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The Real Cost of Solar Shingles In 2023: Are They Worth it?

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Solar Shingles

Key Takeaways

  • Solar shingles offer a visually appealing alternative to traditional solar panels while seamlessly integrating into the architecture of a home.

  • The cost of solar shingles varies by brand and region, with an average price range of $25,000 to $60,000.

  • Several factors impact the pricing, such as panel efficiency, brand, material, permit and labor costs, and the complexity of your roof.

  • Solar shingles might be less efficient than panels, but their larger coverage can potentially capture more sunlight.

  • Determining the number of shingles needed depends on your energy needs, roof size, and sun exposure.

  • While the initial investment is high, long-term benefits, potential ROI, and environmental impact can make solar shingles a worthy investment.


As electric costs keep going up, more and more homeowners, feeling the pinch, are turning their gazes skyward. That's right—solar energy is the talk of the town, and you've probably seen the shiny panels or roofs cropping up all over your neighborhood. But did you know there's more than one way to catch those rays?

Enter solar shingles—a sleek, stylish option that differs from the traditional panels you might be used to. They blend right into your roof, no attachments needed, and are powered by the latest in solar technology.

However, let's be real: harnessing the sun's power isn't exactly a budget affair. You're looking at an investment somewhere in the range of $25,000 to $60,000, or about $15 to $35 per square foot for an average American roof of 1,700 square feet. Your final tally, of course, will depend on the brand you choose and the installation whizzes you hire.

Now let’s dive into the nitty-gritty, dissecting the solar shingles' cost and also to find out if they are worth every penny. Stick around, and let's find out.

Average Costs of Solar Shingle Roof Installation

Alright, let's talk numbers. Every solar brand has its unique selling points, and naturally, their prices reflect that. Take Tesla solar roof tiles, for instance. Their reputation precedes them, and their pricing is equally noteworthy, with a full roof installation potentially touching $70,000. Quite a stretch, huh?

On the more affordable end, we have SunTegra solar shingles that might set you back about $20,000 for your entire roof.

Whether you're eyeing the sunny skies of Florida or the grand landscapes of Texas, expect to shell out around $15 to $35 per square foot. In fact, solar shingles cost per square foot in most regions.

But here's the twist - solar shingles come with a unique pricing model. Forget square footage, you're buying power - literally! The cost per watt ranges from $3.50 to $8.00.

Yes, the initial sticker shock of solar roof shingles is real, especially compared to asphalt shingles. But think about this - you'll be producing your own electricity, thereby offsetting, if not completely annihilating your electric bills. Plus, federal incentives and rebates make the deal even sweeter.

Now, does that sound like a worthy investment? Let's find out!

Factors That Go Into Solar Shingles Pricing

The cost of solar panel shingles is primarily determined by the wattage, which significantly influences the overall expense of installing a solar roof. Nevertheless, there are several other factors to take into account and discuss.

Efficiency and Tech-Specs

When it comes to solar shingles, it's not just about covering your home - it's about harnessing the sun's power. The efficiency of these photovoltaic tiles plays a significant role in determining their price. Higher efficiency might mean a steeper upfront cost, but also greater savings in the long run. With average efficiencies of solar tiles ranging between 15-20%, an increase of just a few percentage points could yield hundreds of dollars in energy savings annually.

Brand and Material Quality

Just like a Gucci bag costs more than your average tote, the brand and material quality of your solar shingles significantly affect their price. Premium brands like Tesla could cost you around $21.85 per square foot. But remember, it’s not just the brand you're paying for. It's the research, innovation, and reliable performance these brands offer. And don't forget about material quality - highly durable tempered glass solar shingles are more resistant to weather and wear, adding to the lifespan of your investment.

Permits and Labor Costs

Going solar isn’t just about buying shingles and sticking them onto your roof. You'll need a series of permits, and the costs for these can vary greatly depending on your location. Moreover, the skilled labor needed for a flawless installation can set you back anywhere from $5000 to $10,000, depending on the size and complexity of your roof.

