Are Solar Shingle Roofs worth the Up-front Investment?

Solar shingles are a relatively new type of shingle that works both as a roofing material and to capture energy from the sun to produce electricity for a home or business. Solar shingles were first introduced commercially in 2005, but the high price tag was a deterrent for many property owners. More recently; however, the cost of purchasing and installing solar shingles is dropping, making the investment not only affordable, but preferable over other types of roofing materials and solar products.

Solar shingles have many advantages over the typical solar arrays that environmentally conscious consumers have used in the past. Both work to harness the sun's energy to produce clean, abundant electricity for a property, but shingles are far more aesthetically pleasing, particularly for suburban homeowners. Solar shingles lie almost flush with other types of roofing shingles, and can be tinted to match existing roof colors. Though they cost a bit more to purchase and to install, they will continue to pay for themselves over their lifetime and they are now comparable to the cost of a typical solar panel setup. Solar shingles have a lifespan of 20 – 25 years, but they require very little maintenance when they are installed correctly by a certified roofing contractor. They can also withstand extreme weather conditions like any other superior roofing product.

Solar shingles can be installed in combination with other types of roofing materials such as asphalt shingles, slate or ceramic tiles, and even metal roofs. It is not necessary to place solar shingles over an entire roofing structure in order to capture enough energy to run a typical home or business. There are a few factors that property owners will want to consider prior to installing a solar shingle roof:

  • Determine how much sun the property gets in each season by using an online calculator
  • Identify the southern facing section of the roof (if there is one) – this is the best exposure for maximum energy capture
  • Calculate the cost of energy for the property for the prior two years
  • Check with both federal and state tax authorities to explore the available tax credits

Though individual characteristics of a property can affect the overall cost of a solar shingle roof installation, in general, a solar roof will have an upfront cost of around $20,000. This figure does not take any available tax credits into account, which can be as much as 30 percent of the total cost in some areas. Some manufacturers predict that property owners can save from 40 – 60 percent on their electric bill, though it may be possible to produce 100 percent of a property's energy needs. Because solar shingles can be connected into the grid, it is also possible to sell excess electricity back to the power company.

Solar roofing shingles are a clear choice for the energy conscious property owner who likes to save money. The initial investment for a solar roof will pay for itself over time while operating cleanly in the environment. For more information, contact Osmus Roofing

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