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Slate Vs Tile Roof: What’s the Difference for Residential Solar Users. Solar slates cost

Slate Vs Tile Roof: What’s the Difference for Residential Solar Users. Solar slates cost

    Thinking of getting a Tesla Solar Roof? Here’s everything you need to know

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    First launched in 2016, Elon Musk’s Solar Roof system has taken the photovoltaic (PV) world by storm. Tesla’s Solar Roof is not the only solar roof tiles on the market but is some of the most attractive and most expensive.

    Solar tiles offer a completely different approach to solar PV installations, the final product is, inarguably, far superior in aesthetic terms to traditional solar PV installations, and seeks to add a cool factor to generating your own power.

    While Tesla claims its Solar Roof is competitive in terms of providing a two-for-one solution (you do get a new roof after all), ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    So, is Tesla’s Solar Roof all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take an honest look.

    What is Tesla’s Solar Roof?

    Tesla’s Solar Roof, like other solar roof tiles, is an innovative system of specially engineered roofing tiles or shingles. Unlike conventional solar PV panels that are mounted onto an existing roof, a solar roof acts as a direct replacement for existing roof coverings.

    The system allows potential customers to benefit from generating their own power without unduly affecting the aesthetics of their homes. Win-win.

    Tesla’s Solar Roof consists of two main types of textured glass tile shingles. The first is purely decorative and is termed inactive. These look exactly the same as the second kind, called Active, to ensure a uniform look of the finished roof.

    The Active shingles are effectively small, shingle-sized solar panels that are integrated into the main roof surface in strategic places to maximize their efficiency. In most cases, most of the south or west-facing areas of a roof will consist of Active shingles, with the rest of the surface consisting of the visually similar Inactive shingles.

    Active shingles, like conventional solar panels, will also be fitted as close to the best angle of incidence to the Sun’s rays throughout the year. In the northern hemisphere, this is as close to a 60 degrees inclination as possible, which, on most domestic homes is around 30-45 degrees, depending on the pitch of your existing roof.

    Of course, if you choose to install a Solar Roof, your old roof will need to be stripped and replaced in totality.

    The system can also be used with a Tesla Solar Inverter to convert the direct current generated by the shingles to useable alternating current in your home. While non-Tesla inverters can also be used, the use of Tesla’s own proprietary equipment ensures the systems will run with fewer potential snags.

    This inverter also enables you to tag on a Tesla Powerwall battery to store excess energy, if desired.

    The system was developed in a collaboration between Tesla and its subsidiary SolarCity and was first announced in 2016. It wasn’t until 2018 that Tesla and SolarCity were in a position to begin the manufacture and delivery of their first Solar Roofs, however.

    Since then, Tesla has continued to make improvements to the technology, with its latest variant, Solar Roof V3, boasting the best efficiency and durability to date. The product comes with a generous 25-year weatherization warranty.

    Great, but what are some of the downsides? One is whether Tesla actually serves your geographical area.

    For the most part, Tesla should be able to provide an installation in most of the continental United States. However, in some states, they may use authorized installers to do so.

    The same is true for other parts of the world, with the rollout continuing around the world. If you are interested in finding out if they serve your area, the best thing to do is contact Tesla, or try to get a quote, and they will tell you.

    How much does a Tesla solar roof cost?

    According to data from actual Tesla quotes, their Solar Wall system costs approximately 1.80 per generated watt of electricity for their Active shingles. The cost of their Inactive shingles then varies depending on the complexity of the roof in question.

    For simple roofs, i.e., basic pitched roofs start at around 13.30 per square foot. For more tricky roofs like hipped roofs or multiple-level roofs, these shingles should cost about 15.30 per square foot. For more complex roofs (i.e. cross-gabled, steep or variable pitched, multiple heights, or lots of obstacles), costs could be as high as 18.54 per square foot.

    You will also be charged for the removal and disposal of your old roof at a rate of around 3.55 per square foot.

    Just like any solar energy installation, the actual cost will vary depending on the size of roof coverage, location, and construction of the building. Smaller pitched roofs on a single-story home will be considerably cheaper than a large complex roof on a multi-story building, for example.

