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Solar Shingles Installation Cost Guide
Updated: September 27, 2022
Solar shingles are a type of solar energy system designed to look like traditional roofing but can power your home with electricity. Solar shingles are an ideal option for homeowners looking for an environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to generate electricity because the initial investment is recouped within five to seven years through energy savings. They are also eligible for federal and state tax rebates, reducing the overall cost of adding them.
The national average cost for installing solar shingles is between $30,000 and $60,000. Most people spend between $48,000 to install monocrystalline solar shingles on a 2,000 sq.ft. roof. At the low end of the spectrum, you can install CIGS solar shingles on a 500 sq.ft. area of a roof for $10,500. At the high end, you can pay up to $90,000 to plan, design, and install monocrystalline silicone solar shingles on a 3,000 sq.ft. roof from a luxury brand and buy a backup generator.
Solar Shingles Cost
|Solar Shingles Installation Cost
|National average cost
2022 Notice: Federal Solar Tax Credit
In 2006, the U.S. Congress introduced the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which offers a federal income tax credit for homeowners that install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, which includes solar shingles. The solar system has to be installed in a home in the U.S. during the tax year the claim is made. Congress regularly updates the ITC with new percentages and amounts a homeowner can claim. When the latest extension of the ITC was introduced, it provided a 30% tax credit for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. After 2032, the value of the solar tax credit drops. The tax credit for solar panels installed in 2033 will equal 26%. Systems installed in 2034 will receive a credit equal to 22% of installation costs. The solar tax credit expires completely for residential solar installations in 2035 unless Congress decides to extend them. Solar tax incentives offered by the federal government can make a significant difference in the upfront cost of installing a solar panel system. When calculating your costs to install a solar system, consider the tax benefits you can receive.
What Are Solar Shingles?
Solar shingles are a type of solar panel that can be used in place of traditional roofing shingles. They are photovoltaic (PV) cells, which means they convert sunlight into electricity. The amount of electricity generated by solar shingles varies depending on the size of the unit, the amount of sunlight exposure, and the efficiency of the cells. Solar shingles are made from high-efficiency thin film solar cells sandwiched between two layers of glass. They are semi-transparent, which allows them to blend in with the rest of the roof. In addition to generating electricity, solar shingles protect the roof from UV rays and weather damage. Although solar panel shingles cost more than traditional solar panels, solar shingles are becoming increasingly popular due to their aesthetics and durability.
Solar Shingles Cost per Square Foot
The average cost of solar shingles is $21 to $25 per sq.ft. installed. The size of your roof is an important factor in the price of the installation of solar shingles. Smaller roofs require less material and time to cover, so the costs will be less than installing shingles on larger roofs. However, this only applies to full roof installations. Sometimes, contractors recommend installing solar shingles only on the part of the roof that gets the most sunlight and skipping the area that does not get sunlight. If you only want to cover part of your roof, you need fewer solar shingles and will spend less on the solar shingle project.
Solar Roof Shingles Cost by Roof Size
The solar panel roof shingles cost per square foot is $21 to $25, which translates to $2,100 to $2,500 per square installed. The size of your roof, the amount of sun exposure it gets, and its typical energy usage determine how many solar shingles you need to generate enough power for your home. A standard solar shingle is similar to the size of traditional roofing shingles, about 12 inches wide by 86 inches long. Most homes require around 350 solar shingles to cover the electricity needs. Below is a table with the cost of photovoltaic shingles for the most common roof sizes.
|Shingles Cost (Installed)
|$25,200 - $30,000
|$31,500 - $37,500
|$35,700 - $42,500
|$42,000 - $50,000
|$52,500 - $62,500
|$73,500 - $87,500
Residential Solar Roof Shingles by Type
Depending on the type, the cost to install solar reflective shingles ranges between $21 and $25 per sq.ft. There are two main types of solar shingles: Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide (CIGS) solar shingles and Monocrystalline Silicon solar shingles. CIGS solar shingles, also known as thin film solar shingles, use film technology to generate solar power. They are made from a layer of semiconductor material, such as cadmium telluride or copper indium selenide. The semiconductor is deposited on a substrate, such as glass or metal, and then connected to an electrical circuit. CIGS solar shingles are more lightweight and flexible, so they blend better into the roof. However, CIGS solar shingles have a lower conversion efficiency rate than Monocrystalline Silicon solar shingles, which is around 10% to 12%.
