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Solar Roof and Solar Shingles – What You Should Know

Note: We are currently not taking on any solar installation projects- this article is for educational purposes only.

Solar roofs and solar shingles are becoming increasingly popular amongst homeowners wanting to offset their energy bills. Originally, solar panels were the only option for roofs, but new photovoltaic solar shingles have made it possible for homeowners to get varying amounts of solar energy unobtrusively in their homes.

Options in Solar Roofs

Essentially, there are two types of solar roof materials available today: solar panels and photovoltaic shingles (solar shingles). Solar panels come in a variety of different thicknesses and appearances, but most install roughly the same way. Newer panels are available in matte finishes that make them less obtrusive than older, reflective panels.

Solar shingles are installed amidst the acrylic shingles on the rest of your roof. They are designed to help blend in with the rest of your roof and help avoid the detraction from curb appeal that solar panels can bring.

Not for All Roofs

Not every home and roof is really designed to have solar panels or solar shingles installed. In order to get the most of the installation, your home cannot be surrounded by cliffs, trees, tall buildings, or other types of shade that could block the sun’s rays. Ideally, you need to be able to install the panels or shingles in an area that gets sun over the majority of the day. This may mean that you need panels that can angle off the roof slightly to help catch the sun, if the roof itself is not properly aligned.

Roof Replacement or Add On

One of the biggest factors that will help you determine what type of solar roof you install is what condition your roof is currently in. If you are planning on installing an entirely new roof, it makes the most sense to opt for solar shingles, rather than panels. The shingles are installed at the same time as the acrylic shingles, and in the same way. You determine how much energy you want; a few shingles could be enough to power your power tools, while a partial roof covered in them could cover most of your electricity costs during the day.

If your current roof is in good condition and you do not intend to install a new one any time soon, you need to consider solar panels. These install on top of your existing roof, either flat against the roof or raised slightly to help capture the sun’s rays. Like solar shingles, you have options of how many panels you have installed, but you may have less flexibility in where you install them, depending on the angle and pitch of your roof.

Potential Rebates

Depending on the manufacturer you choose to purchase from, your new solar roof may be eligible for tax credits or rebates. To qualify, you need to have the roof installed by a certified roofing contractor, and you may need to install a minimum amount of panels or shingles. Speak to your electric company, visit EnergyStar.gov or contact us below to find out more information in your area.


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Adam is wonderful to work with. Very knowledgeable roofer; he always communicated with us promptly and professionally. We had had one significant rain storm since the repairs, and YEA! no leaks! Thanks.

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