Solar Roof Shingles

The Benefits, Drawbacks and Energy Savings of using Solar Roofing Shingles

What are the benfits and drawbacks of using solar roof shingles? How much can you save? What is the difference between using solar shingles and using solar panels on your roof?


picture of solar roof shingle

Solar shingles are also called Building-Integrated Photovoltaics or BIPV, are made from flexible solar cells that mimic the appearance of a traditional asphalt shingle.

These shingles look like "regular" shingles, but they help you to save on your energy bills! They are designed with thin solar cells that capture sunlight.

The energy from the sun is converted to DC current, sent through an inverter box, and then converted to AC electricity that is used to power your home.

Why should you consider the option of BIPV shingles rather than simply installing a few solar panels on your roof? There are several advantages that this type of shingle offers that solar panels cannot.

Benefits of Solar Roof Shingles

There are a number of significant advantages to ousing solar powered roof shingles.

  • Roofers or builders can integrate solar shingles onto a roof along with asphalt shingles simply by using a hammer and nails

  • The appearance is seamless and aesthetically pleasing when completed. Some people do not like the appearance of solar panels on their roof.

  • Efficient for capturing sunlight and powering your entire home

  • No need to cover the entire roof in order to benefit

  • Solar shingles are built into the roof as the roof is replaced or as construction is underway, so there is no need to add additional materials and labor to your costs

  • Solar powered shingles have the potential of generating enough power for your home and additional energy to sell back to the power company so others on your grid can benefit

  • Clean energy, and pollution-free power

  • Typically come with a 20-year warranty

  • Same size as a regular shingle

  • Can save you on electricity

  • Environmentally friendly and beneficial

  • Extremely durable and a worthy investment

  • Can save on building materials and the cost of labor and construction

Drawbacks of Building Integrated Photovoltaic Shingles

  • Expect to pay $10,000 to $25,000 for roughly 200 to 400 shingles integrated into your roof right along with your asphalt shingles.

  • Manufacturers are still working toward producing a more economical and efficient solar shingle

  • Certain roofs won't qualify - flat roofs or those with a poor slant

It's important to note that there are significant tax credits and federal assistance that can slash the costs of putting BIPV roof shingles onto your home.

Depending on where you live, these tax credits could cut your materials costs by nearly 30%. For example, in some areas of the United States, if you have state and local credits available to you, the cost of adding about 200 to 400 BIPV shingles to your home could be lowered from $25,000 down to to $10,000!

Do you need to cover your entire roof to reap the benefits?

The answer is no, it is not necessary to cover your entire roof with solar roof shingles in order to reap the benefits. No matter how many solar shingles on your roof, each of them will be soaking up free sunlight which translates into free electricity to power your home!

How Much Will You Save?

You could save from 40 to 60% on your electricity bill by adding these shingles to your home. Some experts say that solar shingles could pay you back in utility savings even quicker than a residential solar water heater!

Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels

What is the difference between using solar shingles and a solar panel?

Solar powered shingles are integrated seamlessly into the roof, so they don't attract attention like solar panels added to the existing roof.

Solar panels are still a viable and attractive option for homeowners, especially if you have no plans of building a new home or replacing your roof any time soon. These can be added at any time and can usually be added to any style of home.

The cost of solar shingles for a roof is about $25,000, whereas the cost of a few solar panels is a lot less than that, at about $10,000 or less, especially if you do it yourself.

Resources for Solar Roof Shingles

Right now there aren't a whole lot of solar shingles out there, but I've managed to find what I think are some of the best quality ones.

Solar Sphere is an established and well known solar company that I've been in contact with personally. They are experts in solar energy and use it themselves, and know how to find the most effective solar panels at the best price.

They offer solar shingle panels, solar shingles and roofing membrane, and several different types of flexible laminate solar shingles.


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