
  • What we like about Forward
  • What we don’t like about Forward
  • GAF
  • What we like about GAF
  • What we don’t like about GAF
  • DecoTech
  • What we like about DecoTech
  • What we don’t like about DecoTech
  • Luma Solar Roofs
  • What we like about Luma Solar
  • What we don’t like about Luma Solar
  • Other solar roof companies to watch
  • Solar roofs FAQ
  • Solar Roofs vs. Solar Panels

    • Solar shingles and tiles
    • Little change in home appearance
    • Costs 20,000 – 100,000
    • No drilling into your roof (with some options)
    • Easier to repair
    • Less efficient
    • Shorter warranty (10-20 years typically)
    • Shorter lifespan (commonly, 20 years)
    • Fewer skilled installers

    Solar Panels:

    • Solar panels
    • Solar array mounted to roof
    • Costs 15,000 – 40,000
    • Typically requires drilling into roof
    • Harder to repair
    • efficient
    • Longer lifespan (25-40 years)
    • Longer warranty (25 years)
    • installers available

    How a solar roof works

    Tesla introduced its solar roof in 2016, shaking up the solar industry forever. But how does a solar roof work?

    The Tesla roof uses tempered glass shingles to replace all the standard shingles on your home’s roof. Some of these shingles are also solar panels, meaning that nearly every inch of your roof could, in theory, generate electricity.

    Because most roofs have a few spots that don’t get much sunlight, Tesla Roofs also include a few inactive panels. These look the same as the solar shingles but don’t produce energy, which helps to keep down the cost of installation and saves resources.

    Tesla Roofs are the only full solar roof currently available, but they’re not the only option for going solar without solar panels. In fact, the first solar shingles were brought to market in 2009 by DOW Company, and several other companies also make solar shingles.

    What’s the difference? Solar shingles are just that: shingles. They’re designed to either integrate with your existing or new roof shingles or tiles or to sit on top of them. Either way, the look isn’t quite as seamless as a full Tesla Roof.

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    The benefits of a solar roof

    There are many benefits to going solar, and solar roofs and shingles offer all these and more.

    The look

    Solar roofs provide all the benefits of a rooftop solar array without dramatically changing the appearance of your home. That’s because solar shingles are designed to look as much like regular roof shingles as possible. Most solar shingles can be integrated into an existing tile or shingle roof, or can be laid over top as a sort of second skin for your roof. Even if they’re attached on top of your roof’s regular tiles, the profile of solar shingles is a lot lower than with mounted solar panels.

    With a Tesla Roof, all the tiles look the same, regardless of whether they’re active solar shingles or inactive tiles. This makes a solar roof or solar shingles a great fit for homeowners who don’t like the look of more conventional solar panels. A solar roof may also enable homeowners to benefit from solar without invoking the ire of homeowner associations.

    Cost-effective roofing and solar combined

    A new roof can be a costly proposition, as can a solar installation. What if you could combine the two and save some cash?

    If your roof is due for an upgrade, consider a solar roof. Sure, it will cost more than a regular roof, but it will typically cost less than a regular roof plus a conventional solar array with similar power output.

    A high-performance roofing solution

    Worried that a solar roof won’t be as good as a regular roof? There’s no need for concern. These roofing shingles perform just like regular shingles, only they produce electricity while keeping your home watertight and safe from the elements.

    The key here is that solar shingles combine solar cells with the roof sheathing. In more conventional solar arrays, solar modules are mounted on top of shingles (or other roofing material).

    Effective use of space

    Solar shingles can be a great way to go solar if you have a small roof that makes a standard solar set-up difficult or even impossible. For the same reason, solar shingles can be a good choice for a roof with awkward space constraints, such as dormers, skylights, and so forth.

    After all, a shingle is far smaller than a solar panel. This means you can squeeze a few shingles onto a small area and maximize your rooftop real estate. You might even decide to skip your rooftop entirely and instead install a solar roof on your garage, shed, or an auxiliary dwelling, especially if these get more sun exposure than your home.

    No external wiring

    Standard solar panel installations require external wiring that connects the mounted solar panels to the inverter and main service panel inside your home. With a solar roof and most solar shingles, all the wiring is internal and hidden. This reduces the risk of damage from wind, rain, birds and other wildlife, and so forth.

    Standard solar arrays also have to be mounted on top of roofing material, which usually means drilling into the roof. Some metal roofs allow for solar modules to be clicked into place, but regular roof shingles and tiles require solar installers to penetrate the roofing material, which can cause damage and create weak spots.

