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Are solar shingles better than solar panels?

Learn more about the differences between solar roof shingles and solar panels to discover which option is right for you.

Conventional solar panels aren’t the only way to harness solar energy for your home. A new trend in adapting rooftop solar technology to your home is based on the use of solar roof shingles to cover a part or all of your roof. While there are some key differences between solar shingles and panels, both solar power options help homeowners pursue a more eco-conscious lifestyle while saving on utility bills.

Are solar shingles better than solar panels?

Key Differences

Compared to solar panels, solar shingles feature a much lower-profile design. Individually, they are smaller in size, but collectively on the roof can produce the same or more power to power your home. In most cases, the smaller format allows for solar shingles to be placed in areas of the roof that are not appropriate for the larger conventional solar panels. The underlying solar cell technology is similar in terms of how and how much energy is produced, and the overall number of kilowatts of power produced still depends on factors such as location, orientation to the sun, shade, and more.

Let’s take a look at a few more differences between solar roof shingles and solar panels in terms of design and installation.

Solar Design

Even though both solar panels and shingles are made with similar materials, they are vastly different in terms of design. The primary difference is that solar shingles are also designed to act as a roofing material that is integrated into the roof itself. Whereas, solar panels are an addition to an existing roof and are larger and bulkier. In terms of aesthetic, using solar shingles as part of the roof, makes for a pleasing aesthetic. If you’re looking to increase curb appeal while investing in a solar option, solar shingles might be the answer. Their sleek design helps them blend in with any roof and they are adaptable to almost any architectural style or aesthetic.

Installation Methods

The popularity of solar shingles is increasing because of the design elements above. However, their installation accommodates the fact that they double as a roofing material and has some similarities to new roof installations. One concern with installing conventional solar panels is the age and condition of the existing roof on which the panels will be installed. If the useful life of the roof is far shorter than the solar panels to be installed, then a new roof needs to be contemplated or maybe the solar decision should be delayed until the roof is replaced. Since solar shingles can also act as a weather-tight roof, they should be considered whenever it’s time for a roof replacement. Solar roofs are the only roofing option that has the ability to pay back the investment. There is a fast-growing number of preferred contractors who have access to in-depth training and certifications for solar roof shingle installation methods. This makes solar roofs more accessible for the average homeowner, especially if a roof replacement is already needed.

Key Commonalities

Despite the key differences between solar panels and shingles, there are a few things that these solar options have in common.

Solar Technology

The solar technology used for solar roof shingles and solar panels is fairly similar. Both feature photovoltaic cells that convert the sun’s rays to energy and connect directly to the power grid.

Energy Incentives

Switching to solar energy of any kind is an investment at first, but it does provide long-term incentives. Whether you choose solar panels or solar roof shingles, you are eligible to receive special solar tax credits at federal level and also at the state and local levels depending on where you live to help encourage your smart investment in solar energy. Depending on the utility in your area you may even be able to sell excess energy produce back to your utility for even greater incentive. In general, you’ll experience long-term savings on utility bills and peace of mind knowing you’re investing in clean energy.

If you’re ready to make the switch to a solar roof, or simply want more information regarding solar roof shingles, contact SunStyle.

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