Solar roofing isn’t new, but Tesla and SolarCity has certainly brought this technology into the mainstream with the recent announcement that they will be entering this market.
Before we get into the pros and cons of solar roofing, let’s talk about what it actually is. Solar roofing combines two functions: 1) converting sunlight to electrical power and 2) serving the protective duties of traditional roof shingles. Like normal shingles, solar roofing works with flashing and other traditional parts of a roof.
In the USA, there are over 5 million new roofs installed every year. If you are a homeowner who wants solar energy and owns a roof that is near the end of its life, it might make sense to make your new roof from solar roofing; rather than install a new roof and then install solar panels on top of them.
If you are thinking about getting solar roofing, here are the pros and cons that the Solar Consultant team feels you should consider.
- Aesthetics: There is no doubt about it. Solar roofing looks much better than traditional solar panel installations because the roofing is integrated into your house and not added on after the fact.
- Flexible Installation: With normal solar panels, a valley in the roof may present installation challenges. With solar shingles, you can essentially install them anywhere normal shingles can be installed.
- Wind Resistance: Since the solar cells are integrated into the roof, it is harder for high winds to damage them when compared to solar panels. If you are worried about how solar roofing would perform under hail, check out this article.
- Lower Efficiency: The solar roofing cannot have customized orientations like solar panels, and this leads to lower efficiency.
- High Cost: Solar roofing typically costs more unless you are already replacing your roof.
- Fewer Contractor Options: Solar roofing technology is less widespread than solar panels so it can be difficult to find experienced contractors to work with.
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