    These problems are unlikely if you use an experienced and skilled solar installer, but they’re still a risk with regular arrays.

    Some solar shingles are direct to deck, acting like both a solar panel and a roofing shingle. Others attach to existing roofing shingles or tiles. As such, the potential for damage to an existing roof varies greatly between differing solar roofing options.

    Easier to repair and replace

    Another key benefit to solar shingles is that they’re lightweight and relatively easy to repair and replace. If one or two get damaged, you can quickly replace these with fresh solar shingles or inactive shingles as needed. It’s much harder and more costly to replace or repair an entire solar panel.

    Solar shingles are also built to withstand rain, snow, and wind. And if something does go wrong, most companies offer a good warranty, so you can get your shingles replaced for free. Tesla even offers a lifetime warranty for its physical shingles, which is great if you’re planning on staying in the same home for a long time. If you think you’ll move home in the next 25 years or so, though, that lifetime warranty might not be all that useful, given it’s hard to take your solar roof with you (unlike solar panels).

    Are there any downsides to solar roofs?

    So far, so good, but what about the disadvantages of solar roofs?

    Cost and efficiency

    As discussed, solar shingles aren’t cheap, despite being more cost-effective per watt. Compared to the price of a standard rooftop solar installation (15,000 to 40,000), the Tesla solar roof has been reported as ranging from 30,000 to nearly 100,000. What’s more, Tesla has shifted its dramatically, and without warning, several times, catching customers off guard. Tesla also now insists that solar roof customers buy the Tesla Powerwall battery, which raises the cost even more.

    Tesla isn’t the only name in town, though, and you definitely pay a premium for the brand.

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    High-efficiency shingles from other companies tend to be less expensive and just as efficient as Tesla’s shingles, but they’re all less efficient than the best solar panels. In general, a solar shingle typically produces between 13 and 63 watts. They need high sun exposure and a good slope to meet their maximum output, though.

    Why are solar shingles less efficient than solar panels?

    The main reason is that building-integrated solar panels (BISPs, or BIPVs) don’t typically allow for air to circulate underneath, which means they overheat quickly, which impairs electricity production.

    This lack of efficiency combined with higher upfront costs can mean a longer payback period for solar roofs. In fact, solar roofs don’t offer anything like the return on investment of a standard solar array, unless you’re in need of a new roof anyway.

    Lifespan and flexibility

    Solar roofs and shingles also have a shorter lifespan than most regular solar panels. While a standard solar panel can usually keep producing electricity at around 80% of original output for 25 years or more, solar shingles usually maintain that level of output for just 20 or so years. They also produce less electricity to start with.

    One other downside of a solar roof is that it can be hard to take with you if you move. Unlike solar panels, solar roofs are custom-made to fit your home. Solar shingles or DecoTech integrated panels may be able to go with you if you move, depending on the type of roof at your new home.

    Other downsides to solar roofs

    While solar roofs are increasingly popular, you might not be able to find a skilled installer in your area. In contrast, conventional solar installers are easy to find, which also means the labor cost of an installation is typically lower than for a solar roof.

    The same goes for solar shingles. While there are more installers for these than for Tesla Roofs, it’s still very hard to find a credentialled installer in most places, especially if you live outside of a big city.

    Finally, you’ll want to consider the environmental cost of installing a solar roof. Chances are you’re interested in these products because you want to live a greener lifestyle. Sending your current, perfectly respectable roof to a landfill just so you can install a solar roof isn’t very sustainable.

    The best solar roofs: our top picks


    Highlights: Solar shingle option with an impressive amount of experience in the roofing industry making products that integrate well into your existing roof, negating the need for a total roof upgrade.

    • Excellent reputation and roofing experience
    • Company offers full roofing solution incorporating solar tiles/shingles
    • Works with asphalt and concrete roofs
    • Well-established brand
    • Much lower cost than a Tesla Roof
    • Water, wind, and fire resistant
    • Excellent, transferrable warranty
    • Quick and easy installation and maintenance
    • No waitlist!
    • High-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells
    • Includes inverter and wiring as needed
    • Not a full solar roof
    • Solar shingles/tiles look different to regular roofing
    • No specific pricing available on website

    CertainTeed has been offering solar shingles for longer than Tesla and has more than one hundred years of experience in the roofing industry. The company currently offers two designs for solar roofs:

    Apollo Shingle 11 can be installed as part of a new roof or with an existing asphalt roof. These shingles are all-black and can be placed in strips or patches on part or most of the roof. Each shingle measures 46.75 inches wide and 17 5/8 th inches deep.