On the other hand, monocrystalline silicon solar shingles are made from silicon crystals, which are cut into very thin wafers. They are then wired together and covered with a layer of glass. They have a very similar appearance to solar panels, with a rigid frame form and size that is proportional to the traditional roofing material. Monocrystalline silicon solar shingles are more expensive but generate more power. Their efficiency rate is 15% to 20% higher than CIGS solar shingles. Below is a table with the costs to install each of them.
|Type of Shingle
|Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
|$21 - $23
|$24 - $25
Solar Shingles Price by Brand
Solar roofing tiles cost between $3 and $9.60 per watt, depending on the brand. Since solar shingles were first introduced, their popularity has steadily grown, and so has the number of companies manufacturing them. In the U.S., several companies offer solar shingles, the most popular being Tesla, CertainTeed, GAF, Dow Powerhouse, Suntegra, and Luma. Each offers a different type of solar shingle quality, capacity, and installation package, which affects the overall cost. Below is a table with the expected costs to install a solar shingle roof with some of the most popular brands.
|Cost per Watt (Installed)
|$3 - $5
|$3 - $6
|$3 - $8
|$4 - $8
|$4 - $9
GAF Solar Shingles
Installing GAF solar shingles costs $3 to $5 per watt. They are a popular roofing company that has a solar shingle line known as Timberline Solar Energy Shingles. These solar shingles are made to be easily installed, so their upper part is made of asphalt, allowing roofers to nail them into the roof as they would regular shingles. Most of GAF’s solar shingles have a power rating of 45 watts.
Suntegra Solar Shingles
You can expect to spend between $3 and $6 per watt for Suntegra’s solar shingles. They manufacture both solar shingles and solar roof tiles, so homeowners can choose which product matches their roofing material. The solar shingles can be attached directly to the roofing to blend with the remaining asphalt shingles. The power rating of Suntegra’s solar shingles depends on the model, with 105 watts, 110 watts, and 114 watts being the three options. Their solar shingles come with a 10-year product warranty and a 25-year power output warranty.
CertainTeed Solar Shingles
The CertainTeed solar shingles price is $3 to $8 per watt. They are another popular shingle roofing company that manufactures solar shingles using monocrystalline technology. They have two lines of solar products: the Apollo II shingles and the Apollo II tiles, both with a power rating of 70 watts. CertainTeed solar shingles can be installed over existing asphalt shingles. This lowers the overall CertainTeed Apollo II cost because you will not have to pay for the old roof tear-off. The solar shingles are backed up by a 25-year limited power warranty.
Luma Solar Shingles
The Luma solar roof price ranges between $4 and $8. Luma is one of the first companies in the U.S. to create a fully-integrated solar roof system. They dub their solar shingles a “luxury product” that can later be upgraded to meet the homeowner’s electricity needs. Shingles produced by Luma have a power rating of 80 watts. They also have the Category 5 Miami-Dade Hurricane Rating Classification, which means they can withstand winds of 200+ miles per hour. In terms of aesthetics, their shingles resemble Tesla’s because they also include inactive shingles with the active ones to blend the roof’s appearance. Luma also offers a 25-year production warranty and a 5-year limited product warranty.
Tesla Solar Shingles
The average Tesla tiles cost ranges from $4 to $9 per watt. The Tesla roof shingles cost more than others since they use solar shingles made from quartz, improving their efficiency and durability. Additionally, the Tesla solar shingles cost includes the complete equipment needed for installation: active solar shingles, inactive shingles, and a Tesla solar inverter. The solar shingles’ typical power rating is around 71 watts. Tesla offers a 30-year power output warranty for their solar shingles, which is important given the high price.
