solar shingles for roof

Let’s talk about old school solar panels and the newer, cooler, solar shingles. These babies can also generate electricity from the sun, just like their bulky counterparts. But with way more style.

Solar shingles blend into your roof without drawing attention. You’ll love solar shingles if you think about saving money and looking stylish at the same time.

Which is better, solar panels or solar shingles? While solar panels are like that loud friend who’s always in the spotlight. You can’t go wrong with solar shingles. They’re like that cool, lowkey friend.

So if you’re ready to step up your energy game and go undercover with solar shingles, keep reading.

Key takeaways from solar shingles

  • Solar shingles have the same mechanism as solar panels. Unlike standard solar panels, solar shingles are smaller and more eye-catching.
  • Not all solar companies or cities offer shingles.
  • Solar shingles might cost the same as solar panels when you replace your roof.
  • At the moment, solar shingles are less efficient than solar panels.
  • Not all roofers know about solar shingles.

Incompetent workers will take a long time to install solar shingles. As a result, labor costs go up. Look for a company that’s done solar shingles before to keep labor costs down. You can contact our experts to get a free roof inspection.

How do solar shingles work?

Solar Shingles for Roof

A solar shingle is a thin sheet of photovoltaic (PV) material. Traditional asphalt shingles are replaced with solar shingles, which produce electricity from sunlight. The size and shape of solar shingles are similar to roof shingles. Sheets like these replace or cover existing roof shingles. They get solar energy and generate electricity. Like standard solar panels, solar shingles can save you money on your energy bill. 

How to choose between solar shingles and solar panels

Solar shingles, like solar panels, take in the sunlight and convert it into electrical energy. David Snyder, CEO of Nova Home Buyers, LLC, stated that:

“You can save energy and be eco-friendly at the same time with a solar roof”

There are still a few things to consider when evaluating solar energy for your home: 

1. Size

Solar shingles come in nearly same sizes and shapes as standard roofing shingles. They measure 12 inches wide and 86 inches long and weigh about 13 pounds per square foot. Just an average.

The thin and sleek tiles have a thickness of less than an inch. It takes around 350 tiles to install a solar roof.

2. Materials

Copper indium gallium selenide is commonly used in solar shingles. Because of this compound, they’re thin and flexible. On average, this semiconductor has a conversion efficiency of 10%–12%.

Some shingles, on the other hand, are made of monocrystalline silicon. Due to its higher efficiency rate of 15% to 20%, monocrystalline silicon is worth the extra cost. 

3. Output

We all want to save money on those high utility bills, so let’s get down to the details. We all love a good deal, right? Installing solar isn’t a joke – we’re talking big savings here!

The power output of solar shingles varies from 13 to 63 watts. So a normal residential roof installation may reduce utility bills by 40% to 70%. By installing more tiles on your roof, you can produce more energy.

4. Appearance

You may prefer the appearance of black solar panels on the roof. But solar shingles can fit well on your concrete or asphalt roof. Solar shingles usually look better than big solar panels. This is especially true if only the edge is covered with shingles to make it effective.

5. Service life

Roof-mounted solar panels and solar shingles both have long lifespans. In most cases, over 20 years. Solar shingles last for a long time. It depends on the manufacturer and how they’re installed. You’ll also find a variety of warranties on solar shingles.

There are warranties for solar shingles that can last for decades. But durability warranties last a lifetime. 

6. Efficiency

Solar shingles are more energy efficient than solar panels. Solar panels can be angled and positioned to capture sunlight at the best angle. But the shingles stay where they are. Adding more shingles to the roof can absorb more solar energy. You’ll spend more money if you use more material.

7. Installation

If your solar shingles are in good shape, it might take up to a week to install them. Solar shingles may take longer if you’re rebuilding or repairing your roof first. It’s not like solar panels, which are easy to install. 

8. Durability

You’ll get more durability with solar shingles than with solar panels on a roof. The solar roof tile is built into the roof itself, not on top of it. Because of this, they’re more resistant to extreme weather, hail, and falling debris.

The best thing about solar shingles is that they’re fire mresistant, unlike solar panels. 

9. Cost

As there are fewer shingle companies, solar panels are less expensive than solar shingles. This will depend on the company you pick, how complicated your roof is, and whether you need a new roof.

With solar shingles, you’ll pay less per square foot than with regular roofing. You might not be able to cover your entire roof with solar shingles. If your roof is big or you use a lot of power, the number might vary. 

The Pros and Cons of Solar Shingles

It’s an innovative product with a couple of advantages over regular solar panels. For example, their appearance and the significant cost savings as a result of roof replacement. Check out these benefits and drawbacks of solar shingles: 

Pros of installing solar shingles:

  • Asphalt and concrete roofs work particularly well with shingles.
  • They are long lasting and weather resistant.
  • Solar shingles are less difficult to maintain and clean than solar panels.
  • They are inexpensive if you are constructing a new roof.

Cons of installing solar shingles:

  • Solar panels have existed for a long time, but solar shingles are relatively new. As a result, not every solar company manufactures them.
  • Technology is also continually changing. Pre-existing roofs might not be suitable for solar shingle installation. Whereas in certain cases, the entire roof must be rebuilt.
  • They are more costly than solar panels.
  • Presently, they are limited in style and color.
  • DIY is not possible because it needs expertise in solar shingle installation.

How many solar shingles do you need?

Using a formula, determine how many solar shingles are required to light a house. The formula takes into account factors like your house and how much energy you use.

Installing solar shingles on your present roof depends on the size of your roof. You’ll save a lot on your electric bill if you do this.

Simply put, the more shingles, the higher the energy production. Therefore, the larger the roof, the bigger the potential savings.

Are solar shingles the right choice for your home?


Multiple factors play a role in determining the answer. When considering solar shingles, keep the following two aspects in mind:

  1. Solar shingles are more expensive, but they are more attractive than solar panels.
  2. Solar tiles aren’t as productive as traditional solar panels. But they may still produce enough energy to cover around 40 to 70% of your electricity expense.

The installation cost of solar shingles

It costs about $25,000 to $75,000 to install solar shingles on an average U.S. home. This comes out to about $15 to $35 per square foot. Solar cell shingles, on the other hand, charge by the watt, not by the square foot. Depending on the brand, solar shingles cost from $3.50 to $8.00 a watt.

Most solar companies don’t disclose their prices online. Industry data shows solar shingles cost 15%–25% more to install than standard panels. Solar panel installation costs about $24,000, but solar shingle installation costs over $30,000. Of course, these are averages.

Solar shingles are a lot more expensive than asphalt shingles. You’ll save money on electricity because you’ll be creating your own power.

You can get rebates and financial incentives, like the 30% FTC (federal tax credit) and net metering credits


solar shingles for roof

The cost of solar panel installation has dropped. But solar shingles are still pretty new, so they’re more expensive. Solar shingles can be worth it, though, if your solar installer says you need a new roof. This is because you won’t have to pay for both roof replacement and solar panels.

A solar roof shingle looks better than a solar panel. So you’ll save on electricity, and your house will be worth more. Also, you can get financial incentives for switching to solar, which will lower your installation costs. Book our free solar consultation to find out more.