Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels: Considerations, Best Practices and More

Solar shingles Vs. Solar Panels

Since their commercial introduction in 2005, solar shingles have sparked a new issue for those looking to get into the solar panel market — which is better, solar shingles or solar panels? 

We’ve compiled the top questions to consider when deciding whether to use solar panels or shingles. Each solar option comes with its own unique benefits and downsides. You can use this guide to understand what solar shingles are, their costs and their advantages and disadvantages. 

What Are Solar Shingles?

Solar shingles, also known as solar roof tiles or solar roofs, are small-scale panels that can be permanently attached to the roof of a home. Like solar panels, solar shingles utilize a photovoltaic system to generate energy. They also need to be connected to an inverter and can operate off or on the grid.

Are Solar Shingles More Expensive than Solar Panels?

Since their inception, solar roof tiles have continued to decline in price. However, they’re still relatively expensive compared to solar panels. 

The price of a solar roof will depend on roof size and complexity. A two-story, 2,000-square-foot roof will typically cost around $55,000, though federal tax incentives and rebates can substantially reduce installation costs. If you are interested in exact pricing, Tesla offers free solar roof quotes

In comparison, solar panels can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $35,000 depending on the size of the roof, wattage and the type of solar panel. This cost difference is a major factor to consider when choosing between solar shingles and solar panels.

What Are the Benefits of Solar Shingles (Tesla Solar Roof) in 2022?

From improved home value to their attractive aesthetics, solar shingles offer many advantages to customers looking for ways to save on their energy bills. 

Improved Home Value 

Solar energy systems increase a home’s value. You can think of a new solar installation as a home renovation — you’ll be investing in a part of your home that can attract buyers with its appearance and efficiency. 

Solar can be a major selling point when your house is on the market. According to a research study by Zillow, solar energy systems increased homes’ sale values by 4.1%. 

Homeowners can factor this benefit into the overall cost of their system when conducting a cost-benefit analysis.

Environmental Impact

Whether you choose solar tiles or panels, going solar is a great way to support the environment. Solar systems rely on renewable energy to fuel homes and businesses. As more individuals switch to solar energy, our community becomes less reliant on fossil fuels. Choosing solar shingles can help perpetuate the trend as more homes are bought and sold with a pre-installed solar roof.

Polished Appearance

One reason to choose solar shingles vs. solar panels is their modern appearance. Tesla solar roof tiles seamlessly blend into the design of the roof. These solar shingles are built to be inconspicuous and mirror the look of asphalt shingles.

This polished appearance can be attractive for those who want solar energy without the look of solar panels. Solar shingles currently come in the same colors offered for solar panels, blue and black. Unlike traditional solar panels, Tesla plans to offer more color options for solar roof tiles. 

Modern Convenience

Many solar shingles come with software that allows you to track your energy production. For example, the Tesla app gives you 24/7 access to track how your roof is operating and control it how you like. It’s a small but innovative benefit that offers convenience and control over your energy usage. 

disadvantages of solar shingles

What Are the Disadvantages of Solar Shingles?

While there are benefits to installing solar shingles, there are also some drawbacks that you should be aware of. 

Slow Installation

Since solar roof tiles are relatively new, solar shingles do not have as many installation contractors. This could mean longer wait times when you decide to install a solar roof.


Many people wonder if solar shingles or solar panels are more expensive., Solar shingles are significantly more expensive than solar panels.

Solar shingles often make the most sense when you need a replacement roof. You should consider the home value and reduced energy costs to assess whether a solar roof makes sense for your budget.

Lower Productivity

Whereas solar panels can be placed strategically to receive the most sunlight, solar shingles are built into the unique angle of the roof. If a section of the roof does not get a lot of sunlight, the solar tiles will become less efficient. In contrast, solar panels can be individually placed and turned to catch the optimal amount of sunlight. They also do not interfere with the roofing material below. 

Limited Mobility

Compared to solar panels, a solar roof is much more difficult to transfer if you decide to move homes. You should plan on leaving your solar tiles with their respective home and raising the overall home market price when selling. 

Higher Failure Rates

Since there are a lot more solar shingles than panels in the same size system, all these shingles need to be electrically connected together. The potential points of failure increase as each shingle is added. This is represented in the higher real-world failure rate of solar shingles compared to solar panels.

Are Solar Shingles Right for Me?

Solar shingles are an innovative solution for consumers looking to improve their energy efficiency. As you look through the various benefits and drawbacks of solar shingles, make sure you’re also measuring them against your own situation. Be sure to outline central aspects such as your budget and efficiency. Cost, aesthetics and longevity are all reasons solar shingles could be the perfect choice for you:

  •  Cost: Solar shingles can be an affordable option that provides valuable effectiveness. Though solar panel prices can vary widely based on size, efficiency and quality, solar shingles’ cost will usually hover within a predictable range. If your budget allows, solar shingles could be a great option to increase your energy efficiency. 
  • Aesthetics: Many people invest in solar shingles because of their appearance. Solar shingles offer a seamless, sleek design that is attractive to many customers. If you want an energy-efficient solution that can blend in with your home’s aesthetic, solar shingles could be a great way to help you attain your goals. 
  • Longevity: Solar shingles are strong, durable and long-lasting. These products can give you confidence for the future and ensure that you have something to rely on. 

If you are in the market for solar energy but don’t care as much about the appearance or want something cheaper, solar panels are the way to go. Whatever option you choose will put you in a great position to power your home or business with solar energy.

Contact 8MSolar today

Contact 8MSolar Today

Knowing what solar shingles are, their benefits and drawbacks and how they differ from solar panels can help you understand if they’re the right choice for you. However, you may still be wondering if they’re the best option for you. Try consulting a professional service with years of experience in solar roof installations. 

Finding the right solar option for you can be challenging. At 8MSolar, we offer solar solutions to both residential and commercial North Carolina customers. 8MSolar is a certified solar panel installer in the North Carolina area. We can also connect you with our Tesla partners who can help you with any solar shingles questions. Contact us if you have any questions or need help deciding the best path forward and make the switch to solar today! 

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