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Solar Panel Roof Shingles | Comparing Solar Roof Shingles and Solar Panels

Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels

Solar panel roof shingles are a common option for building a new house. Roof solar shingles have aesthetic and sleek architectural features, which make them a more attractive option than traditional panels. Although they are slightly pricier, solar shingles provide the same cost-effectiveness as traditional panels when compared to other energy sources.

What is the cost of solar roof shingles?

Solar roof shingles are more expensive than traditional roofs. They also take longer to install and require more maintenance.

According to Solar Reviews, a solar roof costs somewhere between $14 and $19 per square foot, labor costs are also associated with installation. To compare with, typical solar panels cost somewhere between $4 and $10 per square foot.

However, the price of solar roof tiles has fallen over time and should continue to do so. As more panels are put into service, economies of scale for manufacturers will increase, reducing costs. If building-integrated PV becomes more common, installation times could be greatly reduced as well.

Installation timeline

Solar shingles need to be installed during the construction of a building. This can have negative implications for builders and other companies involved in construction. The solar tiles often require longer installation times than traditional panels, which could cause scheduling problems. Additionally, a roof needs to be watertight before solar shingles can be installed, requiring extra work that will slow down the project’s timeline further.

Efficiency and power output

Several factors impact solar panel efficiency, including whether or not the tiles are covered in shade and how much power they generate during low-light conditions. Solar shingles will often have lower wattage than rooftop panels.

Shingle warranty

Solar PV shingles have warranties that can range from 30 to 50 years, much longer than the typical 20-year lifespan of a traditional roof. This is due to less degradation caused by weather and other natural phenomena over time as well as a more robust design overall. The price of repairs can be expensive if damage occurs under these circumstances though, so owners should consider this before making the switch from traditional solar panels to solar shingles.

Types of solar shingles

Solar shingles can be made from silicon, cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), or a combination of these materials. Often, solar panels and solar shingles employ the same material within their construction.

Types of solar PV panels

The three most common types of solar panels are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous. Amorphous silicon panels are less efficient than the other two but have a longer lifespan. Monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient but also the most expensive. Polycrystalline solar panels fall in the middle of these two in terms of price and efficiency.

Tesla Solar Roof

solar panel roof shingles

Tesla solar roof is one of the top competitors of solar shingles. It is made of tempered glass and is a tile-based product. It is one of the most efficient solar products on the market. Tesla also offers a lifetime warranty on its solar roofs.

Certainteed is also one of the top companies that offer solar shingles. The two solar shingle options from Certainteed are the Apollo II and the Apollo Tile II. The Apollo II and Tile II systems are meant to be used as an addition to your roof. You won’t need a full roof replacement, as with the Tesla solar roof shingle.

SunTegra solar shingles are another option. However, SunTegra isn’t at the same level of efficiency as Tesla or Certainteed’s solar shingles. A low-profile solar power system that resembles a roof tile-shaped solar panel.

SunTegra solar shingles are made of glass and use copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) technology to capture energy. Each tile comes with a microinverter installed, which works in conjunction with the existing power grid to provide power to the home’s traditional electrical meters.

Solar shingle installation: how many do you need?

Solar roofing shingles are considered an efficient way to harness solar energy – however, if you’re thinking about hosting a photovoltaic (PV) system on your roof, then chances are that you don’t just want to install solar shingles in one single row. If you’re thinking about installing solar shingles on your home, you’re probably wondering how many solar tiles you need.

The number of solar cells needed for each home varies according to the available sunlight at the site and the amount of power required by the household. A typical rooftop PV system can be designed to meet 15-20 percent of a household’s electricity needs. This means that five kilowatts of solar panels will generate enough electricity to provide most houses with all their electrical power during sunny days. However, this figure does not take into consideration the amount of electricity consumed during cloudy days, at night, and in winter.

Solar shingle installation on new roofs will happen at the same time solar shingles are installed. However, if you’re replacing an older roof, then you’ll have to remove the old tiles first.

Solar shingles cost?

Solar shingles are more expensive to install than solar panels, owing to the number of materials required. Solar roof tiles have an average price of $15,000 to $20,000, but Tesla shingles could cost more than $70,000 and take weeks to install. However, these high costs may be offset by the solar shingle’s lifetime value. A solar roof with Tesla shingles is expected to last twice as long as a regular roof – up to 50 years.

Advantages of solar shingles

Solar roof shingles are a fantastic device, with a few key benefits over traditional solar panels: their attractiveness and potential cost savings when compared to a roof replacement.


Solar shingles are designed to last 25 – 30 years, while solar panels are only designed to last around 20. This means that solar shingles will need to be replaced less often, saving on both installation and replacement costs.


Solar panels are often seen as an eyesore – they’re large, dark, and boxy. Solar shingles, on the other hand, can be integrated seamlessly into your roof, with a variety of designs to choose from.

Cost-competitive with a roof replacement

If your roof is nearing the end of its life, it may be more cost-effective to install solar shingles than to replace the entire roof.

Solar shingles offer a number of benefits over traditional solar panels. However, they are more expensive to install and the market is still not as saturated as that for PV systems, so professional installation may be a better option.

Disadvantages of Solar Shingles?

Slow Installation

Tesla solar roof, one of the more popular types of solar shingles, can take up to five weeks to install. This is significantly longer than the two days it takes to install a traditional solar panel system.

Limited Availability

Solar shingle technology is still in its early stages, so availability may be limited. If you’re looking to install a solar roof, it’s best to do your research early to see if solar shingles are available in your area.


Solar shingle roof is more expensive to install than solar panels, owing to the number of materials required. Solar roof tiles have an average price of $15,000 to $20,000, but Tesla solar shingles could cost more than $70,000 and take weeks to install. However, these high costs may be offset by the solar shingle’s lifetime value. A solar roof with Tesla roof shingles solar is expected to last twice as long as a regular roof – up to 50 years.

Lower Productivity

Solar shingles are attached to the roof at an angle and slope that match the existing structure. The solar tiles will be less efficient if a portion of the roof has little or no sunshine. Solar panels, on the other hand, can be positioned and adjusted as needed to take advantage of all available light.

Frequently asked questions about solar roofs

What are the best solar shingles?

The best solar shingles are usually determined by the customer’s needs. For example, if you live in a region that has frequent storms and hail then thin film or tempered glass shingles may be the best option. If you live in an area with a lot of snow and ice, then tempered glass or steel shingles may be better suited to your needs.

What are solar roof tiles?

Solar roof tiles (also known as solar shingles) are tiny solar PV panels that are created to resemble the look of conventional asphalt shingles. When sunlight falls onto them, photovoltaic cells convert it into electricity that can power your home.

What sets Tesla solar shingles apart from other solar shingles on the market?

Tesla solar panel shingles are made with premium quality materials and have a longer lifespan than most other solar shingles. They’re also the most aesthetically pleasing option on the market, as they resemble traditional roof tiles.

How much do solar shingles cost?

Typically, solar shingles cost more than traditional solar panels. However, this solar roofing shingles cost is often offset by the savings you’ll see on your energy bill over time. Additionally, many state and local governments offer tax credit incentives and rebates for installing solar panels, which can further reduce the cost of your system.

How long do solar shingles last?

Photovoltaic shingles usually have a longer lifespan than traditional solar panels system. However, it depends on the quality of the brand you purchase and other factors like shading, temperature exposure, and proper installation.

If you would like to know if we can install solar and put thousands of dollars in your pocket for doing it, use the form below to submit your electric bill for a no cost, no obligation evaluation.