3d rendering of eco house at night.

Solar Shingles: Are They Worth the Investment?

Are you interested in switching to solar? Harnessing the power of solar energy is not only good for the environment, but it’s also good for your wallet. While traditional solar panels are what come to mind when you think of solar, solar shingles are another option for homeowners looking to add value to their property. This guide will discuss what solar shingles are, the differences between shingles and panels and how much solar shingles cost on average.  

What Are Solar Shingles?

Solar shingles, or solar roof tiles, are a relatively new technology designed to look like ordinary asphalt shingles on your roof. Solar shingles and solar panels work in a similar way as they both absorb the sun’s rays and convert the light into thermal or electrical energy. They are made of slim photovoltaic (PV) sheets that either overlay or replace the existing shingles on a roof. Like ordinary roof shingles, solar roof tiles protect your home from weather and other elements. Solar shingles are not only energy-efficient, but they offer a more aesthetic alternative than traditional solar panels.

Solar Panels v. Solar Shingles

While both solar shingles and solar panels harness and use solar energy in the same way, there are a few differences that will help you decide between the two options:


Solar shingles blend right into the material of your roof. Because of this many homeowners prefer this aesthetic over large, bulky solar panels. Overall, solar shingles create a sleeker look compared to traditional solar panels, particularly since only certain parts of the roof will need to be covered with shingles to be efficient. 


In terms of efficiency, solar shingles are eclipsed by solar panels for a number of reasons. Solar shingles cannot be adjusted as needed to achieve the best angle to capture the sun’s rays. Solar shingles are stationary once they are installed. You can always add more shingles to the roof to obtain more solar energy, but this comes with an increase in cost. Because of this, solar panels are much more efficient in capturing useable solar energy.


The one major advantage that solar shingles have over solar panels is overall durability. Panels sit on top of the roof, while solar shingles are a part of the roof. Because of this, solar shingles can withstand harsh weather conditions and remain more resilient than solar panels. 


Like any solar project, solar shingles can be a pricey endeavor depending on how much square footage you need to cover. The size, slope and pitch of the roof will greatly affect the cost of installing solar shingles. Typically, solar shingles are more expensive than solar panels. 

Cost of Solar Shingles

The average cost to install solar roof shingles is between $60,000 and $75,000 for a standard-sized, single-story home. Or, $21 to $25 per square foot of your home. Ultimately, the cost of solar shingle installation depends on the size, slope and pitch of the roof as well as the energy needs of the home, and the manufacturer and installer of the shingles you chose.

Solar shingles are a relatively new product, and the technology is still evolving. Solar shingles are more aesthetically pleasing and durable than regular solar panels, but solar panels remain more efficient and cost-effective. As the technology for solar shingles evolves, we can expect the efficiency to increase as costs decrease. If you have any questions about solar shingles or any of your solar needs, contact The Solar Professionals today!

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