Solar Shingles: How Much Do They Cost To Install In 2023?

Solar energy has become a popular choice for homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint and lower their electricity bills. While traditional solar panels have dominated the market for years, solar shingles have emerged as an innovative and aesthetically pleasing alternative. But ever since they were invented, homeowners have hesitated to take the plunge and invest, worried about how much solar shingles cost.

In this blog post, we will help you understand the world of solar shingles, covering everything from:

  • How they work
  • The pros and cons
  • How much they cost
  • Finding a qualified roofing contractor to install them

Think we can’t convince you to give solar shingles a try? Think again!

How Solar Shingles Work

solar-roof-shingles-on-a-house

Solar shingles, often referred to as photovoltaic (PV) shingles, work on the same fundamental principle as traditional solar panels. They harness the power of the sun to generate electricity for your home. However, the key difference lies in their design and installation.

Design

Solar shingles are designed to seamlessly integrate with your existing roof. They are made of thin-film solar cells, which are typically less efficient than traditional silicon solar panels but are much more discreet. Solar shingles come in various designs and colors, allowing homeowners to choose a style that complements their roofing material.

Installation

Solar shingles are installed directly onto your roof, replacing or intermingling with your current roofing material. This integration is one of their most significant advantages, as it eliminates the need for bulky panels mounted on top of your roof.

Once installed, solar shingles capture sunlight and convert it into electricity through the photovoltaic cells embedded within them. This electricity can then be used to power your home, or excess energy can be stored in batteries or sent back to the grid.

The Pros and Cons of Solar Shingles

Wondering if solar shingles are right for you? Here are a few pros and cons to keep in mind.

✅ Pros:

  • Aesthetic Appeal: Solar shingles are more visually appealing than traditional solar panels, as they blend seamlessly with your roof. They maintain the overall appearance of your home and are often mistaken for regular roofing material.
  • Energy Efficiency: While solar shingles are generally less efficient than traditional panels, they can still significantly reduce your electricity bills and provide a reliable source of clean energy.
  • Durability: Solar shingles are designed to withstand the same weather conditions as standard roofing materials. They are durable and can last for decades with proper maintenance.
  • Integration: Solar shingles eliminate the need for bulky solar panel installations, making them a great option for homeowners who want a more discreet solar solution.

❌ Cons:

  • Cost: Solar shingles tend to be more expensive upfront compared to traditional solar panels. However, long-term savings can offset this initial investment.
  • Efficiency: As mentioned earlier, solar shingles are typically less efficient at converting sunlight into electricity compared to traditional panels. This means you may need more shingles to generate the same amount of power.
  • Installation Complexity: Installing solar shingles can be more complex and time-consuming than traditional panels. It requires specialized knowledge and experience to ensure a watertight seal and proper integration with your roof.
  • Limited Availability: Solar shingles are not as widely available as traditional panels, so finding a qualified installer may be more challenging, depending on your location.

How Much Do Solar Shingles Cost?

The cost of solar shingles varies depending on several factors, including the size of your roof, your location, and the specific brand and model you choose. On average, solar shingles can range from $12 to $15 per square foot, including installation. Here’s a breakdown of the costs:

Material Costs:

Solar shingles themselves can cost anywhere from $8 to $10 per square foot. Keep in mind that premium or high-efficiency models may cost more.

Installation Costs:

The installation costs for solar shingles are higher than traditional solar panels due to the complexity of the installation process. Expect to pay an additional $4 to $5 per square foot for labor and materials. This includes the cost of removing your old roofing material if necessary, installing the solar shingles, and ensuring a waterproof seal.

Additional Costs:

  • Inverter: Solar shingles require an inverter to convert the DC electricity generated by the shingles into AC electricity for use in your home. Inverters typically cost between $2,000 and $4,000.
  • Battery Storage: If you want to store excess energy for use during cloudy days or power outages, you’ll need a battery storage system, which can add $5,000 to $10,000 or more to your overall costs.
  • Permitting and Inspection: Depending on your location, you may need to obtain permits and pay for inspections, which can vary widely in cost.

It’s essential to obtain quotes from multiple solar shingle installers to get an accurate estimate for your specific needs and location. Additionally, be sure to inquire about available incentives, tax credits, or rebates that can help offset the cost.

10 Steps for Finding a Qualified Roofing Contractor

roofing-contractor-on-solar-roof

Installing solar shingles is a specialized task that requires experience and expertise in both roofing and solar technology. Here are some steps to help you find a qualified roofing contractor for your solar shingle installation:

1. Research and References:

Start by researching local roofing contractors who have experience with solar shingle installations. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or neighbors who have had solar shingles installed.

2. Check Credentials:

Ensure that the contractors you’re considering are licensed, insured, and bonded. This is essential for your protection and to guarantee the quality of their work.

3. Request Quotes:

Contact multiple contractors to request quotes for your solar shingle installation. Be sure to provide them with detailed information about your roof size and your energy needs.

4. Ask for References:

Ask potential contractors for references from past customers who have had solar shingle installations. Contact these references to inquire about their experiences with the contractor.

5. Evaluate Experience:

Choose a contractor with a proven track record in solar shingle installations. Experience matters when it comes to ensuring a successful and trouble-free installation.

6. Verify Warranties:

Inquire about warranties for both the solar shingles and the installation work. A reputable contractor should offer warranties to protect your investment.

7. Understand the Process:

Ask potential contractors to explain the installation process and provide a timeline for completion. This will help you understand what to expect during the project.

8. Compare Quotes:

Carefully review the quotes from different contractors, taking into account the total cost, warranty, and any additional services or guarantees offered.

9. Seek Financing Options:

If the upfront cost is a concern, inquire about financing options or leasing agreements that may be available through the contractor or other financing institutions.

10. Sign a Contract:

Once you’ve selected a qualified contractor and reviewed the contract thoroughly, sign an agreement that outlines all project details, costs, and timelines.

Install Solar Shingles With Ease

Solar shingles offer an attractive and eco-friendly solution to harnessing solar energy while maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your home. While they come with a higher initial cost and some efficiency trade-offs, the long-term benefits in terms of energy savings and reduced environmental impact can be substantial.

But the success of your solar roof shingles really all depends on the quality of the installation. When you want a roofing contractor that you can trust to create an efficient solar roof, you want Monarch Roofing. Contact us today to learn more about our solar roof options!

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