    Apollo Tile II is suitable for concrete tile roofs. These tiles have a black laminate look and come with a custom frame color to match various earth-tone concrete tile colors. Each tile measures 47 inches wide and 17.25 inches deep.

    installing, solar, panels, slate, roofs

    What we like about CertainTeed solar roofs

    Unlike with a Tesla Roof, you can easily integrate solar shingles from CertainTeed into your existing roof. This avoids the need for a total roof upgrade and makes for a much lower cost installation. (In some situations, Tesla might be able to add its Solar Roof on top of your existing roof.)

    A CertainTeed solar roof is typically a lot less expensive than a Tesla Roof. CertainTeed solar shingles are also more widely available in the U.S. The company has been in the roofing business for more than a century and has hundreds of service personnel ready to install its solar shingles. With no waitlist and more roofing experience than any other solar shingle manufacturer, CertainTeed is a great choice if you need a new roof or just want to add a few solar shingles to get started.

    CertainTeed makes its solar shingles and tiles in the U.S. Every installation includes fire-resistant underlayment (where relevant), flashing accessories, starter strip and wind clips, home run wiring, an optional string inverter, and an optional monitoring system.

    Both types of solar shingles are easy to install as they use the same low-tech system as regular asphalt and concrete tiles. That is, your installer will attach the shingles to the roof’s sheathing using standard deck screws. This makes for a far speedier and more straightforward installation than with more complex solar shingles.

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    The tiles are also easy to maintain, with open space under the modules and built-in wire clips allowing for easy wire management and installation.


    CertainTeed uses higher-efficiency solar technology than most solar shingle companies (and is transparent about specifications!). Every active tile has 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells. These tiles have a power rating of 70 watts each, which is higher than most solar shingles. The efficiency rating of Apollo Shingle 11 is 17.2%, while Apollo Tile 11 has a 17.8% efficiency rating.

    CertainTeed shingles are very lightweight and just as flexible as regular shingles. The Apollo Shingles weigh just 2.7 lbs. per sq. ft., which is around the same as a standard asphalt shingle. The Apollo Tiles weigh 3.1 lbs. per sq. ft., which is far less than a concrete roof tile.

    While lightweight, these solar shingles can withstand an impressive 250 lbs. per square foot. They’re also resistant to water, fire, and wind and even carry Florida Building Code High Velocity Hurricane Zone rating (Vult 194mph).

    The Apollo Shingles 11 and Apollo Tiles 11 have a power temperature coefficient of.0.37%. While nowhere close to the coefficients of REC solar panels, this is actually fairly similar to many of the best solar panels. Not bad for a solar shingle or tile packed tight to a roof!

    Both types of roofing materials have an operating temperature between.40 and 194 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 and 90 Celsius).

    CertainTeed also offers a comprehensive warranty that covers all system components. This includes a 25-year warranty on power output and a 10-year warranty covering the inverter, all other system components, and a 110-mph wind warranty.

    Given the company’s long history, there’s also a good chance CertainTeed will be around to honor that warranty in 25 years. If you work with a CertainTeed-credentialed solar installer, the professional installation of your system is also covered for up to 25 years. You can even transfer the warranty if needed, which is a huge plus when trying to sell your home.

    What we don’t like about CertainTeed solar roofs

    The main downside to CertainTeed solar shingles is that they’re not a ‘hidden’ solar installation. While these tiles and shingles can be integrated, the color mismatch with non-solar shingles and tiles is very obvious on most roofs. That said, if a low profile is your main concern, CertainTeed is a great choice.

    The second key downside to CertainTeed is that the company doesn’t offer any specific pricing information on its website. To get a sense of how much your installation will cost, you’ll need to contact the company or find a local installer that works with these shingles or tiles.

    It’s reasonable, however, to assume that a fairly standard installation would cost somewhere between a full Tesla Roof and a standard solar panel setup. The cost will largely depend on the size, shape, and type of roof, its age, and whether you plan on replacing the whole roof, integrating a few solar shingles, or packing as many solar tiles or shingles as you can into the space you have.

    Tesla Solar Roof

    Highlights: Seamless, sleek, and inconspicuous design with a brand name attached at the cost of a lengthy waitlist, and a pricetag to match.