    This is for a variety of reasons, but chief among them are additional costs for access equipment to higher roofs or increased time in labor to design and install the roof on larger and more complex roofs like cross-gabled roofs.

    Tesla may also require customers to upgrade their electrical systems in order to actually work with their Solar Roof system. Upgrading elements like electrical panels can cost anywhere in the region of 5,000 and up.

    However, to give you a rough estimate, using Tesla’s own calculator, a good-sized family home would cost around 70,000 dollars to install an 8.05 kW system before tax incentives. This quote is based on a home in Nashville, Texas, with a floor area of 2,500 feet 2 (232 m 2 ) and using an average monthly energy bill of 115 (this was the U.S. average in 2019, according to the EIA).

    This, according to Tesla’s estimates, should be able to produce for this hypothetical home, somewhere in the order of 12,800 kWh/year, or roughly 100% of the building’s electrical energy consumption. You also get the added bonus (for additional cost) of energy storage with this system, which is a considerable advantage over some conventional domestic solar panel arrays.

    If this estimate is accurate, that should provide a payback period (the time taken to recover your initial investment) of about 50 years, give or take. This will likely be closer to 40 years after tax incentives are factored in to reduce your initial capital outlay.

    Another estimate for a 1,700 ft 2 (158m 2 ) roof in California with an electrical bill of 150 per month came in at 39,000 before incentives for a 6.13-kilowatt system. It should be noted that this quote was generated in 2022 and for a different state, so costs likely vary for that reason.

    You should also remember that energy costs from the grid are likely to rise over time, so the true payback will likely be much shorter, ignoring any maintenance and cleaning costs of course.

    We’ve chosen this square footage as it is about the average size of a new family home in the United States.

    To put that into perspective, installing a similarly sized conventional solar panel array would cost around 26,000 before incentives. Using the same statistics as above would give you an equitable payback of between 15 and 22 years, depending on tax incentives.

    However, remember that the estimated lifespan of conventional solar panels is also roughly 25 to 30 years, so you would probably need to replace the array after a few decades.

    It should be noted, however, that such estimates should be taken with a pinch of salt. The final figures will likely vary widely depending on where your home is located if you were to actually order an installation.

    This is especially the case for conventional solar panel installations and you are always advised to source several quotes from recommended installers before authorizing any work.

    Any and all costs for such installations should also include any planning and design work required prior to the installation. This will not only ensure the costings are as accurate as possible but also discover if your existing roof is appropriate for such an installation.

    The latter is less relevant for Tesla solar roofs, as these tend to be a direct replacement for your existing roof covering.

    slate, tile, roof, difference, residential, solar

    You should also note that costs are likely to vary over time as labor, consumable, and material costs will fluctuate, given the current economic climate. There may be other costs, too, such as various local authority planning requirements, where relevant.

    Solar panels vs. Tesla solar roof: which one is better?

    Generally speaking, on a per watt average cost, Tesla’s Solar Roof is actually pretty reasonable, all things considered. According to some estimates, in the United States, Tesla’s come in at around 1.80 per watt. Traditional solar PV panels tend to cost around 3.00 per watt.

    However, any direct comparison between the two is complicated by a few factors. The first is that Tesla’s Solar Roof is not just some PV solar panels but actually a new roof and some PV panels in one package.

    Traditional solar PV panels are where your roof can handle it, simply mounted to an existing roof without needing to replace it. So, in order to provide a fair comparison, we’ll need to do a like-for-like summing up.

    Slate Vs Tile Roof: What’s the Difference for Residential Solar Users?

    Are you planning to go solar? Your roof might get in your way.

    For homeowners interested in switching to solar energy, understanding if your roof can handle a solar array is critical. Asphalt shingles may be a crowd favorite (90% of homes have them), but roof tiles and slates can better accommodate solar arrangements.

    It’s important to know the difference between a tile and a slate roof before installing solar panels.

    Understanding the Difference Between Tile and Slate Roofs

    The slate vs tile roof debate has been a long-standing dilemma for homeowners planning roof revamps or replacements.

