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