    • The complete package, with matching shingles throughout
    • 25-year tile and power and weatherization warranty
    • Sleek, modern designs (four styles of tile available)
    • Well-established brand
    • Can add significant curb appeal and value to your home
    • Backed by ANSI standard tests for durability
    • Typically takes just 5-7 days to install
    • Can be installed on top of some existing roofs
    • Tesla offers a payment program (loan) and upfront payment options
    • You may be on a waitlist for years
    • Now only available with Powerwall battery storage
    • You pay for the name
    • Not as efficient as solar panels
    • Hard to customize or reconfigure with non-Tesla products (such as a wind turbine or microhydro system)
    • Can take up to 14 days to install (versus a day for some solar panel projects)
    • Requires permits in some locations / not allowed by some Homeowner Associations
    • Very expensive compared to a regular roof, regular solar panels, and other solar shingles

    Tesla first presented its Solar Roof in 2016, wowing onlookers with its sleek, futuristic look. These days, there are at least four styles of Tesla Solar Roof tile to choose from. Each roof is custom-made and incorporates glass solar tiles, glass roofing tiles and architectural-grade steel tiles.

    The three types of tile are indistinguishable from each other, creating a seamless design. All of the tiles act as roofing material, though only some generate solar power. This helps avoid wasting resources by installing solar shingles in areas of your roof that get very little sun.

    Once you place your Solar Roof order, Tesla asks you to upload a recent utility bill. This helps the company size your solar roof according to your electricity needs. Tesla will also schedule an on-site assessment to determine the complexity of installing a solar roof. The more mounting planes, obstructions (chimneys, skylights, vents, and fans), and peculiar pitches, the trickier and more expensive the roofing project.

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    Tesla Solar Roofs include the shingles themselves, all the wiring and the inverter, and a Powerwall battery to store excess energy produced by your array. This provides backup power should the main electricity grid go down.

    What we like about Tesla Roofs

    The best thing about a Tesla Roof is that it’s a full roof. Unlike most other companies making solar shingles, Tesla offers the full package and a seamless, inconspicuous design. If money is no object and you want a full roof upgrade, a Tesla Roof is a great choice.

    Other good things about Tesla roofs include a generous 25-year warranty for defects in design and materials from the date of installation. Tesla also offers a weatherization warranty which states that “Your Solar Roof will remain in place and prevent damage to your home caused by the passage of wind and rain through your Solar Roof for 25 years”.

    Tesla also offers a module warranty promising that your Solar Roof will still operate at 95% or more of its Rated Peak Power at the 5-year mark, with production declining by no more than 0.5% annually for the next 20 years. All-in, that puts operating capacity at 85% or more after 25 years. Pretty good!

    Despite these warranties, Tesla Roof tiles are built to last. The shingles are tested for durability by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and hold up well against wind, hail, fire, and rain. You can also choose to install a Tesla Roof on top of your existing roof, assuming it meets certain conditions.

    Tesla also uses higher-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells for its shingles.

    What we don’t like about Tesla Roofs

    Tesla Roofs are expensive. There’s no getting around the fact that you pay for the name. To make matters worse, Elon Musk announced on in April 2021 that “Tesla Solar Panels Solar Roof will only be sold as an integrated product with Tesla Powerwall battery.” So, if you were looking for just a Tesla Roof, your cost outlay just got a lot higher (and you’ll need somewhere to store that battery).

    The idea is that solar power from the Tesla roof would feed exclusively to Powerwall and that Powerwall will then interface with utility meters and a home’s main service panel. The trouble, of course, is that some customers want a grid-connected system without battery storage. After all, batteries are expensive, require regular maintenance, and typically need replacing every 5-15 years.

    This also gets to another downside of a Tesla Roof: inflexibility. Sure, the shingles themselves might be quite flexible, but the system isn’t. The whole thing is designed for seamless integration with other Tesla products, meaning you’re going to struggle to MacGyver anything. If you do, you’ll likely invalidate any warranties. So, if you’re thinking you might want to eventually go off-grid, hook up a generator, or even add a wind turbine or microhydro system, a Tesla Roof, inverter, and Powerwall system can make that far trickier.

    Tesla Roofs can also take a while to install, especially if your roof is complex. This means greater disruption and a higher installation cost. And that’s assuming you can install a Tesla Roof where you live. Some homeowner associations won’t allow these roofs and even if they do, you might be on a waitlist for years before finding out your roof isn’t suitable.