Size and Complexity of Your Roof

Speaking of roof size and complexity, the more shingles you need, the higher the total cost will be. The average U.S. home has a roof of 1,700 square feet, translating to an average total cost of $35,000 to $70,000 for a solar shingle roof. Complex features like skylights, chimneys, or steep slopes can increase installation time and labor costs, adding to the overall price.

Installation Process

Installation options also factor into the price. If you're installing a new roof with solar panels, you’ll be paying for the new roofing materials as well as the solar tech. On the other hand, a complete solar panel roof installation might be more costly upfront but could offer greater energy coverage and efficiency.

While the initial costs of solar shingles might give you a start, keep sight of the bigger picture. You're investing in a sustainable future that promises long-term savings and a smaller carbon footprint.

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Solar Shingles

Let's delve deeper into some of the lesser-known, yet significant, aspects that could impact your budget…

Roof Requirements for Solar Shingles: Does your roof get ample sunlight? Are there obstructions such as trees or other buildings? Solar power demands clear access to the sun's rays, so placement is crucial. What's the condition of your roof? Depending on its age or material, you might need to invest in roof repairs or even a complete replacement before you go solar, adding to the total cost.

Choosing the Right Brand: Brands like Tesla, CertainTeed, and SunTegra have revolutionized the solar roof industry with their sleek solar shingles, but innovation comes with a price tag. Tesla’s solar roof cost per square foot can be higher than other brands. Still, many homeowners find it’s worth the extra investment for increased efficiency, aesthetic appeal, and Tesla's proven track record.

Inverter Replacement: Solar shingles convert sunlight into direct current (DC), which then needs to be converted into alternating current (AC) by an inverter. Depending on its quality, an inverter may need replacing every 10-15 years, at an average cost of $1,000-$2,000.

Maintenance and Insurance: Although solar shingles are designed to withstand the elements, occasional maintenance or repair may be needed. Additionally, while most home insurance policies cover solar shingles, some may increase your premiums.

Puzzled about the nitty-gritty of solar shingle costs? Our team of solar experts is here to guide you through every step. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels

You're sold on solar power, but now the question is: solar shingles or solar panels? Let's lay out the facts…

Cost: When it comes to initial costs, traditional solar panels often come out on top. While solar shingles could cost between $15-$35 per square foot, solar panels hover around $2.81 per watt, making them a budget-friendly alternative. However, remember that the sleek, seamless look of shingles might add value to your property in the eyes of future buyers.

Efficiency: A comparison of solar energy capture reveals that solar panels typically have an efficiency range of 15-22%, while solar shingles fall into the 10-12% range. However, it's important to note that the larger coverage area of solar shingles may compensate for this difference, enabling them to capture a comparable amount of overall sunlight.

Aesthetics: If curb appeal is your priority, solar shingles are the way to go. With options like CertainTeed and Tesla's solar panel shingles offering a smooth, integrated look, your home will be the envy of the block!

Decisions, decisions! Remember, it's about finding what's right for you. Unsure about the best option? Our solar professionals can provide tailored advice. Get a free quote and let's start exploring your solar potential!

How Many Do You Need?

Solar roofs aren't one-size-fits-all. Wondering how many solar roof tiles you need? Let's decode this riddle…

Energy Needs: Your energy consumption is the heartbeat of your solar system design. A quick look at your electricity bill will reveal your average kilowatt-hours (kWh) usage. This forms the baseline for how much energy your solar shingles need to generate.

Roof Size & Sun Exposure: Size does matter when it comes to your roof. The larger the roof, the more room for solar shingles. However, it's not all about size. The sun's kiss on your roof plays an essential role. A south-facing roof captures more sunlight, meaning fewer tiles may be needed.

Average Cost: So, how does all this translate to cost? CertainTeed, for example, offers a tool on their website to estimate the cost of their solar roof based on your home’s square footage and number of stories. But remember, every home is unique and so is your solar solution.

Our solar wizards are ready to help you navigate the solar maze and provide a custom solution based on your specific needs. Reach out for a tailored approach today!


What are the cons of solar shingles?

Solar shingles can be more expensive than traditional panels and may be less efficient. Also, they might require complete roof replacement for installation

Do solar shingles work well?

Do solar shingles leak?

Can you install solar shingles?

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