There has been a lot of interest over the last several years on developing green home features. Here in the Sarasota and Venice area, utilizing solar panels seems an obvious choice, given our copious amounts of year-round sunshine.
While solar panels have been available for many years, they were often considered bulky and expensive. The new solar shingles, which have solar capability built right into the roofing material, seem as if they would be a great alternative to traditional panels. You may have heard of this new innovation in solar roofing options, But are they worth it?
Advantages of Solar Power
- In Florida, a complete solar array can pay for itself in just 4 years, one of the best ROIs in home improvement. After that break-even point, you are saving money month after month – while helping the environment.
- A traditional solar system can save a homeowner more than $50,000 over it’s functional life, by cutting energy bills down to almost nothing.
- 50% or more of the system cost can be reimbursed via discounts, rebates, and tax credits – at least with the current state of the industry. These perks can change at any time.
- Solar energy panels greatly help the environment by significantly impacting and minimizing consumption of oil fuel.
What are Solar Shingles?
Solar shingles – or solar roof tiles – negate the need for additional solar panels by incorporating solar technology into the roofing material itself. Small, rectangular panels which feature innovative thin-film technology are strung together, designed to look like traditional asphalt roof tiles.
The biggest benefit of solar shingles is that they are aesthetically attractive, providing the green benefits of solar energy without the bulky additions to your roof. However, consumers and installers have been reluctant
to embrace the technology. Solar shingles, although lower profile and more attractive, are more expensive and less efficient than traditional panels.
According to roofing professionals, solar shingles are not easy to install. Solar shingles are roughly the size of asphalt shingles, and their small size is not capable of hiding the wiring necessary for energy production. Therefore, each shingle has pre-drilled holes through which the wires will be run through to the attic space – requiring a lot of holes drilled into your roof. Generally speaking, even if the roofing company installs the shingles perfectly, every roof penetration represents an increased possibility for a future leak.
Solar Shingles or Solar Panels?
So, which is your better option? Practically speaking, solar shingles only provide an aesthetic advantage over panels. The motivating factors for choosing solar energy are cost savings and green energy production, and shingles are inferior in both regards.
However, many homeowners would still prefer a sleeker, more modern look when it comes to solar panel systems. There are more contemporary options, such as thinner, black panels which have a lower profile. Be sure to ask your local roofing contractor what his recommendation for solar product would entail.
At Kingdom Roofing, we are committed to quality roofing, including all tangential roofing elements. If you are considering a solar panel system to save money and reduce your footprint, give us a call. Our team will help you to understand the impacts that such a system can have on your roof. As the technology and design behind solar shingles improves, we expect to see more Venice area residents adopting this solution for their home.