    Slate or tile roof closely resemble each other and are even laid in similar ways. Unless you’re an architect or builder, differentiating between the two based on appearance can be a challenge.

    If you have ever used a roofing cost calculator, you’d know that slates are far more expensive and luxurious than tiles. Slate roofs cost between 10 and 30 per square foot of installation, whereas tiles cost only 8 to 25.


    What is a slate roof, and why is it so expensive? Slate is made from naturally occurring metamorphic rocks. Artificial ones have become common in recent years, but both are expensive.

    Slate is stacked in layers and held together with nails. It requires specialized roofing experts for installation.

    These are a few reasons why, between roof tiles and slates, the latter is more expensive.


    Tiles, usually made from clay or concrete, come in a variety of materials, shapes, colors, and sizes—they are far more versatile than slate.

    Generally bigger in size than slate, tiles can also be interlocked with each other, making them easier to install.

    Compare and Contrast

    Both are heavy roofing materials, and you may need considerable reinforcements when going for either slate or tile roof. But the good news is that whether you choose a slate or tile roof, either option will last long without requiring heavy-duty maintenance.

    The average life of such a roof is 50 years and longer under ideal conditions.

    Roof tiles and slates each have their pros and cons. As for solar compatibility, slate or tile roof—what is the better choice?

    Choosing between types of roofing materials can be tricky.

    Choosing Between Slate and Tile Roofing

    Consider the following factors before starting the roof installation process. This will help you decide between a slate or tile roof.


    Slates are natural insulators, in addition to being waterproof, wind resistant, and inflammable. Even artificial slates have these qualities. Therefore, various types of roof slates can reduce overall energy consumption. These are also far more environmentally-friendly than asphalt shingles.

    Once installed, slate provides excellent grip to solar panels—the mounting remains steadfast. Slate roofs with solar panels are the best combination for areas that experience snow.

    Tiles share these qualities with slates. There are many different types of roof tiles available in the market, and all are durable and provide good insulation.

    So in the slate vs tile roof debate, both fare well in optimizing energy consumption.

    These are highly sturdy roofing materials. After your solar panels are installed, they will not need extensive maintenance.

    Ease of Installation

    Tiles have a significant advantage over slates in terms of installation. Slates are highly susceptible to damage from direct impact. Each one must be carefully removed before mounting the brackets for the solar panels.

    Installing solar panels on a tiled roof is similar, but not nearly as complex. While you can install solar panels on tiles, you need a trained roofing expert for slates.

    Pitch Orientation

    Slated roofs are often very steep, while tiles can be laid at a low angle of inclination. Given that solar panels perform well at an inclination that matches the latitude of your location, you will get better results with tiled roofs.

    Solar systems perform best when laid perpendicular to the sun’s rays. Between roof tiles and slates, tiles let you get as close to the ideal position as possible.

    Slate roofs can be quite steep. Unless you redo it completely, you will have to make peace with a marginal loss in the efficiency of your solar system. Between roof tiles and slates, tiles fare better in this respect.

    However, as long as you can orient your panels towards the south (for the northern hemisphere) and north (for the southern hemisphere), your solar panels will perform very well.


    Tiles have a definitive cost advantage over slates in the slate vs tile roof debate.

    Slated roofs are expensive. If you are considering reroofing or repairing before installing solar panels, you will spend more if you have slates. Labor costs may be higher because slated roofs require highly trained experts. Only solar roofing companies specializing in it can do the work.

    Your budget should be one of the biggest deciding factors between roof tiles and slates. Going solar is already cost-intensive, so having a slated roof can blow a bigger hole in your


    Under ideal conditions, roof tiles and slates are long-lasting.

    Slates can even last for 100 years! Though tiles are also durable (30 to 60 years), they don’t compare to the reliability of slates.

    But weighing the cost factor, opting for tiles over shingles or slates is best because they provide better value for money.

    AMECO’s Quality Roofing Solutions Can Help

    AMECO can help you with comprehensive roof installation services. From composite shingle roofing replacement to tile roof replacement, there are a plethora of solutions and services to choose from.

