Are Solar Shingles the Future of Residential Solar Power?

Unlike solar panels, which have been around for decades, the first commercial solar power shingles hit the market in 2005. However, despite being new technology, shingles are blooming in popularity.

The trend is evident through the growing demand that forces solar shingle companies such as Tesla to increase their production and installation rates.

The availability of commercial solar shingles means that panels are no longer the only PV device that can generate residential solar power. Although panels remain the dominant choice in the sector, the following signs suggest that shingles will be the dominant residential solar power system in the upcoming years.

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    Cost of Solar Power Shingles Will Reduce

    Installing solar shingles or solar roof tiles might not be the preferred option financially. Solar shingles currently cost more than panels because they remain a scarce commodity, and due to the small amount of shingle installers available, installation costs are high as well.

    However, installing shingles might make financial sense to those planning on replacing their roof. By choosing shingles, they combine the roof and solar power installation into a single task, cutting the cost of materials and labor. Federal solar incentives and tax credit for solar products also include shingles, which will further help offset the costs.

    Despite shingles costing more at the moment, there is no doubt that the price will reduce over time. The increase in demand will eventually lead to mass production, reducing the cost of each shingle produced, and consequently, the final price.

    At the moment, the same few companies that manufacture shingles also perform the installation of solar shingle roofs. The installation cost will reduce as the technology becomes common and more shingle roof installers join the market. This will increase competition, forcing installers to lower prices to attract clients.

    Read: Solar Roof Shingles: A Guide for Homeowners

    No Need for a Separate Roof

    Unlike solar panels, solar shingles do not require a separate roof during installation. They look like traditional asphalt, making it possible to use them as the primary roofing material. The ability of shingles to double as the roof and generator of solar energy will give them an advantage over panels in the future.

    Nearly every new home today is provided with a solar power system. The practice has become popular because more people are now interested in sustainable homes. However, installing a roof and adding solar panels can be costly. It requires separate materials and different professionals to carry out the two jobs, which increases the cost significantly.

    Read: Solar Roof Shingles vs. Solar Panels

    To avoid the high costs, future homeowners and developers will opt for shingles instead of panels. The total cost will reduce because a shingle roof will serve two different purposes. There will be no need to buy different types of materials and contract the services of two different firms.

    The Need for Aesthetically Pleasing Homes

    Many homeowners are reluctant to install solar panels because they interfere with the appearance of the house.

    Panels are large and are installed several inches above the roof, making them noticeable from afar. This affects both the beauty of the roof and the house as a whole. Residential solar roof shingles solve this problem.

    Unlike panels that are installed after the construction of the house is complete, solar shingles are part of the house design. They are put into consideration right from the start of the project.

    Lumar solar power Shingles
    Lumar Solar Shingles

    Solar Shingles resemble traditional roofing tiles in design and are placed flush with the roof, so they do not affect the design in undesirable ways. Once installed, it is challenging to differentiate a shingle roof with any other traditional roof. Instead of altering the appearance of a roof, shingles improve it, giving it a sleek look.

    Manufacturers of shingles like Tesla are also working hard to come up with a wide range of colors that resembles the traditional roofing tiles. In the future, solar shingles will have the ability to match with any installed roof color. The variety will give homeowners and developers a variety of options when building new houses.

    Solar Power Shingles are Light

    One of the disadvantages of solar panels is their bulky and heaviness. Because of this, they can only be installed on stable roofs, which makes people reluctant to install a solar power system. Those with homes built years ago fear that mounting panels might damage the vulnerable roof, leading to more costs.

    In contrast, shingles are light because they come in smaller sizes. On average, they measure 12 inches wide and 86 inches long. Shingles do not add additional weight to the roofing structure when installed, eliminating the fear that the roof might cave in and cause damages or injuries.

    The light nature of shingles also makes the installation process easier. They can be lifted on the roof and fit into the required position without difficulty. Because installation is easy, the project is completed within a short time, saving on time and reducing labor costs.


    Residential solar roof shingles will continue to grow in popularity over time. Eventually, homeowners and developers will prefer shingles over panels for their lower costs, construction convenience, sleek aesthetic, and easier installation.

    John Gathuita
    John Gathuita

    John is an electrical and solar technician, writer, and blogger who specializes in renewable energy, sustainability, and technology. He seeks to inspire more people to adopt solar energy and to work towards a sustainable future.

    • John Gathuita

      John is an electrical and solar technician, writer, and blogger who specializes in renewable energy, sustainability, and technology. He seeks to inspire more people to adopt solar energy and to work towards a sustainable future.