    Installers are also hard to find, with Tesla Roofs most readily available in California and a handful of other test markets.

    Finally, Tesla continues to be shady about the specifications of its solar roof. It has never published efficiency ratings or temperature coefficients, for instance, which are important factors when choosing solar equipment.


    Highlights: Low-profile solar shingle option that can integrate into existing rooftops, but with significantly larger shingles.

    • Quick and easy installation and maintenance
    • No waitlist!
    • Works with asphalt and concrete roofs
    • Much lower cost than a Tesla Roof
    • Water, wind, and fire-resistant
    • Low profile makes shingles/tiles barely visible from the ground
    • Not a full solar roof
    • Solar shingles/tiles look different from regular roofing
    • No specific pricing available on website
    • Much lower efficiency than solar panels and some solar shingles/tiles
    • Bigger size may make for less flexible installs
    • Less generous warranty than CertainTeed, Tesla, and Forward
    • Poor temperature co-efficient / unsuitable for very hot climates

    SunTegra is another good option for a solar roof. This company, like CertainTeed, offers solar shingles that can be installed in an existing roof or as part of a full roofing package.

    SunTegra offers both asphalt and concrete tile options for solar roofs. Like CertainTeed’s Apollo systems, these tiles can be placed on, or integrated into, a new or existing roof.

    The shingles are significantly larger than CertainTeed’s shingles at 53 5/8 th inches wide and 23 1/8 th inches deep. The tiles are also a lot larger at 52 3/4 th inches and 16 7/8 th inches.

    While there’s no pricing information available on SunTegra’s website, the company offers free, no-obligation estimates based on where you live and your home’s solar potential.

    What we like about SunTegra

    SunTegra, formerly known as Integrated Solar Technology (IST), is fully dedicated to solar solutions. The company’s founder, Oliver Koehler, previously worked at BP Solar and SunPower and branched out to provide more innovative solar solutions for homeowners, buildings, and businesses.

    While a smaller business than CertainTeed, SunTegra is expanding rapidly in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. There is currently no waitlist for a SunTegra installation, so this is a great choice if you’re looking to add a few solar shingles or tiles to your roof right away.

    SunTegra solar tiles and shingles are rated to withstand 112 lbs. per sq. ft. and a maximum wind speed of 130 mph. The operating temperature range is the same as CertainTeed’s at.40 and 194 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 and 90 Celsius).

    SunTegra’s tiles and shingles are barely visible from ground level, thanks to their low profile. The lightweight design avoids the need for structural engineering and building permits. SunTegra also claims that their installation process is much simpler and faster than for Tesla or Forward and uses “50% fewer parts than conventional rack-mounted systems.” Integrated wiring makes for fast and easy installations and maintenance.

    SunTegra also plans to introduce new solar products for garden and patio spaces and for the sides and facades of commercial and community buildings.

    What we don’t like about SunTegra

    While low-profile, the all-black aesthetic is very apparent on most roofs. If you’re looking for something more seamless, a Tesla Solar Roof or Forward installation is your best option.

    SunTegra is only a solar company; it doesn’t offer a full roofing service. As such, if you need to replace your roof, you’ll have to coordinate installations with two companies. Both products come with a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year power output warranty, which is less generous than the warranties offered by CertainTeed, Tesla, and Forward.

    SunTegra’s solar tiles have 16 monocrystalline cells each and a power output of 64 to 70 W. Their efficiency ratings are 13.9%, 14.5%, and 15.1% for the STT 64, STT 67, and STT 70, respectively. These are much lower than most solar panels. In fact, you may need to cover 50% more of your roof to produce the same amount of electricity as a standard solar array.

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    The solar shingles are more efficient than their tile counterparts but less efficient than CertainTeed’s shingles. There are three shingle models available, with outputs between 105 W and 114 W. The higher wattage is because all of the shingles have 24 monocrystalline cells. The efficiencies, however, are just 15.9%, 16.6%, and 17.2% for the STS 105, STS 110, and STS 114 respectively.

    SunTegra’s solar tiles and shingles also have a poorer temperature co-efficient (-0.404%) than CertainTeed’s products. If you live somewhere very hot, these tiles are unlikely to be a great option currently.

    Based on reports in the press, SunTegra shingles appear to cost around 15% more than conventional solar panels, or about 3.65/Watt. For a 5 kW installation, then, this would amount to 18,250. However, because the tiles and shingles are less efficient at converting sunlight into electricity, their payback period would be longer than a standard solar panel system.

