Solar Panels Vs. Solar Shingles: What You Need to Know

Several homeowners are now keen on going green and saving energy for their homes. What better way to do this than to shift to solar energy use. Currently, there are two popular ways the world of technology is offering homeowners the ability to switch from traditional energy sources to the power of the sun. The two hot options on the market today are solar panels and solar shingles.

solar shinglesSolar panels are the typical panel-typed black flat surfaces found installed on roofs and open spaces. On the other hand, solar shingles have the same technology but are often sleeker and make for a more aesthetically pleasing style when installed. Solar shingles are commonly shaped like a regular asphalt roof shingle and can be installed with your current roofing shingles. Solar shingles work best with the use of a solar inverter. These are also referred to as building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), as it immediately utilizes the energy of the sun to produce energy for your home.

Both a solar panel and a solar shingle can add to your home’s overall value. While the upfront installation cost may be expensive, you can also save in the long run through tax incentives and rebates. You can also use both to apply for a solar energy incentive, which is now available in many states. A reliable solar contractor in your area will be able to help inform you of all the potential state and local rebates or company incentives that may help lower your overall solar panel installation costs.

If you’re interested to learn more about the differences between both, you’ve come to the right place. Here, you’ll gain insights into some of the most common differences between solar panels and solar shingles.

Which Is More Affordable?

Depending on the amount needed to power your home, solar roof shingles are usually more expensive than solar panels. However, the market is now evolving into something more consumer-friendly, and more suppliers are now making solar roof shingles cost-competitive. For instance, if you know that you also need to fix up your roof, you can easily go for the roof shingles instead, as these can take the place of roof tiles. In doing so, you’re making a more budget-friendly choice.

If you decide to utilize solar energy for your property, it’ll be easier to choose solar shingles if you’re planning to replace your roof in the near future, because you can easily incorporate them into your new roof design.

Homeowners often inquire how much is the difference of a common rooftop solar panel installation cost and a solar shingle installation. No matter which system you choose, solar energy can still reduce your monthly utility bills by an average of 50% or more.

  • Solar panel installation costs around $18,500 for a 6kW solar pv system that could power a 1,500 square ft. home. Residential solar panels are usually sized at 3kW to 8kW and can cost anywhere from $9,000 and $26,800 in total installation costs.
  • Solar shingle installation costs around $22 per square foot depending on how many solar shingles you plan to install and the amount of power needed, you may expect to spend anywhere from $40,000 or more to have this stylish new technology installed with the rest of your costs to install a new roof iif needed.

Which Looks Better?

Solar roofing shingles have become the crowd-favorite if we are talking about aesthetics alone. They are your best option as they just look like your ordinary roof shingles, only shinier. Therefore, it can blend more effortlessly with your roof. It doesn’t look like the conventional solar panels, which are obviously more visible and bulkier, too.  Moreover, some homeowners see the traditional solar panels as bulky and can obstruct the overall look of the house reducing curb appeal and sellability overall.

Which is More Energy-Efficient?

Solar panels are more energy-efficient than solar shingles as you can tilt them to the direction where the sun shines the most. This mechanism enables them to catch more sunlight. On the other hand, a solar shingle depends on its location on the roof, plus the roof’s orientation to receive sunlight. This might not be an issue for some depending on the pitch and size of your roof and how the sun hits your home daily.

Are Solar Panels and Solar Shingles Easily Available in the Market?

Yes, both solar panels and solar shingles are easily available in the market. Solar roof shingles have been gaining popularity since 2005, in which many residential, commercial, and industrial properties have already been using solar panels in the early 2000s.

However, you may need to find a specific contractor that knows how to properly install solar shingles in order to get them on your roof. Even at present, the most common choice to go for is the solar panel, simply because it’s also more widely known, just like the other alternative too of commercial solar lights. Make sure to research and choose the best contractor by researching them and also speaking with them directly about their capability to install new solar roof shingles.

Which Is Easier To Install?

If you’re also simultaneously going through a re-roofing project, solar shingles are often the best choice. These are faster to install and you can replace your usual asphalt shingles with solar shingles. In essence, you’re also saving on the expense. Generally, this can be completed within half a day.

Solar panels are more common, but they also take a much longer time to install. These are mounted on top of your roof. The advantage with solar panels, however, is that should you one day decide to move, you can also remove the panels and re-attach them in your new home.

Choose Green: Switch to Solar Energy

Whether you choose solar panels or solar shingles, your effort to switch over to an eco-friendly power source is already commendable. While this may cost you quite a substantial amount upfront, the savings moving forward are also great, which makes the installation cost worth it. Plus, it’s always a good idea to switch to more eco-friendly alternatives. To ensure that you get the best possible choice for your needs, obtain multiple solar cost quotes from various suppliers to see the different features of each brand and the pricing of each type. While a traditional solar panel differs from a solar shingle with its look, the energy it generates, and the cost of each piece, the goal of helping to save the environment is what matters the most.