    In addition to providing the best-in-class roofing solutions, AMECO has also partnered with Hover to offer customers a 3D home builder. This tool allows homeowners like you to understand which roof materials and colors best work for them. The wrong roof can drive up the cost of going solar and delay your plans. Let AMECO help you get started on the right foot. To know more, visit the website.

    Solar Shingles: Turn Your Roof a Power Source (5 Brands)

    In the U.S., residential solar installations have been continuously increasing during the last few years, reaching 1GWDC in the Q4 of 2021.

    This solar energy adoption is driven by many factors, such as the cutting-edge technologies that are being developed, like instance solar shingles.

    Out there in the market, there are many solar shingle manufacturers. To help you decide which brand and product is best for your needs, we chose 4 different solar shingle companies as an alternative to Tesla solar shingles. For each brand, we will check out the products they offer, breaking down their characteristics and more importantly let you know if a solar shingle might be a good match for you.

    Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made from our affiliates through links in this article. (Learn )

    slate, tile, roof, difference, residential, solar

    At are solar shingles and how do they work?

    Solar shingles are basically solar cells that convert the sun’s radiation into usable electricity, but also, they work as the roofing material for your home. These roofing solar cells are commonly shaped into shingles or tiles which are seamlessly arranged to provide structural support for the house roof and other types of buildings.

    Using solar shingles allows you to have a roof that achieves two functions: generate clean energy and give your home, office or any other of your buildings, an aesthetic look.


    Solar shingles or tiles are made of solar cells that are commonly manufactured using semiconductor materials, such as monocrystalline silicon and copper-indium-gallium selenide. The cells are assembled in bands or strips to form the shingle or tile shape.

    In addition, since solar shingles are quite thin, this allows them to have greater flexibility and be lightweight.

    How do solar shingles work?

    Solar shingles or tiles perform as roofing material for your home. The main idea is to combine the solar cells with the roof sheathing rather than mounting solar modules on top of the shingles.

    Solar shingle’s basic principle works just the same as with conventional solar panels. In other words, the PV cells absorb sunlight in order to produce a flow of free electrons, which results in generating an electrical current that can power electrical equipment. The difference between solar shingles and solar panels is mainly their construction.

    Why should you choose solar shingle technology?

    In order to help you analyze whether choosing solar shingles for your photovoltaic system is the right option, we summarize and list the pros and cons of having them:


    • Perfect solution for those cases in which a roof replacement is required.
    • Elegant and sleek design provides a futuristic look to your roof.
    • No obstructions from solar panels will be visible on the roof.
    • No external wiring that could be exposed to damage and cause potential hazards.
    • No weak spots on the roof from roof penetrations as with conventional solar systems.


    • Higher upfront costs and lower return of investment (ROI) than conventional rooftop solar panels (unless roof is to be replaced).
    • Solar shingles generally have less energy efficiency than standard solar modules.
    • Few companies perform solar shingle installation.

    What is the average cost of solar shingle technologies?

    The amount of money you are going to pay for installing solar shingles in your roof is going to depend on your energy usage, the conditions, and age of your roof, the solar shingle manufacturer, and other factors.

    However, the cost of going with solar shingles can go anywhere from 20,000 to 70,000 whereas Tesla’s solar roof is generally located in the high-end scenario.

    Reviews of the best solar shingle brands

    Tesla’s Solar Roof

    Elon Musk presented the Solar Roof back in 2016. Since then, the product has gained huge popularity across the U.S. and other countries.

    It’s clear that the Solar Roof provides a futuristic and sleek look for homes and other types of buildings. Although, the Solar Roof is quite an expensive product and still not as efficient as conventional solar panels.

    Tesla’s Solar Roof consists of a rooftop built with solar shingles that contain solar cells. There are two types of shingles used in the final product design: the active ones, those which produce electricity, and the inactive ones, which just act as a roofing material. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using the Solar Roof.