Labor Cost to Install Solar Shingles
Solar shingles are a great way to reduce your energy costs, but they should be installed by a professional to ensure optimal performance. Typically, roofers charge between $3 and $5 per sq.ft. for solar shingle installation, including the connectors, wiring, and electrical inverter required. Some roofers charge per hour at a rate of $40 to $60 per hour. This process requires knowledge of wiring and electricity. An electrician will be needed for this portion of the job, which costs $40 to $120 per hour. For a new roof, installing a solar shingle roof takes around a week to complete, but some manufacturers may take up to two weeks or more. If you are replacing your roof, installing solar shingles may take longer. Before installing new shingles, you may have to tear off the old shingles, which costs $1 to $2 per sq.ft. When budgeting for a roof replacement, it is important to factor in the cost of tearing off the old shingles.
Solar shingles take a lot more time to install because of the complex installation process. First, the installer must assess the job site and determine the best way to install the shingles. This may involve using scaffolding or special equipment, which adds to the cost of labor. The roofers will have to place solar shingles one after the other and have an electrician connect them to your electrical system. Finally, the installer will need to test the system to ensure it works properly.
The cost of labor to install solar shingles varies depending on several factors, including the size of the job, the type of roof, and the experience of the installer. New roofs take a lot less time to complete, so they will also be cheaper to do than solar shingle roof replacements. The pitch and style of your roof affect the cost of installing solar shingles because complex installations require more advanced equipment and tools. These costs add up quickly, so getting an estimate from a qualified installer before you commit to a project is important.
Pros and Cons
Solar shingles are a great way to improve your home’s efficiency and offer many advantages. They are made of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity, which can be used to power your home or stored in batteries for use at night or during a power outage. They can also be integrated into your existing roof, making them less obtrusive and more aesthetically pleasing. In addition, solar shingles can withstand severe weather conditions, so they are an ideal choice for homes and businesses in areas that experience high winds or heavy snowfall. Their weather resistance protects your roof from weather damage. As a result, they may increase the lifespan of your roof, which could lead to savings on repairs or replacement.
Price is the first downside of solar shingles because they cost much more than other PV options. Some models and areas may not be covered by government incentives, so installing a solar shingle roof may not be worth the investment for some homeowners. Replacing solar shingles can be costly because all shingles have to be replaced, not just some of them. Installation can also be more complicated because solar shingles must be integrated with your roofing system. However, the design options are limited, so the solar shingles cannot always blend in with the rest of the roof.
Are Solar Shingles Worth It?
If solar shingles are worth installing in your homes ultimately comes down to the size of the home, its location, and energy usage. According to the latest information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average annual electricity consumption per year for a residential customer is around 10,715 kilowatt hours (kWh), or around 893 kWh per month. Considering the national average electricity rate is $0.16 per kWh, American homeowners spend around $143 on electricity per month or $1,715 per year. Typical solar shingle roof installations lower the utility bills by 40% to 70%, which means your annual electricity cost would be reduced to around $515 to $1,029. This is a savings of $686 to $1,200 per year.
You’re going to save money with solar shingles because right now with the rack round system, you put your shingles on, so you already have your roofing and then you put it on top of it. So you kind of have wasted material underneath. With this, the actual solar piece is the shingle itself, so there’s nothing underneath it other than the normal underlayment that you would do. It’s also very aesthetically pleasing, it’s cost-effective, and it’s easier to install because you can use a typical roofing contractor instead of having multiple specialty contractors on the job.
How Much Energy Can Solar Shingles Collect?
The answer depends on several factors, including the size of the roof, the angle of the sun, and the number of shingles installed. However, each solar shingle produces between 13 and 63 watts of power. A solar shingle roof can produce enough energy to meet the electricity needs of a small home. The amount of electricity solar shingles collect and generate varies depending on the sunlight they receive. If you live in an area with high levels of sunlight, you can expect your solar shingles to produce more electricity than if you live in an area with lower levels of sunlight. As solar technology continues to improve, solar shingles will likely become even more efficient at collecting energy from the sun.
