-Are Solar Roofs the Future of the Roofing Industry?
Solar energy has grown at a rapid pace over the last decade and trends in the solar industry suggest that they will continue to grow exponentially over the next decade. With the enactment of The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in 2006, consumers were jumping at the chance to receive a 30% tax credit for solar systems installed on their residential homes.
A solar system used photovoltaic (PV) panels that convert energy from the sun into electricity through the use of sunlight absorbing solar cells that cause a phenomenon known as the ‘photoelectric effect.’ A well-engineered PV system can provide a majority of the electricity required to power an energy-efficient home and can even generate a surplus that can be sold to a utility company or delivered to other consumers through the electrical grid.
Traditional solar panels are mounted using a mounting system on your existing asphalt shingle roof. If your roof is old or in poor condition, replacing the roof prior to installing the panels is the best option so you don’t have to incur costly fees to remove the system, replace the roof and then re-install your solar system.
But what if you could install a solar powered roof on your home?
Solar shingles were first made available in 2005 but even the most elite eco-conscious homeowner balked at the hefty price tag. More recently though solar shingles have become more price-competitive with bolt on panels and they are gaining in popularity. They do require the help of an electrician and a few other special considerations during installation.
Following a November merger between Tesla and SolarCity, Tesla announced in May that they were releasing the first solar roof in the coming months. These glass solar tiles are so durable according to Tesla that they are “warrantied for the lifetime of your home, or infinity, whichever comes first.” However, the price tag is another story all together…According to Tesla’s solar calculator, this new system will cost over $51,000 (calculation made based on the average home size in the U.S. which is 2,467 sqft) for a 70% solar roof plus a $7,000 ‘optional’ Powerwall battery that is recommended to store all the new energy. Over 30 years though, Tesla points out that the energy savings can be greater than $70k which would mean an over $30k profit to the homeowner. Tesla also announced that immediately following their release, they sold out until late 2018.
With advances taking place in the solar industry every day, we are hopeful that these types of systems will become more affordable and readily available to the average homeowner who wants to invest in both a new roof and green energy all at once.