    • Aesthetics: Solar Roof offers 4 different styles of tile. All have a modern and distinguished looking design.
    • Durability: It is claimed to be resistant to hail, wind, and fire, as well as to mechanical forces. Solar Roof is backed by ANSI standard tests.
    • Warranty: Offers a 25-year tile and power and weatherization warranty.
    • Renowned brand: Who is not excited to have a product of a brand like Tesla? Claimed to be one of the leaders of a zero-carbon emissions future.


    • High upfront Cost: Compared to building a new roof or replacing an existing one plus adding a regular solar system mounted on the rooftop, it can be 2 to 3 times more expensive to buy the solar roof of Tesla. Depending on the complexity of your roof, you could end up paying a total of somewhere between 40,000 to 70,000 to install the solar shingles.
    • Low ROI: Depending on many factors like your energy usage habits, the size of the system, your location, and others, the solar roof may have a very low payback in a 25-year lifetime compared to conventional solar systems. In some cases, it could simply be not economically viable.

    Considering the previous facts, it would be interesting to look for possible alternatives to buy and install solar shingles. Let’s check out some of them.

    CertainTeed Solar Shingles

    Another important brand that has been leading the roofing technology in the US for a long time is CertainTeed. It offers two different product alternatives related to solar shingles.

    Design Choices

    • Apollo Shingle ll: This design has solar shingles that can be installed in a new or existing asphalt shingle roof. The result is a combination of regular asphalt shingles and active solar shingles.
    • Apollo Tile ll: This product offers a more integrated design by using tiles that are embedded to a new or an existing concrete tile roof.


    In both Apollo Shingle II and Apollo Tile ll systems, 14 high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells are used in every tile/shingle with a power rating of 70 watts per piece. The conversion efficiency of the shingles and the tiles are 17.2% and 17.8% respectively. In addition, both have an operating temperature that can go anywhere between.40˚C and 90˚C.

    Both systems are relatively easy to install, they are placed directly into the roof sheathing using standard deck screws, just as conventional asphalt and concrete tiles are installed.

    Their weight is much less than conventional tiles at three pounds per square foot. over, they are long-lasting withstanding up to 250 pounds per square foot. Also, they are waterproof and can resist high wind velocities of 140mph.


    Apollo II provides all-black solar shingles which look like suitable solar stripes or bands placed over the roof.

    On the other hand, Apollo Tile II matches the profile of flat concrete tiles. These tiles look like black solar laminate with a custom-colored frame that can complement a wide variety of earth-toned concrete tile colors.


    The cost might change depending on your energy requirements, the difficulty of installation, your roof inclination, and roof age. However, some estimations are shown in the following table.

    ProductCost per watt

    These figures are estimated and subject to changes depending on the specifics of the project, which can elevate the costs by 25%.


    CertainTeed offers a 25-year limited power warranty claimed to be all-encompassing. The coverage includes 25 years on installation workmanship, PV cells, microinverters, and mounting system. Also, comprises 12 years on optimized inverters, 10 years on wind, and 5 years on data monitoring hardware.

    Suntegra Solar Shingles

    Another important player in the solar roofing industry is Suntegra, which claims to give a 2-in-1 roof and solar solution by providing solar cells that generate electricity and a roofing material that protects your home or building. It gives installers a cutting-edge way to integrate solar directly into the sloped roof of a house, commercial building, or carport.

    Additionally, Suntegra products are regarded to be constructed with 50% fewer materials than conventional rack-mounted PV systems and thus, they might be an alternative to adjust efficiently to your budget.

    Available Options

    • Suntegra shingles: Like the Apollo ll system, Suntegra also includes a solar shingles that are placed on a new or existing roof composed by asphalt shingles.
    • Suntegra tiles: Similar to the Apollo tile design, this system integrates to the existing concrete tiles that are inserted in combination with inactive concrete tiles. They can also be used when a new roof is to be built.


    The solar shingles of Suntegra offer 3 different models with a range of power output between 105W and 114W. All of them use 24 monocrystalline cells per piece, capable of achieving an electrical efficiency from 15.9% to 17.2%.

    On the other hand, Suntegra tiles have lower efficiency than the shingles, ranging from 13.9% to 15.1%. Also, the tiles have 16 monocrystalline cells per piece.

