You may wonder if Solar Shingles are an actual thing or not. Maybe they are something from a sci-fi movie? Actually, these tiny powerhouses are available now! These shingles are made to look quite similar to normal roofing while carrying the benefits of solar panels.
Right now there are only three main manufacturers in the US. Those being SolarCity, Certain Teed, and RGS Energy. Though other companies are trying to break into the market. It is likely as this technology increases in efficiency that more companies will join production.
The production and efficacy of these mini solar panels varies greatly. This makes it very important to do your research thoroughly. It is also important to research your current energy usage. That way you know roughly what percentage of your energy bill will be covered by converting to a solar shingle roof. Since these shingles are made to be tough and withstand all the wear and tear a normal roof receives. Further, the loss of a single shingles’ energy input would not be as detrimental as losing an entire solar panel. If you live in a homeowners’ association it is vital to ensure your conversion would be allowed.
These roofs tend to appear much more stylish than a bank of solar panels. This makes them more widely accepted. Also, ensure the warranty and expected life of your solar shingles. You want to ensure that you will get a good return on investment with them. It is possible in some areas to sell any excess energy to the power company. Other areas, you will be better setting up a battery bank to cater to your usage throughout the day.
Many careful calculations will need to be done if you are seeking to go entirely off-grid. Though that is an admirable goal, it will often require more than a solar shingle roof to accomplish. Don’t let this discourage you though, a solar shingle roof is an excellent place to start in aiming for energy independence!