    Forward Solar Shingles

    Highlights: The very first complete solar roofing solution offering a metal solar roof as a viable and attractive alternative to the Tesla Solar Roof.

    • A complete solar roofing package
    • Much lower cost than a Tesla Roof
    • Modern, standing seam metal roof design
    • Available in 8 colors
    • 30-year weatherization warranty and 40-year roof guarantee
    • Can add significant curb appeal and value to your home
    • Typically takes just 2-3 days to install
    • No data on cell efficiencies
    • No data on temperature co-efficient
    • You may be on a waitlist for years
    • Currently only being installed in a small part of California
    • No further details available about the warranties
    • Not as efficient as solar panels
    • No payment program (loan) option available, unlike with Tesla

    Forward began life in New York State through an unsuccessful Kickstarter, around the same time as Elon Musk started talking about his Solar Roof idea. So, while Forward is still far smaller than Tesla, this company actually pipped Musk to the post in publicly launching the first complete solar roofing solution.

    Fast forward to 2022 and the now California-based company offers its Metal Solar Roof as a viable and attractive alternative to a Tesla Solar Roof. This galvanized metal standing seam type of roof comes in eight colors and must be installed as a complete roof solution.

    Forward uses tempered glass-metal monocrystalline solar roof panels on portions of the roof exposed to the sun. On shaded areas or other parts not suited to solar, Forward uses roll-formed metal with a baked-on enamel in a similar color and matching style.

    If you’re interested in a Forward roof, you can pay a deposit of 1,000 to reserve a spot on the waitlist. The company then offers a free consultation that includes hard numbers on anticipated total costs and expected energy output. You have a 90-day window to decide to move ahead with your order, during which time your price is locked in.

    If the product doesn’t seem like a good fit after the consultation, your deposit is returned in full. If you go ahead, you’ll get an expected installation date and regular updates through an assigned representative. You can also opt to change the color of your roof up to a month before installation is scheduled.

    Forward offers a 30-year weatherization warranty and the roof is guaranteed for 40 years.

    What we like about Forward

    The solar sections of a Forward roof are made with tempered glass over high-efficiency solar cells. These sections are the same size and shape as a standing seam metal roof. The cells are designed with a transparent optical layer below the glass (to let sun in) but look opaque when viewed from the ground below. This makes for a more modern, seamless aesthetic than solar shingles or tiles from CertainTeed or SunTegra.

    Forward is the only solar roofing company currently offering an integrated solar roof based on a metal standing seam design. This makes Forward a good fit not only for homes but also for barns, garages, and even industrial type roofs.

    Forward solar roofing can be installed in just two to three days and is suitable for roofs with at least a 1:12 pitch. This makes Forward a good fit even for flatter roofs which may be unsuitable for other types of solar shingles. All of the wiring runs through your attic space and you can ask for optional snow guards to prevent snow from shedding in areas such as over doorways.

    Forward combines inactive and active roofing components with pricing at 9.75 per square foot for non-solar portions. The solar sections come in at 3.75 per Watt, with an energy density of 19 W per square foot. For a 5 kW solar roofing system, then, you’d be looking at a cost of 18,750 for the solar cells. Assuming this occupied around 263 sq. ft. of a 1200 sq. ft. rooftop, the total cost would come in at around 17885.75 (18,750 plus 9135.75).

    Forward acknowledges that asphalt shingles are a major problem for landfills. So much so, the company has partnered with emerging asphalt recycling facilities to repurpose the asphalt shingles it removes and turn these into road surfacing material.

    What we don’t like about Forward

    Forward isn’t very forthcoming with technical specifications or other important details. For instance, it doesn’t reveal the efficiency ratings of its solar cells, though it claims to have a higher energy density than standard solar panels.

    According to Forward, its roof offers more efficient use of roofing space to increase opportunities for electricity production. Given the eight color options, however, it’s worth noting that each one would block a different part of the visible light spectrum, which would affect the cells’ ability to create electricity.

    Forward also offers no information on its temperature coefficient, nor any additional information on its warranties. It’s also not clear how robust the roofing material is against hail, wind, snow, water, or fire.

    Finally, even six years after its Kickstarter, Forward is still only installing solar roofs in a test area around San Francisco. One might surmise, then, that the current waitlist is quite lengthy. In fact, Forward actually recommends reserving your spot years in advance of when you think your roof might need replacing. Basically, if you’re interested in a Forward solar roof, don’t wait until your roof leaks to get in line.

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