    Both tiles and shingles have a maximum wind rating of 130mph and a maximum static load rating of 112 pounds per square foot or 5,400Pa. In addition, the temperature operating range is the same as the Certainteed product (between.40˚C and 90˚C).


    Both Suntegra shingles and tiles offer a low-profile, all-black, and pleasing-looking. They are characterized for being a discrete installation, almost hidden and barely noticeable from the ground level, which makes them an elegant design for any home or building.


    Just as we did with the CertainTeed shingles and tiles, estimations on the cost are shown in the table below, which are subjected to variations depending on the conditions of your roof, energy requirements, and location.

    ProductCost per watt


    For both shingles and tiles, Suntegra offers a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year power output warranty.

    Forward Solar Shingles

    In the few recent years, Forward startup company has had significant growth in the solar shingles market. Forward offers an engineered integration of the roof and the solar cells by the means of state-of-the-art technology and a unique aesthetic that matches the classical U.S. home.

    They offer their star product called Forward Metal Solar Roof, claimed to be a cost-effective and efficient solution that harvests a great amount of clean energy while it gives a sleek and futuristic appearance using shining metal standing seam type of roof. The system comes in 8 different possible colors to cover all requirements.

    It has a non-solar portions cost of 9.75 per square foot and a 3.75 per watt cost related to the solar parts, which are quite competitive compared to the previous brands mentioned. Also, it has a weatherization warranty of 30 years.

    The product is claimed to achieve an energy density of 19 watts per square foot while having an excellent thermal performance by the means of a passive ventilation system, which optimizes the heat dissipation and the airflow between shingles and your roof deck.

    Additionally, this design is claimed to be reliable, robust, long-lasting, and can withstand powerful mechanical forces. The most interesting fact about Forward is that they are probably the only valuable brand available that offers a solar-roof integrated solution based on metal standing seam roof type, making it perfect not only for homes but also for garages, barns, and other industrial types of roofs.

    Luma Solar Shingles

    Luma Solar is another important interesting solar shingle company that has been gaining momentum for many years in the US. It’s recognized by having solar shingles products with a high rate of electrical efficiency while also having a futuristic, seamless, and luxurious looking. Luma offers results in your house that have combinations between active and inactive solar shingles.

    The price changes depending on the conditions, roof complexity, energy requirements, and others. However, estimations set the average cost of the solar shingles of Luma at 4.5 per watt and could go up to 38 per square foot.

    Additionally, it offers a 25-year limited power warranty at 80% and a 5-year limited product warranty.


    Luma Solar Roof claims to have solar shingles with an incredible conversion efficiency of 22,1%, which is even higher than standard solar panels. It uses 16 monocrystalline 80W cells per shingle.

    It handles a temperature operation range between.40˚C to 85˚C, having a great thermal and airflow management that maintains excellent levels of energy yields.

    Additionally, every shingle weighs 19.8 lbs., and they are designed to withstand mechanical forces of 2,400 Pa for static wind loading and 5,400 for static load snow loading.


    Luma offers a distinguished good looking for your house, not only because of its futuristic appearance but also because of the Matte black finish, which gives a sleek line.

    Are these “solar shingle technologies” right for you?

    All the products mentioned above will provide an extraordinary aesthetic view for your home. Not to mention that some of them will offer the functionality of performing as the roofing material and act as the structural support by the means of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV).

    Replacing roof or just adding solar?

    If you are only looking for a solar PV system, installing solar shingles in the roof of your home can be an interesting alternative to go with if your requirements are more focused on aesthetical objectives than on cost-effective and efficient goals. From an economical point of view, it is still hard for solar shingles to compete with conventional solar panel systems.

    However, in cases where changing your roof is necessary, solar shingles may present themselves as a more economically viable choice that combines both approaches into one for a cost similar to a solar panel system plus roof installation. In some other cases, replacing your roof may not be what you need, but the structural engineer may require you to replace the roof to make the solar panel installation feasible. If you find yourself in a situation like that, you may want to reconsider going with a solar shingle installation.

    New Home?