Cost of Solar Shingles vs Regular Shingles
Installing regular roof shingles costs $4 to $55, depending on the type of shingles you want to install, while the cost for solar shingles is $21 to $25 per sq.ft. Solar shingles are a relatively new option that offers several advantages over traditional shingles. They are more durable and efficient than regular shingles and help lower energy bills. Solar shingles are more durable than regular shingles and last up to three times longer. While they are more expensive to install, most solar shingles are eligible for a federal tax credit, which lowers their overall cost. The table below shows the solar energy roof shingles cost vs. installing regular shingles.
|Type of Shingle
|Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
|$4 - $55
|$21 - $25
Solar Shingles vs Solar Panels Price
Solar panels cost $5 to $28 per sq.ft., while solar power shingles cost $21 to $25 per sq.ft. Comparing solar panels vs solar shingles is common because they are both popular methods of harnessing the sun’s energy to generate electricity. Solar shingles are a newer technology that integrates solar cells into traditional asphalt shingles. They are less visible than solar panels and can be installed during a regular roof replacement. On the other hand, solar panels are more visible and need to be mounted on rooftops. But they are more efficient at generating electricity, and their cost has decreased significantly in recent years. The type of solar power fit for your home depends on your budget, your home’s aesthetic, and your energy needs. If you want to generate a lot of power without breaking the bank, solar panels are the way to go. But solar shingles may be the better option if you want a more subtle approach. Here is how much you can expect to spend installing each of them.
|Type of Solar System
|Cost per Sq.Ft. (Installed)
|$5 - $28
|$21 - $25
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Adding a backup generator in your home costs $10,000 to $20,000. The biggest advantage of solar shingles is that they can be used to generate electricity even on cloudy days. However, they cannot store electricity, so a backup generator is needed in case of a power outage. The backup generator stores the collected solar power and uses it when the solar shingles cannot produce or collect more electricity. There are different types and capacities of backup generators. The one fit for your home depends on the size of your home and its electricity needs.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Lifespan. Solar shingles typically have an expected lifespan of 20 to 30 years. Solar shingles can potentially provide homeowners with decades of clean, renewable energy. However, the energy they produce towards the end of their lifespan will be reduced.
- Efficiency. Solar shingles convert sunlight into electricity at a rate of around 10% to 12%.
- DIY. Solar shingles are easy to install. With the right equipment, most homeowners can have them installed in just a few hours. However, a professional installer can ensure that the shingles are installed correctly and properly wired to your home's electrical system.
- Warranty. A professional installer can provide you with a warranty on the work, ensuring that you will be covered in case anything goes wrong. The warranty of solar shingles depends on the specific product, but most are for 20 to 25 years. Some manufacturers offer warranties of up to 30 years.
- ROI. While the long-term effects of solar shingles are not yet known, more people are turning to natural energy sources, so a solar shingle roof will likely add to your home’s value. In general, you can expect around 60% to 71% return on investment when installing solar shingles.
- Location. The most effective side to install solar shingles is facing towards the south. This is where they can extract most solar energy. You may consider adding them on one side of the roof and installing traditional shingles on the other.
- Weight. Solar shingles are typically very lightweight, with most models weighing less than 3 lbs. per sq.ft.
- Can you go off-grid with a solar shingle roof?
With the increasing cost and unreliability of traditional energy sources, more and more people are exploring the possibility of going off-grid. Solar power is one of the most popular options for off-grid living. There are several ways to integrate it into your home, the most popular being solar shingles and solar panels.
- Are solar shingles expensive?
Solar power roof shingles cost more than traditional shingles and solar panels. The total cost depends on several factors, such as the size and type of roof, your location, and your energy consumption needs. The cost of solar shingles is currently high. As the technology continues to improve, the price is expected to drop, making them an increasingly attractive option for homeowners.
- How long does a solar shingle roof last?
Most solar shingles have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, making them a relatively low-maintenance option for generating renewable energy. In addition, they are becoming more efficient and longer-lasting as technology improves.
- Can you walk on solar shingles?
While you should take care not to step on them too hard, solar shingles are designed to withstand the weight of an average person. You should also take care and not put extra pressure or heavy items that would compromise the functionality of the solar shingles.