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Solar Power Roof Shingles-Are They The Future?

How Can Solar Power Roof Shingles Prepare Your House for the Future

More ways to make use of alternative energy sources have become available within the last several years and are becoming more accessible. Technology has developed and people are finding more efficient ways to incorporate the use of nontraditional forms of energy. One such type that is finding its way into more households is solar energy. While originally limited to large, raised panels bolted to a roof or lined in a yard, companies have created a more seamless form of inclusion in solar power roof shingles. These solar panel tiles become a part of the house, rather than a bulky addition, keeping the panels out of the yard and allowing for an aesthetically pleasing rooftop.

What Are Solar Panel Tiles

Solar power roof tiles are small solar panels that are lined on a rooftop in the replacement of traditional asphalt shingles. They are then connected to the house’s power, adding solar power to the grid. For the time being, it’s unwise to depend completely on the power from solar panel tiles, especially during the nighttime when they’re not active, but it will still greatly reduce the use of traditional power sources. Furthermore, leaps and bounds in technological development could soon lead to houses being able to run completely off of solar power in areas that are not “off grid”.

Typically, solar power roof tiles are installed when a house’s original tiles or shingles need to be replaced. This means that they are easily blended into the roof when they are installed with the other shingles, but it also leads to an increased cost to an already needed project, rather than an added one for a completely unique addition.

Solar Power Roof Tiles Compared to Solar Panels

As previously stated, one of the benefits to solar panel tiles is that they can be included within the shingles on the roof of a house, making them more inconspicuous and visually appealing than traditional solar panels. Regular solar panels may also be installed in the yard, taking up more space.

However, a benefit that solar panels have is that large panels can be placed to face the ideal direction to get the most sunlight in the area. Meanwhile, solar power roof shingles are limited only to the directions a house’s roof faces. Depending on the house, though, this may not be a problem.

Pros

If you’re reading this, you may be wondering what kind of benefits you can get from installing solar panel tiles on your house’s roof. Some reasons to consider doing this include:

  • You can save money on your energy bills. Estimations say that a household can save 40-60% on their energy bills by incorporating the use of solar power roof tiles.
  • There is a federal tax incentive of 30% for using solar power. Many states also offer sizeable tax credits that can help with covering the price of installing the solar panel tiles.
  • It’s the ideal time to invest since prices for solar panels and tiles are dropping while tax incentives still remain.
  • Alternative sources of energy such as solar power are green and clean, reducing your carbon footprint and benefitting the environment in the long run.
  • Solar power roof shingles are a visually appealing technology that won’t add awkward bulk to your house and can actually be quite attractive. Companies such as Tesla are working on solar power roof tiles that look incredibly slick and appealing.
  • Installing now can prepare your house for the near future when the house may be able to run completely on solar power.

Cons

To every positive, there is a negative. Some of the less appealing aspects of installing solar panel tiles include:

  • You’re limited to your home’s roof. Whether it’s the size being small for the right amount of tiling or the roof not facing the right direction to get the most amount of sun, some houses may just not be the best for solar power roof shingles.
  • Your home’s location may also be imperfect for solar power. Some areas don’t get a lot of sun for part or all of the year. Receiving a consultation or using online estimates based on your house can show if you are in an optimal location that can receive as much solar power as you would like.
  • While using solar power can save you a good amount on your energy bill and your state may give you a tax rebate, solar panel tiles are still relatively new, and many newer technologies can be pricier than more traditional technologies.

What Should You Do

The answer to this question is ultimately up to you. However, there are a few steps you can take to help you make up your mind before you make a final decision.

  1. See if your state offers any tax benefits and how much. In general, there’s a 30% tax credit for solar power, but other incentives may apply according to your state or county.
  1. Check with your utility provider. There can also be some benefits included through your utility. Also, metering policies can differ.
  1. Get the dimensions of your roof. Figure out the exact size of your roof, as well as its angle and what directions it faces.
  1. Find out how much sun exposure your house gets. You may already have a good understanding of this based on which side of the house you need to close your blinds on more often. Remember that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and tends to hit more directly on the south side of your house.
  1. Get a consultation. There are also methods to get online quotes quickly with the information above, but having an installer get an exact idea of your house will give you the most accurate estimation of the price of installation for solar panel tiles, as well as how beneficial it would be for your energy costs.

Once you have all the information available, you can decide if the initial costs will be worth the amount of money saved on your energy bill and gained through tax credits. Also, keep in mind that this is an ever-developing field with many people and companies working to make this technology more efficient. It may be very near in the future when all houses are equipped with solar panel tiles of some type.