    Another situation where solar roof shingles can definitely be a great choice is for new houses. Choosing solar shingles since the construction process can drastically reduce the cost impact, increase your ROI, and ease the installation process.

    Compare Quotes!

    In any case, if you are interested in solar shingles, it is advisable for you to get a quote for your roof-specific layout and compare it with other conventional solar panel systems plus roofing installation quotes. This will allow you to find out which approach would best suit your needs. However, keep in mind that in the end, the house will always look better with solar shingles, which is a plus to consider for the value of your property.

    Shingled solar panels: A must-consider solar shingle alternative

    Finally, shingled solar panels are an innovative technology which is carrying out a wide range of advanced features in terms of solar energy optimization.

    They should not be confused with solar shingles, which are part of BIPV, whereas solar shingled panels are more similar to standard solar panels but with cells that are cut into several strips that are subsequently connected to form modules by the means of an electrically conductive adhesive (ECA).

    slate, tile, roof, difference, residential, solar

    Major developments on this technology have taken place in the residential sector so far. Solar shingled panels are a promising technology that is much less expensive and more efficient technology than solar shingles.

    Final Thoughts

    We have examined multiple solar shingle products and brands with the objective to show you some of the best brands available in the market today. We learned that a solar roof shingle investment is a solution that must balance aesthetics and functionality where the new shingles of your roof will actually be generating electricity.

    However, we also learned that the decision to install it must be balanced with the costs for such type of project since they can be considerable depending on the house. New houses or cases where a roof replacement is required due to structural stability reasons, are probably the best ones for solar shingle installations. In these cases, the economics can definitely be balanced with the benefits of a high-end finish.

    Solar shingles still have a long way to go and with the variety of products available for multiple roof types that go from shingles, concrete standard tiles, and even metal standing seam, there are plenty of choices that you can consider to start generating clean energy and potentially improve the look for your house. comment

    Last updated: February 15, 2022

    Solar Roof Shingle Tiles in California

    In this day and age, you can install solar systems on your own property. Some may believe the only type of panels you can have is the big, black, gridded solar array. But Tesla recently announced solar panels that mimic roof tiles – and they look amazing!

    This page will outline the new solar panels you can install directly on your roof and the battery system that comes with it.

    Why Solar Shingles (Instead of Traditional Panels)?

    Why install the panels on the roof? Well, first, you have a roof. Houses in neighborhoods with small lots may not have the space for large ground-based arrays. Or maybe you use your entire property for activities. With a roof array, you can keep all that space; you won’t be using the land directly beneath your house, anyway. That is for your house. Another reason is security. While it is unlikely people are going to steal your solar panels, they will be even less likely if you’ve mounted the panels on your roof. If you have children, they won’t be able to climb on the panels without first climbing on your roof.

    The main reason to install them on the roof over installing them on the ground, though, is for added sun exposure. If you have a ground array and they are fixed in position and rotation, you can only get maximum exposure when the angle of the sun is perpendicular to the panel surfaces. The problem with ground arrays is, on the ground, if there is vegetation or other houses, you will have objects obstructing the panels’ exposure. Roof-installed panels will be at either the same height or higher than surroundings. Therefore, your panels won’t be blocked by shadows, and you can have a more highly-exposed surface to capture as much energy as possible.

    The Costs of Solar Shingles

    Just a few years ago, it was still prohibitively expensive to install solar panels. They were meant for companies and governments, not individuals. Tesla’s technology advances, though, put them at the individual’s cost level. It isn’t just for companies anymore. Now you too can have a solar system. Tesla hasn’t announced prices, but Consumer Reports analyzed what the upper limit could be for Musk’s “cheaper than normal roofs” claim to remain true.

    They pegged the price of roof installations at 16,000 for clay tiles, 20,000 for asphalt, and 45,000 for slate roofs. They assumed about 200 in electricity savings per month over the life of the panels. For Musk’s announcement to remain true, the final cost of the roofs had to remain below 70,000 to 100,000, depending on the replaced material. California gets plenty of sunlight and the summers can be rather warm. There is a lot of energy to capture and plenty of air conditioning and other systems to use electricity. But do you use up to 200 a month on average?

    According to Electricity Local, the average monthly price of an electric bill in California is 88, which makes California the 42 nd most costly state. In other words, it is the 8 th cheapest. That puts the annual cost at 1,056. That is barely half the bill used for the CR analysis. At first glance, it seems that Californians won’t have as much of an incentive to adopt solar roofs as other states. However, note that Californians rank 48 th in energy usage, so if you happen to be like most non-Californian Americans (you love to suck up energy), you will be the one dragging that average up. In that case, you may be a good candidate for a solar roof. CR assumed about 167/month for the bill. At 88, Tesla is going to need introduce the tech at a much lower price to entice the average Californian (at least if you only look at it as a financial issue).

    A much poorer return is offered by leasing and buying solar panels via a loan, but no money is required up front. Another disadvantage of leasing is that credits and payments do not go to the owner of the system, but then neither do bills for any maintenance or repair. Note that the graph only shows savings for the leasing option over the course of 20 years, as that is the term of a standard lease.

    California Financial Incentives

    Even with low energy bills, California is one of the best states for solar adoption. Before even getting to California, note that the US federal government will allow you a 30% tax credit for systems installed before 2020. In that case, you can think of the cost as 30% lower. Furthermore, California will let you exclude 100% of the value of your system from your property taxes, so you can mark up your property if you sell it, but you won’t be paying taxes on it.

    Perhaps the best incentive offered by California is net metering (see infographic directly below). It is especially useful for those very low energy users who have large roofs. Net metering means if you produce more energy than you use, you can sell that energy back into the grid for others to use. In California, utilities are required to purchase any excess energy your produce. That word, required, is incredibly helpful for you 88/month energy bill customers: you will likely be able to sell energy back to your utility and get a cash return. Make sure to check with your utility what their payback rate is.

    What Roof Styles Are Being Offered?

    Some like the sleek black or blue glass look of traditional panels. However, many people find them to be rather uninviting. Big, black, gridded glass panels are maybe too modern for some. To solve this problem, Tesla has introduced four different styles. They are the gold-ish Tuscan Glass, a flat black Slate Glass, a normal asphalt single imitating Textured Glass, and finally another black Smooth Glass. The best part is, from the street, you won’t be able to really tell the difference. Cruise over to Tesla’s website to see the different colors and shots from different angles.

    It is likely in the future that the Swanson Effect (see infographic directly below) will come into play and more styles at lower will come to market. If the styles don’t suit you, then wait a few years and you can probably get a nicer one (don’t wait too long or you will lose the federal tax credit incentive, which drops to lower percentages as the years progress).

    The Construction Makeup Of The Shingles

    What are these things made of? Is there a warranty? The warranty is expected to be 25 years, about the length of the life of the photovoltaic cells themselves. The photovoltaic cells are manufactured by Panasonic, and the company has developed cells that still produce energy on hot days.

    In the past, energy capture would drop as temperatures rose, so places perfect for solar, like Southern California, would get too hot and the panels didn’t work well. Now they do. The next layer is the colored glass that give the styles their distinct… well, style. The final layer is tempered glass, which is highly durable and resistant, so don’t worry about something scratching your 70,000 roof and damaging it.

    slate, tile, roof, difference, residential, solar

    What About At Night Or Cloudy Days?

    What about at night? The new Tesla home battery pack, the Powerwall 2, will be packaged with the roof. During the day, you can power your home and store the excess in your battery. At night, you can draw on that battery to power whatever you use at night. The plan is a 100% self-sufficient system that requires no external energy input. That means not only can you say you are 100% green, you don’t have to take energy from the utility at night and reduce your net-metering payback.

    The solar age is finally here, and California, with its long and consistent sun exposure, is a great place to go solar. Your roof is likely the best place on your property to install a residential solar system, and you now can get attractive panels that look like a real roof. The price is probably going to be steeper than a normal roof, but you’ll save money on electricity and there are plenty of incentives to help you finance the project. After analyzing your own situation, if you think solar will work, now is the time to install.

    If you’d like a quote on a solar shingle roof, get started here:

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